Daily Archives: June 21, 2015

Thoughts on the Goalkeeping Situation with Cech’s Imminent Arrival

At this point in time, Arsenal has three first team goalkeepers. The first choice goalie is currently in Chile, fighting with his countrymen for South America’s coveted international price, the Copa America. He conceded a goal in his first game which also ended in a loss but he kept a clean sheet in a game you’d have put your smart money for him to concede in, the World Cup semifinalists and favorites to win the tournament, Brazil. With four points in the bag, David Ospina and co. would be hoping to win Peru to seal a place in the last eight.

Arsenal’s second choice goalie, Wojciech Szczesny, started his holiday earlier than expected, as he watched from the bench as Lukasz Fabianski kept in Poland’s recent matches. Fabianski left Arsenal in search of first team football and found it in Swansea, and he can be proud of the consistent performances he put for the Swans all season long.

The third choice goalie, Emiliano Martinez, enjoyed a good loan spell at Rotherham, and he’d be hoping to go out on loan again to continue his football education.

Arsene Wenger was asked by the pressers if he was interested in signing want-away goalie, Petr Cech, but his response was that he has ‘three world class’ goalies. Tomas Rosicky has been doing some ambassadorial duties and when he put up a picture of him and Cech on Instagram with the caption ‘Welcome come to Arsenal’, it seemed that he’s probably aware that the background stuff is almost over and the move is imminent. Even that ex-Gunner that looks like Akon, Lauren Etame-Mayer tweeted about Cech’s arrival using his official Twitter account.

So it’s only a matter of time before the Cech deal becomes official. The question is, what’s going to happen with the current crop at the club. Cech, 33, is a vastly experienced goalie that has won several individual and team awards in his 10 years at Chelsea, and with his talismanic services available at Arsenal’s disposal, I’d expect him to be Arsene Wenger’s first choice in the Premier League and Champions League.

Martinez would drop to fourth choice and I’m pretty certain that he’d request for a loan move, which I believe will be granted to him. What then happens for Szczesny and Ospina? The Colombian had to wait patiently for six months before usurping Szczesny in January and he played 20 games between January and May, keeping 10 clean sheets, as well as getting the highest win percentage and save percentage for all the goalies in the league. Some say that it was his small amount of games that contributed to those stats but they didn’t really matter to me because from an Arsenal perspective, Ospina offered a calm head to Szczesny’s brashness, and the defense coped better this season with Ospina behind them than Szczesny.

Somebody else would bring up a point that Szczesny played behind of a makeshift defense, while Ospina played behind our regular back four, which in fairness, can be a very valid point, but nobody played in a more tattered defense like David de Gea and he was still selected as the best goalkeeper in the League last season. Szczesny had seen the likes of Vito Mannone, Manuel Almunia and Fabianski flushed away for him and starting the season ahead of Ospina made him even more cocky, because he clearly felt that he was the undisputed No. 1 at the club, till Southampton happened.

With Cech arriving, either Szczesny or Ospina might be sacrificed on the altar and from all indications, it’s looking like we might miss hearing those iconic ‘Ooooooooooooooooospina’ chants as its been reported that Fenerbahce are interested in his services. Szczesny is young and he has a lot of potential but Wenger would probably want him to understudy Cech for the next three to four seasons, before making the No. 1 his for keeps. Off the field, Szczesny is a homegrown talent and is an Arsenal fan, and I’m sure he’d do okay in the cup games he’d probably be featuring in.

It would feel sad to let Ospina go when he has fought quite hard to gain his place but football is a very cruel sport and if you spend up to £11-14m to bring in a goalie of Petr Cech’s quality, you’d have to play him consistently.


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