Arsenal’s number 2 Lukas Fabianski will step in for Manuel Almunia this afternoon. The 25 year old Polish international has had a fairly unsatisfactory career so far since joining from Legia Warsaw in the summer of 2007.
He was considered to be a great talent and possibly a future replacement for the mediocre Almunia when he signed, since he had won the award for the best goalkeeper in the Polish League for the past two seasons. But a lot of high profile errors and severe criticism completely shattered his confidence. Finally this Tuesday he had arguably his best, or as one would remember – his only good- performance in an Arsenal shirt. A penalty save and a number of exceptional saves late in the game showed how good the youngster can be on his day. One would hope his lack of confidence issues are behind him now because he is required to really turn up today with a strong performance. Otherwise, another poor performance in an already downhill career could be one too many for him.
Fabianski though is feeling confident as ever ahead of the big day:
“I am ready to play against Chelsea. I was always ready, so we will see. I was never really bothered by all the things said. I was always trying to focus on my job and my work. That is what I was always doing and that’s why I am grounded.
“I’m not talking about just saves against Belgrade, but reading the game, coming for crosses or playing with my feet. Every aspect of goalkeeping is important for me, so I am pleased with my performance.”
We, Arsenal fans, are pretty much used to seeing our beloved club lose points because of poor goalkeeping. Here’s to hoping today will not be another one of those days and that Fabianski can put his bad days behind him.