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Transfer Window…The Mourning After

Yesterday marked the closing of the transfer window, something we Gooners have come to fear/put all our hopes into. In past years, we’ve made some rather stunning purchases, but alas, the most obvious one of the entire summer never came to fruition. Call it what you may, from Wenger’s intransigence to perceived failure of the higher-ups to nab his transfer targets, the purchase of a quality goalkeeper which the majority of fans thought was an obvious necessity never materialised in quite underwhelming fashion. 0600 pm came and went with barely a whisper of hope.

Perhaps fingers can be pointed at Wenger for waiting this late to make a decisive move. Secondly, maybe the market was as tepid as he claimed it to be. Regardless, two things had to be accomplished this summer: the retention of Cesc, and the replacement of Almunia. Whether the former is significant enough to make up for the shortcomings of the latter remains to be seen. In my observation, Almunia has cost the Arsenal too many points in previous years. As good of a character as people think him to be, he nevertheless is not of the requisite quality to be an asset to the squad. At this point, conventional wisdom would surely be to back him, despite his lack of ability. It’s bad enough to have a sub-standard keeper, and it’s absolutely nightmarish to have one without confidence. That being said, there were some positives to take from this summer.

The Defenders

The acquisitions of both Koscielny and Squillaci were a welcome sight. It showed true conviction on Wenger’s part. Of course, there are fans who think these two defenders are not good enough, but I trust Wenger’s judgment over theirs. Koscielny has so far done well enough, and will surely get stronger, and most importantly, better. Squillaci, in the meantime, will be able to jump straight into the squad. We now have at the Club three defenders capable of being positive assets to our title push this year. Djourou could be a 4th option, but his fitness is always in doubt.

The Striker

The free signing of Marouane Chamakh, albeit belated, is a massive step in the right direction. His ability to be a high-quality replacement whenever van Persie is making his monthly visit to the treatment table is an improvement upon last year’s squad. He, like Koscielny, will only improve as they become more adjusted to the team’s style of play.

El Capitan

Wenger’s success in persuading Cesc to stay with us this year is, pardon the cliche, like a new signing. His desire to move to Barcelona during the summer cannot be debated, but neither can his professionalism or commitment to the Arsenal cause. Therefore, Gooners around the world should sleep better knowing we have the best center midfielder in the world as part of our ranks. His staying not only is an injection of real quality, but should be one of inspiration to the rest of the team. No doubt they place great faith in his abilities, so to have seen him depart would have been a real kick in the teeth to the squad. Instead, quite the opposite has happened. Here’s to many more goals and assists to come from our young Fab.

The transfer window has left us Gooners with as many questions as answers. Will Koscielny justify his price tag? Will Cesc replicate his previous form? Can Chamakh fill in adequately for van Persie? And finally, will Almunia let 25 yard hit-and-hope vollies fly through his hands down at the White Hot Swamp again? If everything works out in the positive, it might’ve been a summer of real success. If any number of factors goes awry, there could be trouble on the horizon.

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xainuddinx
xainuddinx
10 years ago

perfectly written piece!

kurt
kurt
10 years ago

i dont think you can blame wenger or even the higher ups for not getting a GK… they tried, they offered… AW doesnt buy for the sake of buying… either he got his targets or he didnt want anyone else… and it makes sense…why take a chance and be saddled with a failure… i guess almunia will step up his game now that he knows that come jan, he might be replaced if he doesnt improve…

kisekka
kisekka
10 years ago

If this time we dont get any thing i never fogive wenger. He knows his goal keeping is dead but, still he refused to buy agoal keeper.
May be he is trying reserve his exchose at the end of the season.
So wenger should know will be responsible for whaever will happen this season

Erichero
Erichero
10 years ago

I’m not looking forward to match reviews this season where every single goal is being blamed on Almunia. If that’s so, it could be a very long season, even if we win the Quadruple.

Aussie Jack
Aussie Jack
10 years ago

Cesc Fabregas is a good player, a very good player and not so long ago a very exciting player. Then, at the tender age of 21 years ,we loaded him with the captaincy and bit by bit he started to slow and lose his zest. The expression on his face says a lot, he is sad but trying so hard to be professional and saying the right things as is expected of him. To me he has the appearance of a young man being crucified by expectations. He was ill advised to sign a long term contract, it has now… Read more »

Gooner1971
Gooner1971
10 years ago

Couple of things. It should never have been the club’s desire to replace Almunia rather it should have been a priority to replace Fabianski. Almunia is a great ambassador for the club, he loves Arsenal and would be a great back up to a capable number 1. Unfortunately I can find no positives in Fabianksi and he should have been sold or rather paid to leave. Secondly, whatever Wenger said to convince Cesc to stay, I suspect it would have involved squad strengthening. With 7 players out and three in suspect Cesc is feeling a little let down. Expect him… Read more »

Hendry Rupini
Hendry Rupini
10 years ago

Wenger should have bidded 4 mill for Mark in the first place itself, When stockdale was fit and Fulham had enough time to find a replacement. What’s the point in bidding 4 mill. in the dying hours of the transfer window and missing out Mark.
Bad Wenger…

Ejike
Ejike
10 years ago

Well said man. Let’s just get behind Almunia. Goodluck to the Arse.

Bendtnersdad
Bendtnersdad
10 years ago

Very poor show not getting a better quality keeper. Seriously, it’s not much of a leap to improve on what we have is it? I can’t believe Given wouldn’t have run down the motorway to join us. I had high hopes of getting someone capable in and pushing on to challenge the big boys but that will be a lot harder without stability behind the defence. Hope springs eternal I guess. Up the Arse!

Siva
Siva
10 years ago

the emergence of wilshere and the more sustained presence of rosicky and/or nasri can be a big factor this season. looking at jack and rosicky, i feel it was good that we disnt sign Cole. also keeping Sol could have been sentimental, but if he had insisted on being first choice when he cannot play full 90 mins regularly, there wasnt any point keeping him, defence works well in partnerships.

J. Gooner
J. Gooner
10 years ago

Perhaps Arsene never wanted marky mark… Maybe he was “in the hunt” to please us knowing it wouldn’t come to fruition. Almunia, I’ll eat my words, is no worse than Schwarzer, that being said, I’m pleased we’ve started the season on a possitive. An away trip to anfield and a game against fat Sam and his thugs & ewood, escaping w/4 points is nothing to scoff at.

I.b
I.b
10 years ago

Good write up.let just pray for injury free&lucky for Arsenal

brian
brian
10 years ago

Another transfer window has come and one , and arsenal fans need to look at the net effect of wengers dealings . lets start at no.1,the goalie. Nothing done to improve our lot, were stuck with the spanish waiter and the pollack. Definately a problem ahead of us. Defence- good steady strong players bought and tired has beens sold. Overall a good trade. Midfield- nothing in or out.Would have liked to see the back of diaby and eboue . Forwards-chamak in but nothing else. we are going to battle here , Van P and bentnail are injury prone (3 games… Read more »

Davidclark
Davidclark
10 years ago

lets face it this has been another very dissapointing transfer window for gunner fans. It is been very clear over the last few seasons Arsenal do not have the physcal attributes to deal with demands of the premier league, hence the number of injuries, so what does Wenger do but sign the smallest back in prem history. I wounder if he can deal with strikers like Rooney and Drogba and come on wenger Abu Diabi is the worst player in gunner history just because he is french dosnt mean you cant sell him, he breaks down every attack and his… Read more »

Thaw zin
Thaw zin
10 years ago

We must trust Wenger. He is the god of taking young talent. Hoping to see the EPL Title this season.

Johnyfromdownunder
Johnyfromdownunder
10 years ago

Nice article… Pep Guardiola stated in leg 1 vs Barcelona… Walcott played well but the real reason Arsenal drew was because Almunia made 1000 saves….

Almunia has shown quality, inconsistency but if even his own fan base cant get behind him and support him, his mentality would be ‘ why do i have to prove myself to these ignorant dweebs ‘

Im sure he has had offers from other clubs during this break and for that, his loyalty to a club whos fans turned their back on is admirable.

Arsenal for the win. !

Johnyfromdownunder
Johnyfromdownunder
10 years ago

@Johnyfromdownunder: Also, Koscielny i think is a great investment as is Squilaci and Chamakh the best free transfer of the season across all top flight competions over the world. 3 bursts of quality is enough for me to believe we have what it takes to take home trophies this year.

DAF
DAF
10 years ago

The Almunia of 2008-9 was a good enough keeper IMHO. If he can replicate that form we’ll be OK. Would Schwarzer have been any better? Doubtful (look at his performance at the Emirates in May – and several times at The World Cup). Would someone like Given have been any better? Probably. Are goalkeepers like Given even for sale? Doubtful – especially by Citeh to one of their closest rivals this season – no way! Better goalkeepers than Almunia DO exist elsewhere. But whether a club (even Arsenal) can go out and buy who they like even if they have… Read more »

Mohamed Zubairu
Mohamed Zubairu
10 years ago

To say that our problems were strike reinforcement and goalkeeper is an understatement. Wenger made it clear that we needed defensive reinforcement. The defense is a whole department consisting or at least six personnel. Sorting out defensive lapses begins with getting all our players involved in defensive duties when we lose the ball. We also need a defensive formation in difficult games by making use of two defensive mid fielders. We also need good defenders and of course a good goalkeeper. If all the other elements are in place, the goal keeper should perform better. Since we have made good… Read more »

Arsenalgunner27
Arsenalgunner27
10 years ago

well, Alumnia has done well so far this season. but everytime he makes a blunder the media will jump on his back though. To be honest, if you watch keepers in the Premier League, you’ll see Van der Sar and Pepe Reina make blunders but nobody jumps onto them, and Gomes for Tottenham in Mid Season made some really stupid errors. its just dragging the keeper down is what will always happen and we’ll just have to ignore it. But I think almunia will do aryt for now, I mean, Ewood is one of the toughest matches in the Premier… Read more »

mike
mike
10 years ago

Well,i am not happy.But i will not crow too loudly when we in for the championship or leading in the FA cup final and our goalie blunders again and again.Arsene surely had a chance to get a world class goalie (mark scwartzer was not the answer),the fact is he never intended to purchase one and he will eventually live and die by his decision in the eyes of all Arsenal fans

xainuddinx
xainuddinx
10 years ago

@Gooner1971: totally agree with you. Almunia is matured enough to know he needs to and will perform at the highest level for Arsenal. what is actually needed to worry about is the fact that Fabianski will be his replacement should he get injured or unable to play. im hoping that he gets loaned out and Schezny/Manonne will be behind Almunia.

soccergirl
10 years ago

Why did Wenger leave it so late, Fulham would not be selling a goalkeeper without replacing him at such a short notice.

The Left Hand Of HENRY
The Left Hand Of HENRY
10 years ago

13 May Speaking to members of the London Freight Club at the Connaught rooms yesterday, former Arsenal great Bob Wilson told the attendees that he was privy to certain information that gave him the belief that neither Almunia nor Fabianski will be the Arsenal number one next season. I am sure the wider media will get hold of this story soon enough, the only reason you are reading this is owing to my accountant being present at the special lunch organised by the London Freight Club. Bob was invited to come along as the guest speaker, and was naturally apprehended… Read more »

fan
fan
10 years ago

great article.

GunnerMacedonia
GunnerMacedonia
10 years ago

I have a feeling that almunia will play good this year, he will feel much safer than last year, now we have big and strong players in central defence. as i said before, i will repeat: THERE`S A TRANSFER WINDOW IN JANUARY! so if almunia isn`t good enough, we`ll buy schwarzer or loan given, fulham will get a propergk instead of schwarzer, everyone`s pleased and happy. we`re doing good till now, let`s hope to continue doing that. Gunner 4 Life! 😀

The Left Hand Of HENRY
The Left Hand Of HENRY
10 years ago

what i cant understand is how everyone thinks kos is stronger or better than billy G? did yous not watch El Hadj Diof push him to one side on blackburns goal… put squeeky beside TV5 until kos beefs up… other than strength kos seems quite good but not sure if he’s better than the incredible SULK though

Stu
Stu
10 years ago

It’s time to get behind Almunia. No point destroying his confidence as we all know who is next in the pecking order.

ole
ole
10 years ago

Good article! But I belive that Almunia is under-rated and MS is hardly any better. Against BlaBurn I thought he was man of the match. Almunia cost us some points last season, but not as many as our defence!! If the defence gets better Almuna gets better. Against Barca at home Alumnia saved us from the most embaresing 90 min of arsenal FC history. And against spurs when he saved Keans penalty!! Give him support, he will come trough!!! We can win this year I am sure!!! P.S: Damstar you f…… c…!!

Tshepo
Tshepo
10 years ago

Very disappointed that we didnt get a goalkeeper,Almunia’s performance looks like a non league goalie.anyway we should get behind and support him,complaining at this time wont help.i have a good feeling about this season.

Afc kings
Afc kings
10 years ago

Stu I agree, almunias Been a loyal servant and can be a good keeper with a decent centre half pairing in front of him, we’ve all gotta get behind him now and show him a bit of the loyalty back that he’s given us. I was at Blackburn Saturday and I sensed he thought he was on his way out! To be honest we all felt for him a bit in our section, nobody wants to make mistakes but he ain’t had much help from his back four has he?

xainuddinx
xainuddinx
10 years ago

not to mention, pushing Almunia down the pecking order with a new goalkeeper might not go down very well with his one and only spanish compatriot, Fabregas. imagine then how it would be had another French keeper replaced him. strangely to me, Almunia is a much more loyal spanish player to Arsenal than Fabregas, what with him wanting to join barca and all.

GoonerDareMKD
GoonerDareMKD
10 years ago

@xainuddinx: If almunia was near quality as Casillas and one of our best players he would leave for barca or real in the first bid they will make for him, anyway we all need to support him because for this year he is our number 1 and with our support he can only improve so stop moaning and get behind the guy he will gain confidence and he will be good , but if you moan him every week for one mistake he made in one game he will be more shit and will make more mistake he will lose… Read more »

GoonerDareMKD
GoonerDareMKD
10 years ago

@xainuddinx: If almunia was near quality as Casillas and one of our best players he would leave for barca or real in the first bid they will make for him, anyway we all need to support him because for this year he is our number 1 and with our support he can only improve so stop moaning and get behind the guy he will gain confidence and he will be good , but if you moan him every week for one mistake he made in one game he will be more error prone and will make more mistake he will… Read more »

xainuddinx
xainuddinx
10 years ago

@GoonerdareMKD: LOL! fullstops mate.

Ricky
Ricky
10 years ago

Voice your opinions were it matters most gooners.

http://www.arsenal.com/supportcentre/showContact/-2?setLogin=false

john jenson
john jenson
10 years ago

I dont get the “Almunia will do better with a good back four in front of him” bit????

he had a good back four in front of him last year too

soccergirl
10 years ago

Another good article, you would think though a club as big as Arsenal could have named 25 players, there only seems to be 20 listed.

citygunner
citygunner
10 years ago

Chris, you should get this Cade Roberts of a guy to write more often, he’s a very articulate writer

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