More Arsenal Positivity. Sorry.

September 1, 2010 12 Comments by Sian

In May of this year it was utterly inconceivable that Arsenal wouldn’t sign a new goalkeeper. The chances of us coming back into the new term with MA/LF between the sticks seemed about as likely as Nicklas Bendtner ever choosing a sensible haircut. Or putting his Aston up for sale, announcing “What do I need this for? A little run-around will do me… I don’t like driving fast.”

They’d been bullied, chipped, dummied, near-posted, unforced error-ed, free-kicked from two foot out-ed, and baffled about the rules of the back-pass.

Yet here we find ourselves on the 1st September, in the aftermath of the transfer that wasn’t, scratching our heads as to exactly what went wrong.

It must be said that when you heard our most likely target was a 37-year-old who had an absolute shocker at our gaff last season, you had to wonder what exactly was going on in that wondrous place known as Wenger’s grey matter.

So on the downside, we have a keeper who made many mistakes last season and who cost us a number of vital points. On the upside, we have a strengthened defence in the shape of Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When Wenger gives you Almunia, get behind him and support him as fiercely as you do the rest of the team. It’s all you can do.

He was a good keeper a few years ago. Injury and a massive explosion in the face of his confidence have caused his downfall from worthy #2 to Jens (oh Jens how we miss you!) to “Oh God not him again”.

That said, he looked more solid than he’s looked in months against Blackburn. More performances like this, and a little crowd support is, in my opinion a recipe for a reinforced, unbreakable, super-sturdy ego.

Thankfully, the vast majority of Arsenal fans seem to have accepted this and are simply looking forward to the rest of the season ahead, knowing that Almunia is the best we have and also cares very deeply for his team and for his place in it.

However, obviously this is Arsenal and so there have to be some miserable gits in the mix (sorry, but we really do have some of the most drainy moany whingebag fans on the planet.)
There’s the argument that fans pump enough money into the club and therefore an expectation that some of it is wisely spent. There’s the belief that we will not properly challenge for a title until we have a world-class keeper on our team.

And there is also obviously the argument that Joe Hart is a Gooner anyway so you know WHAT KEPT YA, WENGER.

Or maybe that last one is just me.

All of the above are entirely understandable and, I think, a shared sentiment among us all. But some of the out and out fury that has been expressed in the direction of Arsene and the club since 6pm yesterday has been incredible. People placing bets about what month in the season it will be that we find ourself out of the title race for good.

What’s the good in this? So you can go “Haha told ya so!” when (if) it happens?

People adding their own little variation on “Wenger’s lost it” was also quite a popular opinion yesterday. And the ones we really must congratulate, the ones who achieved new, astronomical levels of idiocy, had to be the ones saying they would no longer be attending matches thanks to the keeper-fail by Wenger.

Interestingly enough, the day after, (today), Manchester United announced that they had failed to achieve their season ticket sales target for the year. So, you know. You Gooners who don’t want to follow the highs of Arsenal (which means following the lows too)… off you jog up to Manc, they have plenty of room for you!

I know the positive wittering of this blog gets on some people’s nerves (you don’t have to KEEP telling me though)… but I will continue to be so throughout this season. And I know there are plenty others out there who feel the same. So get behind the team, get behind Almunia, get believing that this season’s the season or you know… get lost.

So let’s start the re-birth of Almunia Eboue-style. Almunia doesn’t breathe; he holds air hostage. He is also the reason Wally is hiding. And while some people wear Superman pyjamas, Superman wears Almunia pyjamas. Over to you, folks.


  1. Lyndsie
    2609 days ago

    Really a well well written article–I love it. :) Thanks for being positive. ;)


    • sianyr
      2602 days ago

      @Lyndsie Thanks for the lovely comment! :D


  2. Reznuk
    2608 days ago

    Whilst I can’t be quite as positive about Almunia… yet… I support the sentiment. The people who want to “vote with their feet” should just keep on walking.

    With a strengthened defense and some real competition for the keeping spot (though obviously we’ve yet to see that with Fabianski on the bench), there may be an improvement.

    Eboue had a dark moment, and Sagna lost it a bit last year after his brother (I think) died – so there is hope that with Wenger’s hand on his shoulder, Almunia could improve. I don’t think he’ll ever be a ‘great’ keeper, but he can be pretty good on his day.


  3. Akshay
    2608 days ago

    Almunia has always been a decent keeper imo. He was always an excellent shot stopper (re: Barcelona at the Emirates, coz without him, we would have been 6-0 down at Half time), it’s just his command of the area and decision making that I didn’t like. He would look nervous whenever there were balls hoofed into the box,his punches weren’t always the best, and he tends to come off his line unnecessarily.

    That was the Almunia that cost us nearly 9 points in the league last season.

    However, from what I saw against Blackburn, he seemed to rectify almost every flaw. He could punch em off, stay calm in case of corners and Paul Robinson hoofs, and in short, he looked very assuring. Maybe that was because he thought that was his last game for us. He wanted to end his Arsenal career on a good note. But it wasn’t to be.

    And I wont be lying if I said that I’m kinda glad it wasn’t. Signing a 37 year old, in the Twilight of his career, for FOUR! million quid always seemed unreasonable to me. Would Schwarzer have been THE answer to our GK problems? I dont think so.

    I am happy that Al will still be our number 1. Every player goes through a dip in form at some stage in their career- Drogba, Gerrard, Torres, Ronaldinho, EBOUE! But we should realise, after a fall, there’s always a rise.

    So, lets get behind Al, lets get behind every single one of those Red and White guys on the pitch, cheer our hearts out, and leave the rest to Wenger. And God.


  4. Alan
    2608 days ago

    Right again, bird. Disappointed though I am about not getting a good, solid, reliable no 1 goalkeeper (Hart would have been ideal, but not while Citeh have that sort of dosh), I wasn’t thrilled skinny at the thought of Schwarzer coming in. Let’s hope that the revamped defence can give Almers confidence and vice versa and that he stays fit enough to keep Fabianski on the bench. Come on, you Reds and piss off, you pessimistic pillocks!


  5. @Arsenal_Away
    2608 days ago

    Totally agree Sian Eboue is testament that your confidence can be regained with support from the crowd, and as you said nothing going to change so folk should stop whinging and support the whole team


  6. Rob Fuller
    2608 days ago

    Absofuckinlutely McLovin the Positivity Siany! i’m with you all the way. And i agree we do have some right miserly old Meldrews who can naff off to Monkeychester for all I care. Almunia has until January at least to get back to his best and better it. With the 2010 defensive remix it should boost his confidence all the way back up to the top of the charts…some man of the match performances are on the way i’m sure…..though an injury would be scary unless Chesney gets to have a craic at number 2!! Lucas notsoFabianski just don’t cut it for me. Great post luv! x


    • sianyr
      2602 days ago

      @Rob Fuller Loved this comment so much!


  7. Treez
    2608 days ago

    Liking the positive vibes! Who can forget that not THAT long ago, the Arsenal faithful were singing ‘England’s, England’s number 1′. (I have to admit I always felt that was a little far-fetched, but still…).
    Another enjoyable read. Well said.


  8. Evil
    2607 days ago

    Almunia was never a real reason for concern. He was doing “his thing”, which is not being world class, but still a decent enough keeper. Personal problems last year obviously affected him but now he seems to be back to his usual level. A bit of transfer speculation might have helped him, though!

    For me the real issue is Fabianski and I am rather worried about him. I am confident that he has the talent, because otherwise Wenger wouldn’t keep the faith in him like that, but something is seriously wrong with his confidence. His mistakes show a certain naivity and desperation that you wouldn’t expect from a keeper of his age. He isn’t 21 anymore, after all. It is just sad because, obviously, you need to know your trade if you are going to usurp somebody like Dudek, especially in his Liverpool times. In the end I expect this to be a make or break season for Fabianski. If he gets another chance, due to Almunia injury or an extended run in the Carling/FA Cup and he disappoints again I can see him being sold


  9. MoHoops
    2606 days ago

    hey ‘granny gooner’, nice blog you got here :)

    keep it up


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