Sunday, June 13, 2010

A public plea on behalf of Manuel Almunia - believe me he isn't the worst!

Arsenal's #1 shot-stopper Manuel Almunia baffles me, I never thought I'd say this, but I must! We have to look beyond Manuel's numerous mistakes and afford him another opportunity to make/mar his chances.

A large number of supporters believe they have seen and had enough of his incompetence. Their complaints are not far-fetched, using last season as a case-study, incidents such as; Birmingham's last gasp equaliser readily comes to the fore, presenting itself as a good means for an argument with a credible background. But I honestly think Almunia deserves another opportunity on the big stage with the Gunners. I've got this innocuous feeling he's learnt explicitly from his mistakes last season and the previous season as well.

We learn every day, that is certain! I don't understand why, but I felt very sorry for the young man who tried very hard to mask his true feelings, during an interview with the People - I am not positing that Almunia is the best goalie we've had or will have, but the mere fact that he's refused to be drawn into the murky waters of transfer speculation has given me reason for concern. After all, William Gallas won't afford us nor Hill-Wood the opportunity of making a mockery of him.

I expected the Spaniard to appear or possibly sound fazed concerning his questionable future, but the goal keeper who is tagged as an "error-prone" individual in some quarters of the gooner nation, has revealed that he isn't perturbed by the rumours currently doing their rounds on Arsenal blogs and Forums (including this one) pertaining his future at the North London outfit.

Almunia strongly denied suggestions linking him with a move away from a club, he joined six years ago and has risen to an enviable position as its vice-captain within the said time undoubtedly through, the application of sheer hardwork.
Sentiments apart, I think we all owe the 33-year old goal keeper, an unreserved apology following the prevalent rate of high profile blunders currently been commited by a number of shortlisted goal keepers, who are being automatically earmarked for the non-vacant post at the club. Some of them; (to be specific) - Robert Green was highly revered and made the daily bound 'for Arsenal' routine. Albeit, yesterday's howler wasn't an indication of his ability or prowess. I think rather it should serve as the yardstick for our enumeration of these so-called "established stars" in the near future.

A vast majority of our extensive fanbase, were recently divided on whether to gun for Fulham's 37-year-old shot-stopper Mark Schwarzer, who is arguably one of the best in what he does. Although the highly experienced keeper had a great game today - showed his shot stopping ability and still managed to concede four goals. So many spectators will happily blame Australia's defeat on their suspect defense, by terming the end-product of Germany's fruitful enterprise as the gift of defensive errors. I thought being an imposing goal keeper on the pitch, included a bit of knowing the rudiments of marshalling an inexperienced defense expertly to suit your personality during the duration of any match?.

We must learn to appreciate what we've got, or else face the unpleasant consequence of spending the right amount on the wrong keeper. A possible mistake I hope Wenger won't make for Arsenal' sake.

Almunia impressed me with his comments earlier today. He stated confidently that his position at Arsenal is guaranteed by the club's hierarchy and as such, the rumours cannot necessitate a call for alarm.

He told the People: "I have a deal signed with Arsenal and nobody at the club has given me a reason to question my future.

"So I am not worried about the situation. I have seen what the papers are saying but I don't think it affects me.

"I am resting now and watching the World Cup, and then I will return in July to work with the rest of the squad."

His words give me reason to be optimistic about the future, hopefully he'll return stronger, better and battle-ready for next season's title adventure with his equally charged team-mates.