Daily Archives: April 13, 2015

Is David Ospina Arsenal’s Winning Formula?

David Ospina off to a Historically Good Start to His Arsenal Career

Competition, they say, brings out the best in players and it’s always beneficial to the team in general.

Arsenal is a team in a very rich vein of form, and this can be attributed to the performances of the players that have been selected by the boss. In defense, Nacho Monreal has kept Kieran Gibbs out for a considerable spell and with the way he has been performing Gibbs faces a battle in his hands to displace the Spaniard. On the other flank, Hector Bellerin has seen off the threat of Calum Chambers but with Matt Debuchy returning, we would see how Wenger manages it. The fiercest battle for places is in Arsenal’s midfield, with the club blessed with a plethora of options.

However, I’d want to focus on the goalkeeping department, that has seen a new kid on the block make the position his for keeps. Since his emergence in December 2010, Wojciech Szczesny has seen the likes of Manuel Almunia, Vito Mannone and more recently, Lukasz Fabianski, leave the club in search of regular game time, so it was evident that Arsene Wenger had to get a new goalie into the list to challenge Szczesny for his first-team berth because quite frankly, Emiliano Martinez wasn’t the man to do so.

An injury he sustained during the World Cup didn’t help him settle in one time but he made his debut in the Capital One Cup loss to Southampton and showed glimpses of his quality. His Champions League came in rather acrimonious circumstances as Szczesny received his marching orders for a late challenge on Burak Yilmaz. On New Year’s day, things went downhill for the Polish goalkeeper as he added insult to injury by smoking in the bathroom after such a dismal performance against Southampton.

Ospina made his full debut against Hull in the FA Cup, earning himself a clean sheet and his presence on the pitch against Stoke a week later confirmed the reports that Wenger had benched Szczesny. Ospina didn’t do badly in the game and earned himself another clean sheet. In the game against Manchester City, the fans began a lovely chant for the Colombian that I’m very sure it motivates him. The “Ooooooooooooooooooospina” chant has become a stuff of legends since mid-January and the fans don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

After keeping a clean sheet against Aston Villa, Ospina suffered defeat for only the second time in his Arsenal career when the Gunners lost the North London derby courtesy of a Harry Kane brace. Following the win over Leicester City, Szczesny returned in goal in the FA Cup fifth round clash with Middlesbrough but Ospina continued to feature in the Premier League in the Gunners narrow win over Crystal Palace. He earned his third loss in the horrific outing against Monaco at the Emirates but since then, Ospina has continued to feature in the wins over Everton, QPR, West Ham, Monaco (away), Newcastle, Liverpool and this weekend, Burnley.

Then I saw this,

In his brief stint at goal, the Gunners have had an amazing winning rate but we all know it isn’t down to Ospina himself, other team members have played their own parts. However, in my honest opinion, Ospina’s concentration levels are far more better than Wojciech Szczesny but he lacks the Polish goalie’s height, command of area, distribution and to some extent, reflexes. The Colombian has a level head and like Szczesny, he knows how to organize his back line.

Having him around has been a breath of fresh air, and I’m sure that he’d be away that he’s an injury or blunder away from losing his place to Szczesny.

There’s is only one beneficiary from this kind of competition – Arsenal.


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