As suggested in the title, I don’t actually think Arsenal were suffering that badly in the goalkeeping position last season. In fact i thought having two fairly good goalkeepers was great for the competition between them, driving each of them onto better things and David Ospina really coming into his own by the end of the season.
Rumours are circulating today that Cech has finally completed his £11 million move to Arsenal. Which don’t get me wrong is probably going to be one of the signings Arsenal have ever made. He is in my opinion still in the top 5 keepers in the world, but those who claim there was a crisis in the goalkeeping position are naive. This isn’t me arguing against the purchase of Cech, simply questioning those who have been criticising our keepers all season. Have Arsenal fans so easily forgotten the years and years of complete ineptitude delivered to us by Manuel Almunia? In my eyes the worst keeper to ever pull on the Arsenal shirt.
David Ospina despite all the odds was last season the best keeper in the league going by stats. I wouldn’t say he was by any means the most talented, and stats can often lie, but there has got to be something in the fact that he pulled off the most clean sheets, highest percentage of shots saved, and the least goals conceded per game of any goalkeeper playing more than 10 games. (Funnily enough Petr Cech is the only one with a better overall better performance over 5 games) So I question anyone saying Arsenal have particularly ‘needed’ a keeper. Especially when on the bench despite all his issues is a relatively young Woijciech Sczcesny who was actually a fairly good No.1 for a couple of seasons. Equally Arsenal have not had a stronger group of Goalkeepers at any time in the last decade, arguably even since David Seaman. Jens Lehmann was a very good keeper but later in his career his form waned and since him the likes of Almunia, Fabianski, and Mannone were never up to the standard of a club trying to win trophies. So now we have two international keepers on the books i ask what crisis?
My only actual issue with the purchase of Cech will be the all but inevitable sale of Ospina. Sadly given Sczcesny’s homegrown status the Columbian shot stopper is likely to be shown the door ahead of the Pole, who i would much rather see the back of in his place. The sale of Ospina is definitely something that i think may hurt Arsenal in the long run, as even though Sczcesny is ok, i doubt he’ll ever grow into the No. 1 Arsenal demand, and though Cech still has a few years in him it wont be long till Arsenal will be seeking a long term replacement. A position i feel Ospina would make his own, bearing in mind this guy has been in England for just one year and has been sensational. He could grow into a real cult hero, and it is rare to find a good keeper who seems to be ok fighting to the No. 1 jersey from No. 2. You cant buy that, and i think the gunners could regret it.
However, i should emphasise that the purchase of Cech is sensational and a real game changer. Even better when you consider that he only cost £11 million. Despite all my appreciation for Ospina, obviously Petr Cech is in another league, and it wasn’t too far of John Terry to say this morning that he is worth 15 points a year. Mourinho didn’t want to sell for a reason, and this buy can take arsenal to the next level. Not to mention the fact the Cech has won it all and can bring that winning attitude to an already positive dressing room. If Cech can use his chance at Arsenal to get back to his best and prove to Chelsea he never lost his talent, I think he could go as far as being the key piece in the puzzle for Arsenal’s title bid… after all this guy has been a thorn in our side for years, so it’ll be great to have him in our end for a change.