Arsene Wenger has thrown down the gauntlet to David Ospina.
“Wojciech is the No.1 but David has played recently. Can he retain the shirt in the coming games? We’ll decide that.”
It’s interesting, you kind of get the feeling Wenger doesn’t totally rate Ospina. He has a habit of surrounding Wojciech with weak competition (Viviano, Almunia, Fabianski to an extent), in some weird sort of paternalistic play to make his favourite come good. For me, the worry with Ospina sits around his frame. He’s very small and he’s not exactly built for the Premier League. If he’s not of the quality level we need, begs the question why we don’t just go out and buy a keeper who is. Someone like Begovic would be a great option (though I have seen mistakes creeping into his game) or maybe even a keeper like Samir Handanovic of Inter Milan.
We have to address the keeper issue if Ospina isn’t the one. Brilliant keepers are totally integral to being a brilliant side. You can’t have a situation where it’s hard to distinguish who is number one.
You know who I’d love over anyone? Hugo Lloris… is it telling Giroud linked him with the club last year? Man, I really hope so. That would be a sign of intent. Just can’t see Wenger dropping £25m on a keeper.
The best news of yesterday was hearing Chuba Akpom has signed a new 4.5 year deal, shunning interest from Chelsea, who clearly wanted to sell him for £25m in 5 years, and Liverpool. He’s a sharp talent. Focused, extremely mobile with pace to boot, he looks intelligent on the ball and the team seem to have a soft spot for him. I haven’t been this excited about a youth team striker since Nic Anelka burst onto the scene.
I went to a Telegraph talk fronted by Paul Hayward (very impressive), Tim Sherwood and Henry Winter. It was actually quite interesting. Amusing listening to The Telegraph preach that they were a multi-channel platform… keep up guys! Anyway, it was interesting hearing Henry Winter say that Wenger hadn’t been vindicated… the fans had. Wenger’s belief system hasn’t come good, what he’s actually had to do it take a new approach, firstly by implementing some of the changes I’ve suggested on here over the past 5 years, then taking some advice from his players and Steve Bould on what they want to do.
I said earlier in the season, my biggest disappointment was the top, top players not taking more accountability for the mess. Showing more intelligence on the pitch as well as showing more aggression to be the best off the pitch. The fact they took control of the lack of planning is massive. That sort of mentality, when it works, binds teams and creates a culture of progression. Back in the Bobby Robson days, Mourinho and Pep used to take Robson’s team instructions and rewrite them to be coherent. If something ain’t right, don’t sit back and let it not be right. No one will clap you complaining about a mess you could have cleared up.
Looks like that’s what’s happening. Even hearing Wenger talking about that scouting machine is a massive positive. He didn’t touch it to begin with, but now he’s being coerced into using a bit of data to help support what he sees with his eyes. All positive. You can’t knock someone if they’re trying to improve. All I’ve ever wanted is for us to progress… seems like things might be heading that way.
Let’s hope that we don’t gain some short term success and revert back to type. That really would be upsetting.
This is a really positive spree, but let’s not get carried away. One away win against a team that doesn’t practice tactics is exciting, but it proves nothing. We need to do that regularly. We need to make that a standard offering, not something we clap uncontrollably at… because here’s the thing, playing with a game plan should really be 2015 standard.
Let’s hope it is. A bright, better, smarter Arsenal.
Could be coming… could.
Finally, you should get involved in Arsenal’s‘Be a Gunner. Be a Runner’ race. It’s happening on April 11th. 1000 people running 10 laps around the Emirates. It’s for the Emirates. International fans are hosting their own races. All sounds great, get yourself involved.
Full details can be found here: http://www.arsenal.com/bagbar