Tag Archives: David Ospina

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.

Keenos

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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.

Keenos

David Ospina, New Tottenham Stadium & Race for Top 4

David Ospina

Over the weekend on loan goal keeper David Ospina suffered a horrific head injury whilst playing for Napoli.

Arsenal already have one goal keeper that plays in a protective cap, it is not yet unclear whether Ospina will have to follow the lead of Petr Cech.

I am actually surprised this kind of injury does not happen more often to goal keepers.

When you consider how often they do dive at the feet of opponents, putting their body on the line, serious injuries are irregular.

Irregular enough not to make any changes; however there is an argument to be made the goal keepers should all have to wear protective headwear. I do not think it will come in now, but it might be something that happens in the future.

Hope Ospina recovers well and Napoli continue with their plan to sign him permanently.

New Tottenham Stadium

Nearly a year late, Tottenham have finally announced when the first game in their new stadium is.

I feel it is a disgrace that the Premier League are allowing them to play games at the new ground this season, meaning that they would have had 16 away fixtures at Wembley and 3 at the new ground.

Hopefully they suffer from the new stadium slump and end up 6th.

It is also laughable that they have been praised for “freezing ticket prices as a thank you for their fans loyalty”.

The pricing structure for the new ground has already caused anger from Spurs fans; who feel they have been lied to and priced out of games. The cheap tickets are so minimal that they are not worth mentioning and fans are paying up to 33% more for a similar ticket in the old ground.

Is it really something to celebrate that they are freezing ticket prices on tickets that would have been used 3 times this season? Is it really something to celebrate that the side who have the highest ticket prices in the country for an unopened stadium are freezing ticket prices?

I guess when you have so little to celebrate in your recent history, you end up celebrating things like “the most expensively build stadium in English football history.”

And I will not comment about Tottenham spending years petitioning TFL and the London Mayor to get the name of White Hart Lane station named. They so desperately want to be The Arsenal…

Race for Top 4

Last week I blogged that Arsenal would need 75 points to finish in the top 4. A few people replied that we would need closer to 80; ignoring the historic fact that only once has a team reached 75 points and not made the top 4.

They seemed to ignore that Chelsea and Manchester United are not the title winning teams of the past. They have lost games, and will lose more games prior to the end of the season.

This was shown in the defeat Chelsea suffered at the hands of Everton.

Manchester United to win 7 of the last 8 games is an unreasonable expectation. Especially when they are still to face Manchester United and Chelsea.

With Chelsea’s defeat to Everton, it leaves Manchester United as incumbents of 5th place. They are on 58 points. For them to reach 75 they would need 17 points from the last 8 games.

That would be 6 wins or 5 wins and 2 draws. Taking into account the two aforementioned big games at home, as well as having to face Wolves and Everton away, 5 wins will be a tough task.

At the weekend Manchester United lost away to Wolves in the FA Cup. This highlights why Arsenal should not take needing 15 points from the last 8 games lightly.

We still have to travel to Everton, Wolves, Watford, Burnley, and Leicester. All mid table teams where 3 points will not be a given.

Arsenal need to win their remaining 3 home games – which will bank 9 points. I would then hope we can get 2 wins from those 5 away games, but it will not be easy.

The next round of games could be a big one for Arsenal; as Tottenham travel to Liverpool and Arsenal are at home to Newcastle.

This could see Arsenal move above Tottenham and in pole position to grab one of the 2 remaining Champions League spots.

A later sees Wolves host Manchester United (again). If Man U lose, they are facing being 2 points behind Arsenal having played a game more. At that stage they will have 5 games to go, and would need to win 4 out of 5 to challenge that 75 point mark. and still have Chelsea and Manchester City to play.

Plenty of twists and turns to come I am sure of it.

Keenos