Almunia Safe Hands

Last season Arsene Wenger made Almunia our number one goalkeeper after a couple of howlers from Jens Lehman.  Almunia grasped the opportunity and made the number 1 jersey his own.

 

Almunia was not, and is still not the most reassuring of goalkeepers. He has reserved his clangers from games against Manchester United, but these have been few and far between over the last couple of seasons.

 

Almunia is a very good shot stopper; he has saved numerous near certain goals this season.  His other great attribute is penalty saving.  He has saved several vital penalties this season, Martins, Ashley Young and last season, Robbie Keane, as well as making an important penalty save against Roma.

 

He commands his area well at corners, rarely making a blunder and without the histrionics of Lehman, even if that was greatly entertaining.

 

If there was a criticism of Almunia, it is his reluctance to come out and pick up the ball in the area and relieve the pressure off his defenders. 

 

The real question does Almunia have the presence to give Arsenal the edge in our quest for trophies.  He is not a big name goalkeeper because he has not played on the on the   international stage, nor has he been a first team regular for a long period.  Opponents do not look at him in the same way as they do with Cech, van der Saar or Reina, we do not have that same psychological advantage that our rivals have.

 

Almunia is a good stop-gap goalkeeper until Wenger thinks Fabianski is ready to take over the number one shirt, that time is fast approaching.

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Posted on April 6, 2009, in Arsenal Players and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. i dont know about u but i feel quiet calm with him between the sticks, and i got to say that he made a huge progress in less then 2 season. and u can tell that he is working in his weakness, u can see it when he took the ball of the pacy belamys feet, when belamy tried to blind him just after.ha ha bottom line is that he is ur no1 and im really fine with that.

  2. We must be watching different games because Lehmann was a far better commander than almunia. Mind you Almunia is still learning his trade, but when Lehmann came out to collect, the defense all split and made way for him more often than not. Almunia on the other hand sometimes has to clatter through bodies or more often than not has to punch out the ball. This is arguably the most nerve wracking aspect of his game. His decisions to punh rather than catch at times leaves me with a sinking feeling because there’s far too much uncertainty with the punch. Another aspect of Lehmann’s game that people underestimate is his madness. Sure it cost him some howlers, but every goalie has those. His madness was intimidating and not many players dared come face to face with him. However, many players seem quite comfortable standing beside Almunia and obstructing his freedom. almunia has become a much better goalie than when he first started but he is still not up to the pedigree of te like of Van Der Sar, Reina, Casillas, Bouffon or even Shay Given.

    • northbanklegend

      Lehman’s madness kept the fans entertainined. If Lehman came for a ball, he cloutted everyone in sight. Almunia does not have that presence, but when he comes for a ball it invariably sticks to him.

  3. actually to be honest just cos he aint at international level dont mean he cant be compared to van der sar or cech, its just cos he has casillas and pepe reina are better than him and infront of him thats all

  4. lehman is a far better penalty saver than almunia, almunia has the tendancy to fall on the ground and save it by luck, also lehman was far better at pulling off spectacular saves. almunia is very good at the basics tho

  5. lol. bandwagon. lol.

  6. Almunia is as good in the air as any keeper in the world – a great trait to have.

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