Almunia Back in the First Team

With Fabianksi out for the rest of the season, we’re only one injury away from Manuel Almunia resuming his position as Arsenal’s starting goalkeeper.

Let’s say Szczesney picks up a knock in training or gets Shawcrossed on Wednesday night – it would mean Big Al coming in for a string of important games that could include Barcelona away and the Carling Cup Final.

This sort of scenario could happen any time between now and the end of the season and whenever it does the timing will be inconvenient. Let’s face it, the games are only going to get more intense the closer we get to May.

I know that most Gooners would welcome the prospect of Manuel’s return about as much as a cyclist would welcome a bad case of piles during the Tour de France, but it’s a distinct possibility.

So what do we do about it?

For me it’s simple. We throw out the preconceptions, we ditch the bitching and we get behind our man.

If Fabianski, Song, Eboue, Arshavin, Clichy, Walcott and others can find their form again after becoming the butt of the fans’ frustration, Almunia should be given the same chance.

He is being blamed by many for the Orient goal on Sunday – although opinion seems divided as to whether he was at fault. But even if he could have done better, it was one mistake by a player lacking competitive game time.

What many Arsenal supporters seem to forget is that Manuel Almunia can be a very good ‘keeper.

And before you shout me down, take a look at this:

Yes, you can point out that that was way back in ‘08/’09, but cast your mind back just a year ago to this:

There was a time when Almunia was being seriously mooted as a possible England goalie. When the competition included David ‘Calamity’ James, Paul ‘Air Kick’ Robinson and Robert ‘Butterfingers’ Green, you can see why Manuel was in the frame.

Almunia has played very well for Arsenal in the past and, while he’ll never be in the Seaman or Lehmann class, he’s a solid professional who, if he played in a mid table EPL team, would probably be highly thought-of by the fans.

He has had bad spells as well as good, but some of the bad spells have coincided with having a defence in front of him offering about as much protection as a cotton condom.

In his good spells he has been very good and, in my opinion, his greater stature makes him less likely to be bullied than Fabianski. (I’ve never seen us concede a goal by having Almunia bundled into the back of the net, as has happened with Fabiasnki).

Szczesney is undoubtedly in Pole position (pun intended) for the Arsenal number one spot but if Almunia comes back into the first team in this exciting season he will need our support, not our ridicule.

Apart from anything else, I have never heard Almunia complain about his lot, I have never heard him slag off the boss or his team mates. He has not sulked. He has just consistently tried to do his best for the club.

So if he does come back in a big game, let’s not give him the ironic cheer treatment and let’s remember his great moments instead of his bad ones.

Let’s forget the Spanish Waiter and Coco the Clown jokes and give him the respect and credit he deserves.

Our season may yet depend on him.

RockyLives

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118 Responses to Almunia Back in the First Team

  1. 26may1989 says:

    Good post Rocky. I absolutely agree that Almunia has been the target of criticism and abuse way too often. To the list of qualities you list, I would add that he has been completely professional while at Arsenal and as a result has improved significantly. I assume (I can’t tell because my PC is blocking your pics/downloads in your post) that one of the performances you mention is against Barca at home last season. Almunia was immense that night, especially in the first half when Barca just blew us off the pitch. Without a world class performance from our keeper, we could easily have been 3 or 4 down at half time.

    But for all of the positives, in the final analysis, Almunia just isn’t good enough, in particular he doesn’t have the reflexes to operate at the very top level. He’s a likeable and conscientious guy who clearly deserves much more respect from Arsenal fans than he gets. I wouldn’t object if he stayed as a back-up keeper, but that’s unlikely, after the Schwarzer business last summer and performances like WBA at home, he’s damaged goods and for his own sake he needs to move on.

    And for me, he was at fault for the goal on Sunday – he ought to have at least blocked the shot.

  2. sig says:

    I would rather we played with Koscielny as rush-goalie than ever to witness
    the abominable judgement of Almunia

    “should I go out & collect the ball… should I stay & wait – no… I’ll run out and shepherd it to the corner flag…” etc. etc.

    please don’t get behind Almunia unless it’s late at night and you have a crow bar in your hand

  3. bops says:

    Bang on mate !! Hope everyone in agrees..

  4. tomstoned says:

    you can’t be serious….almunia should never play for The Arsenal again….he has never been good enough…and feeling sorry for him is just plain ridicilous…he is a very well paid professional…almunia’s contract should have been eliminated a long time ago…he has cost us more points than i care to remember…get him out…

  5. Femi Jacobs says:

    Are relatives of Almunia tring to buy opinion here? Almunia has fallen short and should not keep for Arsenal again. Imagine that cheap goal at orient. If he was to be the one that came face to face with Messi, it would be a sure goal. What was he watching over that is too difficult for him to do. Two shots came to him at orient and he caught one and left the other. that is not a good quality. I want to hear him appologising instead i see meadiacres pleading and bringing up flimsy excuses. Even when i was in post i will catch that ball.

    He lack initiative and he is not growing up in wisdom. Please Wenger should bring back Manone fast. We cant afford using Almunia in tough matches ahead.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Interesting post RL. Thank you.

    I was about to comment when I read 26May’ 9.50. who wrote almost exactly what I wanted to say!

    It was for good reason that season upon season all the pundits wrote off our PL chances based upon our GK problems.

    But of course, should Almunia be required to play, he will have my and hopefully every Gooners full support.

  7. 26may1989 says:

    Femi, we don’t need to imagine, we can just go back to March 2010, when Messi’s magic was only stopped by the very same Almunia you dismiss.

    And tomstoned, no-one said anything about feeling sorry for Almunia: it’s about respect and about doing what is best for the team – as Rocky said, like it or not, right now Almunia is our number two keeper, and with about 15-20 games to go in the season, he may well be an important player. If you think confidence doesn’t matter in sport, you don’t know a lot about it: regardless of how many noughts there are on Almunia’s pay-cheque, his confidence is valuable and could make all the difference. If you can’t understand respect, as a matter of self-interest you should be able to see why it is necessary to give Almunia our support. Or would you feel better if he gets panicked into giving away more goals?

    It’s a real shame so many Arsenal fans are so keen to abuse their own players. I have never thought Almunia is good enough to be our first choice keeper, but these simplistic dismissals of him say more about the the posters than they do about Almunia.

  8. chas says:

    He should receive 100% of our support if he plays, but alas there are too many morons who think that ironic cheering actually helps.

    When you say “we get behind our man” followed by that picture, do you mean so we we can stop the ball after it’s gone under his body? :)

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky,
    With you 100%. Eboue could come on dressed as Ronald Mac Bloody Donald and he would get my full support (cripes, I hope he is not reading this). Not too many games to go, and the path ahead is littered with silver. So to all the lads in the Red and White, we are right behind you.
    COYRRR.

  10. SharkeySure says:

    If he plays we have to support him, it really is that simple !

  11. Morning all

    Thanks Rocky for a post that is surely going to divide supporters more than any other. Accepting that Almunia isn’t good enough shouldn’t be our problem as we have to support whoever walks onto the pitch wearing Red and White. He has cost us points, he’s not brave enough and we know he doesn’t command his area.

    As a group of supporters we have loudly cried out for someone stronger between the sticks once we realised that Fabianski wasn’t the answer either.We have no idea why AW wasn’t able to bring a better keeper to Arsenal but the fact is that he didn’t and now Almunia will have to step up if needed.

    Unfortunately Almunia will never know if the cheers are real or ironic now so lets just cheer him anyway, he’s a gooner afterall.

  12. Wonderman says:

    Rocky excellent post !!
    @26May 10:34 here here !! I am sick to death of arsenal supporters slagging off our players as if they will miraculously improve as a result of it. Everything in life is based on confidence. I cannot believe that people cant see that if we do not back him it is to the detriment of our over all cause.

    It is obvious to me, that whilst Chesney isn’t the finished article ( and what a goalie he is going to be)he clearly has balls of iron and is commanding but most importantly is trusted by his defence. I cannot see Fab being our number 1 goalie next season but lets deal with that when we get there.

    For now support WHOEVER is between the sticks !!

  13. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, brave and well-argued post there Rocky, as always.
    I hated the ironic cheering Fab2 got when he played earlier in the season and that kind of fan behaviour is self defeating.
    Having said that, while Almunia is a nice guy(he delayed his wedding to sign for us) he is clearly not good enough and I’d rather have Vito as back up to Chezzer for the remainder of the season.
    I’m sorry Almunia is a liability in goal and should be shipped out.

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    Thanks for the post Rocky. Everything has been said for me by others already today. I think it is good mental preparation for us supporters because there is a distinct possibility that we will need to call upon Al before the end of the season. I’m sure the situation will be sorted in the summer and if he leaves, I’ll say thanks and good luck.

    I do wonder what it is about Mannone that means he is never in contention. We hear more about James Shea as a future prospect than Mannone and yet he has always performed well when called upon.

  15. Rasp says:

    Morning chary – snap! as regards Mannone. His first team record is (I believe), played 7, (inc CL), never lost a game and was MoM in one ….. hardly a disaster?

  16. Femi Jacobs says:

    Antecedents made me to turn back from supporting Almunia though I can’t change it. I refuse to agree that blamig them doesn’t bring improvement. He just can’t improve cos he is a dry fish.

    Look at the first ball he caught in that match, it almost went in – no grip. What ball did he save with orient? Manone should come back. Is he number one keeper? NO. A 2oyrs old boy years is keeping better

  17. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah, that’s a strange one Raspers – Vito seems to have been overlooked by Wenger.

    I wonder what it is that makes Wenger decide he would rather loan him out than have him as 2nd choice given that Fab2 is out for the season.

  18. kinggunner says:

    Almunia can be a very good keeper? Yes, when he’s got nothing to do. Remember Kevin Philips goal at Birmingham? How many times have opponents struck the ball straight him and the ball flew past between his two hands into goal…or between his legs?

  19. Brigham says:

    Whilst I would honestly not want him between the sticks for any of our remaining games, if he is play, then he gets one hundred percent of my support, as does anyone wearing the famous red & white of Arsenal.

  20. Jekyll says:

    This talk about how ‘professional’ Almunia has been, hasn’t complained etc… I’m sure he must realise how very lucky he’s been to be playing at this level and on this kind of money for all these years, it’s above his natural level. He’s in absolutely no position to complain about being dropped or nearly sold off as he’s proved he’s simply not good enough to play at this level on a consistent basis.

    And I suspect the reason he wasn’t sold in the summer or January was no one will pay him anything like the wages he gets at Arsenal.

  21. gunnerlongtimer says:

    I saw the video clips, honestly it’s not that Szcszeny cant do the same; probably even better. The mere presence of Szcsceny is imposing and inspire confidence. You cant say that at all about almunia. You always worry if he’ll let the ball slip through his two hands or legs, or he’ll let opponents score near-post goals due to atrocious positioning, or you really really dont know whether he’ll get the ball when he comes off his lines or get caught again in no-man’s land. Kevin Philips’ goal was a real joke on almunia. England material? That’s a bad joke.

    I’d rather have denilson play in goal. That way at least, we can blame the lack of height because he cant jump high enough.

  22. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, good point re Mannone. And his time at Hull has been a great success, with clean sheets, some excellent saves and a real contribution to propelling Hull away from the relegation zone and into the fight for play-off places. I watched one of his early games (vs Preston I think) and Mannone was great, had superb presenece and obviously enjoyed being in the action.

    Trouble is, even if Almunia isn’t around, back at base he’d be competing with two very decent candidates. I’d love it if we had Szczesny, Fabianski and Mannone as our three next season, but it seems unrealistic to think we can keep all three happy when what each of them needs is regular first team action. Looks more likely that Almunia and Mannone will leave, and the Poles will fight it out, with Shea as next in line.

  23. Daniel G says:

    He is a disgrace to the club.Letting a goal like that past him shows just how much he has no respect for the team and the fans.he just disrespect us.I d rather have an empty goal line that have him wear the Arsenal jersey and back him up.

  24. Rasp says:

    Daniel,

    None of our players are a disgrace – or ever will be. Do you think Almunia deliberately concedes goals … no, he does his best. Maybe his best is not good enough for Arsenal No.1 (I prefer Sz) but as others have said before, Almunia is a decent man, who tries his hardest. I think he has too gentle a nature – not enough of the beast in him, to make a top keeper.

  25. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m,

    I agree that every young player must have ambition and therefore a pecking order of Sz, Fab2 and Mannone would appear harsh on Mannone. To be honest, from what I’ve seen, I prefer Mannone to Fab2. He is fearless and that comes close to the top of the criteria I’d list for anyone to be a great keeper.

  26. tommystout says:

    i’m not one for bashing my own players but….
    having been on the road during sundays game i have only just this minute “you-tubed” orients goal and i can’t believe it. That should have been saved. He is a weak link always has been and god help us if chezzer is injured. having said that he will get my full support if that times comes though i’ll be peaking through the gaps inbetween my fingers!

  27. tommystout says:

    oh & fab writing once again Rocky

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Daniel,
    You have my deepest sympathy. My wife has dedicated her life to people with learning disability, and as a result I have become something of a second hand expert. In her absence, can I recommend upping the doseage. “Letting a goal like that past him shows just how much he has no respect for the team”. That was the clue!

  29. London says:

    Good post Rocky, it is difficult to add anything new to the debate, Brigham probably sums it up best for me.

    I am not sure I have understood this correctly but I cannot see why Mannone would want to come back right now, his only opportunity to play would be the odd FA cup game here and there. As a footballer, I would image that he is far happier at Hull playing every week. Do you think we would have an arrangement with Hull in which we could call him back in an emergency?

  30. Rasp says:

    Hi tommy,

    You can come and join me and hide behind London’s sofa if you wish :P

    I had similar reservations about EE against Barca and he proved me wrong. Every player in the squad can be brilliant on their day, it is consistency that is required and that only comes with regular appearances.

    I don’t think Almunia is good enough because his ‘fight or flight’ response tends towards flight. This is an in-built response in all of us and there is little you can do about it. A keeper shouldn’t flinch, he should hope the ball hits him in the face. Almunia has a tendency to fall backwards when a ball is blasted at him (Danny Rose) because there is a split second when his brain tells him to duck.

  31. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree Rasp, Fabianski has improved this year, but I really like Mannone and given the choice between the two would prefer the Italian.

    Daniel, Almunia “disrespects us” by making a mistake? Whatever mate. I’m glad you never make mistakes, else you’d be “disrespecting” everyone all the time too. Get a grip.

  32. Wonderman says:

    Some of us seem to think that the subject of the post was defending Almunia. It was not…he merely correctly stated that if Chesney got injured we would be dependent on Almunia …FACT. I think we are all in agreement that Almunia whilst having had some excellent displays is missing something…so lets stop slagging the guy off

  33. Rasp says:

    Hi London,

    I’m not suggesting we should call Mannone back (he’s on loan until the end of the season) just wondering why he seems to have slipped down the order.

  34. London says:

    I spend so much time behind the sofa nowadays I’ve installed a mini bar.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    London 12:06
    Great line :-)
    Off now. Bye all.

  36. London says:

    Hi 26

    Interesting thought and one I agree with, given the choice between Fabianski and Mannone I would also go with the Italian. He radiates more confidence and that goes a long way with me.

  37. goonermichael says:

    If it gets to the point where our season depends on Almunia we are finished. He is a liability. Sometimes he makes great saves but isn’t that what his job is?

  38. I’ve just bought my tickets for the replay next week and I can assure anyone who thought that the game was going to be a £10/£20 give-away, its not. Its included in the Season Ticket as the last cup game and normal ticket prices apply to everyone else.

  39. Hi gm – how’s the tattoo?

  40. goonermichael says:

    I’d have manone too. He looked good until his mistake against West Ham. Almunia has made so many mistakes I can’t remember them all.

  41. RockyLives says:

    Good day all.
    As most of you have pointed out, the post is not a claim that Almunia should be our number one – but a reminder that we may end up with him between the sticks at some crucial point between now and the end of the season.
    When I thought about this, I found myself thinking that the Almunia of 08/09 would probably do just fine, but the accident-prone Almunia of the last two years would be a problem.
    So, what to do?
    Well, to my mind the only way we can help him play like the 08/09 version is by getting behind him and boosting his confidence, not by undermining him. It doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it.
    And for those who would rather have no-one in goal, or Denilson or rush goalie or whatever, fair enough, I know you’re only making a point, but seriously, what are you going to do when Almunia steps out for the first team this season? Think about it.

  42. RockyLives says:

    I thought I read somewhere that Mannone’s move to Hull was going to be made permanent.

  43. goonermichael says:

    Rocky
    I imagine everyone will support him. He’s our player.

  44. gm – can’t gain access to the pic but I’m sure its fab :)

  45. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky,

    The post has been met with the usual reaction by those who understand and we’ve been given the opportunity to explain it to those who don’t (although I sometimes wonder if our pearls are wasted).

    I know we are reaping the benefits of having a large young squad, but the strain on the wage bill is considerable, I wonder if any of the loan arrangements have a financial element to them – or even if we gain significantly financially. If Mannone signs for Hull then maybe that loan arrangement has served its purpose.

  46. tommystout says:

    Hi Rasp
    The sofa sounds tempting especially as now theres a bar involved :-)

  47. London says:

    Hi Rasp

    I don’t know for sure but I always assumed that the borrowing club would be paying the wages of the loanee.

  48. goonermichael says:

    Peaches

    http://img844.imageshack.us/f/18053310150183265484126.jpg/

    Should be able to view this

    >)

  49. Wow, that is amazing gm :)

  50. Big Raddy says:

    London. So did I, or at least a huge percentage of it.

    Bellamy at Cardiff is probably paid by MC, though Bridge at WHU is being paid his full wages by the Hammers.

  51. goonermichael says:

    Thanks Peaches. My brother in law did it and he’s a proper gooner from highbury (not an armchair like me) :)

  52. 26may1989 says:

    Rocky, I think Mannone said he’d be happy to make his move to Hull permanent if the chance arose. That said, I think he signed a new contract with us only last year. If I were him, I’d aim higher than Hull but would move this summer unless both Almunia and Fabianski go, which isn’t going to happen.

  53. 26may1989 says:

    I know it’s grassing but I complained about a Transfer Tavern headline that appeared on Newsnow yesterday, because the headline used references to paedophillia in relation to Wenger. It said something like “Click here for Arsene’s underage Swedish mov(i)e”. All very funny if you’re a 15 year old who doesn’t know better but a disgusting use of child abuse in my book, plus a repulsive way to maintain the years-old and outrageous abuse of Wenger.

    The only reason I mention it is that I had a response back from Newsnow, saying the story has been removed and the Transfer Tavern have been warned that a repeat will see them suspended from Newsnow. That means hitting the Transfer Tavern where it hurts, namely advertising revenue. Something to bear in mind if you see stuff you don’t like hitting Newsnow.

  54. ryandanielwood says:

    Watching the game at the time, I instantly put Almunia at fault for the Orient leveller, but even at the time I knew it was just my trust issues with big Al getting in the way of seeing that he was left at sea from an inexperienced defensive slip up by Gibbs and Miquel.

    He could have done better in truth, his positioning was central, the shot was central, but the shot was also hit like a bullet, and as has been pointed out, he must be feeling rusty. But if chesney is struck down at some point, we’ll need AL to touch up his form, like he does his highlights.

    Good Read Rocky, get behind them, its all we can do.

  55. tomstoned says:

    26May1989…

    i have not disrespected anyone..my point is very very simple…almunia is NOT good enough for The Arsenal…not by a long shot…it really doesnt matter how long or what you bring to the table if your not good enough…and c’mon buys like silvestre(experience if you may)has never worked…look at squillaci….
    it is incredible that Wenger hasnt gotten more stick for playing almunia….in my opinion its pretty shocking….

    almunia should go to a club that may appreciate his services…championship maybe…or somewhere in Europe where the pressure isnt to high…and it is quite shocking that he hasnt reflected over it himself…there are many players who drops down a level and has good careers..

    and i would be the first in line to wish him all the best….

  56. Gooner in Exile says:

    Great post Rocky much food for thought.

    Almunia can be a great shot stopper, like any player he will suffer now in that department from not playing, I don’t think we can blame him for Orients goal as he could have no idea Tehoue would connect so true with the ball. He had no way of predicting where it would go. And ended up in the most difficult place for a keeper to stop it.

    Hennessey proved on the weekend how GKs can go from hero to zero in 2 games, kept us down to two goals one week and hands WBA a draw the next game.

    Joe Hart also handed Leicester a replay but is still considered Englands No 1 by most, and still keeps Given out of the team.

    As for Mannone at 21 he wants to play for his country and therefore will not be interested in bring 3rd choice at Arsenal, the same for Fab and Szczeny, the solution will be to keep Shea as No3 and buy in experience for big game cover, Schwarzer or Friedel, with Szcezney as our No 1.

    Fab,Mannone and Almunia will all want to go at the end of the season

  57. charybdis1966 says:

    Ok, Robin and Kozzer out of the game tomorrow – so we start with Bendy instead? Then Johan and the Squid at the back ?

    Sounds like they will be fit for Sunday, but I’d rather hear “they WILL be fit for Sunday” than what Wenger said: “they have a chance for the game on Sunday”

  58. 26may1989 says:

    tomstoned, plenty I agree with there, I just object to things like “get him out” being said about a current Arsenal player who works hard for the team, has improved, has put in plenty of good performances along with all the memorable bad ones and who needs tangible support from us in order to reach his best levels. Deriding someone isn’t going to achieve that. As has been pointed out already, there were few complaints about Almunia in 2008-9, when we conceded fewer goals than all but four other teams.

  59. tommystout says:

    thats bad news charey
    hope supernik has his super boots on tomorrow.

  60. tommystout says:

    well said 26m about newsnow, horrendous, i’m apalled that any media source can get away with that filth in jest or whatever.
    TT are filtered out on mine anyway.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    I expect to see Chamakh start

  62. charybdis1966 says:

    I think we can cope tomorrow TommyS, but we’ll definitely need both of them on Sunday. Perhaps Chamakh leading the line with Bendy and the Arsh/Nasri just behind.
    A midfield of Cesc, Jack and Song, we’ll need Alex’s strength against the leg breakers and f**kfaces of Stoke.

  63. 26may1989 says:

    Not good Chary. Squillaci’s the only option at the back, but who to go for up front, an out of form Chamakh or the ever-variable Bendtner? I’d go for the big Dane given his size and the great goal he scored against Stoke in THAT game.

    Peter Walton will be the ref. He’s not the worst but a long way from being good. We shouldn’t expect too much protection from Pulis’s all-in-wrestlers-cum-footballers.

  64. charybdis1966 says:

    For some reason 26May I feel Chamakh up top with Bendy behind will work but not vice versa, perhaps as I reckon Bendy can create more than Chamakh, who at the moment only trusts himself to hold up the ball and pass the creative/attacking duties onto a team mate.
    The other option to the Squid at the back is Song going there with Johan and Nasri going into the centre of midfield with Cesc and Jack. I’m not elated at the prospect of that to be honest as Stokes pugilist hoofers will bludgeon that small, but admittedly skillful, midfield into submission I feel.

  65. London says:

    Well done 26m for taking the time to complain to NN.

  66. London says:

    My first reaction was it has to be Bendy but then BR said Chamakh which through me. The idea is growing on me…Chamakh up front with Nasri on the left and Walcott on the right everything else as expected hhmmmmm, this is going to be interesting.

  67. RockyLives says:

    I’d probably give Bendy the edge because he has more variety in his play and because the Chamster is obviously out of sorts at the moment. But either of them could do a good holding-up job and laying off to any of Nasri, Theo, Cesc, Song and Jack for the goals…

  68. charybdis1966 says:

    I forgot about Theo London, in that case why not a middle 3 of Cesc, Jack and Song, with Nasri/Arshavin(although maybe he could do with a breather) and Theo just behind Bendy? Maybe Bendy will benefit from a start and Chamakh can show more urgency coming on as a sub?

  69. Carlito11 says:

    Afternoon all- been flat out at work today and not my normal “lying down and avoiding it” routine ;-)
    Rocky- I think Sharkey hit it on the head earlier- if he plays Almunia needs to feel fully supported by the crowd. but if he comes on during a nervous moment I am sure there will be some who cannot contain their skepticism and I will not blame them for it providing they don’t actively boo him which would be a disaster!
    What’s all this about RVP out? What’s wrong with him now?

  70. Carlito11 says:

    Looks like I’ve missed you all…

  71. charybdis1966 says:

    Short term injury for Robin, a hammy, and same for Kozzer a “back problem” Carlito.

  72. charybdis1966 says:

    Almost missed me, just off to a boring seminar now Carlito – free CPD points and maybe even sandwiches if I’m lucky.
    Oh, for the high life!

  73. 26may1989 says:

    Peaches/Rasp, have mailed you but just wanted to check if you’ve got the Stoke pre-match post covered – willing to write something tonight if not.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    I am going up the road to heckle the Chelsea fans who will be freezing their nuts off (if they have any). I has been snowing for the past couple of hours and now it is about Minus 8.

    Perfect for pissed up Chavs.

    3-0 3-0 3-0

  75. Big Raddy says:

    26 …. Already in. But if you would like to take on another game – be my guest.

  76. ….or would you like to write the match report 26may :D

  77. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Raddy and Peaches, am happy to do the report. Hopefully to reflect on the good news…….

  78. Irishgunner says:

    26may and ryandaniel – thanks for the offers for doing the stuff for the articles but I’m well covered – you can be definite I’ll be looking for more help done the line ;)

    GM – Love the tattoo. Mine looks a bit dull in black but I still loves it – my next tattoo will be coming in a few weeks – not Arsenal related though.

  79. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kosser out but if he is not definitely back for Sunday will Arsene risk Squilli and JD, will we see Miquel again?

  80. dandan says:

    Evening all, Good thought provoking post Rocky, whilst I can remember Al making some costly mistakes, I can also remember memorable saves, Barca as detailed above is a case in point.
    Apart from the ridiculous post’s that have been rightly rubbished by more reasoned contributors I was disappointed that anyone would question Almunias courage, GK by their very nature are mad, it is a prerequisite of their art, if Al had lacked that he would never have got past junior football.
    The weight of our crowds doubts must be a terrible burden and no doubt he would find life easier elsewhere.
    But rubbish he is not, neither is he top drawer, but I am sure he gives his all whenever he dons our shirt, one thing he most certainly is not, is a lucky keeper if he makes mistakes he is invariably punished.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. Will the tattoo be Phil Lynott?

    BTW there were few Chavs at the Parken, perhaps arriving late due to the bitter cold. And I was disturbed to hear them sing one of our songs …. the one about the onanist Tottenham Hotspur going to Rome to see the Pope” ….

  82. Irishgunner says:

    If by Phil Lynott you mean Lady Gaga, then yes it will!! But not her face – that’d be weird, its a Gaga theme.

    A pundit on Irish tv today backed Copenhagen to knock out Chelsea – let’s live in hope.

  83. Big Raddy says:

    I thought you were over Lady Gaga?

  84. Irishgunner says:

    :lol: Never.

    She had no new stuff released and had gone on a long holiday with her family in NY, she didn’t do anything for like 2 months until Grammy night, now my biatch is back and dominating the charts – breaking records with a song that is far from the best she has to offer.

    http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l8s9ccqTMV1qbzvn2.gif

  85. goonermichael says:

    Thanks Irish

  86. SharkeySure says:

    “I spend so much time behind the sofa nowadays I’ve installed a mini bar.”

    Qualiteeeee!!

  87. dandan says:

    Arsenal do not seem to be on Live on line footy tomorrow, does anyone know of a link that will show them

  88. Irishgunner says:

    Blackpool 1-0 up on the spuds

  89. London says:

    Oh the shame, 3-0

  90. Irishgunner says:

    :lol: Chamone Blackpool

  91. charybdis1966 says:

    Stratford Spurs – Champions League(next year) you’re having a larf!

  92. charybdis1966 says:

    Aaarh, a consolation goal for the Spuds. Yay (!)

  93. Irishgunner says:

    Ooooooooooh I do love to be beside the seaside :D

  94. SharkeySure says:

    Dandan – I saw that too re onlinefooty. Shocking. I’ll be putting in for a refund !!! I should get at least 76p back.

    I’ll be trying atdhe.net or .fr. That one usually has most games. Alternatively have a quick peek at the ‘other site’, there are always links on there. Look out for veetle links, as their streams are top quality.

    About an hour ago I thought I was getting two tickets, but they’ve fallen through, and now I find that the stream I’ve paid for won’t be there either !! Grrrr.

    Its almost enough to turn me into a Frothing Inarticulate Loon….

  95. chas says:

    If you don’t mind downloading the sopcast software (I’ve been using it for 4 years now with no probs), the links on myp2p.eu always produce a good stream.

  96. Big Raddy says:

    I am sure onlinefooty will come good on the night. But as has been said myp2p are very good.

    My Spurs mate was telling me this morning that he expected to get 3rd place and after tonight they would be just 3 pts behind us. Now should we win tomorrow, we will be 9 ahead!!

    Fools …..

  97. RockyLives says:

    BR
    The natural order reasserting itself.

  98. Harry says:

    Rocky, absolutely cracking post mate. I havent read all the comments, but some just show such a lack of understanding of been a supporter, I see Rasp is trying his hardest to educate the “Misinformed”…..

    I think you made it clear, its not about whether he is or is not good enough, but the fact at some stage we might have to rely on him..

    He did have a reasonable season at one point when he was given the gloves and wengers backing, but with some poor mistakes and a weakening of backing from fans and perhaps even le boss, saw Manuel’s self confidence erode, not that it was ever high, but what he had was shot away (excuse the pun), he looks a shell of a man, he is withdrawn and gaunt, he oozes nervousness and that negativity suffercates the defence, which in a cyclic manner keeps Almunia edgy and nervous.

    I agree in supporting all players the moment they cross the line in a Red and white jersey, yeah they can get critcised afterwards in the pub or on forums etc but in a controlled manner………People need to remain respectful….As Rasp said he doesnt mean to make the mistakes….

    I’ll be honest, I would have been glad had he left and Mannone remained here, but Vito needs games….I actually think he can make a good number two, who can play the odd game, but he needs to accept that and raise his confidence again…….

    We have some other younger keepers in Shea and McDermott and we have a very talented young Argie called Martinez…So we have good stock for the coming years…

    I have a scouse mate who reckons that Reina is nailed on coming to us next season, he did tell me about Torres before it was in the press, so who knows…?

    Its a shame Fab2 is out, as the two poles really gave us some stability in that area…..Fab2 really had got over his confidence issue (which was fuelled by fans)…….

    Lets pray that Chezzer stays fit for the forseeable future……..

    Keep the future Bright, lets keep it red and white…..

    Oh to be a gooner…….Instead of a spud……AC Milano one week and then the next week Blackpool Rocks you…….

  99. Harry says:

    Looks like Wenger will be bringing Ramsey back from Cardiff for rest of season, good idea and chuffed….

    He could be in the side for the Orient match on Wednesday week……Got my tickets booked today, so looking forward to that even more now…

    He will give us an added option, as he has talent to burn, he can see a pass and knows where the goal is and most importantly he has a desire that perhaps to be honest lacked against Orient in the first leg for some…..

  100. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed Harry, great news that our Welshman is heading back, and on the high of having scored tonight. Shame in a way he couldn’t be around to face that shithead, Ryan Shawcross. But it’ll be great to have AR around for the run-in.

  101. Gooner In Exile says:

    Very funny that Dave Jones was on radio tonight saying he didn’t think Ramsay was ready to be back in EPL, clutching at straws to keep him for the rest of the season.

    Even funnier that Spurs lost again, if Redknapps “it’ll be a miracle if we qualify for the CL this season” was supposed to play mind games on his team it certainly worked, they proved him right!!!

    I could never imagine being a Spud it just doesn’t bare thinking about….

    Have we made pre match shandy plans for Stoke yet?

  102. Harry says:

    Not sure anyone has mentioned a watering hole yet?

    Really think rambo will give a boost for the final stretch and increases options………

    As for being a spud? wouldnt wish it on my enemy……..

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Being a Spud? Beyond comprehension, and yet it was just a snap decision taken by a 7 year old Big Raddy which saved me from a life of frustration and ridicule :-)

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Coincidently I was thinking along those lines last night watching Chelsea. What if Spurs reach the CL Final and play MU or the Chavs? Who would I support? I have so many friends and family members who are Spurs fans, should I – could I?

    Of course, it is a question of Hobson’s choice, but perhaps, I could just for once take my family’s side ….. No, on quick reflection, it would be impossible !!

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Which brings me to that awful night when MU played the Chavs in the CL Final.

    It was only when I was out my chair shouting and laughing at John Terry’s forlorn figure after missing his penalty that I realised which team I wanted to win, and I clearly wanted to win badly.

    It is in the crucible of emotions that one’s true character is revealed, and I obviously hate Chelsea more than Man Utd.

    Could I be a closet Manc? And if so, would Chary ever write with me again?

    But thinking this through, my favourite memory of the following season was Iniesta scoring in the last minute at The Bridge knocking the Chavs out of the CL. And I am certainly no Barca fan, so my fears have no foundation.

  106. Gooner in Exile says:

    My biggest fear is drawing Spuds in CL, it would be too much to take if they knocked us out, I think you’d see quite a few of us taking a trip to Archway!

  107. dandan says:

    Help from you older guys, nothing to do with football.

    I was discussing with my wife the old London habit of communities having a form of loan club based at the local pub, where people went every Friday and paid in a set amount say 50p. The rules stated you had to take out and pay back a couple of small loans a year at nominal interest rates, if you didn’t borrow I believe you had to pay a fixed penalty charge. At Christmas all the members withdrew their money and were given the apportioned share of the interest earned. now the question.
    What was the colloquial name of these club, were they loan. Christmas, mutual, I believe there is another more widely used name and cant remember it, can anyone help.

  108. London says:

    Form a queue please, single file, this bridge can only take so much weight and on the count of three, next please, move along, move along, the line goes all the way down the Holloway Road.

  109. London says:

    Morning Dandan

    Sorry I can’t help with that one.

  110. London says:

    The John Terry penalty was the moment of truth….I wanted him to miss.

    Chary may never speak to me again.

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Sorry DD.

    I recall neighbourhood Xmas savings clubs, and the tally man coming door to door.

  112. Morning all

    There’s a New Post

  113. We are also looking forward to see your article. Thank you so much for writing it.

  114. support mural tv…

    [...]Almunia Back in the First Team « Arsenal Arsenal[...]…

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