Aug 12

Almunia expected to start league opener despite Schwarzer interest

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will play Manuel Almunia in goal against Liverpool this Sunday, despite Mark Schwarzer’s urgency to push through a move to the Emirates before the new-season begins.

The 37-year-old has been linked with a move to North London and former boss Roy Hodgson was ready to let him go until he himself left for Anfield.

Arsenal had bid £2 million for Schwarzer but at the time Fulham were holding out for twice that amount.

However, new boss Mark Hughes has told Schwarzer that he cannot leave Craven Cottage and the Australian looks set to formally ask Fulham for a transfer.

“I need it to happen, said Schwarzer, who believes it’s his last chance to join a big club with his 38th birthday looming. I’ve had a couple of chats with Mark [Hughes]. It’s delicately poised. Who wouldn’t be keen to go to Arsenal? At this stage in my career it’s an amazing opportunity to play at that level and one I really want to take.”

“I have never sat out a game [to prove a point] and never would,” Schwarzer said. “But it needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.

“I’m not sure whether I’ll play [for Fulham] on the weekend. I’ve got a few little injury problems but we’ll have to wait and see how I pull up when I return to London.”

“It’s taken a long time and the season’s very close,” he admitted. “On one hand you understand them not wanting to disrupt too many things but I want things resolved as quickly as possible.”

“Only time will tell whether that happens or not.”

Despite having one of the best clean sheet to games ratio in Arsenal’s history - 66 from 161 games – most Gooners don’t want to see him as the Gunners’ no.1 ‘keeper this season.

How do you feel about Almunia playing on Sunday? Our latest poll suggests that signing a new goalie is vital if Arsenal are to challenge for major honours.

Leave your views on the goalkeeping situation in the comments section below.

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55 Responses to “Almunia expected to start league opener despite Schwarzer interest”

  1. french gooner says:

    i agree with j too. lets support our team and enjoy the season and let wenger do his job.im sur he knows about our frailties and will do something about it. arsenal are a stable team with great future!!! i respect the passion of all the people on here who are so desperate for arsenal to do well as long as on the pitch we support whatever team wenger puts out.i’ll be a nervouswreck every time there is a contre attack and our defence is struggling but i will alaso be excited when were goig forward and score great goals!!! the future is bright guys and if were lucky with injuries we’ll be at the top of the league.i also hope we sign a goal keeper and shwarzer will be ideal !!!

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  2. The Left Hand Of HENRY says:

    ilya why dont you stop slagging us fans who have grown up with our hometown club and just want quality players at a quality club. Also ur idea that english players are all w’nkers is incorrect. they are also not over priced since if they join arsenal they wouldnt want to go abroad or go to a team higher than us in the table coz usually they stay loyale (if still in championsleague)
    PS.
    why dont u go watch american ‘futbol’ instead

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  3. arseneman says:

    The Left Hand Of HENRY, who cares where he is from, he supports this club and thats all i care about. I’m a season ticket holder and will support this great club no matter what, what use is it to slag off our manager or team.

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  4. The Left Hand Of HENRY says:

    what im sayin is that he thinks he’s a more loyal fan because hes an idiot that thinks arsenal shouldn’t spend money on top class players such as reina, hart, given and swarzer…. It does matter where he’s from coz he cant be a regular to the emirates from america. Heres an open question for all emirates regulars: does it annoy you that we pay the highest season ticket/ match day tickets in europe, yet our manager refuses to spend our money on players even though he said he could ‘compete with chelsea’ in the transfer market?

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  5. [...] Gunners have been widely expected to bring in a replacement for first-choice shot-stopper Manuel Almunia, as neither Lukasz Fabianski [...]

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