Tuesday, 23 June 2015

5 games that showed Arsenal needed to sign a new goal keeper in Petr Cech

Arsenal's pursuit of a world-class goalkeeper is set to end this week with the arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea.
The Gunners finished third in the Premier League last term and boasted the second-meanest defence behind Jose Mourinho's team, but have often been haunted by defensive and goalkeeping errors.
Cech kept 21 clean sheets in his first season at Stamford Bridge in 2004/5 and quickly established himself as one of the best in the world, but opportunities have dried up following the rise of Thibaut Courtois.
The stats show that the 33-year-old could transform Arsene Wenger's men into genuine title contenders, as well as bringing a strong winning pedigree to the squad.
But will the arrival of Cech eliminate goalkeeping errors? We look back at a few examples from the 2014/15 campaign…
Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City
In the Gunners’ first clash with one of their title rivals, the hosts fell behind to Sergio Aguero’s first-half opener before Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sanchez fired them in front.
Arsenal were looking for their second win of the season to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign, but City drew level with seven minutes to go as Martin Demichelis rose to meet Aleksandar Kolarov’s outswinging corner.
Mathieu Flamini looked to have the header covered on the line, but 'keeper Wojciech Szczesny instinctively tried to keep it out himself and could only palm the ball out of the midfielder's reach and into the net.
Stoke 3-2 Arsenal
Plenty of teams come away from the Britannia Stadium empty handed, and Arsenal’s hopes looked surely extinguished as Stoke raced into a 3-0 half-time lead back in December.
Inexperienced goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez had kept two clean sheets in two games prior to their visit to the Potteries, but it was a nightmare start for the Gunners as they fell behind after just 19 seconds.
Steven N’Zonzi fired the ball in from the right and it eventually fell for Peter Crouch, who had a simple finish as Martinez lost his balance and fell to ground before the Stoke striker stroked it into the net.
Bojan and Jonathan Walters gave the hosts a commanding lead at the break and, although Arsenal fought back with goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, it was enough to end the Gunners’ run of three wins on the trot.
Southampton 2-0 Arsenal
It was a New Year’s Day to forget for Szczesny, as two mistakes were punished by Southampton to give Ronald Koeman’s men three points.
Sadio Mane chased a ball over the top, and Szczesny raced out to close the Saints striker down, but ended up caught in no-man’s land. The Poland international tried to get back to his net but Mane curled a superb shot around the goalkeeper and beyond the last-ditch challenge of Per Mertesacker.
More calamitous defending from Wenger’s men saw them fall further behind in the second half as Steven Davis latched on to Victor Wanyama’s chipped pass and fired the ball across the six-yard box. The ball rebounded off Hector Bellerin before Szczesny, who was on the floor, inexplicably kicked the ball straight to Dusan Tadic, allowing the Saints man to double the hosts’ lead.
Arsenal 0-1 Swansea
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville lambasted David Ospina as Bafetimbi Gomis’ solitary strike gave Swansea a superb win at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal’s Colombian goalkeeper failed to keep out the Swans' striker’s 85th-minute header in time, with the ball crossing the line before he palmed it away.
And in the post-match analysis on Monday Night Football, Neville said Ospina did not reach for the ball correctly and it cost them the game for their first defeat in 10 outings.
“Tonight it was a goalkeeping mistake,” said the former Manchester United defender. “People at home will say it’s harsh, but it’s a fact.
“Ultimately when your centre-backs and full-backs get caught at the back post you need your goalkeeper to pull you out and he hasn’t done it here tonight.”
Arsenal 4-1 West Brom
Ospina’s most recent error – on the final day of the season – was a lot less costly, with the Gunners already 4-0 up against West Brom at half time thanks to a hat-trick from Theo Walcott and a superb strike from Jack Wilshere.
The Colombian had just made a good save to turn Victor Anichebe’s low effort wide, but his work was undone by a lack of authority when going for the resulting corner.
Ospina raced off his line but got lost in a sea of bodies, and was nowhere near it as Gareth McAuley rose to nod in for a simple finish.

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