A message to the media about Arsenal's number one problem

By Avenell Dave

No one could have forseen a situation this season where Jens Lehmann would have ended up as the Arsenal goalkeeper in the Premier League.

There is absolutely no set of circumstances where that would have been a possibility.

And yet it happened.

Mad Jens has brought something to the dressing room which has reminded Arsene Wenger of the ability of older, wiser heads to guide younger players.

Wenger may harp on about the youthfulness of the side that beat M*nure on Sunday but the fact is, older players are needed for the times when the going gets tough.

Some Addicts have been furious about the fact that a club with our resources should get into a situation where we would have to use a semi-retired keeper when we still had a chance for the title.

The fact is, we had a ridiculous run of goalkeeping injuries and that's why we found ourselves in that situation.

But the curious developments meant that Wojciech Szczesny has had the chance to put his talent where his mouth is and prove he is as good as he thinks he is.

And unlike Nicklas Bendtner, he's done enough to suggest that he is capable of being the Arsenal number one for the next 20 years.

We all know how indifferent Manuel Almunia is - a superb shot stopper at times but capable of the rushes of blood and moments of pure amateurishness that make him never good enough for a club like Arsenal. No wonder Mad Jens was so angry when he lost his place to the Spaniard.

Lukasz Fabianski hardly covered himself in glory when playing intermittently as an understudy, but was starting to the the confidence and run of games that suggested he was turning into the goalkeeper Wenger always claimed he could be.

But even when at his best, Fabianski doesn't have the aura that Szczesny seems to have, bossing players around, taking charge, making decisions.

The irony is that the one time he didn't make a decision, he ended up contributing to our loss in the Carling Cup final at Wembley.

But there is something about him - which the great Bob Wilson spoke about in depth late last year - that sets him apart from normal goalkeepers.

Szczesny knows where he can improve and you get the impression that he is the type of player to work and work on any area of his game that he doesn't consider perfect.

The fans around me on Sunday chanted his name, and while I feared one of his time-wasting exploits of taking the ball into the corner of the area and waiting until the very alst moment to pick it up might prove fatal, he has the confidence and the assurance to make brave decisions and stick to them.

His diving save from a free kick, his organisation in the area when free kicks and corners came in, he decision-making throughout the game...all suggest he is learning quickly and developing with the spotlight on him.

Which makes it all the more farcical that the media link us with a new goalkeeper as if Wenger will have any intention of signing anyone in the summer.

Why on earth they still talk about us spending £20m+ on Neuer is beyond me - they must think we're idiots.

Even with Almunia dropped, until he was injured, Fabianski could have expected to still be in goal for the remainder of the season and with the Spaniard off in the summer in all likelihood, Fab could have expected to be handed the number one jersey.

It would be a shock to all now if Szczesny doesn't start in that shirt next season - and while he may make the odd howler along the way, I think we all know that the goalkeeping position is now well and truly sorted in N5.