Almunia and defenders crush Arsenal's dream golden army - Part 1

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Almunia and defenders crush Arsenal's dream golden army - Part 1
On a weekend of surprises, Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea lost to the big spending and relatively uninspiring side of Manchester City, while London’s other club Tottenham Hotspur lost narrowly to the Hammers. Chelsea’s
defeat against Manchester City marred their 100% record and gave their rivals a chance to cut down the point’s difference at the top of the table.
But the huge shock unfolded at Emirates stadium, where the Gunners slumped to a defeat against a buoyant West Bromwich Albion side. Arsenal underwent a horrible 90 minutes, which were mostly controlled by newly promoted West Bromwich
Albion. The Gunners were not playing their usual high tempo and quick passing game. Gunners were dreadful on the field, lacking their usual inspiration with obvious fatigue hitting the players.
Had Arsene Wenger’s team earned all the three points available, they would have only been a point away from leaders, Chelsea. It was a great chance for Arsenal to put some pressure on Chelsea at the top of the table.
Yet again, Arsene Wenger and his inexperienced team proved that their dream of making golden army has fallen flat. The shocking defeat also showed the lack of quality players and depth in the present Gunners squad.
A win would have put Arsenal one point behind Chelsea with a trip to Stamford Bridge to come this weekend and anything less than that was unimaginable.
However, the newly promoted West Bromwich Albion who had earlier been humiliated by massive margins began the match with a lot of inspiration. The Baggies were awarded a penalty when Gunners’ under-fire Spanish goalkeeper Manuel
Almunia completely missed the ball and took the Baggies forward down inside the penalty box.
But the hugely error-prone and uninspiring goalkeeper of Gunners saved the penalty to redeem himself. Baggies took the penalty and took it badly which allowed Almunia to save it easily.
As half time approached, his name rang out around the stadium and there seemed to be a chance that he could win his way back into the hearts of the Gunners.
After that, when the Baggies attacker was played in on left side of the box, a centre back tried to close him down. He hit the ball low and hard at Almunia who got behind the ball but only managed to deflect it into his own goal.
Arsenal supporters at Emirates were stunned by that mistake from their number one goalie. It was a shot he should have saved and the heroics of his earlier penalty save were forgotten.
So Wenger's trust on his uninspiring shot stopper proved costly as Manuel displayed the worst goalkeeping performance in recent Arsenal history as well as in English Premier League history. The Spaniard was so poor between the
sticks that even Cesc Fabregas could have performed better than him. Almunia undoubtedly lacks the quality which is required to feature in top clubs like Arsenal FC.
The 34 year old keeper was supported by Arsene Wenger and a great section of Arsenal fans to come good this season after ‘The Professor’ failed in his efforts to land a quality shot stoppers at the Emirates during the summer transfer
window. Arsene Wenger was unsuccessful in signing the Australian goal keeper of Fulham all summers. He even had bid for French national team goal keeper Hugo Lloris in the dying minutes of summer transfer deadline.
Arsenal’s Spanish goalkeeper has shown, time and again, that he has the talent to be a good goal keeper, but his decision making and lapses in concentration have let Arsenal down on a number of times.
All in all, Arsenal’s veteran goalkeeper Manuel Almunia's goalkeeping howlers were the highlights of an uninteresting performance against West Bromwich Albion.



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