END OF SEASON REPORT CARD: Arsenal's goalkeepers

Well, that's that then. Another season done and the only thing we have to look forward to in the next couple of months is the fixture list for the next Premier League campaign coming out: June 17 at 10am, for those of you who are Addicted as we are.

But with nothing but endless tittle tattle about who might be coming in and who might be departing the Arsenal, we thought to ourselves, what better a time to rate each of our first team players with an end of term report card.

So feel free to post your views on each of our players as we analyse their contribution in the past season - we'll be covering keepers, defenders, midfielders, strikers, coaching staff and the board of directors and major shareholders, so I reckon we'll catch everyone over the next few days.

Today it's the turn of the goalkeepers to be put in the spotlight:

Manuel Almunia

End of season mark: B-

Arséne Wenger’s trick in the past has always been to discover players before anyone else or pick them up after they fail to live up to their star billing, and rebuild them better, bigger, stronger.

Manuel Almunia doesn’t really fit into that mould and after struggling to establish himself in Spain, one wonders what Wenger saw in him.

That said, George Graham did the same with Lee Dixon and Steve Bould, plucking the two lower league journeymen and turning them into legends.

But Almunia has never really lived up to his billing as Arsenal number one.

The Spaniard always looks anxious and while he is an occasionally brilliant shot-stopper, a lack of command of his box doesn’t exactly build confidence with his defence.

For all his brilliance against M*nure in the first leg of the CL semi-final, it was the exception rather than the rule, sadly and the fact that he has never been capped at any level says it all.

I have no doubt that Wenger will continue with him next season, but, just as Graham sold John Lukic and replaced him with David Seaman, Wenger should always be looking to bring in the best.

Sadly, in comparison to Seaman, his successor Jens Lehmann or even Lukic, Almunia just does not measure up. As far as the other major clubs are concerned, Almunia is the weakest compared to Pepe Reina, Petr Cech and Edwin van der Sar.

I’d like to write ‘could do better’ but I think Almunia is a bit long in the tooth for personal development.

Lukasz Fabianski

End of season mark: C+

I have long been of the belief that Almunia has just been keeping the gloves warm for Lukasz Fabianski.

Successful in Poland, a regular in his national team despite the presence of Artur Boruc and M*nure’s rather handy Tomasz Kuszak, he should be the natural long term option at Arsenal. On top of that, Poland has something of a reputation for developing great keepers so he is in good company.

We Gooners will remember him this season for his two performances against Ch*vski late in the season, when he seemed to swap places with his dumb twin brother, flapping at efforts he should have saved, making rash decisions and letting the side down. As a goalkeeper, any error is costly.

To be fair to him, Fabianski has looked assured in most of his games for Arsenal this season. He comes out of his area when needed to sweep up, he commands his box and he doesn’t bottle any of the big challenges.

For that reason, I’m going to retain the benefit of the doubt in him. I believe he could be world class, and I’m not going to judge him just yet.

Vito Mannone

End of season mark: C

What can you say about the young Italian? He hasn’t let in a senior goal this season – albeit playing against a side who only turned up for the appearance money.

Let’s be honest – we couldn’t tell much about him but at least he didn’t look or act like a complete rookie despite it being his debut.

Positive beginnings but there’s no doubt a long way to go.