24 responses

  1. Arsene-al

    great article as always, a beacon of light amongst all the anti arsenal propaganda. am i alone in thinking the fans are louder than usual. perhaps the AAA have freed some seats for the real arsenal fans to properly support our club. i feel the influence of the AAA is dwindling and there’s been a dramatic improvement in both the performance of the team and the atmosphere of home and away games. maybe im just riding the high of that thrashing at white tart but i think our boys aren’t the only ones that have matured

  2. The Blaze

    Even though i’m not Almunia’s biggest fan, he has had a brilliant start to the season. I always felt that one of his weak points as a goalkeeper is his positioning and his aerial ability. I still do. But it’s obvious that he has been working on it, especially on his presence in the air and i can appreciate that. When a cross comes in or when a high ball is approaching him, Almunia seems to jump at it with far more confidence than last season, his punch has been better and i feel a bit more assured when he goes for a high ball.
    It’s important that Almunia gets the support from everyone who cares about Arsenal. Maybe there’s a better goalkeeper out there, but we’re in September, Almunia is our #1 goalkeeper, so we might as well fully support him when he’s defending the Arsenal-goal. That is what i’ll be doing.

  3. critic

    agreed….some people just say he is bad and other just follow the suit…but what’s hurting is, most of the arsenal fan just abuse him b’coz some pundits say so and media shows so…
    i always rated him, he is a one of the best shot stopper in the business.
    People were blaming him for ngog’s goal at anfield!!!!just amazing!! such goal against vandersaar was spectacular and against arsenal it was alumunia’s fault…..speaks volume for fans ignorance…

  4. critic

    i think wenger should field his usual carling cup side this weekend, as seniors need some rest, but will he take such risk???well, we are at emirates and are used to sleepwalk such teams…no disrespect to WBA…

  5. Dark Prince

    Our goalkeeper’s position ga been highly controversial for few seasons now. Almunia has been targeted since he has replaced Lehmann, Fabianski since last season and few days ago i read on one of the arsenal blogs that Szczesny had given an interview where he said that ‘Wenger avoids me’. Its quite sad to hear all this. Even though i myself have expressed that we need a better goalkeeper, but it doesn’t mean we all need to start abusing Almunia. He has had decent start to this season. We should support him as much as we support any other Arsenal player.

  6. IndianGooner

    Almunia has been getting lots of support from the fans this season and he has acknowledged this in couple of games.. His form seems to be back to the levels of 2 seasons back. The form which helped him displace Jens.

  7. Armin

    Except keeper is always easy target to pick, if you like to hate and look for someone to blame for everything, I believe reason for all this fuzz is in fact that (more or less) last decades in Arsenal are marked with quite charismatic keepers, and Almunia is “just plain GK”.
    I believe Manolo is not the best GK in world, but he is fair enough to to be compared to most of keepers in PL, and more than sufficient for wining title.
    Those who rant against him has to understand,there is no perfect goalie, there are just ones whom we see more often. If you would watch as many Chavski or Barcelona games, as Arsenal ones, soon you would see that Czech or Valdes make mistakes too. Just when they make it, we don’t care, it cost us nothing so we are easy to forget.

  8. Terence McGovern

    I completely agree.

    There is more confidence to his overall game at the moment. We are not conceding many goals and he has has a few pretty tasty hollywood save moments as well, which I am delighted to say the crowd roared approval for.


  9. kiwigooner

    It is inherent in human nature to blame others, it is the easiest solution. It does not require a great deal of thought. Once the victim ahs been selected everyone can come up with a mistake or a fault to add to the avalance of ill feeling that inevidably flows downhill. School ground bullying is all it is. Everyone can remember the kid that was lowest on the pecking order, their life must have been hell. This is what AAA and the press are trying to do to Almunia. They have selected him to be the scapegoat and all of our failings are focussed soley on him and his performances.
    Removes the need to think, just pile the criticism on him whether deserved or not.
    Personally I think if he is a member of the team he should be supported, we win or lose together. Only then as a unit can we progress.
    Everytime we allow one of our own to be vitimised we are all diminished and our chances of success reduced accordingly. It must be music to the ears of those who wish us ill, for the seeds of discontent that they have sown are taking root and unfortunately starting to flourish.

  10. Mandy Dodd

    The so called AAA brigade, on the whole are festering in the feculence of their own fetid existance. I guess the genuine Arsenal fans amongst their numbers are entitled to their opinions but if the teams performances are shutting them up a bit, so much the better.
    I am impressed with the way Almunia has started the season, I would love to see him prove his doubters wrong.
    We now look – on most occasions – more solid at the back. This will help him and his confidence. There have been times recently when it has not been easy being an Arsenal gk.
    Just hope it is onwards and upwards for MA.

  11. A Casual Observer

    Nice article… and I agree with everything you say – I know fans, sensible fans, who have fallen into the trap of setting up certain players as ‘straw men’. This is a phenomenon that the modern fan seems to have generated not only via the blogs you mention but, as you also say, via the sustained media hate campaign aimed at our club – be it the editors of the Murdochracy cherry picking negativity to publish or the Arsenal hating commentators that seemed to be picked by the TV and Radio producers for ‘those matches’ where we face a hoofing.

    IMHO this is because we get mugged so consistently in the league i.e. sympathy from the neutral and probing questions from the fan base would no doubt rock the gravy-train somewhat – the integrity of the game must not under any circumstances come into question – there is too much money at risk… the arm chair dwelling self harmers on the hate sites who are unable to think outside the box and form a more plausible opinion for the ‘lack of silverwear’ (that they are brainwashed into believing, by the spectacular society, is the be all and end all orgasm that every fan in the universe is due by divine right) default to the apologist agenda of their ‘experts’ and peers… it is an easy path to walk – it is the path of least resistance for media-spun frustration to vent. It is a path with the illusion of strength but the reality of cowardice and insecurity.

    What I think is also worth a mention… and I can’t help myself mentioning things sometimes – is the Eboué effect (don’t laugh). Here we have a chap who was set up and scythed down by the self harmers and then rose from the flames with a confidence and verve that is an example to us all – the spirit he has shown I believe epitomises our club and will inspire players like Almunia, Denilson and Bendtner (although he’s never been short of confidence) to ignore the oppressors and focus on their game – he has been to rock bottom and, finding nothing there, he has bounced back with all he’s got.

  12. A Casual Observer

    oops – posted in the wrong bit! Delete please Tony 🙂

  13. A Casual Observer

    hang on… no – this is confusing – that is right.. the site has a bug. :-S

  14. Tony

    festering in the feculence of their own fetid existance


    And Casual – I do watch the tech side of the site quite avidly. We’re using word press, which is fairly solid and used everywhere, through my company’s servers (which means if there is a problem with the servers I know at once as it hits all the 100+ sites we have). I would never say, “there’s no problem” but at the moment, I can’t see anything amiss.

  15. Chowdhury

    “the arm chair dwelling self harmers on the hate sites who are unable to think outside the box and form a more plausible opinion for the ‘lack of silverwear’ (that they are brainwashed into believing, by the spectacular society, is the be all and end all orgasm that every fan in the universe is due by divine right) default to the apologist agenda of their ‘experts’ and peers…”

    Wow. Its an honor to be the fan of the same club with you “Casual Observer”.
    I am growing so frustrated with this “silverware” thing of late, I am seriously thinking[only thinking] of wishing that We don’t win any silverware for next 3 or 4 years, perhaps that would weed out the AAA pretenders and we will be left with a bunch who has brain enough to understand the core philosophy that is Arsenal. I must have missed it in my teachings but since when life is all about “winning something at any cost”?
    In Arsene We Trust.

  16. A Casual Observer

    lol – It might have been my eyes but I could have sworn it brought back the previous topic when I clicked post and then the original when I posted the other bit… anyhoo – I’ve posted too much! Feel free to delete my fluster (in fact please do – including this bit).

    Chowdhury… I thankyew – but it blogs like these that are the beacon of reason that cast the warm safe light in which we can post without the rabid hostility of the aforementioned. We grow in our number – we grow in our resolve – and one day we will be able to spit forth into these ‘empty vessels’ of deafening doom those words that lie forever on our stiff lips…

    …I told you so.


  17. Mandy Dodd

    Well – I have maybe been a bit harsh and over used these F words on some of these people – each to their own – maybe but I would love to know where some of these fans are coming from.
    The AAA equally annoy and intrigue me – maybe a bit Arsenal centric but I am not aware of any other club that does so well under difficult circumstances, produces such great football yet attracts the negativity we usually do.

  18. RedGooner

    I always believe what I see on the pitch when supporting a team and I have never had an issue with Almunia as many times when the press blamed him was when he was been fouled by teams like Blackburn and Stoke etc and not responsible for the goals.

    I think Mannone is our second best and Waznick needs a spell on loan from xmas onwards with a higher division team to allow him to develop further as right now he probably wouldnt be quite ready.
    Having said all that it is nice this year to see Almunia with a decent defence in front of him allowing him to show the difference working these new players kudos to AW in the transfer market.

  19. toby

    It always interests me that when goals are conceded, it’s often the goalkeeper that is “at fault”. But when clean sheets are kept, it is the “Back 4” that is applauded. Isn’t everyone’s perception of a goalkeeper’s class influenced by the quality of the defence that is playing in front of him?

    In the days of Dixon, Adams, Bould and WInterburn, yes we had a great goalkeeper, but before him we had Lukic, and I don’t recall him ever getting the flack that Almunia is getting – because he was playing behind a great back line!! I remember standing (yes, standing) in the North Bank at one game and Lukic hooked every bloody goal-kick into the dugouts, to the increasing groans of the North Bank. Eventually he managed to kick one down the middle of the field, turned around and gave a sneaky ‘thumbs up’ to the crowd behind him. That endeared him to the faithful, made him ‘one of us’, and made us forgive him for his transgressions.

    But my main point is this: with an ever-improving back 4 this season, everyone’s perception of Alumnia as goalkeeper will improve. In Arsene we trust: we’ll get a better goalkeeper this year, not by buying one, but showing confidence in the one we have (which will be repaid), and getting a better back-line in front of him. Kos’ and Squirt’s performances so far this season show that.

  20. Akshay

    Its a pretty thankless job, isn’t it, goalkeeping!! Your brilliant days are remembered by on a few, that too not for very long, And u get clobbered for the slightest mistakes u make…and ppl keep bringing it up all the time!
    I must confess that i too thought that Almunia should go, a number of times during that last season, & had given up all hopes when we failed to sign someone this time around. And i thank god that what i think really doesn’t matter & that its Wenger who has the last word.
    What many (and i venture to risk stating that it was a majority) of us never realised that our defence was pretty shaky last time around. And it kept exposing our goalkeeper & he became the softest target & everybody’s favourite whipping boy!! He certainly isn’t the best around but he certainly is one of the “very better” ones. And i hope that a much improved defensive line up & his impressive start to the season are signs of a silver lining.

  21. walter

    After seeing Schwarzer playing this season and after seeing Given playing yesterday with City than I really cannot see what that they are better than Almunia.

    Oh and by the way the Stoke attacker attacked Schwarzer at the second goal so he couldn’t run further. Just like Blackburn did this weekend on him. So having him in goal for us would make nu difference to Fabianski last season at Blackburn.

  22. Gooner Gal

    I hope Big Al keeps up his performances and this season proves to be a positive turning point for him.

    As for Wojciech Szczesny if the comments he’s been making are true I’d advise him to do three things.

    1. Sign new contract offered if you want playing time.

    2. Reconsider your counsel or get some in future, because speaking out this way will never achieve what you want and is the fast track to the exit. Surely the people around you should of given you better advice?

    3. Keep you head down and show total commitment in training.

    4. If the comments attributed to you are false or misconstrued, ask Arsenal.com to do some damage limitation on your behalf

    It would be a shame to loose a good goal keeping prospect.

  23. Diamindave

    a bit late I know but I think Almunias dissing by the press started after he was linked to be England goalkeeping position. The inherent xenophobia within English football (and a lot of the commentators on the game) reared its ugly head and any mistakes that big Al made got noted and regurgitated at an appropriate moment.

  24. Mandy Dodd

    Unfortunately, it just got tougher for him.
    The majority of the team were a complete let down, not sure why Diaby was on the pitch for so long but ultimately, Almunia will get all the wrong sort of headlines.
    I love Wenger to bits but this keeper thing does bug me.
    I really want it to work for Almunia but not sure he is the top notch keeper we need or ever will be

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