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By Tom Lee
Having watched my team sailing through towards a nice and comfy routine victory over a mediocre side, and then gift them a way back into a dead match and end up dropping 2 points, I ask myself "When are we going to have a goalkeeper change in the side?"
I was ecstatic with Mannone's performance against Fulham as you could argue that he alone got us 3 points that day. However it seems that virtually every goal we have conceded since then has been his fault. Fortunately the goals against Blackburn (1st) and Birmingham haven't come back and bitten us in the backside, but West Ham's 1st goal today has, and hard.
He is a young goalkeeper with a lot of potential but shouldn't be starting ahead of Almunia and Fabianski who are both back and available now, especially with the match against the team we do not name next Saturday, as I would dread for him to cost us in that match and I would love to see Almunia get the nod from the professor in that game what with it being such a massive and important game and one where the GK could be tested more than against Blackburn, Birmingham and West Ham. I am worried at the fact that he dosn't seem to be getting punished for his mistakes at the moment and that Wenger just simply doesn't want to drop him for some reason.
I am aware of Mannone's abilities but I simply just do not think he should be starting between the sticks for Arsenal yet. We cannot afford to have such an achilles heel in the side, especiallly in the title race.
I would like to hear from people to see if there's more than just me that are desperate for a more senior keeper come in for the game against the team we do not name.
Mean Lean's Response
Clearly Manuel Almunia hasn't been at his best since the start of the season, he was making errors and didn't look focused. Only Wenger and the player knows if their is a problem or not but if he is fit and mentally focused then he should remain our number one goal keeper. The Almunia of last season was consistent, didn't make many errors and was pretty much unnoticed which means that he did the simple things well. Of course he was guilty of a few errors but if you can find a keeper that doesn't make any errors then I would like to see him.
If Almunia can get back to quietly doing his work without any fuss then I will be more than pleased to have him as our number one. His performance at Spurs should give us all some confidence.