Category Archives: Arsenal

Emiliano Martinez or the goalkeeper who has over 300 top flight games & 93 caps?

Yesterday I blogged about how David Ospina was set to return to Arsenal following his loan spell at Napoli. A lot of people responded on social media saying that Emiliano Martinez should be Arsenal #2 next season and not Ospina.

This baffles me.

Some have claimed that Martinez has been “immense at Reading”, that he has “great potential” and is better than Ospina.

This baffles me.

Last summer, Carlo Ancelotti took Ospina on loan to Napoli to replace long term injured Alex Meret as #1. He felt Ospina was good enough to play week in, week out, for the 2nd best team in Italy. What he did not do is take Martinez on loan – who was also available.

So Carlo Ancelotti literally believed Ospina was a better goal keeper than Martinez.

If I said that this summer, Arsenal were interested in signing an international #1 with nearly 100 caps for his country. A 30-year-old goal keeper with nearly 400 appearances and has played in the Premier League, Ligue 1 and Italy – with over 330 top flight starts.

A goal keeper that started 16 times in Serie A last season for the team that finished 2nd, making 6 starts in the Champions League. And he was a free transfer.

If this was given as a profile for Petr Cech’s replacement the response would be “sounds ideal”. Yet for some reason people are turning their nose up at Ospina and are favouring Martinez.

There is a reason why last season Ospina was playing week in, week our for Napoli in Seria A and the Champions League’ and Martinez was at Reading who finished 20th in the Championship.

Martinez is 26-years-old. He has been at Arsenal for 8 years. He has played just 14 games.

In that time he has been on loan to Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Getafe and Reading.

In the time Martinez has been at Arsenal Wojciech Szczęsny, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone, David Ospina, Petr Cech and Bernd Leno were all picked ahead of him at some point or another.

Up to this point he has not exactly had a stellar career. He is now 26-years-old so talk of him having “potential” are way off the mark.

When you compare the careers of Ospina and Martinez up to this point, it is clear and obvious that one is a top class goal keeper, the other is not.

It baffles me that people are putting Martinez ahead of Ospina.

If one was to create a list of potential #2 keepers, you would want them to be an experienced international. Two names that spring to mind are Guillermo Ochoa and Keylor Navas. Ospina is in their class.

So why sell Ospina for £5million to then buy on of those for £10-15million. Might as well stick with Ospina.

When it comes down to Ospina v Martinez, there is one who is an experienced campaigner with nearly 100 caps, and another who is 26-years-old and has not even played 100 games.



David Ospina set for Arsenal return

Reports this morning are that David Ospina is set to return to Arsenal this summer after his move the permanent move to Napoli collapsed.

Earlier this season it seemed inevitable that the Colombian keeper would make his loan deal to permanent as he was quickly closing in on the 25 appearances that would trigger a £3.5m obligation to buy clause.

Despite establishing himself as Napoli number 1 following Alex Meret’s injury, Ospina was dropped after 24 appearances with the Italian keeper replacing him for the last 2 games.

Carlo Ancelotti had indicated earlier in the season that he would make the Ospina deal a permanent one regardless of how many games he had played. It seems the veteran manager has now changed his mind.

Last summer saw Napoli sign 3 goal keepers.

Firstly they 21-year-old Meret for a reported as €35 million fee from Udinese. Alongside AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, he is considered one of the best young keepers in Italy and a long term number 1 in Naples.

Napoli also signed veteran Greek goal keeper Orestis Karnezis on loan, with the 33-year-old bought in to offer experience to his younger new team mate. The deal was made permanent in February.

Despite having already signed 2 goal keepers in the summer of 2018, Napoli were forced into loaning David Ospina from Arsenal following Meret picking up a long term injury in pre-season training.

Despite Ospina joining and becoming defacto number 1 ahead of Karnezis, there was always the feeling that once Meret was back fit, he would return to 1st choice keeper. Ospina and Meret shared number duties throughout the second half of the season.

A decision has clearly been made by Ancelotti to stick to the plan that he had at the beginning of the 2018/19 season – Meret number 1 and Karnezis number 2.

With the obligation to buy now off the table, this leaves Ospina, Napoli and Arsenal with a choice.

Do Napoli need 3 international keepers? Does Ospina want to sit on the bench in Naples? Do Arsenal need a number 2?

With the retirement of Petr Cech, Arsenal are on the look out for a new number 2.

The requirement for a solid Premier League number 2 is:

  • International quality keeper
  • Experience as 1st choice
  • Capable of stepping up as number 1 for a long period

If you scoured the world for a Romero (Manchester United), Claudio Bravo (Manchester city) or Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) type goal keeper, David Ospina would probably be near the top of the list.

David Ospina is 31-years-old, capped 94 times by Colombia and has played 387 times across France, England, Italy and his native Colombia.

Ancelotti saw him as an ideal replacement number 1 when his €35 million first choice new signing picked up a long  term injury.

Arsenal would unlikely get more than £5million for Ospina on the open market, considering his contract runs out in 2020. Would Arsenal get a better keeper than Ospina for that money?

I would be entirely comfortable with Bern Leno as 1st choice and Ospina as 2nd choice next season.


Contradictions over Arsenal transfer £40m budget and potential targets

This morning I begun chucking uncontrollably to myself.

I was scrolling through Arsenal news updates to see if anything was happening in the world. It wasn’t. Just the usual websites linking us with the usual players in the hope of generating clicks and revenue. And then it hit me.

Over the last few weeks, pretty much every British media outlet has run with the story that “Arsenal have just £40million to spend this summer”. This has got a lot of fans knickers in a twist as blogs have repeated the unfounded claims.

And then we have headlines this week:

“Arsenal chase £70 million rates Wilfried Zaha”
“Arsenal and Tottenham in race for £58 million Barcelona star”
“£43m Atletico star EXCITED at prospect of Arsenal move”
“Gunners make contact for €80m man”
“Arsenal’s defensive pairing could be one of best in PL if £40.5m-rated rock joins”

So on one hand, we have the British media saying we only have £40million to spend; and on the other hand they are linking us with transfers in excess of £40million.

What it highlights is that

  1. The media do not really know what is happening at The Arsenal
  2. They will publish anything that gets them clicks
  3. They will write contradictory articles within hours of each other for those clicks

So you could have John Cross write an article at 10am on a Monday about Arsenal having just £40million to spend, and then 3 hours later the same journalist publishing a story about how Arsenal are going to spend £45million on Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey.

The only way the media will ever stop with this is if we, the consumer, stop clicking.