Has Wenger finally dropped Almunia?

By Avenell Dave

Arséne Wenger has revealed today that Manuel Almunia will not play against Standard Liege in the Champions League tomorrow night.

I've not seen anything official yet from Wenger and I'm sure it's just an injury, but after his lamentable displays in recent weeks, would Wenger be brave enough to drop him and give him a chance to regain his confidence.

I say confidence, because as far as form is concerned, Almunia has never really convinced.

I remember him playing against Ch*vski a few years ago and messing up and put it down to nerves but over the course of his Arsenal career, he has never really proved to be worthy of being an Arsenal goalkeeper.

Of course, in David Seaman, we had one of the best goalkeepers in the world for many years and before him, John Lukic was talented if not spectacular.

But Wenger has always had a problem with goal-stopping players and the news that Almunia will not feature tomorrow is something of a welcome surprise.

I know there are many of you out there who don't think Vito Mannone is up to the task either, and if we were playing one of Europe's bigger sides, I wonder if Almunia would be forced to play.

But although his shot-stopping is sometimes impressive, Almunia's all-round contribution and ability leaves a lot to be desired.

Let's be honest, if he had not had a rush of blood to the head against M*nure, we would not have lost that game.

Is Lukasz Fabianski the long term answer? The jury is out after some hot and cold performances, but as an international for Poland, renowned for their production of decent goalkeepers, I would have more faith in him wearing the gloves on a weekly basis than our hapless Manuel. Shame he's still injured.

With Denilson out as well tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how Mannone copes with even less defensive protection from the midfield than he might normally hope for.

And we can't rely on RvP's goals with the Dutchman out as well - but hopefully Eduardo will make the most of his chance now that his UEFA witch hunt is over.

But with Almunia convincing so few of us Addicts, what better stage to prove he is worthy of the Arsenal Number One jersey?