By Tony Attwood
One of my arguments about blogs and newspapers, not to mention radio and TV stations, is that the commentators seize on an idea and run with it.
So the idea grows that Arsenal have a rubbish goalkeeper and need to replace him. Also Arsenal “needs to trim a hefty wage bill.” That’s from the Guardian but you read it everywhere. But who says? The directors? Not that I can see. So it must be the hangers on. Or those all knowing pesky journalists!
Anyway that suggests that if we are going to get rid of our goalkeeper we are going to bring in someone of less experience – while at the same time bemoaning the fact that we should have kept Emi Martinez.
Two keepers are suggested. Neto of Barcelona (that’s Caught Offside) and Andre Onana of Ajax (again from Caught Offside, although I am not sure if they are just hedging their bets or it they are wanting to stir up trouble and dismay.) TBR also have Onana as our incoming keeper, despite the fact that they recognise he is currently serving a 12 month ban!
But why do they want to get rid of Leno?
We know that Mr Arteta must have had some faith in him since he sold Emi Martinez and kept Bernd Leno in the September transfer window, and many have argued that this was a huge mistake. But let’s consider what those in the business like to call “the statistics” for this season just past.
|Players||Season||Club||Goals conceded||Clean sheets|
|Emi Martinez||2021/22||Aston Villa||46||15|
OK Villa let in more goals but had more clean sheets. What’s the more important?
And Fo Lo admit that Bernd Leno has insisted he is still happy at Arsenal. Note the use of “still” – implying that it is quite amazing that with a club in this much crisis and turmoil (which we know to be true because the media keeps telling us) has a happy keeper. And he is happy, FoLo says, “despite reports he could leave this summer.”!
And reports from whom, we may ask. Why its Football London! They also invariably mention the Leno is German. Why is the fact that he is German worth of mention I wonder. We are never told.
But the the infamous FoLo do tell us that “football.london understands Leno is open to leaving Arsenal this summer with the club willing to sell him for the right price. It comes with a number of young prospects in the wings, including Arthur Okonkwo, who is set for a new deal amid interest from a number of top clubs around Europe.”
No evidence of course – but then you can’t expect journalists to reveal their sources. They will reveal their biases all day long, but not their sources… because… their sources are by and large fantasists.
So how did Leno, and our ex-man Martinez get on last season? If the league is measured in terms of defences Arsenal were third conceding 39 goals – three more than Chelsea.
- As for Leno here are the details…
- Joined Arsenal in 2019, 9th best defence. 51 goals against
- In 2020 8th best defence. 48 goals against
- in 2021 third best defence 39 goals against
Now we can argue about how much of this was Leno, but basically Leno is the man who is getting better.
|Time span||Played||Goals against per game|
|2020/21 all season||38||1.03|
|2019/20 all season||38||1.26|
|2018/19 all season||38||1.34|
|2017/18 all season||38||1.34|
That gives the hint that since Christmas it wasn’t just the attack that improved it was the defence too. But here is one more bit of data that might be of interest.
|Club||Goals conceded since Xmas||Position|
|West Ham United||26||7|
Yes for the last two thirds of the season we had the third best defence in the league equal with Manchester Un, and better than the might of Liverpool, Leicester and Tottenham.
So I ask again, why given that our defence was doing so well, would we spend time selling our goalkeeper? Apart from the answer “because he’s shit” which I have been sent a couple of time, and which I reject on the grounds that there is a certain lack of logic there, I have no answer.
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