From Nick Daniel:
Two words that rubbish all claims that Arsenal is not a myopic indulgence of a great football profiteering brain: Manuel Almunia.
Which other top ranking side would have stood for a 3rd rate keeper for the time we did while actually challenging for honours?
Does anyone really believe that no one at the club realised that we couldn’t win anything with him in goal?
But who was gonna make Wenger realise what was staring him in the face? The board? Do me a favour.
Dein? Long gone.
Coaching staff? Not in their manual.
So instead we watched as he waited for his horse to come good and we pee’d away a few trophies that were there for the taking.
I honestly cannot remember any game in the league where Almunia kept us in the game or delivered the three points (in fairness though I must not forget the performance at home vs Barca in the 2-2).
In that period how many points did Man Utd and Chelsea owe to Van der Saar and Cech?
For me this glaring oversight is one of the main reasons I have come to the realisation we will always be a few players short, because its cheaper that way and hopefully the crap ones will be carried by the better ones, though an injury or two exposes this (see Arteta, Sagna, Vermaelen and, til this year, Van Persie).
There is nothing honourable or spiritual about depriving your fans and players the rewards they desire to prove a misguided counterproductive point.
The cash rewards from having a top-rate keeper over the period would have outweighed the cost .
Myles says :
While Wenger dropped Jens Lehmann, an international keeper who had a personality, Almunia was always injured.
He was never dropped. That clown never knew where his posts were. He was rubbish. But the embedded mainstream press failed to point that out.
A manager who was capable of employing Almunia for so long was capable of many other perverse and inexplicable decisions, like signing Amaury Bischoff, a ridiculous crock who was brought on for 25 minutes at Portsmouth when Arsenal were 3-0 up. That was his only league appearance.
Amaury Bischoff, a name to conjure with, a musical-sounding name.
A friend paid over £300 for tickets to take his kids to Wembley to see a semi- final against Chelsea in the FA Cup, the only competition Arsenal could win that season.
Geoff is a lifelong Arsenal fan. Arriving at the stadium with his kids, he was horrified to discover that Arshavin had been dropped and Diaby was playing. His day had been ruined before a ball was kicked. He felt angry and betrayed because he knew Arsenal could not win with Diaby in the team.
You sound as if you’ve given up, Nick.
I don’t blame you.