Arsenal vs Man City Preview

The curse of a blogger occurred yesterday in full force as the blog "ins and outs" were written nice and tidily - only for a host of announcements to follow contradicting pretty much 70% of the thoughts of yesterday's blog... so...

Arsenal v Manchester City
Barclays Premier League, Emirates Stadium
Saturday, April 04, 2009, 15:00

Tomorrow sees us take on Manchester City at the Emirates, raring to avenge the early season defeat at the reverse fixture, and good news is that we have Cesc, Ade and Theo back in the squad. Bad news is that we’ve got RVP, Eduardo (who suffered a very surprising injury – a groin injury – which is also strange because he supposedly picked it up with 10 minutes to go and wasn’t substituted!) and Diaby are out… And to top all of that off, we’ve also got Nasri and Vela out due to the flu and fatigue respectively.

Bloody IBS.

If you’ve heard Arsene speak about the injuries, you’ll be surprised to hear that Nikki B informed Arsene of his condition by text, how very modern… surely a phone call to discuss the injury / fitness would have been more appropriate…

“We have lost Robin van Persie for a groin problem. We have also lost Eduardo through a groin problem, he picked it up after 80 minutes in the Croatian game. We lose as well Abou Diaby with a thigh problem that he picked up in France in training. We might lose Nasri too because he came back with flu and could not practice today.

“So three players are out and there is a question mark over Nasri. But Fabregas, Adebayor and Walcott are all back and available in the squad. Nicklas texted us last night and said everything was alright with him. But Carlos Vela, I count out because he lands on Friday morning at 10.30am. However if needed he can be in the squad.”

Okay, now that we know who can / cannot play tomorrow, we can finally have a go at some sort of potential line up… here goes:

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy

Eboue – Denilson – Cesc – Arshavin

Adebayor – Bendtner

I’d expect Walcott to start on the bench as he’s most probably going to be very important for Tuesday with Arshavin illegible, but then again, I may be totally wrong… So the bench should look like: Fabianski, Gibbs, Djourou, Song, Ramsey, Wilshere and Walcott.

A few other things to discuss today – firstly – my thoughts and the thoughts of many other fans out there go to the 19 people who unfortunately died at Ivory Coast’s World Cup Qualifier against Malawi. Aweful stuff, and utterly pain staking and shocking. Of course, Toure and Eboue were there and I wonder how that would affect them mentally before the game – it’s a lot to take in.

And in other news… Arsene has been discussing his “points for goals” idea – I’ll touch more on that soon – but I’m a fan of the 2 points for a score draw, 1 for a 0-0. And Barcelona have been in the news again tapping up Cesc – I’ll touch more on that one soon too!

For today, I’ll leave you with a bit of Almunia optimism… I’d have to say, you’ve definitley g’d me up for tomorrow’s game Manuel…

“People should be optimistic about our form. We realise how strong we can be and the players are mentally better, more aggressive and everything is improving now as players coming back. With eight games left in the league, we are trying to do great things. In the rest of the competitions, we have the same possibilities as the others. We will try to bring the supporters good moments because they deserve it.”

Adios.]]>

  • Fo

    < ![CDATA[Think Song may start instead of Denilson... also I don't think we'll play Walcott from the start either.

    I hope Ade can show us he actually gives a damn about the game and give us a decent performance!!!]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Wow...IBS has been horribly horrible to us! Kinda depressing but at least we get to support the boys again. Guess it's a lot about Cesc returning...and still as excited about Arshavin as the 1st day he became a Gunner! So Ade and Nik will hopefully have some tasty through-ball passes to latch on to...and who knows... maybe Andrey will grab one himself...

    With that said, Man City's style is quite attacking and hopefully with Cesc's vision and Arshavin's penetration, we can exploit spaces and make things happen! And i'd expect Theo on after an hour or so...fresh and ready to run Man City's defence ragged! Good to have a relatively consistent back 4 and steady keeper to keep things tight at the back. Ade better know that this game might be his chance to prove that his attitude is right...hopefully by Tuesday we could have 1 or 2 of RvP and Edu back...we shall see...

    But great to to supporting the guys again... C'mon Gunners!!!]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Why do we constantly have at least 3 players out...it's getting on my nerves now. Hopefully next season will bring better fortune.

    Lets get a big score on our first game back from IBS and keep our unbeaten run of 2009 going to the end!!!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Yup. Its getting from bad to worse. Our pre-match selection situation. I'm hoping we get to see this formation :

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
    Walcott Song Cesc Vela
    Bendtner Arshavin

    But I think we'll see something like this :

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
    Eboue Denilson Song Arshavin
    Adebayor Bendtner

    And I don't think that's going to help us get the early goal we need. We'll be lucky if we don't concede. And come the 60th minute, if the score is still 0 - 0, I expect Wenger to put on Cesc, Walcott and possibly Vela for Denilson, Eboue and Adebayor.]]>

  • Pissed off

    Zohaib is Wenger that Predictable?

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Of course I could be wrong.

    What I meant was that Fabregas isn't fully match fit so I don't expect him to play 90 mins. Either he starts and is substituted at the hour mark or he comes on at that time. Same with Walcott. We've got to remember that we have to play 7 games in 22 days and Wenger will be looking at the bigger picture as well.

    Unfortunately for us we have a lot of important players missing and as a result I think our chances of winning have reduced by quite a considerable amount.
    Arshavin, Sagna and Gallas all play 90 mins for their countries in midweek. I hope they've recovered all their energy and stamina by Saturday.

    But as confident as I was before the international game this week, I'm much less confident that we can do the job. I think we're in for a real tough match. If Walcott and Fabregas start, then I'm more confident. But I have a bad feeling that Denilson, Song and Eboue will start and I don't think they're good enough to get us a goal. There's not much creativity in the side without Fabregas, Nasri and VanPersie all out. That's why I think it's important that Fabregas starts as opposed to coming on at the hour mark. We need to make sure we get off to a decent or good start. Not a bad one.

    There's the option of playing a 4 - 5 - 1 with Song, Denilson and Fabregas in the center and Eboue/Walcott and Arshavin out wide with Bendtner or Adebayor up front. Or playing a 4 - 4 - 2 with Fabregas and one of Denilson and Song in the center, and Arshavin and Eboue/Walcott out wide, with Adebayor and Bendtner up front.

    Once again, Arshavin will be the difference. We have to hope and pray that he has a good game and that he's not manhandled. Though even if he is, he's too strong for it to make a difference. But hopefully the referees will be fair for a change !]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[I get you Zohaib; but to be honest no matter what team we field , we will be too strong for Man city. The team has depth now, at least if a player goes injured one replaces him. Would you have believed with all the players injured we still have Theo, Fab, Arshavin and to some lesser extent Ade.

    Just have faith, am confident Wenger will do the right thing, but most importantly he will find the right balance for the team.]]>

  • Pissed off

    Too much panic now will do us no good.

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Just woke up from a very bad dream. But was glad to realize it was just a dream. I wont have to say what happened in the dream but I would say it had every thing to do with today's match.

    Hope it simply doesn't come to past.]]>

  • http://n/a kennedy kibugi

    a revenge is a must and our new boy arshavin should spearhead it

  • Steve

    All Ade doubters stand up! 1-0!

  • debs

    What would you know! Ade back on the sccoresheet courtesy of a Fabregas assist. Amazing start! More of the same please! :\

  • debs

    < ![CDATA[lol Steve!
    That was meant to be a smiley face by the way! :D]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Ade-bay-or, Ade-bay-or :D :D :D

    C'mon Ade, get yourself a hat trick mate!!!!!

    Welcome back Cesc :D]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[2-0 to the Arsenal, 2-0 to the Arsenal :D :D :D

    Looking forward to the highlights! :D

    Welcome back lads! :D]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Fabregas is the man !

    Put the goals on a plate for Ade to score. Anybody is Ade's position should have scored. That's a striker's job. He nearly screwed the second goal up. My heart was in my mouth.
    But it was all Cesc FabreGAS !

    Arshavin was almost anonymous. Maybe the flying has taken a bit out of him physically. Jet-lag or whatever.

    We went with a 4 - 3 - 3 / 4 - 5 - 1. I was so glad to see Fabregas, Walcott, Arshavin and Adebayor on the pitch. And defensively we were good because we had 2 central midfielders who were defending well. Sort of like having 2 DMs. I don't think either are good enough to take all the responsibility themselves, yet. Which is why I still think we need a proper DM in the summer.

    But boy did Denilson, Song, Fabregas and Walcott play well. And Toure and Sagna were immense as usual. Clichy was pretty solid. Gallas made a horrible error when he allowed Fernandes to sneak between him and Toure and, fortunately for us, shoot wide onto the outside of the post. Almunia was absolutely brilliant as well. I liked the part when Ade lost the ball and went all the way back to chase it, in his own half. Bendtner produced a moment of magic with that unbelievably brilliant first touch off a Sagna clearance. He clearly isn't two-footed.

    Good, solid performance. Mancity did have Kompany and Bridge go off injured, but I think we would have been strong anyway.

    Looking forward to the Champions League game :D !!!]]>

  • zohaib

    Walcott’s shooting has got much better too. That’s pleasing. He really had a game and a half. His right knee was getting some rough treatment. But that kid has some heart. He’s really tough mentally. And that’s what you get from English players. And a certain Russian – Arshavin ;)

  • Fabrez

    Absolutely delighted!!!!!!!!!!! Yesss! Cesc…that’s why you r the captain! That was a captain’s performance as top class stuff from the rest of the team. Bendtner’s control off the clearance was quite simply amazing, it must be said. Eboue looked good as a sub…and imagine we aren’t at full strength! Theo is a top man as well…good game from him. Denilson and Song are getting so much stronger defensively…i’m well well impressed! A breath-taking performance. Arshavin was quiet but efficient enuff…we looked like a great TEAM…that’s what it’s all about :D

  • Fabrez

    *and top class stuff

  • zohaib

    He clearly isn’t two-footed, though, missing a chance which came to his left foot*

  • Fabrez

    lol…yeah…that was a horrid miss!

  • debs

    Really looking forward to the highlights. If only MOTD would show the highlights early! Lol

  • Fabrez

    Seems as if they r leaving it for last debs…but surely the 0-0 between Pompey and Hull will b last!

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[I thought Ade did alright for his first game back imo. Linked up well with Arshavin, who almost scored as a result.

    Cesc, you beauty!!!! Easily man of the match! He looked fresh and you'd never have guessed that it was his first game back after 3 months out, his touch was that good.

    Theo's looking a lot more solid and managed to keep hold of the ball nicely.

    Good to have you back lads!!!! :D :D :D]]>

  • AJ

    I must put my hands up and say I didn’t want Ade to play, but boy did he prove me wrong lol. Great game.

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Sometimes its nice to be proven wrong lol

    I'm not always his biggest fan either mate, but credit to him for yesterdays game. Hope he manages to keep it up!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Pete are you talking about that little back-heel flick that 'Adebayor' played into the path of Arshavin ?

    I remember the commentator saying something similar. Thinking it was Ade, when it was actually number 17 Alex Song.

    I'm surprised how people have completely failed to notice that.]]>

  • Pissed off

    So Song has got some style now!!!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[And I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and say I was wrong about Ade. Because I wasn't. Just because he's scored 2 goals doesn't mean he's completely transformed. People are having a knee-jerk reaction yet again.

    Can he score goals every game ? No. Can he score goals as many goals as he does manage, without Fabregas ? No. Does he have room to improve ? Not with the attitude that he has. And it wouldn't be much improvement anyways. I maintain what I think about him. Average striker. Nothing special. Far too inconsistent and wasteful to be at a top 4 club.]]>

  • Pissed off

    Of cause Zohaib your right, but sometimes you have to live with the moments,that’s what we gunners have been reduced to.

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Didn't say he is completely transformed, just said he had a good game. Just a matter of opinion isn't it. To score twice against Shay Given, who is arguably the best keeper in the league, and on your first game for your club in 2 months can't bad. But I respect your opinion mate :)

    If it was Song who linked up with Arshavin then I stand corrected, but I was sure it was Ade and so did the commentator, but if thats wrong then I put my hands up.

    The clean sheet isn't something to be ignored either, especially as City are better going forward than they are defending. Maybe Stephen Ireland would have caused us a bit more problems had he played, but I can live with the 3 points.

    Just a question. Is Torres a rubbish striker because he doesn't score in every game/chance he's given? I'm not saying Ade is anywhere near as good as Torres, because I know who I'd rather have playing for Arsenal out of the two. I'm just curious as to what exactly was the problem with Ade yesterday? What would you have had him do differently?

    Cheers!]]>

  • debs

    hmm interesting! Villa leading 2-1 against Man U. If it ends this way we’ll only be 3 points ahead of them. I’ll much rather prefer a draw! But good performance from Villa- they do deserve a break.

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[What a goal for Man U's 3rd...it was quality. I would have fancied a draw but a Man U win is ok too... keeps Villa at bay for now...i prefer them to keep their 6 point difference from us! Must say, top of the table seems to be madly intense...and we've got to face the top 3... we'll need 2 b on our A-game if the league isn't sorted by then...and i don't think it will be...

    As for Ade...he was in the right place at the right time for his goals...well happy he got them...they were put on a platter 4 him...i think he did what any striker (besides Nik) would have done...he finished!]]>

  • debs

    < ![CDATA[I think that 3rd goal's the sucker-punch to Villa's 4th spot hopes, seeing as they played really well. Gives us a breather.
    As to who wins the title, it's definitely going to come down to their games against us, and if I'm correct, they're one after the other. I guess it'll reallly depend on whether we've got 4th spot sown up by then. They should be crackers.
    As for Ade, good to see that he scored, but he had a little bit of work to do for the 2nd goal. Let's see how he does in the next few games, but it's only to our advantage anyways if he scores goals- platter or no platter.
    Lol Fabrez about the Bendtner comment! :P
    Looking forward to Villareal on tuesday; the Man City match couldn't have been a better warm-up, seeing as Villareal lost I think 3-1 over the weekend. Come on you Reds!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Pete, I understand what you're saying mate. I'm sorry I think i might have come across as being aggressive or attacking your opinion. Sorry, that was not my intention. My bad.

    I could almost bet on the fact that I saw 17 written on the back of the person who played that flick to Arshavin.

    For me, Given isn't really top class. He's been good this season. I think confidence has a lot to do with it. But there's just something missing in him. I can't put my finger on it or explain it. But, for example, I rate Mark Schwarzer higher than Given. David James too. I think Carson also has similar potential but I think he's had a tough season. He still comes in the top 5 when you look at the percentage of saves made per shots, this season. I rate Almunia very highly too. I'd rather have him than Cech or Buffon or Casillas or anybody else. He has a few slight weaknesses in his game but he's already improved upon them. I also think there isn't a better shot-stopper than him around. I think he's still not at the level Cech was up until last year. But I think there's very little difference between that level and the level Almunia's at now.

    Regarding Torres. He's had a poor season, I think. He's got way more potential than he's shown. He's also been injured a whole lot this season. But what I find worrying about him is the fact that he goes down too easily. And I realize he does it to protect himself and to get a bit of protection from referees, but unfortunately he doesn't get it. He needs to stop letting the physical side of the game affect him as much as it's doing at present. I think he'll score more goals if he can overcome that part of his game. Also, all the defenders realize that he's such a great striker, so they use unfair tactics and shove him around a bit, like some do to Ronaldo. Somehow, I don't really care much for Ronaldo but it's not the same with Torres.
    But there's just a huge difference between Ade and Torres. I think the greatest thing Ade brings to the pitch is his positive attitude. Sometime's that goes missing too, but that's about the best thing about him and something that isnt' really there in many players at Arsenal, except for Vela. A smile on your face when you're playing at the highest level is an absolutely fantastic way to play the game.

    On what Ade should have done yesterday that he didn't do - Nothing more I could ask of him for yesterday. But my point was that he's too inconsistent and wasteful. Okay he can't score every chance. But I think he's the sort of striker that won't score for a while, now that he's got 2 goals in one game. He just isn't consistent. The problem is that he's not really a threat. His game just isn't that good overall.]]>

  • Pissed off

    Magical words of Zohaib. Sounds like you have had a coaching course man.

  • debs

    Wow Zohaib. This is like one of the few times I 100% agree with you! Ok, well, except for the last 2 sentences! lol

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Ade is a threat. I meant he's not as big a threat as some of the other strikers in the league. I'd rate Torres, Tevez, Rooney, Obafemi Martins, Eduardo, VanPersie, Drogba, and possibly some others ahead of Adebayor. And Berbatov, Zaki, Robinho, Anelka, etc on a par with Ade.

    And I've just seen highlights of the game. It was definitely Alex Song who was responsible for the backheel to Arshavin. Wow. I wasn't 100% sure then but now that I am, I'm surprised. Maybe Song isn't completely useless afterall.]]>

  • zohaib

    Oh hey Debs ! Congrats for being the commentator of the month for February !

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[That part Zohaib mentioned Given I'd disagree with...i do think Given is top class. He's had to work with some poor defensives in his time and has kept sides in games on countless occasions! I really really rate him. I rate Schwarzer on the same level as him...and James too (granted James tends to have a horrid game once in a while). I also think Jussi Jaaskelainen is a great keeper. To me, Almunia is in his peak and doing a good job too...very consistent and reliable. Only his blunder v Sp*rs i can think if him as messing up this season. But if u r able to put what u think Given lacks in to words Zohaib, i'd like to see what u r getting at.

    And a bit harsh on Song there! He's not that bad! He's improving...i remember he had given Eboue a back heal against Burnley too. Ade...i don't even know what to say about Ade...he can be better with an attitude change...but he lets all the attention get to him than talks of goin to Barca or Milan... I really think Ade's mind-set reflects his game. If he's all for Arsenal and working hard for us, he can be more consistent...but sometimes i get the impression his head isn't always in the game. Hope he has it & keeps it in the game between now and May!]]>

  • Fabrez

    And congrats debs! Didn’t even see when that was put there… :)

  • debs

    < ![CDATA[Commentator of the month for February?! I don't even remember what happened in February! Did your calendar stop working Dev? lol :P
    Thanks guys! :D
    I think the thing about Given is this. I totally agree he's a really really great 'keeper and he saved Newcastle millions of times and all, and even Man City, but I don't think he'd get into the very top teams. My reasoning is a bit dodgy really, but I think the reason why we all think he's great is because he's got dodgy defenders ahead of him and he knows that- he's not got a whole lot of confidence in his defenders so he always has to be on top of the game. But I think if he had a top-class defence, it'd take that extra quality away from his game. This is obviously an untested and maybe unfair theory, but I think let's see how he does when he's got a top defence in front of him. Cos when your defence is amazing and saves you the trouble of dealing with shots and all most of the time, you're more reliant and confident in them and you don't need to concentrate as hard- that's when you've got to be totally at your game and that's when you can tell who's really top class. Cos I think it's easy, (for lack of a better word to use) to be at the top of your game when you know you've got to be. So basically, he's a really great 'keeper when he needs to be one- it's when he doesn't need to be one, that I want to see what he can do. He may equally be as good, you never know. And also, the only part of his game we know about is saving shots and all. But stuff like great distribution and vision, I don't really know, but he's definitely not in the class of someone like Reina in that regard. There's got to be more to a goalie's game nowadays than preventing goals, to be considered as really top class. But I definitely rate him better than most of the other 'keepers in the league, that's for sure.]]>

  • AJ

    Grats Debs

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Well done the Lads on Sat (and Debs for commentator). A good result. which puts us 6 points above the Villa.

    Just been looking at both of our fixtures in the prem.

    Arsenal's Fixtures:

    Wigan - A
    Liverpool - A
    Middlesbrough - H
    Portsmouth - A
    Chelsea - H
    Man Utd - A
    Stoke - H

    Aston Villa's Fixtures:

    Everton - A
    West Ham - H
    Bolton - A
    Hull - H
    Fulham - A
    Middlesbrough - A
    Newcastle - H

    We definately cant afford to loose any games outside of the top 3 (Chelsea, Liverpool & Man U). I think the tough games for Villa are obviously Everton and I think possibly Bolton may throw a spanner in the works.

    It is definately going down to the wire unless Villa and Everton have a woeful few games...which would be nice as we could concenrate harder on the Champions League games :-)]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Fabrez - I think it's more of a personal choice than any technical flaw or so. Given probably is just as good as Schwarzer, James, Jussi, Friedel etc.
    They all have areas in their game, their not very strong at, and they all make mistakes sometimes. Everybody does. Except for Cech under Murinho, and Reina. I don't think VanDerSar is as good though. Maybe when he was at his peak he was better, but I'm still not sure whether he was as good as Cech and Reina. But now he's certainly towards the end of his career and he's not all that good. I'd rate Almunia over him too.

    Somehow, if you asked me who I'd put in my team, I'd always say Almunia, ahead of Reina, Cech and the others. If there's no Almunia. I'd say Schwarzer or James or Reina or Cech, before any others. I think there's very little difference between Given and Schwarzer/James. So maybe it's more of a personal choice.

    But from what I saw day before, Given didn't really know how to deal with the long ball. The aerial ball. Their defenders weren't defending the set-pieces and crosses well but Given wasn't either. I haven't watched him nearly enough to make a complete analysis on his weaknesses and whether he is weak with the aerial ball, but somehow, as a striker I'd feel more confident playing against him than Schwarzer/James.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I also don't really remember any important saves he's made. Maybe I've just missed them. But I don't get why some people in the media have labeled him one of the best keepers of the season. I don't know what he's done to achieve that. I haven't really noticed anything special about him.

    I think the difference between him and Almunia, Schwarzer, James may also be that I feel he's got a different attitude to them. They seem like they enjoy goalkeeping. He seems like he's out their doing a job. Again, not something technically wrong, just a matter of personal preference.]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Zohaib mate, big thanks and much respect to you! Very good points you made. And no need to apologise either pal :) I always enjoy our little back-and-forth, its all done in good spirit :)

    I know it may not sound like it by the way I defend him all the time, but I'm not a great Ade fan either lol. But I do feel he has something to offer us still and that the criticism of him is deserved at times, but can overstep the mark. I feel opponents find him quite unpredictable, in that they know he's not the cleanest or most consistant of finishers, so they are always second guessing him. Ronaldo and Torres are miles better than him, but with those two you kind of know what to expect, and knowing what to expect is the first step to containing them and keeping them quiet. With Ade, to me he tends to be either crap or brilliant (sometimes both in one match lol), which is difficult to predict.

    If he was sold in the Summer I wouldn't miss him as long as he's replaced properly by someone of equel size (Santa Cruz or John Carew maybe?).

    As for Shay Given, I do think he's a top keeper whose just been unlucky with the clubs and managers he's played for. If he mved to a top 4 club with better quality defenders, he'd stand a good chance of becoming a world class keeper imo. And the thing is, as a keeper he's still young enough to improve.

    But thanks again mate! :)]]>

  • zohaib

    Pissed Off – Thanks for the kind words buddy. I haven’t had a coaching course, to be honest. But I think it’s probably just that each of us has some ideas about the game. And they vary from person to person. That’s what’s so brilliant about the game. Everybody can contribute.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Pete - I understand what you mean about Ade. Now that I think about it, you're right. It can be a good thing that he's inconsistent, hence unpredictable ! I like the interesting perspective. lol

    I agree with the part about Santa Cruz being someone who could be a decent replacement for him. I didn't know how good he was. I thought, since he signed for a mid-table club in Blackburn, that he was ordinary. But the first season he had was pretty awesome. Initially I thought, okay he's only good in the air. But as I saw more of him, I realized that he was pretty good with the ball at his feet too. And his finishing was good too. Maybe not the prettiest of finishers but certainly effective. I find some similarities between him and Bendtner. Maybe it's just the physique.

    I see what you're saying about Given. And it's right that he hasn't had very good defenders around him. So maybe he's looked weak because of that. I suppose he could be among the best keepers in the league, since there isn't a whole lot of difference between him and the other good keepers. So I guess it's purely out of personal liking that I'd choose Almunia, Reina, James, Schwarzer ahead of him.

    And thanks to you too mate. A respectful debate in healthy spirits is always great fun.]]>