Let's Debate

David Seaman, Jens Lehmann and Matty Almunia So who was the best goalkeeper out of the three? I’d have to say big old Dave without a doubt. I’m sure most of you would agree. Seaman in his prime was an immense player. He only made a few mistakes is his whole career (all of them highly publicised) and if ever a keeper saved us points during a season, it was the golden oldie himself. Lehmann was his successor and in his first season was outstanding – remember he was the only keeper to go a whole season without losing a game. Both Seaman and Lehmann maybe stayed a season too long and this was apparent in their falling from grace. Finally, when Almunia joined us – an unknown goalkeeper plucked out of “La Liga Secunda Divisionio” [replace with correct spelling]. One of his early first team Carling Cup was against Man United, if I am correct, where his fumble in the first minute or so cost us the game. He’s been a steady keeper and not done anything majorly wrong. His performance against Sp*rs was probably one of the most questionable, but his recent captaincy also showed his desire and leadership quality. What’s your verdict? Nigel Winterburn, Ashely Cole and Gael Clichy Should Flamini have been included, well not really based on his position, although he did play admirably in our Champions League run in 2006. Should Sylvinho be included, maybe because of his goal against Chelsea… But in reality, let’s compare the three above. Winterburn obviously was part of a formidable back four, probably the best defender out of the three, but you’re looking at Winterburn at a time when he was about 7 years older than Clichy, so is it fair to compare? Of course it is. Clichy’s work-rate and desire stands out as his qualities. He’s been incredible, shown immense stamina and courageous running. Clichy’s spirit is what’s it’s all about. I’ve never seen such emotion from a left back. He’s currently strained from the pressure of losing and he’s made a few mistakes recently. The one thing about Gael is you know that you he will learn from his mistakes. I felt so sorry for the guy when he scored the own goal on the weekend because you know he was trying so hard. Winterburn or Clichy? (Cole is disloyal, money grabbing **** so is automatically excluded). Lee Dixon, Lauren and Bacary Sagna So, as I write this, I swear I am missing an awesome right back. Okay, so Lee Dixon, whom we used to love, the no-nonsense Man City supporter. A fierce defender and deft crosser of the ball. But as Lee Dixon has started his media career, he’s lost some of his old shine. So over to Lauren. He was a player’s player. He was pretty good going forward, and did take a nervy penalty that equalled a win against Sp*rs. Sagna is the current right back and there is something very solid about him as a player. He’s rarely puts a foot wrong. He has a cross on him, can also get stuck in and is a good header of the ball. The major worry nowadays is that the player is becoming increasing injury prone. Ah, the awesome right back I forgot was actually Eboue – yes, he was awesome for one season, 2006 and then last year and this year, he’s regressed into the player that was at Beveren. No, Luzhny was surely the awesome rigt back? Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Steve Bould, Kolo Toure, Sol Campbell, William Gallas, Senderos, Stephanovs and… The centre back list just rolls of the tongue and there have been some great centre backs. Again, who am I missing? Tony Adams and Martin Keown stand out as a great partnership. A simple no nonsense approach to defending. Ball in the air, first one to head it wins. If in doubt, get it out. Take the ball, and if it takes it, take the man too. Campbell and Toure were pretty good together too, and there’s a theme forming here. A tall no nonsense defender, with a slightly more ball playing one. Sol at his prime, was awesome. He literally defended everything. I remember times when it felt that he was a one man wall. But he lost it mentally when his abilities started failing him… which brings me to Senderos. He’s a pretty damn good defender and at the start of his career, when his place in the team was debatable, he excelled next to Toure. But as the place became his, youthful energy turned into the inconsistency and mistakes. He was shipped off to Milan and Gallas and Silvestre have now taken the mantle. The jury is still out… Okay, I wanted to do the whole team tonight, but it’s taken me about an hour whilst watching house to get this far… so let’s just discuss the back five… More tomorrow…]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Dev ur killing me with ur analysis.Ur the right man for this job of blogging. Hope Wenger is aware of all these.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Jens Lehmen in the season we got to the Champions League final - without doubt. Ok, so he got sent off and possibly cost us the game - but he got us there in the first place - his performances all season were brilliant. Compare that to Nayim from the half way line.... Almunia is competent and nothing more. He makes some fine saves but he isn't Peter Cech. Wing backs, Clichy and Sagna. I reiterate my belief that they are the best in the league in their positions, and probalby the best Arsenal have had since I started watching. In terms of centre backs the Adams/Keown parntership is obviously the best - ironically under Wenger they flourished despite making their names under Grahams dour 1-0 football. Anyone remember Adam's goal in our champiosnhip winning game at home to Everton? I still get shivers. Individually the best players we've had are Keown/Adams/Campbell and I'd struggle to pick two from the three. Toure is great but he seems hit and miss depending on who he is standing next to. Gallas has been mediocre. He's made some great chalenges but his attitude and mistakes have cost us. You better pick John Jenson when you do midfield Dev, I was there!]]>

  • Richiebacardi

    < ![CDATA[Nodding my head agreeingly with you kieran...Lehman was definitely a better keepe, especially when he was angry! However a liability to get himself into trouble! The matches I've been to this season, Almunia seems to be getting more out of people than Gallas when he shouts out to players. Chicuy...Unlucky on saturday and against s*urs, but my player of the season so far. Always extremely hard working. Pi**ed off, I'm sure AW is aware but there's nothing he can do about bringing back the past. What me also mybe need to do is pick a best 16 from what we got now. Youngsters ano not so youngsters. We've got so much talent now and i think that's the problem AW is having. Picking the best 11. I think he's trying to give everyone a run so that they don't jump ship cuz they're not getting enough 1st. Team footie. But when this is done, how about the best of what we got now. I'd be interested cuz I wouldn't be able to start.. Dev?]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[Seaman was THE man. I loved him, and think he wins it by a long way. The current teams biggest downfall is their mental attitude, and Seaman was far ahead of Lehmann in that regard. Almunia could be replaced, but he is a fine goalkeeper. Seaman wins this. Sagna and Clichy for me too. If they were beside the CBs Dixon and Winterburn had the plessure of playing with, then the defence would be incredible. They are the complete full backs. Bags of ability, and they can really get stuck in. Maby they lack a bit of positional sense but it wouldn't matter if the following defenders were with them. Keown and Adams. Only Campbell comes close. Our current CBs are lightyears away in every way. They are DE-FEN-DERS. They defend, you know. None of this extra bollocks CBs are adament on implementing into their games. Ok so it may mean you have less counter-attacking situations when the ball is hoofed, but if you don't concede you only need to score once anyway. 1-0, to The Arsenal! Wenger should bring in a defensive tactician, shove the defenders with him half of the training sessions and he can live out his dream with the mid/att. The defence needs solidifying, its like jelly at the moment. Wobbly as heck and doesn't take much to penetrate it. It should be made of brick!!! For me the midfield and attack is clear cut and basicly the unbeatables.]]>

  • jpm

    Idiots who make stupid comments like…’we should of played the kids’. Ok. If we played the kids against Villa on saturday, we would of got spanked by a larger margin you morons! The reason the ‘kids’ supposedly seem to be looking much better and more fluent on the ball when playing other teams (we have only played Wigan this season anywhere, so dont know where all of a sudden this misconception that these kids are world beaters has come from), is because other teams set up shop differently when playing the kids as opposed to the first team. The kids other teams ACTUALLY try and play football against, i guess they feel that there’s no need to play physcially, as they are only kids, so, like occurred, Wigan and Sheffield united tried to play a technically footballing match. Subsequently, all that was established is that technically, our youngsters are extremely good, and therefore won both these games with ease. The difference is, very few teams take this approach with our first team. They use more defensive pyhsical tactics, and hence our problems to break them down (think about it!! Man United actually tried to play against us, and im not saying we are supirorly better than them technically, but if they had played a negative physical game, would surely have taken the 3points). This is the same reason why (although only a small appearance) Vela didint look nearly as comfortable in the first team than against Wigan. THEY’RE PLAYING A DIFFERENT GAME!!! Plus, teams also play a different game in cup competition than the league. Wigan came for the win, if it had been a league game, they probably would of played for a draw. I know we have problems at the moment with our first team, but some people should think before they make stupid comments (my apologies, t’was a Bristol City fan…says it all!)”

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[I know this is not what we're discussing right now, but I'm totally pissed that Walcott's dislocated his shoulder cos of that stupid friendly! I usually don't have a problem with them, but I do now!!! And this is such a crucial time for the team... I wonder how Wenger must be feeling! As far as the debate going on, I'm quite young, we'll, not really (20's old nowadays! at least to me) and I've not been a football fan for a long time (being a girl and all ;) ) so most of what I know about some of the old players is just hearsay. I do prefer Almunia to the current Lehmann cos Almunia, as far as I am concerned anyway, gets better as time goes by (Sp*rs was just a fluke! ;) ) whereas Lehmann right now is the scariest person to have in goal cos you totally don't know what to expect with him! I'd pick Clichy over any left back in the world! His attitude and workrate are totally unbelievable and even if he scores like the winning OWN goal in the Champions league final or something, he'll still be in my team. I think he's been our best player so far this season by a mile! He's worldclass, definitely. If only we had 2 proper centerbacks to partner him and Sagna, we'd arguably have the best defence in the league. I'm unsure of the other defenders we have right now, although I think Djourou, if he plays loads more game can be excellent in defence! He's got height and a bit of a no nonsense attitude which is something Gallas needs to be taught sometimes!]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[JPM - very relevant. Debs - you're right about the defence - its criminal that such brilliant wingbacks are part of such a makeshift defence.]]>