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.


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

  1. Neo says:

    How far we have come as fans, from demanding a world class goalkeeper, to settling for one that is only marginally better than the one we have and is 5 years older!!!!

    Depressing 2 be excited by that!!!

  2. Murt says:

    Hughes, the piece of s***, would deny him the move just to spite Wenger.

  3. Adebayor says:


  4. chris says:

    wengers trying to do it on the cheap again evidently, hes gonna use him as a stopgap, then hope in 2 years that he can promote chezzers or mannone as number 1 and therefore not have to buy anyone expensive. classic scrooge

  5. Don says:

    If anyone cant see that MS is better than the two clowns we have already i suggest you take a look at last seasons DVD and see how many mistakes the two clowns made between them.Schwarzer 1 Chesney 2 Almunia and Flappy out the door

  6. Ario says:

    It’s actually a good tactic if you ask me, if Schwarzer is equal to Almunia in terms of ability, he’s just a less error prone version. If Almunia didn’t make stupid mistakes there’d be no problem with him.

  7. wags says:

    Cant speak for every1 but im extremely p***ed off that YET again were bargain basement hunting, even then are we even?, is this more bo****s to make us think that things are being done to strengthen the team. I dont think we need to throw away lots of money for the sake of it, but god damn it we need help and we need it fast. This is guna be another long fruitless year. Any1 for a hammering on sunday. Maybe he could put those 2 QUALITY fools in goal, 7 defenders, 1 in the middle and 1 up front. That way he could use any cheap crap he could get his hands on. Yeh you got im fecked off with all the b*****s were bein fed, its all nonsense, makes my season ticket price feel like swallowin a bag of nails, inside a bag full of used razors. Renewal next year, i think not.

  8. Rock says:

    I honestly believe theres something in Reina to Arsenal, something strong. Why the hell would liverpool invest in a back up keeper in Brad Jones? they’ve got Cavalieri and Itanje, so it’s just adding to their already thread bare wage bill.

    They’re skint so it doesn’t make sense for them to sign Jones for 2.5m and place him as back up. Don’t understand why suddenly that’s a priority. Very odd.

    Another thing is, Why would Jones move knowing he’ll be back up to one of the best keepers in the league, when he can be playing first team footy at Boro. Every keeper wants to play, we’ve seen many keepers move to mid table/struggling clubs just to get game time.

    Either Jones is completely stupid, thinking he’d actually oust Reina for the number one spot, or he’s just happy to sit on the bench, tell everyone he plays for liverpool and pick up his pay packet.

    I doubt both

  9. lukychmz says:

    were f***ed plain and simple, just trying to guess how many points this clown and his sidekick will cost the team this year, I think it was 15 last year. Looks like a painful season ahead

  10. ali says:

    a keeper is a must,Will schwarzer definatly sign before the 31st?

  11. jose reyes says:

    i heared scharzer is having a medical at the moment but i wanted hart or given but i suppose anyone is better than alumnia and flapianski

  12. ali says:

    jose reyes

    whats your source?

  13. Tom Gordon says:

    We’re after John Burridge for keeper. He’s 59 in December and looking for a one year deal before retiring.

  14. Rock says:

    I doubt Schwarzer will sign, the guy admitted to having injury problems at the moment in his interview with the aussie daily tel.

    I refuse to believe we’ll sign an injured, 37 year old keeper. In the immortal words of Assen Vengeurr, “No Janze”.

  15. The Fan says:

    I’d rather have almunia.

    Schwarzer isn’t better. He makes gaffes too and when he joins a club like arsenal, he will be scrutinized.

  16. taylor says:

    Ray Parlour convinced Schwarzer is happening

  17. lee says:

    ray parlour is convinced him and schwarzer are getting it on.

  18. GoonerDareMKD says:

    Wtf barca agreed deal with pool for marcherano 15 mil plus Hleb to pool, he hated england and the weather and now he is going ti pool. hleb you are disgrace !

  19. Skeemz says:

    F*** schwarzer, bring in given

  20. Gooner says:

    If anyone thinks that almunia is better then schwarzer then he should look at the last season games against man city, spuds, liverpool away, barcelona (yes he did have a good game but the first goal was his fault), and chelsea home/away. also nani’s goal is just plain stupid. schwarzer got player of the month a couple of times last season and he IS MUCH better than almunia.

  21. Stu says:

    Schwarzer’s a stopgap until Chesney or Vito have sufficient experience to step up and be the No. 1. He’ll likely transition to the coaching staff in a couple of years, so it’s not just a player but a coach we are looking at.

  22. puppyguts says:

    sharzer is a top quality keeper with 2-3 seasons left in him perfect choice for arsenal

  23. Monkey says:

    Its ridiculous, were at such a low that we actually see this as a positive move!? Yes i’d put my dog in goal ahead of ‘The Waiter’ but jeeeeeesus christ people, were easily top 10 european team, aim a little higher!! If we all stopped considering this as a viable option and showed a little more disgust then maybe Wenger would too!! DISGUSTINGLY PATHETIC COP OUT ARSENE, clearly your doing this coz its temporary and the plan is to put 1 of these poles between the sticks eventually but you dont coach defence so how the f**k do you expect them to ever be good enough?? For f**k sakes the youngest 1 broke both his arms in the gym a few years ago!?! Did you even know he was??? AAAAARRRRGGHHH!!!!!

  24. pete says:

    some people are so stupid… if you watch football you would know Mark Schwarzer has been one of the main reasons for Fulhams change in fortunes..
    he is a class act.. experienced and can win matches like he has done numerous times for Fulham.. it makes perfect sense… Chesney will only have to wait a few years..he is world class…

    Get a grip everyone and get behind the team and Wenger..

  25. Red Jimmy says:

    Anyone who says Almunia is good let me say Bentley from 40 yards,Ronaldo from 40 yards and Rose from 40 yards.Plus Man U,Man city and Birmingham last season.The guy is shit and shouldnt be at a great club like ours.only Wenger would pick this clown.We want Given or Friedel

  26. Begeegs says:

    Schwartzer is exactly the kind of keeper that we need for a couple of seasons. I don’t get the people who think that we are going to bid big money for Reina or Buffron, etc when we have Chesney and Mannone coming through.

    Schwartzer is commanding and looked poor with Australia because the aussies have a weak team. He’s a good keeper for a couple of seasons.

  27. kc says:

    I think you might be on to something there. I thought the same thing when I heard pool were bringin in another GK at a 2.5 million price tag. Why would a cash strapped team pay that much for a back-up keeper?! I instantly thought about Reina to Arsenal when I heard this news as well. Probly dreaming here but what if pool already agreed on the sale but won’t let the move go thru until after the opener? It would make sense and would explain why it seems AW is dragging his feet after stating he didn’t have a current #1 GK a few weeks ago. Again dreaming I know.

  28. elbow says:

    Get over yourselves Reina is not coming to Arsenal.The reason Liverpool are signing Brad Jones is because he comes under the bracket of “Home Grown” (came through Boro’s youth system) which at the moment Liverpool are struggling to meet the criteria for this.Arsene Wenger would never spend that amount of money on any outfield player never mind a goalkeeper!!!

  29. Rock says:

    tennis elbow thinking with a closed mind i see. You seem to forget Weng is going into the last year of his contract, and with no guarantees he’ll extend, he may splash the cash ‘for the right player’ this time round. The money is there. Obviously he’s not going to spend 25m for Reina.

    He wants the title just as much as all of us and if Reina was available for anything between 10-15 mill from liverbroke then I can see him getting his man. Same goes for a defender. He knows how close we are to being a major force and I can’t see him being afraid to spend on a player who would enhance our chances of silverware drastically, and Reina would do that.

  30. frankie says:

    @wags: Apart from RvP’s injury I enjoyed last year, until we ran into an in-form Barca. Tanked after that with all the injuries. I hated 1999. That was a fruitless year. All that hope and excitement and expectation only to lose in semi finals and finals. Ah well, footie, eh? Oh, what’s that? You actually can control everything? That’s great news! In that case Arsene clearly knows fu** all and we should get that better manager, not Mourinho, all the other better managers and then it won’t ever be long and fruitless again and I’ll never have to think that sport is a metaphor for life, and I’ll never have to learn to enjoy the ride rather than obsess about the destination, and all that b*****s. Hell, most of you doomers should be CEOs of big companies some day, if you aren’t already. I am sure you have the mental outlook and the rest of the skill set. Get on with it and buy shares with your billions and get Wenger out!

  31. American Gooner says:

    want schwarzer for us. sickened by barca borrowing money just to buy more players. that doesnt show a well-run club just a team that owns the spanish banks. bringing in villa and mascherano when you cant pay your own players’ wages? sickening.

  32. montego gunner says:

    i have been a arsenal fan for six years now i never realy remember at the start
    of a season where every body want a keeper this bad. will “flappyany” ever come good maybe but just not at arsenal.
    i will support whoever is in our goal and all real gunner should do the same please.

    i realy hope arsenal will comeback to the state like thay did a few years
    back[columbia sc best day of my life]

    true gunner real fan
    arsenal for life]

  33. j says:

    im an proud arsenal fan and i hate reading what the majority of u so called arsenal fans on here actually think! its crazy! u r scum, absoulutely disgraceful fans! some of u act like f***ing spoilt brats! u really dont know or understand how good u got it being a gooner!!
    1 guy on here was complaining about his season ticket…wtf!! least u have a season ticket! i would love to be in your position! if u dont want it then i will gladly take it off your hands! every time i have been lucky enough to go to a match i have been blown away! you get to do this every week!! and your complaing!!! what is wrong with u?? prob 1 of them unknowledgable corporate fans!
    anyway…each player to wear an arsenal shirt has my full support! even if they make mistakes, makes me want to give them more support! not destroy their confidence or call them all the names under the sun! – i like to save that for describing players who really deserve it like most of the chelsea squad!
    dont get me wrong i want to see a new goalie and defender as then i believe we will have the best squad in the league! but i dont wanna get rid of almunia or fabianski!!
    i think almunia who has put up with alot of abuse from the media, his OWN fans!! (wtf is that about!!) and even own team mates e.g. JENS!! miss that crazy german!! 😉 should stay at arsenal and be 2nd choice to schwarzer and then wen we finally win sumthing, almunia can get sum silverwear too as he has still tried his best for arsenal and been a servant of the club so deserves to win sumthing with us! …now dont get me wrong some of his mistakes have cost bigtime but im sure he was still trying his best! cant ask for more than that! shame he jus isnt good enough as i would love him to perform well so he can stick 2 fingers up to all u loser so called fans who hate him so much! like eboue has! fair play to him by the way! disgusting booing your own players!
    fabianski is abit different he is still a young player and i know he has the skills as he must prove this against our world class attackers everyday in training! he is jus like almunia…they cant handle the pressure in the games! and as soon as they make 1 mistake it seems they havent the mental strength or confidence to get over it and concentrate on the game! which means more mistakes! viscious cycle really! and then more pressure for next game etc etc!
    so i wanna see fabianski loaned out maybe even in germany or italian league just to have a different attmosphere and be able to perform with less pressure and then build his confidence and then hopefully when he comes back to arsenal he can perform well! if he fails on loan then we gotta get rid…not like we didnt give him enough chances!
    but yeah if u say your a gooner, please try to act like one and get behind the WHOLE team! not just the superstars! and if u cant do this then please stop supporting arsenal! arsenal fc deserves decent fans not fake fans who want arsenal to be chelsea or man city! u all seem to have very short memories and seem to think other teams like man u, chelsea, liverpool and prob man city prob even spurs ffs!! are so superior to arsenal just because they spend money on a ‘BIGNAME’! its not case at all! we r so close to being the best team in england!
    we just need LUCK for a start! like chelsea and man u seem to rely on and no injuries! then we can beat every team in league easily! (even with the squad we have right now!) …apart from bullyboys chelsea and i think man u can still have a better chance of beating us wen we play them and maybe liverpool can beat us! and man city might have a chance! and prob a shit fouling team like stoke or bolton or someone! so that means we will prob lose upto id say 6 games! with luck some of them loses could turn into draws and then we can win the league! as trust me man u, chelsea and citeh will fu** up against smaller teams more than we will! as long as key players stay fit and everyone works hard and performs we should win! RANT over!! up the arsenal!!

  34. ya says:

    if any1 thinks almunia should stay hes either a bliand or a spuds fan in disguise.. how in the god u want him to stay between the posts. hes totally scrwed or season. I bet on my life once our game against scousers starts u all guyz will put ur hands on ur hart..!!



  35. Lewis says:

    Schwarzer is a top quality keeper, he took Fulham to the final of the UEFA Cup last year. He was also responsible for Australia’s historic qualification to the 2006 World Cup when he made two huge saves in a penalty shootout against Uruguay. He also made crucial saves throughout Australia’s last world cup qualification campaign.

    He would be worlds better than anything we have, the fans would quickly fall in love with him.

  36. George says:

    An Arsenal fan should ultimately have the club’s best interests in mind. I think it is all right to praise your team when they have a good match and equally justifiable to criticize them when they played poorly. Of course, abuse should never ever be in the equation. But criticizing for the good of the club I feel should be allowed. I bet Wenger reprimands the team all the time when we lose, although he never showed it in public. We should rally on our team during the entire 90min, but if they put on a poor performance then we can rant our frustrations but not in an abusive manner.
    As for Schwarzer, I have been saying for weeks now he is the best ever possible keeper we can sign now. Experienced, relatively cheap, has been in the Premier League for as long as I can remember and this guy wants to come. Looking at the shape he is in now, he can probably play for another 3 seasons at least. So 3million for 3 seasons is not worth it? I think if we can clinch him for that sum he would be our signing of the season, yes even better than the Chamakh deal. By that time, 3 seasons after, Almunia and Fabianski would most likely not be at the club anymore and it is either Mannone or Chezney for the number 1 spot, at 23 or 24 it will be an ideal time for them to step up. As for those who claims that Almunia is in the same league as Schwarzer. Then you probably have not been watching the EPL for a very long time. I don’t think Fulham last season had a better back 4 than us instead they are way off. Yet they have a better goal conceded record than Stoke, Blackburn, Birmingham, Everton and Man City all the teams that finished ahead of them. And they are not even interested in the league last season they put all their efforts in the Europa League which they did very well. This guy Schwarzer is a proven top keeper in the league and also in Europe as well. He is just what we need. We are never going to try for Hart or Given cause any idiot manager of Man City will know that they cannot afford to let either players go to another top team in the EPL. And Wenger is never interested in them as they will hinder the opportunities of Chezney and Mannone. I pray that the Schwarzer deal would be completed as it would give such a huge boost to our backline.

  37. salu says:

    MS was brilliant last season we should sign him

  38. WillyG says:

    Ideally we should try 2m for Schwarzer and loan them Chezney.That would be perfect.The main thing about Schwarzer is he commands his area which none of our Gk`s can do(Almunia and Fabianski

  39. chris says:

    schwarzer is a good solid keeper just not world class, and i think being a top 8 european club means you should have one..every other top club does.. still, anyones better than fabianski (including almunia) so if we could make schwarzer 1, almunia 2, chezzers 3, loan out mannone and fabianski

  40. ole says:

    Well two days to go!! Don`t get me wrong I love AW and Arsenal. If it hadn`t been for wenger the last 13 years things would have been much different and probably in a negative direction. But we are heading towards the new season with a number one gk that the manager dosen`t belive in, that is great man managment!!! Very dissapointing from our manager! And we also need a seriouse big strong defender soon. Cahill is all that and english as well!! Maybe even Shako from PSG but he is young, maybe too young;( Anyways it gonna be exiting to start the season, but we must improve at the back!!!

  41. desperado says:

    we are not going to win anything this season if we dont sign a better stopper than what we have..Schwarzer is very reliable so its better if we sign him.

  42. Pollhater says:

    Poland 0 – Cameroon 3.

    About 1min 20 secs you see Cameroons first goal against Flappy

  43. Goonerpower says:

    He is slightly injured so even if he came he couldn’t play this week.

  44. WillyG says:

    Fulham won`t sell said that c*** Mark Hughes.What a selfish piece of s…..
    It was ok for him to go from one club to another but he does not want this for a 38yr old who never played champions league football.

  45. gooner says:

    heres question 4 u all if almunia was sold and stayed in the premeirship would he get in to any of the top ten teams no because we are the only team with a sh** keeper so no one can say he is a quailty keeper fine back up keeper but the amount of mistakes hes made over the last 3 years is crazy think about almunia has never had a quailty whole game in the big games [apart from man u champs lge and barc]and to everyone who says ms is sh** are so wrong hes an international seasoned premeirship goalkepper almunia has never played for his country so what does that tell you

  46. arseneman says:

    Most of the ppl on here are spoilt brats, totally agree with j. I’m happy to wait til our younger keepers come good. Support wenger and the team and stop acting like my 5 year old son.

  47. TW says:

    we are doomed thanks to wengers insistence on keeping and playing manuel from fawlty towers and fabianski, ive completely lost all faith in WENGER, not ARSENAL.. this man is completely limiting this club to 3/4th place finishes at best because of his stingy so sick of it. 1 unknown cb with 1 top flight in him in france and a striker who looks the part to be fair but should have come last season when we needed him even more.. i love arsenal and its hurting me to see us lose because of the inept duo of idiots who play in goal for us

  48. ilya says:

    U know guys I feel like every one of my posts is essentially reiterating the same points. the point is- Stop being a bunch of complaining b***es “Arsenal fans!” I’m a Ukrainian living in America and Arsenal has been my favorite club since i first started playing futbol when I was 6 years old, I’m 23 now and only recently started going on blogs last year, as my arsenal addiction overrode my opinion that blogging is gay like facebook. My point is that its so embarassing and infuriating reading certain comments from people that are supposed to have a common interest in me. Perfect example being the earlier comment from “wags”; sometimes in life we don’t get everything we want, just cause our club hasn’t purchased the new goalie and cb (yet?) that we ALL know we need, doesn’t mean that we’re suddenly a sh** club with no chance of success. I don’t think anyone is really completely happy with an EPL squad on a budget (unless its the Invincibles) but that really shouldn’t give people an excuse to act like whiny little princesses. I think most people know that our chances are lower with no new signings, theres no reason to reiterate the same point that everyone is already aware of. Thank u george and arsenemen, at least I can rest easy that there are some mature, positive, and emotionally stable Arse fans out there. The doomers out there like boy better know, left foot deuchbag and arsenal4ever, u guys need to realize that being a negative complainer is really pointless for u and others that have to read ur trite and well worthless (meritless) comments. I know I usually sound like an asshole when I’m on here but I’m usually only motivated to post when I’m either annoyed enough with the comments or actually have something productive to say (at which time I’m less off an a**hole). sorry for the long post, just wanna be clear

  49. ilya says:

    *common interest with me not in me lol:)

  50. arseneman says:

    Great post Ilya. I have friends that are tottenham fans that are more optimistic about them winning the prem than some of our ‘fans’ are about us winning it. It’s a damn shame.

    I believe wenger will buy a cb and maybe a keeper, but if he doesn’t it won’t mean we won’t win anything and are crap. Keep the Faith. Trust wenger.

  51. french gooner says:

    i agree with j too. lets support our team and enjoy the season and let wenger do his 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 !!!

  52. 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)
    why dont u go watch american ‘futbol’ instead

  53. 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.

  54. 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?

  55. […] 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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