Lehmann – Almunia – Gallas – Wenger – Dein – Sven

Well Arsene Wenger has announced that Jens Lehmann is ‘injured’ and will be missing for at least two weeks with an achillies problem. You wonder about the timing of this ‘injury’ and I suspect that it’s the same sort of injury Thierry Henry had at the end of last season. There has been a lot of talk about Lehmann’s costly mistakes of late but Arsene has spoken out and said that Jens is still a top quality goalkeeper.

It’s pretty convenient how Lehmann has become injured following shocking mistakes at Fulham and Blackburn, and a few people thought he should have done better at the near post against Lampard in midweek.

I thought that highly-rated Fabianski might be given a shot but with Arsene’s pecking order it will be Manuel Almunia who fills in for the German. The boss is confident that Almunia can handle the responsibility and admitted it was close in deciding a number one this season. Personally if Lehmann is fully-fit and on top of his game then there really is no contest – but sadly that isn’t the case.

Some people love Almunia and some people hate him. I’m still undecided, even though he’s been at the club over 3 years and seen a decent amount of playing time. I suppose I’m still gutted about the time I travelled all the way to Manchester for the Carling Cup game only for him to let in a pathetic shot after 30 seconds. Man, that was a long trip home!

But as you may or may not have already seen (via Arseblog) that Almunia did win the Arsenal Crossbar Challenge so you can’t say he doesn’t deserve his place in the team!

Unfortunately Willie G will be out for some time and Kolo will captain the side if (and it looks likely) that Gilberto will not take part in the Man City game. I never thought I would say this but Willie has impressed me already this season and we’ll miss his drive – we really could have done with him in the second half against Blackburn.

Meanwhile the manager has said his future will be sorted out ‘soon’ and dismissed talk that delays had anything to do with David Dein. Arsene has always been laid back about signing on the dotted line but is a man of his word so I would be shocked if he did anything other than extend his future.

And of course tomorrow afternoon, we meet Sven’s men who are flying at the top of the league after beating West Ham, Derby and Manchester United. Whatever you want to say about Sven, winning the first 3 games of the season is impressive and Man City are the only team in the league that still have a 100% record. Most people think we will easily beat them but they haven’t conceded a goal yet with Dunne and Richards in fantastic form so I can see tomorrow being a frustration afternoon – especially with Arsenal’s knack of wasting opportunities in front of goal.

On the plus side it looks like Adebayor will start and at least he isn’t scared of shooting.

And hopefully Gilberto will start because Arsenal have problems keeping clean sheets without him.

The smart money would be on 0-0 tomorrow but hopefully Arsenal can grab a goal and nick it 2-1 against a supremely confident Manchester City.

No more blunders please!

Video Link: Arsenal Crossbar Challenge – French TV (YouTube – 3:02)
Download Link: Click Here (Rapidshare – 26MB)


8 thoughts on “Lehmann – Almunia – Gallas – Wenger – Dein – Sven

  1. watch the games my friend. we have no problems keeping clean sheets. both the goals we have conceded have been because of goal keeping mistakes.

    we have had problems scoring.

    gilberto is absolutely average and if you had seen how he performed in the copa; he is a liability more than any help.

  2. It’s interesting how nobody seems to be willing to give Almunia his due. Arseblogger nailed it pretty well on his Arsecast today. Almunia has definitely made mistakes, particularly early on, but he has also performed well for us on occasions when we really needed him (penalty shoot outs, specifically) and I think he’s actually a reasonable keeper these days. Clearly his forte is as a shot stopper, but he can’t be any worse than Jens has been so far this season (can he?!).

    It’s just too easy to forget the good games he has had and focus on the bad ones. It’s equally ridiculous to use his crossbar challenge shot as some indicator of how good he might be, although I realise that was probably a bit tongue in cheek. Hopefully he will put in a few assured performances for us and get a bit of credit. We need some stability between the sticks right now…

  3. Almunia has been villified for letting in the goals against Barcelona.
    On the occasions he has saved Arsenal nobody seems to remember.
    Please lay off the man and give a him a chance to prove himself.
    And talking of proving oneself I would get no greater satisfaction than for Spurs to ram down the words of one saf who thinks he can do no wrong and is lord ot the pl.
    Don’t get me wrong. I’m as passionate as any fan supporting the gunners
    but as far as I’m concerned that man from OT is a man who has outlived his time . He has said mu shd have won the matches they played. For that matter the gunners shd have even won more matches and would not be twenty points behind.
    He has said mu are due a win against Spurs.Althought the odds are are against Jol I hope Spurs draw or beat them and make that guy chew on his own shit.

  4. Yeah, I see where you are coming from Walter…

    Slur Alot, said “WE WILL BEAT SPURS…” that’s a very dangerous game!
    Essien said the same, against Brum, the other weekend & it nearly bit them on the arse…

    So for taking the piss out of Fergie side, it would be fun watching spurs do ’em… but if spurs do beat ’em… the whore mongers down the 7 slag sisters, will get all excited again & we’ll have to listen to “Spurs will get 4th, after all…” bullshit, for a fortnight!
    So a 3-3 draw with 4 red cards & 6 broken legs for me please…

  5. Mark it’s interesting that you say we struggle to score and we don’t struggle to keep clean sheets, since in the past 9 games we’ve scored every time and usually scored twice and we’ve conceded in most of those games. Nice logic you have.

  6. Manuel coming in right now is great for the stability of the defence.
    Whether he will stabilise the back in the forthcoming games remains to be seen. I personall don’t like slating GKs but I can’t help but think the best of Lehmann was when he was fighting Oliver Khan for the number 1 shirt leading up to the World Cup last year.

    Manuel deserves this chance. Although easn time I think of him, I can’t help but remember how naive he was in the CL final goals and against Chelsea in the CC final. Drogba’s goal was particularly annoying.

    But I think Manuel is better now. Hope he takes this chance and really nails the position.

  7. We’ve got to take the positives out of this situation, otherwise we’ll just crumble and lose confidence in the team and the club.

    Almunia has been at times excellent, and at other times poor. But with Lehmann out for a few weeks and Manuel knowing that he’s going to have a run in the side then this is the golden chance he’s been waiting for.

    The last chance Almunia had was a couple of seasons ago when Jens was dropped but he didn’t take it. If he can add stability to the defence along with some clean sheets then he could find himself as a regular starter and push Lehmann to the limit which can only be a good thing in terms of competition.


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