I’ve the briefest of periods before I’m due to make the arduous trek toward my gainful employment, so my fingers will type with the kind of ferocity you’d associate with an Apache gunship dispatching a rebel machine gun nest – think those Warner Bros cartoons of yesteryear in which the central character had to do something with haste.
Actually, I might take my time with the writing part and instead opt to drive at breakneck speeds down the M5 with a squad of angry police in chase. You’ll see me on the morning news as the story develops and the news outlets start to send helicopters and cameras after me.
Imagine the Sky News headlines…
MAN LATE FOR WORK BECAUSE OF WRITING BLOG NOW IN HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT WITH POLICE. MR STOKES IS SAID TO BE UNSTABLE AND A TEDDY BEAR APPEARS TO BE DOING THE DRIVING.
Alternatively to all the above, I could get straight to my point. All the fluffy nonsense, as much fun as it is, serves only to lengthen the time I’m sat at the keyboard.
Remember that bit in Monty Python’s The Holy Grail where they all shout “GET ON WITH IT!”?
One of the debates I’ve missed contributing to since putting blogging on hold is that of our goalkeeping position. Since Szczesny blundered and smoked his way into the doghouse against Southampton, David Ospina has taken over the No1 role and thus far looked very assured there.
However, there is still plenty of folk that believe neither he our our Polish friend have what it takes to be a world-class keeper, the likes of which Arsenal haven’t had since Lehmann.
Opinion is polarised when it comes to which of the current two is preferable. Some assert Ospina is the better all-rounder and has the mental attributes required to stay as first choice. I’m inclined to agree, but also believe that Szczesny is the more talented of the two.
That talent, unfortunately, often doesn’t stand out becuase it comes in equal measures with over-confidence and downright stupidity. Szczesny is capable of moments of jaw-dropping brilliance and can be a commanding, secure figure between the sticks when the mood takes him. The trouble is you get the impression his mind wanders easily and there’s a shiny red self-destruct button in his brain he could gleefully press at a moments notice.
Ideally, we could put Ospina’s brain into Szczesny’s body and create a truly world-class stopper, but, alas, that idea, dubious medical experiments aside, is an impossibilty. Perhaps what we need is an individual who has all of what it takes.
The above does sound a touch harsh on Ospina who has looked nothing other than entirely competent since coming into the team. He’s set a record for win percentage and made some quality saves along the way. Yet, perhaps unfairly, I’m not entirely sold. Arsenal players often start with bright spells. We’ll know more about his credentials and mental strength once he’s made a couple of mistakes.
At this stage, if someone offered a keeper in the mould of Seaman or Lehmann who could come in over the summer, I’d say most would accept gladly. Whether or not that individual exists currently is another matter entirely but if it is a position we spend money on, it has to be proven quality before potential. And that comes with a price.
The who and the how much is something for spurious drivel merchants to bombard you with over the summer. To be quite frank, I struggle to compile a list of suitable candidates that would be available at a price Arsene would realistically drop on a goalkeeper. This one should be filed under “We’ll see…”
Elsewhere is appears Theo Walcott won’t be headed for pastures new and those words come from Arsene himself. Le Boss said:
“When you go into negotiations with a player it is with a desire for him to stay. He looks keen to do it and I am keen to do it, so let’s see what comes out.
“We are always in the mode where we want to be successful. In case of failure, we’ll see. But in case of failure – that will only be in December next year.”
Whilst I’m not 100% certain Theo won’t be shipped out quickly whilst there’s a profit to be made if he starts playing silly buggers with his contract, I’d say it looks far more likely we’ll be calling him an Arsenal player for the foreseeable future.
And that’s about all for today, folks. The comments section is glistening beneath these words and eagerly awaits you spewing your thoughts all across its face. What are you views on the No1 position and Theo Walcott’s contract? Let me know.
I’ll be back tomorrow morning with more. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.