Arsenal: Goalkeepers, A Promising Striker and An Annoying Starfish

Joseph MillardCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal looks on during the pre-season friendly match between Barnet and Arsenal at Underhill on July 17, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Phil Cole/Getty Images

Good morning, it's pretty quiet this morning to be honest. The media were trying to talk up Starfish Gerrard's comments in which he tried to imply Koscielny had overreacted to Joe Cole's challenge to get him sent off but I don't see what there is to add to that issue that I didn't say yesterday. Gerrard is a proven, serial cheater on the football field and he has no room to go around accusing other professionals of dishonest conduct.

I know he also tried to say that the Arsenal fans played their part in getting Cole sent off. I suppose if the incident had happened down by the Kop and it had been Nasri (for instance) putting that challenge in on a Liverpool defender, Gerrard would expect the Liverpool fans to be quiet and wait patiently for the referee's decision? If so, he's a bigger idiot than he looks, all fans would react the way the Arsenal fans did to seeing one of their players needlessly and dangerously hacked down right in front of them, and rightly so.

It's the role of fans to be in their team's corner.

Anyway that's quite enough attention given to the Starfish and his inane drivel, so we'll move on to something a bit more Arsenal related. Manuel Almunia has admitted he'd have to consider his future at Arsenal if a new goalkeeper was signed.

Almunia says the constant speculation has affected his concentration on his job which I guess is fair enough. Imagine going into work every day to have to hear and read speculation that you were going to be replaced in a matter of weeks or even days, I can imagine it would affect anyone's concentration.

Unfortunately it is necessary in this case. The only truly satisfactory remedy to Arsenal's goalkeeping situation is to sign a new player in that position, all the other options carry a degree of risk that is, I think, unacceptable for a club with Arsenal's ambition.

We play Blackpool next weekend and I still think it's an opportunity to play Szczesny in goal. Of course I doubt such a course of action is in the manager's plans, it's just my opinion. But before the Liverpool game, Arsene Wenger said he believes Szczesny has "huge quality". Which of Arsenal's other goalkeepers can you honestly say the same for? If the only thing preventing Szczesny bringing his quality to the side is his lack of experience then surely Arsenal can use games against opposition where, no disrespect intended to anyone we may play, Arsenal should be aiming for a comfortable victory to give Szczesny some of that valuable experience.

As I said yesterday, I have changed my tune on Szczesny a bit, you can easily go back a week or so and find me saying that he shouldn't be playing for Arsenal this season. I guess one more costly error from Almunia has made me think again. And it was a costly error to concede from Ngog's shot. Yes, it was superbly hit shot but there is just no way Almunia should be beaten at his near post. He got hands to it, and of all people I think it was Paul Merson who summed it up best when he said something along the lines of "If you get anything to it, you should save it", and I think he's right in this circumstance.

Don't forget that it was 0-0 just after half time and Liverpool had just gone down to ten men. The goal was a game changer, without it Arsenal may well have come away with three points, and so Almunia's failure to save the shot was costly, in a way that Arsenal can ill afford to repeat as the season goes on.

At the other end of the pitch, Arsene Wenger has been full of praise for Marouane Chamakh and his role in Arsenal's dramatic and hilarious equaliser. The boss said: "Chamakh showed with the goal that he is not frightened to put his head and body in, That is exactly what the League is all about and that is what we love here."

Chamakh did indeed do well to get into the right place and the right time and ultimately force the error, despite spending most of the game in Martin Skrtel's pocket. It's only to be expected that he struggled to impose himself on most of the game given that it was such tough opposition for his debut, but I think it was also a very encouraging sign that despite a mostly frustrating game for him he still managed to come up with a vital contribution for the team at the end. I think Arsenal fans can be rightly excited about seeing how Chamakh develops as an Arsenal player. I must say, I do fancy him to bag a goal against Blackpool.

So that's all for this morning. I shall give you fair warning now that tomorrow's blog is very likely indeed to go missing, I've got to do a fair bit of travelling for an interview tomorrow morning and I don't see when I'm going to get the time to fit a blog in. If the opportunity presents itself, then great, if not I shall speak to you on Thursday. Take it easy.