Monday, 27 September 2010

Arsenal targeted another Manuel for goalkeeper - Germany's number one Manuel Neuer

Morning Gooners.

It appears to be the calm before the storm today. In terms of Arsenal news around there isn't that much. Arsene had the team in for training yesterday morning ahead of today's trip to Belgrade.

I'm desperate to look ahead, but with no players talking to the media after the West Brom defeat we're left with scant little to go on.

So look back we must and to in particular our current goal keeping situation.

Our former manager George Graham was on BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme discussing Arsenal.

Of course Manuel Almunia's position in the team came up. Graham said:
"I think if you're going to really be realistic challengers for the Premiership you need a top top class goalkeeper.
"I think Almunia is a good goalkeeper, but there's about half a dozen good goalkeepers in the Premier League. I think Arsenal need an outstanding goalkeeper.
"I think they should be looking all round the world, not just in England or Europe."
And Arsenal have been scouting throughout Europe for a new keeper. Mark Schwarzer was a target we know that. He was supposed to be available at the right price and would give us cover whilst our younger goal keepers came through.

But circumstances from the start went against us and the rest is history.

A side note, the Daily Mirror are reporting that Fulham are set to offer the Australian a new deal which would see him end his career at Craven Cottage.

However Schwarzer wasn't the only keeper Arsene Wenger had set his sights on. Towards the end of the transfer window, when he realised his efforts too sign the Fulham goal keeper seemed doomed, he placed an enquiry with German side Schalke 04 for the availability of their first choice and Germany's World Cup keeper Manuel Neuer.

Neuer - who played in all but one of his countries World Cup games - was seen as a good alternative to Almunia. He was young - 24 years old - had international and Champions League experience and was a perfect fit for the Arsenal goal with a 6' 4" frame.

Schalke's manager Felix Magath gave consideration to Arsenal's bid but it was rejected in the final fortnight of the transfer window. Magath had just handed the captain's arm band to Neuer.

Chief scout Steve Rowley has since returned to Germany this month. However it is not clear whether he went to watch Neuer or another player.

So despite Arsene's best efforts to sign a goal keeper this past window, his offers were rejected.

As I've said countless times before, if the club you want to buy a player from don't want to sell there isn't much you can do. There aren't that many top class goal keepers around at the moment.

Unfortunately we were left in a position where we had to stick with what we've got. And I'm not sure that you can blame the manager for that when he tried his best to find a new number one goal keeper all summer.

Finally for this morning, if you're feeling all doom and gloom after our FIRST defeat of the season, read Steven Howard's column in The Sun.

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  1. It's a case of sticking rigidly to principles versus doing what's necessary to get the team as good as it can be.

    It seems like Arsene is prepared to wait and "use what we have" rather than give in to an over inflated price, even if it means relying on current players doing a better job than they have proven themselves capable.

    I'm not criticising Arsene for this, but surely there comes a point where you say 'what we have isn't good enough, so on this occasion we're going to have to pay more than he's worth'?

    Now the team looks like it's going to be stuck with Almunia, who is surely suffering immense mental strain already, until January.

    I'm no goalkeeping expert, but at the moment, it looks like the best one in the entire squad is Mannone.

    So at what stage is Arsene ever going to give in to paying 'too much', or is it the case that money related principles dictate how good the Arsenal squad is?

  2. How do you know he went for Neuer ?

  3. "And I'm not sure that you can blame the manager for that when he tried his best to find a new number one goal keeper all summer".

    In my hypothetical life as opposed to my real one my wife Megan Fox needed a new car after the birth of our second child. The Ford was reliable most of the time but didn't really fit in with Megans needs or aspirations. One day she came to me all exited. "Iv'e seen this lovely Mercedes at the Garage down the road its perfect and classy unfortunately its gonna cost a few quid., but will greatly enhance our quality of life". Life is good at the moment my business has made a very good profit this year, and last year, I do have a completely irrational liking for the Ford but even I understand the potential upside to bringing in the shiny new Mercedes,so off I go to the garage with my bulging wallet leaving Megan waiting expectantly in the kitchen (she cooks a mean curry by the way). As I approach the salesman the excitement begins to well up inside.
    "Hello" I am very interested in the shiny new Mercedes.
    "Oh that will be £30K. Well (I have about £100K in my wallet)
    £30,000 is a lot of money. Still It will give me many years good service and pay for itself over time. But £30K.
    "I'll give you £20K"
    "No sorry the price is £30K Its exactly what you need and you can afford it".
    I left it a few weeks and then went back.
    "I'll give you £20K" well you know the rest. Off home I went with a heavy heart.Walking into the kitchen Megans expectant eyes welled with tears when she saw the expression on my face. "Sorry love I tried but they wouldn't sell it to me. Its not my fault, we can make do with the Ford for a while longer.
    It was a long time before I tasted another of Megans wonderful curry's and even longer before I got any desert!!