Arsenal Try Desperately To Sign a Keeper Before the Season Kicks Off

Jamrock RoverSenior Analyst IAugust 13, 2010

NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 23:  Mark Schwarzer of Australia directs his defence during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group D match between Australia and Serbia at Mbombela Stadium on June 23, 2010 in Nelspruit, South Africa.  (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

The season's opening games are almost upon us and the transfer rumours are coming thick and fast now. Arsenal have been linked with Mark Schwarzer of Fulham and Australia all summer long but it would seem that things are really hotting up now as the boss realises we cannot start the season with either Almunia or Fabianski in goal.

If the media reports are true Schwarzer has begged Fulham manager Mark Hughes to let him join Arsenal as he looks to finish his career on a high. I suppose it will depend on whether Fulham can get a replacement or not. With that in mind Fulham are linked with Brad Friedel of Aston Villa and Villa are in turn said to be interested in signing Almunia. I say, cut out the middle man and then Arsenal can go straight for Friedel but if that doesn't work I think Schwarzer is a better bet than Dropsy or Flappy.

I don't know if we can get a keeper in time to play on Sunday but if a keeper does sign and walk straight into the team without having any time with our defence beforehand it will be a damning verdict on the current goalkeepers. I would take any goalkeeper that the defenders can have confidence in as I think that's a vital part of any team that defends well.

There are also rumours of us moving for various centre backs with Spahic of Montpellier and Bosnia again getting a mention along with his team mate Mapou Yanga-M'Biwa who is a full back and French under 21 international.  

Ahead of Sunday's game it would appear that both Song and Djourou are definitely out as well as the obvious absences of Ramsey and Bendtner. The boss says he still has to make a decision on Cesc and RVP, though he's said that Diaby and Denilson are possibilities too.

None of those four players have played a minute of pre-season football for Arsenal although Cesc did manage 45 minutes for Spain on Wednesday night in Mexico. Vela played in that match too, but he has never managed to play for us on the weekend after a trip to Mexico before, so I would be surprised if he makes an appearance on Sunday.

It does seem that all of our players have come back in one piece from the international break. Maybe the games for their countries have done a few of them some good. Nasri got a chance to show Laurent Blanc, the new French manager, what he could have done at the World Cup and apparently he played really well.

Arshavin will hopefully have put his disappointment at Russia missing out on the World Cup behind him and return to the ground where he loves to score great goals.

Both Gibbs and Wilshere made their English debuts and played well as did Walcott who played his 12th game for his country. He must be a bit of a lucky charm for England as they have won every game he has played and if he went to South Africa they might have fared better.

Chamakh played and scored for Morocco and I would imagine that he will start as our centre forward on Sunday. If we can get him, Nasri, and Arshavin playing at their best and maybe introduce Cesc and RVP from the bench I think we have a chance of getting a result. Of course, Schwarzer in goal would increase the chances of getting a result and we'll have to watch Steven Gerrard after his two goals for England and his love of falling over unchallenged.

As the game draws closer, I can feel the tension and excitement building. I'm looking forward to joining the other members of the "Wicklow Gunners" in The Strand in Bray for our AGM before the game and for main event at 4PM on Sunday afternoon.

We'll be cheering our team and hoping for a victory and I'm sure Gooners all over the world will be doing the same.

Finally for today with time running out it's still not too late to join me and more than 500 others in my Fantasy league and there will be trophies for the first three teams. If you want to sign up the link is here and the code to join my league is 33954-12064 after you have set up a team. 

I'm running the league this season with a little help from 11Gunners and I'd like to thank them for their help in promoting my blog and the fantasy league too.

I'm also running a results prediction league on "I know the score" which is a part of the Fantasy Premier league site. Here's the link to sign up and make your predictions and the code to join my league is  FBE3B-ZGP if anybody would like to try their hand at it.

See You Tomorrow.