The Biased View
Am I really going to be a partial observer to anything Arsenal ever do? No, of course not. That would be ludicrous. I mean, I could give it a good shot.
Arsenal are… are…
Okay, so that isn’t going to work. But does it stop this little writer commenting on every last bit of detail, no, of course not.
Lets look at the news, oh, Arsenal are after Jens Lehmann? This is the part where I’m expected to laugh uncontrollably, point at all my Arsenal supporter friends and say, ‘At least our keeper doesn’t have a pension’.
But, I won’t, I’ll be impartial, because if I state that now, you wouldn’t believe me based on the rest of this text. Because whichever way you look at this story, it is quite possibly one of the most ridiculous and stupidest things Arsene Wenger has even thought about doing. See, totally not biased at all.
Background check, Jens Lehmann, 41, from Germany, signed first for Arsenal back in 2003 to replace David Seaman. What followed was five years of a wide range of things stretching from sheer brilliance to absolute insanity. He eventually plodded back to Germany in 2008 to sign for VfB Stuttgart, before retiring two years later.
Meanwhile Arsenal struggled to find a capable and consistent goalkeeper, first there was Manuel Almunia, then Lukasz Fabianski and finally Wojciech Szczęsny, a name I had to copy from Wikipedia for this to work. Here could be the point I would list the amount of howlers from all three of those keepers, but I plan on this post being finished before Christmas.
So, the solution when Szczesny gets injured? Lehmann. A 41 year old retired goalkeeper. A man who is unlikely to have touched a ball in anger for over six months. This idea is br… oh, that will be biased, I mean, this idea is dreadful.
First things first, yes, I know goalkeepers are supposed to peak in their 30s, and several goalkeepers are still playing in their 40s. Stand up Edwin van der Sar and David James. However, can you say they are playing well? Van der Sar has made several high profile errors this season, and David James has shipped in 49 goals and Bristol City are 18th in the Championship, a league they were expected to be promotion contenders in.
Arsenal have appeared to forget about the one obvious form to bring in a new signing, emergency loan. Ah, remember that Spurs fans, our old mate Martin Fulop committing several stunning saves in that Champions League ‘play-off’ against Manchester City at the end of last season. And hey, they got him despite having about twelve fit keepers in the reserves. That is about eleven more than Arsenal appear to have.
Who to get, there are some brilliant keepers who are stuck on the bench. Tim Krul, who I maintain is the best young keeper in England right now. His performances in the UEFA Cup against Palermo several seasons ago (back when Newcastle United were in Europe, yeah, that was only 2006) were staggeringly impressive. And then think about others, Fulham with Schwarzer or Stockdale (whichever happens to be the reserve).
The point is Arsenal don’t need to resort to Lehmann, just because he is a free agent and one of their old players should mean nothing. Get in quality, reliability, not just a known face.
Although, if they want to get him, it would be fantastic…. oh, sorry, I just couldn’t help that one.