The stress of the transfer window is clearly exacerbated when you’ve watched your experienced keeper – Manuel Almunia – make a series of howlers in the previous season and you hear how your manager is not really looking at a replacement. In addition, knowing that four centre-backs – Campbell, Gallas, Silvestre and Senderos – are possibly not going to be around for the start of the new season, the apparent inactivity by Arsenal has been difficult to witness.
Quite frankly, for a team like Arsenal, lacking a class goal-keeper is a ridiculous situation to be in. We have a number two – Fabianski – who is also of the flappable nature and a number three – Mannone – who was called into action and heroically kept us in a game against Fulham but wasn’t felt to be ready to play more than a few games. Our fourth choice keeper – Szczesny - has everyone raving about how great he’s going to be but is currently too young and inexperienced.
So, reports that we could be interested in signing Mark Schwartzer from Fulham are interesting. Do we need 5 goal-keepers? Who’s going to make way for him? Surely if he is to be our new No.1, Almunia or Fabianski must be moved on…………..
But it is the centre-back pairing is causing even more debate. We are linked – and I suspect he’ll be unveiled very soon – with Laurent Koscielny from french side Lorient and we have Johann Djourou available fighting fit – for now. Who should be first choice partner for Thomas Vermaelen? Senderos has already gone but we have no idea if Gallas and Campbell are staying or going. Gallas played his best football for us last season and Campbell was a revelation adding spirit and desire to the team. They both have high wages and I suspect they’ll both be hampered with injuries next season so we don’t need for them both to stay but one would be nice.
Koscielny may cost us £8.5m which is not money being spent for him to sit on the bench so I assume he will be our new No.6 and the first choice partner for Vermaelen. Djourou will be back-up together with either Campbell or Gallas. But what if they both go? Ooops we’ll need another CB – Anton Ferdinand anyone? What if they both stay? It must be doing Arsenes head in. Either way I’m looking forward to welcoming Koscielny to be part of our new rock solid defence but we still need one more……………..Silvestre?????????
Yesterday, Rasp and London got all excited at the thought of the new centre-back pairing being Djourou and Koscielny and Vermaelen being pushed up to partner Song in front of the back four as our new long awaited DM. Now that does sound like a plan, only then we’d be two short at the back. Go figure………….see you in the comments.
Following last nights Spain v Portugal game I’m compelled to say – Cesc, we love you, we’d never leave you on the bench for a whole game, come home, don’t even think about playing in Spain – not yet anyway, wait until they really need you.