[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=buffon&iid=4107093″ src=”4/c/c/8/PicImg_Football__Chelsea_1f99.JPG?adImageId=12769530&imageId=4107093″ width=”234″ height=”302″ /]
I guess by now everyone knows that our next door neighbour, Spurs have joined Arsenal to compete for the elite Champions League trophy next season. Whether they will get through to the group stages are of course a different matter, depending on the luck of the draw. However, it does put Arsenal’s season as well as the next one into perspective.
For one, it has been a very long time since Spurs have been able to challenge Arsenal in any competition, barring the few Carling Cups here and there. As with every other thing in life, a bit of challenge is never a bad thing. It is something that motivates individuals to higher standards. Just like an established player is bound to be anxiously looking over his shoulder should there be an up and coming youth who wants his place. That is likely to spur the senior player to maintain or even increase his performance (no pun intended).
However, everything has it pros and cons. How Harry’s men would react to competing in the league campaign as well as the Champions League is unknown. It may well backfire on them, just like how it happened to Everton. Failure to qualify for the group stages would set a negative mood around the club right from the start of the season. Also, these players lacked the experience to handle playing in two high stakes competitions.
Unfortunately the same can also be said of Lukazs Fabianski, who at the moment gets his day in the sun. The incumbent of the goalkeeping position, Manuel Almunia is stated as being injured but that might just be a ruse used by Wenger to give the Polish international a chance to stake his claims for a regular place next season. Even Sol Campbell has joined in the voices that support Fabianski, pleading for the latter to be given more oppourtunities before judging him. Therein lies our problem.
However well Fabianski plays or performs is training may be the reason why Wenger and Campbell still thinks so highly of him. That is something which I cannot claim otherwise. Yet, his performances on the pitch belies that faith. There’s no doubting his quality when it comes to shot-stopping but it is the other parts of his game that are disappointing. I don’t get the feeling that he is quite calm enough to be a top-notch keeper. Bob Wilson thinks that he lacks presence.
There’s been enough comments out there which states his merits as well as statistics that only serve to show that he is out of his depth in the Premiership. While, he may still turn out to be a very good keeper but time is not on his or Wenger’s side. After 5 years without a trophy for Arsenal, even Wenger has came in for some serious criticism over the course of the barren years. Wenger knows that the board trust his fully but it is not something to be tested with.
The simple fact is that Arsenal needs a Seaman or a Lehman. Someone behind the sticks who can win you games on their own. Someone who does not make those high profile mistakes (well at least not often). If what is being written in the news are true, Wenger should seriously consider making an offer for Gianluigi Buffon. At the tender age of 32 years old, Buffon still have a considerable number of year left in him to remain a world class keeper. A good keeper inspires confidence to the defence in front of him and to a considerable extend, the midfield as well.
The ball is in your court now Mr Wenger.