Should Arsenal Offload Both Almunia and Fabianski?
Arsene Wenger's hopes of landing a trophy this season is all but over. Although Arsenal failed to win a trophy, this season will be a bright mark on Wenger's career.
Talking about career, there are question marks over the careers of some of the under-performing players who are donning the Arsenal colours.
The first to feature on that not-so-perfect list would be Manuel Almunia. He has had so much time to prove himself worthy of being the long-term net-minder for Arsenal, but his performances were far from impressive.
We're not talking about a young keeper. In fact, Almunia is an experienced goalie, but one could easily sense his uncertainty in front of the goal, which is not the mark of a world-class goalkeeper. However, Wenger, the man who matters the most didn't sense that.
Wenger missed a trick or two when he decided not to replace Almunia last summer, and some of the results this season pointed at the need for a new keeper.
The second choice keeper, Lukasz Fabiansi, is another fumbling story. Last year, his poor keeping in the FA cup semifinal against Chelsea cost Arsenal that game, but many, including Wenger, felt it was a bad day at the office and supported him.
However, this season, he has been nothing short of a fumbling muck. He was named the best Polish keeper in 2006 as well as in 2007. He carried great expectation on his shoulders after joining the Arsenal, but only flattered to deceive with his dull displays.
The games against FC Porto (away) and Wigan Athletic (away) showcased all his weaknesses as a glove-man. Wenger may still be supporting him and boosting his confidence with public display of affection with his kind words.
In reality, nobody can justify his perennial failures in front of the goal post. He may only be 25, and could improve a lot if he has the willpower to do so.
But his performances only suggest one thing, he's not good enough to play in the Premiership. One would apparently question the place of these two mucks in the Arsenal squad, especially with the new rule stipulating a 25-member squad for each team from next season onwards.
Ideally, Arsenal should empty these two names from their roster. A better goalkeeper for a reasonable price is very much available only if Wenger has got an eye for finding him.
As far as I am concerned, offloading these two will be the best option with a better keeper replacing them, not from the Arsenal youth ranks though.
Promoting Vito Mannone as the second choice should be an automatic decision once Almunia and Fabianski depart, with a new (world-class) keeper replacing them as the Arsenal's first choice.
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