Blog Archives

Revealing the Benefits of Signing Mathieu Debuchy

Mathieu Debuchy

So one of the most kept transfer secrets have finally been made official – Newcastle’s Matt Debuchy is now a Gunner, and he has taken the No. 2 jersey, a traditional right back’s number. The full back joins the club after a good World Cup under his belt and instead of arriving as a late transfer deadline day signing, Debuchy would have the time to blend in with his new teammates, as well as getting accustomed to the Arsenal way.

Debuchy’s career began when he joined LOSC Lille Metropole at the tender age of eight, before breaking into the first team setup several years later. He made his debut in the 2003/04 campaign and went on to make 300 appearances (scored 18 goals) in 10 seasons for the French-based outfit before leaving in January 2013 to join another French-infested squad in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. After 18 months with Newcastle, he has joined the Gunners for an undisclosed fee.

With the era of Bacary Sagna gone, a new era has began with Debuchy leading the ranks at the right back position with Carl Jenkinson and / or Hector Bellerin serving as his able deputies. The Gunners linked with moves for Seamus Coleman and Serge Aurier but Arsene Wenger in his infinite wisdom opted for some French delight.

What makes Matt Debuchy stand out? Gooner Daily reveals the benefits of signing the French star.

Statistical Review of Debuchy, Compared with Sagna and other Arsenal Transfer Targets

According to stats king, WhoScored, the table below shows the overall stats of these right backs,

STAT (League Only)* Debuchy Coleman Aurier Sagna
Appearances (Subs) 28 (1) 36 (0)                    34 (0) 34 (1)
Goals 1 6 6 1
Assists 3 2 6 2
Bookings (Yellow / Red) (8/1) (3/0) (11/0) (6/0)
Aerial Duels Won /Attempted 4 per game (115/165) 0.4 per game (15/27) 2.7 per game (91/150) 3.5 per game (122/180)
Man of the Match Awards won 6 1 6 1
Who Scored Rating 7.42 7.32 7.43 7.20

From the table above, all four players were first team regulars in their respective clubs last season, but Seamus Coleman and Serge Aurier scored a boatload of goals (six each) unlike Debuchy and his French compatriot, Sagna, that managed only one goal all season long. Aurier picked up the most bookings from the lot and it can be attributed to his inexperience, rash style of play and probably late tackles due to his suspect positioning, as we witnessed in the concluded World Cup.

One significant area Debuchy excels from this table is his aerial ability and for a player with a height of 177 cm, Debuchy knows how to leap off the ground to challenge for the ball. This Route One tactic was employed by Arsenal last season, with Wojciech Szczesny always distributing the ball to Sagna’s direction to build up attacks. This means that with Debuchy taking Sagna’s place in the right hand side of defense, the trend will continue with Szczesny punting the balls to his direction – a feat either Aurier or Coleman would have been able to achieve had they joined the Gunners.

Debuchy doing his thing against some bloke from Honduras

Defensive Stats

Looking at the defensive side of their games, which is obviously their primary jobs, listed below are their stats from WhoScored,

STAT (League Only)* Debuchy Coleman Aurier Sagna
Tackles (per game) 95 (3.3) 71 (2) 94 (2.8) 58 (1.7)
Interceptions (per game) 69 (2.4) 47 (1.3) 75 (2.2) 51 (1.5)
Fouls Committed (per game) 41 (1.4) 25 (0.7) 38 (1.1) 23 (0.7)
Offsides Won (per game) 3 (0.1) 14 (0.4) 2 (0.1) 15 (0.4)
Clearances (per game) 138 (4.8) 88 (2.4) 102 (3) 175 (5)
Dribbled by Others (per game) 24 (0.8) 18 (0.5) 21 (0.6) 14 (0.4)
Blocked Shots (per game) 12 (0.4) 9 (0.3) 9 (0.3) 7 (0.2)
Own Goals committed 1 1 0 0

Judging from the stats, Debuchy made more tackles than his peers (really close tie with Aurier) but the Ivorian edged past Debuchy in terms of interceptions. The Frenchman also committed a lot of fouls which would be attributed to his eight yellow cards and one red card last season. Sagna made more clearances with five per game but Debuchy wasn’t far off wit 4.8 per game to his name. He also had a lot of blocked shots, which shows his enthusiasm in the back.

Having a player like Debuchy is really great because he has proved that he can do a very sound job at the back. There’s a reason he was selected ahead of Sagna in the starting lineup of the French national team. In the World Cup, Debuchy put up consistent performances in France’s first two games before he was rested for Sagna in a dead rubber fixture against Ecuador. In the knockout stages, he resumed his normal duties before his nation was eliminated by the eventual winners, Germany.

Enemies last month, buddies this month

Attacking Stats

From an attacking perspective, Serge Aurier excels admirably because of the license he has to bomb forward. Seamus Coleman was a winger that was converted to a full back, so it was expected for him to contribute immensely to Everton’s attack. It was no surprise that both players scored six goals each.

STAT (League Only)* Debuchy Coleman Aurier Sagna
Goals 1 6 6 1
Assists 3 2 6 2
Shots (per game) 35 (1.2) 30 (0.8) 58 (1.7) 16 (0.5)
Key Passes (per game) 23 (0.8) 45 (1.3) 32 (0.9) 21 (0.6)
Successful Dribbles (per game) 16 (0.6) 64 (1.8) 47 (1.4) 8 (0.2)
Fouled by Others (per game) 23 (0.8) 31 (0.9) 56 (1.6) 27 (0.8)
Times Caught Offside (per game) 5 (0.2) 2 (0.1) 7 (0.2) 0 (0)
Times Dispossessed (per game) 15 (0.5) 37 (1) 76 (2.2) 24 (0.7)
Turnovers (per game) 28 (1) 23 (0.7) 45 (1.3) 13 (0.4)

The downside to Aurier and Coleman’s attacking play was that they were vulnerable to counter attacks and teams capitalized on that flaw to punish them. Debuchy on the other hand, takes a more conservative approach to his offensive play and his off the ball movement is superb. In the World Cup, he worked in tandem with Matt Valbuena and they wreaked havoc on the right hand side.

Imagine him doing the same with Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Serge Gnabry. Lord!!!

Premier League Experience

Debuchy spent 18 months in the Premier League and amassed 46 games for Newcastle. In his short stint with the club, he was a consistent performer and an ever present figure in Alan Pardew’s starting XI.

Debuchy scored his only Newcastle goal against Sunderland

With his move to Arsenal, Debuchy wouldn’t need any adaptation period of any sort because he’s already a seasoned professional in the Premier League. At 28, he’s at his prime, so he can give his best years to the club while a youngster like Carl Jenkinson would be learning the ropes.

The good times are back again.

Welcome Matt Debuchy, or Dorobuchy, as some Nigerians have likened his name to.

Sayonara.

You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button

 

 

Rating Arsenal’s Defenders Performances in the 2013/14 Season

In the 2013/14 season, Arsenal’s defense was much-improved and this was due to the fact that Arsene Wenger got his first-choice pairing right and he stuck with them till injuries or suspension took its toll on the defensive rearguard. The center back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny were ever-present for the club, while club captain, Thomas Vermaelen, struggled with injuries, loss of form and lack of game time.

In the full back positions, Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna were automatic starters whenever they were fit while their deputies, Nacho Monreal and Carl Jenkinson, were restricted to a handful of appearances.

This is the second installment of a four-post series focused on Arsenal’s performances in the 2012/13 season. I’ve already shared my views on the performances of the goalkeepers but today’s post is focused on Arsenal’s defensive rearguard.

Feel free to share your comments.

Bacary Sagna – 48 Apps, One Goal, Three Assists

In recent times, Bacary Sagna has been marred by long-term injuries that has taken its toll on his career. Suffering two fractures on the same leg must have been a horrific experience but as we all know, football isn’t really a forgiving sport.

With Carl Jenkinson deputizing admirably in Sagna’s absence, many wondered if the Bac Man would replicate the form that won him a place in the 2008 PFA Team of the Year. At the start of the campaign, injuries to Vermaelen and Koscielny made Sagna start as a center back. Wenger gad featured him in that position at preseason so it was no surprise.

Sagna featured heavily for the Gunners and performed admirably in his defensive duties but in attack, he really failed to impress. The back passes were endless and there were times he looked clueless on what to do with the ball.

BacMan battling with Shrek

Then there was the niggling issue of his contract that was a thorn in Arsenal’s flesh throughout the season and finally, he jumped ship to Manchester City on a bumper deal that was too good for him to refuse. Nonetheless, it was a fair campaign by his standards and the fans are looking to the future.

Rating – 6/10

Kieran Gibbs – 41 Apps, One Goal, Two Assists

For the first time in Gibbs’ fledgling Arsenal career, he managed to amass his highest amount of games for the club. He even scored a lovely goal in the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce when he latched on to Theo Walcott’s cross to score Arsenal’s first goal of the qualifying campaign.

Unlike Sagna, Gibbs was very inventive when he was in the final third and his recovery levels were top-notch this season. However, it would be very hard to forget Andre Marriner’s moment of madness in Stamford Bridge when he brandished Gibbs a red card for a sin Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain committed.

It’s unfortunate to know that Gibbs’ good form for Arsenal wasn’t enough for him to be called up by Roy Hodgson and in fairness to the England manager, Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw deserved to be on the plane to Brazil.

Rating – 7/10

Carl Jenkinson – 22 Apps, One Goal, Two Assists

With Koscielny and Vermaelen injured, Sagna was drafted to the center back position, allowing Jenkinson to get a run-out in the first team. Even when Koscielny returned to the first team, Jenkinson retained his place but as the weeks progressed the young Englishman resumed his bench warming duties.

His most memorable moment in September was that brilliant assist he created for Aaron Ramsey against Sunderland and he will also be remembered for clearing the ball off the line when Jozy Altidore out-muscled Sagna and played the ball past Wojciech Szczesny. Jenkinson reached his low point this season when he inadvertently supplied a pass to Cesar Azpilicueta in the Capital One Cup

His second assist of the season was a lovely pin-point cross to the World’s Best Released Striker, Nicklas Bendtner, that headed the ball home against Hull and on the final matchday of the season, Jenkinson scored his first goal for the club. A personal high for the young Arsenal fan.

Rating – 6/10

Nacho Monreal – 36 Apps, No Goal, One Assist

In Monreal’s first full season at the club, he proved that he was nowhere near Gibbs with his performances. He managed to create a good assist for Santi Cazorla when the Gunners visited Villa Park but Monreal played like a liability in some games, with his poorest performance coming up against Manchester City at the Etihad.

However, Monreal would be remembered for scoring the winning penalty in the Capital One Cup third round clash against West Brom.

Rating – 5/10

Thomas Vermaelen – 21 Apps, No Goal, One Assist

How the mighty have fallen.

I can vividly remember when Vermaelen joined the club in 2009 and he slammed in six goals in his debut campaign, rising to an indispensable status. With Robin van Persie leaving the club, Vermaelen was handed the captain’s armband and it ensured that he was a regular starter for the club and after a series of below-par performances, Arsene Wenger paired Laurent Koscielny with Per Mertesacker and they never looked back ever since.

bench warmer of life

Last season, the good form of both players relegated the captain to the bench for extended periods and he also had some injury demons to contend with. It was a welcome sight seeing the captain lift the FA Cup but one must wonder if he’s ready to spend another campaign on the bench next season.

Rating – 5/10

Laurent Koscielny – 46 Apps, Three Goals

It wasn’t all peachy and creamy for Koscielny at the start of the season when he conceded a penalty and got sent off against Aston Villa. In the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce, Pierre Webo kicked his face leaving him concussed and he missed a couple of games to injury.

In his return, Koscielny and Mertesacker built on the telepathic understanding they had forged last season and the clean sheets started piling up for the Gunners, particularly at the Emirates. Koscielny also got in on the scoring act with goals against Sunderland and Newcastle but his most important goal was the equalizer for the Gunners in the FA Cup final.

It’s also heartwarming to know that he has signed a long term deal with the club.

Rating – 9/10

Per Mertesacker – 52 Apps, Three Goals

There was a reason Mertesacker played the most games for Arsenal this season. He is an exceptional footballer, a leader, and most importantly, a defensive colossus. His pairing with Koscielny has been heralded as the best pairing in the League and with 16 clean sheets to their name, it’s not hard to see why.

In the absences of Vermaelen and Arteta, Mertesacker also wore the captain’s armband and his performance against Dortmund in his native Germany was one of the best performances I’ve seen from a defender in a game. Mertesacker would have been a pantomime villain if the penalty he conceded against Wigan turned out to be the deciding factor of the game but he showed off great determination to be on the right end of the pitch to head the ball home, sending the game into extra time.

I can’t wait to see the BFG next season.

Rating – 9/10

So there you have it, the second of four posts focused on different playing positions in the team. My take on the midfield comes up next.

The voting sequence for the 2013/14 End of Season awards is still ongoing, so feel free to make your votes count in the polls.

Sayonara.

You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button

A Tribute to Bacary Sagna: An Epitome of Consistency

My best Sagna moment

It’s the 2006/07 season, Arsenal’s first campaign at the Emirates. The Gunners struggle in the Premier League ending up with a fourth placed finish. The club’s Champions League campaign ends in shambles after crashing out to PSV Eindhoven in the Round of 16 and there’s even more heartbreak in the FA Cup as the Gunners lose to Blackburn. The club’s only hope of a trophy comes up against Chelsea in the Carling Cup final and Wenger decides to field the likes of Justin Hoyte, Armand Traore, Denilson Neves, Jeremie Aliadere and Drogba’s wifey, Phillippe Senderos.

After another trophy-less campaign, there are some surprising sales that summer. After so many years of faithful service, Fredrik Ljungberg is sold to West Ham, El Homesickla, or Jose Antonio Reyes as he’s known in the modern world finds his way to Atletico Madrid, and it’s also shocking to know that the club’s record goalscorer, Thierry Henry, has jumped ship to FC Barcelona.

How does Arsene Wenger respond? He buys Lukasz Fabianski to replace the departed Mart Poom, the lethal and clinical Cro-zilian, Eduardo da Silva, for Henry, Lassana Diarra and a relatively unknown right back from AJ Auxerre, Bacary Sagna. With only the threat of Emmanuel Eboue to battle with, Sagna marauded the right wing with his balanced style of play and after making 40 appearances and six assists to his name, Sagna was deservedly voted into the 2007/08 Team of the Year.

Sagna didn’t rest on his laurels and he continued to produce consistent displays week-in week-out, while keeping his optimal fitness levels in check. His continued stellar performances brought an abrupt end to Eboue’s Arsenal career, as the Ivorian opted to join Galatasaray in his bid to play first-team football.

His moment of glory came with a price, as he injured himself after scoring his first ever goal for the club in that Didier Drogba-inspired 2 – 1 loss to Chelsea in Stamford Bridge. In the 2010/11 campaign, he managed to score two well-taken goals against Everton in Goodison Park and Leeds United in Elland Road. His most important goal as it sparked a revival in one of the most enthralling games I’ve witnessed as an Arsenal fan. That was a North London Derby to remember.

Every true Arsenal fan will always remember the North London derby last season at the Emirates for more reasons than one.

Arsenal’s fierce rivals arrived at the Emirates sitting 10 points clear of the Gunners and they went two goals behind for a considerable chunk of the first half, which meant that they would have been 13 points behind Tottenham and their third place ambitions would have been obliterated.

But when the going got tough, it took one header to inspire Arsenal to an unbelievable comeback. A header from Bacary Sagna.

However, when Sagna’s nodded Mesut Ozil’s cross in Arsenal’s win over Stoke, little did we know that it would turn out to be his last goal for the club.

In his time at Arsenal, the fans have become accustomed to his eccentric hairstyle, his beautiful Ludivine, his optimal fitness levels, amazing work rate, his influence on Carl Jenkinson and most importantly, his unrivaled consistency that has been put in question this season. Suffering two broken legs definitely took a toll on Sagna’s fitness and form, but he myst be lauded for trying to come back stronger.

No thoroughbred Arsenal fan will ever forget his 5-star performance against Sunderland this season.

He was drafted into an unfamiliar center back role after Laurent Koscielny picked up a knock in the warm up but Sagna’s performance against Sunderland would go down as one of his best in Arsenal colors. His cause wasn’t helped with the fact that the stand-in right back, Carl Jenkinson, got a red card that exposed his naivety but Sagna marshaled a defense that held the fort from start to finish. He made a lot of vital interceptions, clearances, headers and was awesome in every sense of the word.

In football, the art of tackling requires a lot of precision as well as technique. If you get it right, you might earn an ovation from the crowd…but if you get it wrong, you’ll find yourself in the referee’s book.

Fortunately, Sagna is ranked among the best tacklers in the business, and his record of just 22 yellow cards and one red card in 213 Premier League games is a testament of that. If you doubt Sagna’s clinical abilities in tackling, take a good look at Lee Cattermole’s Premier League profile, where he has amassed 65 yellow cards and seven red cards in 204 games.

Everyone also appreciates the impact he has had on Carl Jenkinson’s fledgling career.

When Carl Jenkinson joined the club as a relatively unknown figure from Charlton Athletic, Wenger took him under his tutelage and made a big call by letting cult hero, Emmanuel Eboue, to go Turkey, leaving young Jenko to understudy Sagna.

After a series of not too impressive performances, Jenkinson got his big break when Sagna was out injured and after watching him make stellar performances from the sidelines, Sagna acknowledged that the young full back will be one of the best in the business (via Arsenal.com),

“He has been really good, and has learned a lot, he is a bit more confident with the ball, and is very solid as a defender.

“He brings a lot to the team, and I am very happy for him because he is a hard worker, a very good guy and is going to be one of the best.”

Since then, Jenkinson signed a long-term deal with the club, made his international debut in England’s defeat to Sweden and he even opened his goalscoring account for the club.

The Metro reports that he has been offered a bumper contract by Manchester City and he would join the exodus of Quinn, David Seaman, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy and $amir Na$ri that left the Gunners to earn bigger bucks at the Etihad. Many fans have voiced their concerns on the issue and while others are unhappy that he’s moving to Arsenal’s rivals, fans like me have given him our blessing and we can only wish him all the best.

There are so many things to love about Bacary Sagna, but none can be compared to his consistency on the field of play.

Week-in week-out, Sagna marauded Arsenal’s right flank balancing his defensive and attacking play superbly. Since the days of Lee Dixon and Lauren Etame-Meyer, Sagna’s performances on the right ranks him with the very best in the beautiful game and Arsenal fans are honored to have such an amazing player in every sense of the word.

After 284 appearances, five goals and 22 assists, Sagna’s seven-year stint with Arsenal is over.

Here’s to Sagna, an epitome of consistency.

Sayonara.

You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button

New Deal for Wenger and a Tale of Sagna and the City

image

With the 2013/14 FA Cup gently placed on the Emirates trophy cabinet (yes, the black Widow spider is gone), the Arsenal hierarchy has moved on to achieve its next target – tying down Arsene Wenger to a new long term contract.

According to the Guardian, the Arsenal boss is set to sign a new three year deal worth £8m per year and the Mirror also reports that he will be given a large transfer kitty to compete with the ‘big boys’ of the Premier League.

If Wenger signs the deal, he would extend his day at the club beyond the 20-year mark which will be an exceptional achievement. Arsène Wenger and Arsenal, a match made in Heaven.

He spoke after the Cup final triumph of the need to add “two or three players” in the summer transfer window and he hopes to complete the signing of the Queens Park Rangers striker Loïc Rémy, whose contract has an £8m buy-out clause. There’s a long summer ahead so there will be enough to dwell on issues like this.

Rémy might not be the almighty striker the fans need but having him around wouldn’t be a bad idea either. He reminds me of Thierry Henry and he’s a good finisher, and he’s also versatile enough to play on the wings or strike alongside his fellow Frenchman, Olivier Giroud, when the need arises.

Wenger guided his team to a first trophy in nine years as well as another Champions League qualification campaign, so the Gunners would be anxious to know who they face in the playoffs. They are guaranteed of a pot one spot if they win their qualifying fixture but the Gunners would be weary of the likes of Borussia Dortmund and PSG that are in pot two. That’s a tale of another day though.

Speaking of tales, Arsenal fans fears have become realised with the fact that Sagna is odds on to join Manchester City for reasons best known to Chuck Norris, Lord Voldemort and the evil monkey in Chris Griffin’s closet.

Sagna, who becomes a free agent next month and has been unable to agree to fresh terms at the Emirates Stadium, is considering the offer of a three-year deal from Manchester City which would significantly increase his current wage of £50,000-a-week. Several other clubs have monitored the 31-year-old’s situation.

Wenger was so keen to retain Sagna’s services to the level that he was ready to break the club’s rule of offering over-30 year olds one year rolling contracts but this wasn’t good enough for BacMan.

Sagna waved to Arsenal supporters at Wembley and he even had tears in his eyes as he left the stadium.

“I don’t know whether it was my last match for Arsenal. “As everybody knows, I am at the end of my contract and we haven’t found an agreement [with the club]. I am happy to lift a trophy. On a personal level, this final was a revenge after losing the 2011 Carling Cup to Birmingham City. There was a lot of emotion

.”

It has been stated that he would arrive at the Etihad after the World Cup and it’s going to be interesting to see how he challenges Pablo Zabaleta in the right back position.

Arsenal will have an uphill task in replacing the full back with Toulouse’s Serge Aurier heavily linked, even though I won’t mind me some lil ol’ Seamus.

A review of the season will be published tomorrow.

Sayonara

Sagna and Fabianski Reject New Deals: Thoughts on their Futures with the Club

Lukasz Fabianski and Bacary Sagna are poised to leave Arsenal

The exodus from Arsenal continues

Arsenal has been renowned in recent times as a “selling club” following the high-profile departures of key players in recent seasons. Unlike a club like Atletico Madrid that replaces a high-profile departure with an equally exciting new signing, Arsenal usually replaces their stars with cheaper options that won’t match the player that left for greener pastures.

For instance, Arsenal lost two creative talents in the forms of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the same summer but the manager chose to favor an Aaron Ramsey that wasn’t ready at point in time, so he struggled for fitness and form. More recently, the Gunners lost a perpetual goalscoring machine of the first kind, Robin van Persie, and replaced him with Olivier Giroud, a forward that combines his purple patch of good form with goal droughts.

This summer, it looked as if the Gunners finally got it right in the transfer window, as the club was a deadwood-disposal campaign which saw the likes of Gervinho and Vito Mannone leave for meager amounts while Andre Santos, Denilson, Andrey Arshavin, Seb Squillaci and Marouane Chamakh left for nothing. The Gunners went on to sign a progidal son, Mathieu Flamini, and a world-class talent in Mesut Ozil, which gave everyone a lift.

Since then, Arsenal has mounted an impressive Premier League campaign (currently in second place), awaiting a FA Cup fifth round clash at home to Liverpool and they have a double date with the European champions, Bayern Munich.

Just when we thought we were having a bad start to the week after the decimation at Anfield, the Daily Star has reported that the club’s most consistent fullback, Bacary Sagna, and reserve goalie, Lukasz Fabianski, have rejected new deals with the club and are set to leave on a Bosman this summer.

According to the Daily Star, Fabianski said,

 “I want to be No.1 in the club and in the Polish national team. I have learned a lot at London during very positive and challenging periods. With biggest respect to this great club, I didn’t accept the extension offer as I am looking forward to a new challenge in England or abroad.”

Since his arrival as Manuel Almunia’s deputy in 2007, Fabianski has made just 71 appearances and has kept 22 clean sheets. That’s an average of just 10 games per season and for a young keeper in need of consistent game time, that’s not good enough. His cause isn’t also helped by the fact that he’s been benched by his Polish compatriot, Wojciech Szczesny, and with Artur Boruc doing well in Southampton, Fabianski is unlikely to add to his 21 caps for Poland.

Fabianski’s save of life against Wolves in 2010

The Polish goalie has expressed his dissatisfaction over lack of game time in the past and there was a time when he instructed his agent to find him a new club. Lukasz Fabianski arrived at Arsenal on the back of two Polish League Goalkeeper of the Year awards for 2005 and 2006 but he was a deputy for Manuel Almunia. Wenger offered the Pole a chance in the Cup competitions but he continued to push hard for a first team place.

It was fabled that Fabianski kept like a goalie with eyes behind his back on the training ground but he couldn’t replicate that form on the pitch. When I think of his top-notch calamitous moment against Porto in February 2010, I always give myself a few fits of laughter but Fabianski matured as a player in the 2010/11 campaign. Manuel Almunia let complacency creep into his game and Fabianski came in his stead and grabbed the bull by its horns and its balls.

Goalkeepers' Union: Szczesny congratulates Lukasz Fabianski at the end of the 2-0 win at Swansea on Saturday

Fabianski benched Szczesny, albeit temporarily, at some point last season

There were times when Fabianski would have had the chance to make the No. 1 jersey his, but he has had some bad luck with injuries. After usurping Almunia in the 2010/11 campaign, Fabianski played consistently and put up some great performances notably against Everton (away) and Wolves (away). However, a shoulder injury paved the way for Szczesny to make his Premier League debut. Last season, Wenger reinstated Fabianski ahead of Szczesny in the crucial encounter against Bayern Munich and he kept his place against Swansea recording two clean sheets in a row. Unfortunately, a rib injury suffered in the game against Norwich cost the Pole his place.

There are not many second-choice goalies that are as good as Fabianski and with his heart made up with an imminent departure, I wish him all the very best. I hope he moves to a Premier League mid-table side so that at least, I can get to watch him on a consistent basis, and when he comes to the Emirates, his songs will be in full voice.

****

I’ve shared my thoughts about Bacary Sagna’s future and I won’t drawn into making more words on it but all I can say is that losing a player like Sagna would be disastrous, but if the club can replace him with quality players like Lukasz Piszczesk, Seamus Coleman, Sebastien Corchia or some random bloke from outer space, the blow would be softened. I don’t believe that Carl Jenkinson has what it takes to replace Sagna yet but he’ll get there soon.

Jenkinson v Sagna

According to the Daily Star, Sagna is upset that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal did not approach him sooner about a new deal, leaving talks until his final year at the club – in sharp contrast to their approach to other stars. Arsenal wants Sagna to sign a contract extension with the same amount of £60,000 a week but the defender feels that he deserves more.

For a player that has served this club with all dedication even to the extent of breaking his leg twice, it would be a shame if Arsenal loses Sagna because of a few extra pounds. Teams like Galatasaray, Paris St. Germain and AS Monaco will be willing to break bank for Sagna and for the fact that we haven’t heard any info about them signing a pre-contract with the fullback, it means that he still wants to stay but he believes that he has earned a pay rise.

Sagna would be 31 on Friday and this protracted saga would continue till the end of the season. However, it doesn’t look as if it’s affecting his game, even though he and the rest of his teammates had an off day in Anfield.

I’ll keep you updated as the situation unfolds.

Sayonara.

You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,703 other followers