Fabianski’s save was my favourite moment of the season

Prior to Arsenal’s trip to Belgrade I spoke of the consequences that Lukasz Fabianski’s performance could have on Sunday’s game against Chelsea.

“The big problem relating to the goalkeeper situation comes if Almunia is short for Chelsea. Does Wenger throw in Fabianski even if he bungles in Belgrade? Or does he use the opportunity to give the other Pole an opportunity? What about if Fabianski plays perfectly well or has a spectacular game? I think we will learn a lot this week.”

And I think we have.

While one strong performance is not enough to erase the doubts that exist over Fabianski’s first-team ability, the simple fact is that we have one goalkeeper whose confidence is up and another whose is in the gutter. I have no doubts in my mind that Manuel Almunia is genuinely injured but that’s not to say that he’s not still feeling the psychological impacts of a real poor performance against West Brom.

Fabianski, on the other hand, appears to be flying. He has received glowing tributes from Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and his biggest fan, Arsene Wenger and boldy declared he is “ready, always ready” to play at Chelsea on Sunday. If he sounds like a man full of confidence it’s because he is.

Fabianski celebrates his save

I have to say that the Pole’s penalty save against Partizan was my favourite moment of the season so far. When the referee pointed to the spot with the score at a comfortable 3-1 my first thought (and brilliantly, the first thought of the fellow sitting next to me in the pub was) was this is Lukasz’s chance. This is his opportunity to make a big impact on the game and get his confidence up. When Fabianski made the save and let out a huge roar of delight, I was roaring just as loudly.

Whether he kicks on from here is very much up to him, but if he is chosen against Chelsea and has a great game, what sort of impact could it have on him and the team? I’m getting excited just thinking about it, even despite my tendency to lean towards realism rather than optimism.

In less positive pre-Chelsea news it seems that Thomas Vermaelen will be short for Sunday’s game with his niggling achilles problem. It means we’ll be set to play the defensive pairing of Sebastien Squillaci and Laurent Koscielny with potential support from Fabianski in goals.

Is it a defensive unit good enough to hold out Chelsea at Stamford Bridge? Let me know your thoughts.

Until tomorrow.

Have your say on Fabianski and our defence for Chelsea by leaving a comment.



  1. I totally agree with you – there is nothing like the sweet smell of redemption to provide an exciting early narrative for the season. You don’t get a much tougher game than Sunday so it will be a real test of improvement. Bring it on!

  2. Squillaci and Koscielny were good up till West Brom last weekend…Koscielny was rested for the Champions League so he should be refreshed and ready to take on Drogba & co. In all honesty, there isn’t a better time to face Chelsea. Yes they did beat Marseille but the Chelsea we face is entirely unstoppable. They are missing Frank Lampard and we may be missing Fabregas (*crosses fingers* he is ok) but this season I think we have a stronger bench than Chelsea. If our defence holds, I have got faith that our attack can cause trouble for Chelsea’s defence…here’s to a 1-0 victory with Chamakh getting the winning goal!

  3. Really? i don’t mind if the team lose because i don’t expect anything from Sunday game. I am just hoping for good performance. Please

  4. we can win against chelsea if our back 4 play well,i just wish velmelene cud play,am impressed with the way Gibbs is play especially his final ball,much better than Clinchy’s.

  5. I think the center-half partnership of Kos & Squillaci is quite good. They looked poor in the WBA game due to lack of cover in front of them (Song was not doing his job & Diaby had a really bad game).
    Wilshere is the guy to provide the spark of creativity and also the much needed cover for the back 4 along with Song.
    If we throw in a midfield trio of Song-Wilshere-Cesc (or Nasri) I feel that we can cause them a lot of trouble at the bridge.
    A win will reignite our season…………………settling for a point won’t be bad either.

  6. i heard that M. Essien is injured!is this true?if so am fuly confident of taking all 3points @bridge!if you have noticed Essien always causes problems against us & when missing we always outplay chelsea & hv even grabbed a point on several occassions!i pray he is out..

  7. Please remenber Drogba.He always hits the back of the net of Arsenal’s goal post.A regular customer to get cheap goals from Arsenal?Even a draw will have a ray of hope for this season.When wlll our Gunner fans have a mature & secure Arsenal team.To wait for a decade?

  8. My heart obviously wants a win but a good battling draw would do for me. I want us to turn up not like we did at home Saturday. Jack Wilshere to start and get stuck in to their midfield is a must. Song to do his job of DM and not to go goal hunting. Even have 2 DM’s to protect the back 4. I know its not our way but not to lose is a must with a good performance please!

  9. like you as was so happy Fabianski had a good game, i know our goalkeepers dont breed confidence in us gooners, but i for one will be right behind Fabianski from the kick off on sunday, giving him my full vocal support, tuesdays game in belgrade could be a catalyst to great things for this young keeper, and the rest of the Arsenal


  10. great he saved a penalty but shot stopper as never bin his problem u gotta remember chelski will b throwing good crosses in to the box thats where his problem is can sum1 tell tel why wenger is against chamakh playing along side vela its always a strait swap vela will do good playing along side a big striker but as the lone man up front vela will never b able 2 do that job

  11. As my good friend Andy said in Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” Maybe this is when Lukasz shows us he has a similar attitude.

  12. Mmmmm, Almunia saved a penalty and made a couple of great saves against WBA, no-one seems to be mentioning that in the goalkeeping debate, though. Schwartzer, too, has not been having a good season, constantly coming out and failing to get crosses, no mention of that anywhere either. I think poor old MA is now damned whatever he does, fickle game football.

  13. When asked, after the Partizan game, Wenger would not commit himself about who would play in goal against Chelsea.

    Fabianski’s confidence is high, Almunia’s is on the ground. If Almunia is fit and does not play on Sunday that could signal the end of his Arsenal career.

    If Fabianski plays it will take only one error to knock his confidence.

    Wenger is proverbially between a rock and a hard place. It is at times like these that managers earn their super high wages.

    Let’s hope Le Professeur gets it right.

  14. It totally was good to see Fabianski put in a good performance. Hopefully he will have the confidence to find some consistency and silence most of his critics. Looking forward to see how Wilshere does against Chelsea. I predict a goal from Nasri based on his high energy and creativity in the last couple of matches. I think it’ll be a great game.

    Party On!

  15. well well this sunday will answer a lot of questions about arsenal, FOR SURE, they worked hard in belagrade and they must get credit BUT the quality of the opposition munt also be a factor, lets face it belgard ewere poor to say the least but three points is three points.
    Wenger has said that this team has matured and is more experienced this season, but our record againt chls is not that good and drogba is also an issue. Thsi match will tell us if this team has improved or not hell i will take a draw and call that improvement as long as we don’t get beat good luck guys lets see if you have really grown any ball compared to last year

  16. I think Fabianski will take the chance to show how he can help Arsenal win the title this season by having a great game this wkend and close down the points from a potential 7 to 1. If he can do it, i forsee a great future in him as Arsenal’s no.1 – A great goalkeeper that can help the club win titles. =D

  17. Well done Fabianski….but c’mon it wasnt a brilliant display, he wasnt even the best goalie on display in that game….this is what I mean when you all jump to give more praise than is due just to appease yourselves that our keepers are good enough….best moment of the season so far, one of our keepers making a save…….hhhmmmm…..it was good reflexes but can hardly be put in the same bracket as some of the joe hart saves vs tottenham or reinas display at birmingham….
    I want him to do well but I just cant understand why so many are so quick to overate so many of our players….its half the reason Diaby, Deni and co get flogged because you make them out to be sometin their not, then strive to justify consistant substandard displays as ‘one offs’, it patronises people who can see with their own eyes and know about football…..then to add fuel to the fire you brand the same people negative, if you cant be objective your not helping.
    Great to hear the guy is confident, maybe instead of talking about how up for it he is he should take this time to thank the manager and fans for their patience.
    As for Almunia, where are all the guys who branded us negative for wanting him out in the summer….yeah, thought so…..that second goal incapsulated everything about the guys ability…hes not even related to a goalkeeper.

  18. Glad to see someone remark on how badly Schwarzer has looked this season; responsible for goal v. Rovers and had to have defender clear off end line earlier in that game. Also, no remark about how all of our outfield players were ball-watching on Arshavins pk; absolutely basic inattention!

  19. @ shambogunner
    What’s up mate?
    great article by the way give me your prediction for sunday am really interested to know…..
    Have we improved from last season?

  20. @ Shambo – “Best moment of the season” is not the same as “favourite moment”. For pure joy and satisfaction, Fabianski’s save was my favourite moment of the season so far. Football is a great sport and as you know well by now the thing that gets me most interested is the human element. It is a representation of life in so many ways and Lukasz’s celebration was a great illustration of this. It encapsulated the little story that is going on in his career and no matter where things go from here, I will always enjoy that moment.

    I know we’ve talked more but so many of your posts are to do with what is wrong with the team, not to get ahead of things, not to believe that they can win a trophy but most teams don’t win silverware and their supporters are able to enjoy themselves. If you cannot find a way to enjoy the little stories, the moments like Fabianski, while watching football it kind of renders the whole thing pretty pointless.

  21. For me, the two players that can determine how the squad does are Song and Clichy. Song, for the reasons that many on here have already discussed: not being disciplined in his positioning. The other player is Clichy. For good reasons, people are focusing on the goalkeeper, but for me, Clichy just has to perform well in this game.

    It seems a bit strange to say this, but with Nasri, Wilshere, and Rosicky playing as well as they are, I am not really worried about Fabregas not being in the side. I just pray that Diaby and Song are not on the pitch at the same time!

  22. The season starts Sunday! Am more interested in the performance than the actual result to be honest. Chelski have had the wood over us for the last 3 or 4 seasons to be fair. We got a result at the Bridge two seasons ago when RvP scored two crackers – but one should have been disalowed for offside if my memory serves me. Obviously I want us to win but I more than that don’t want us to be blown away so easily and for our defence to stand up to Drogba better than the last few games. Personally, with Fabregas out (it would seem) I would go for Song, Denilson and Wilshire with Nasri, Chamakh and Arsh as our front three. I think Denilson is more disciplined than Diaby and holds his position better defensively. Am assuming the back four will be Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny and Clichy but I would like to see Gibss there at LB. Keeper? Who needs one? Let someone play rush goalie!

  23. A win would be outstanding but a draw is more realistic, a lost would be damaging to league standings. So the point is Arsenal cannot lose, I still haven’t found any favourite momments, if i had to choose it would probably be Jack Wilshere’s emergence as a holding player.

  24. @Shambo

    Well you can’t stop people from being optimistic and happy about the team. Nobody’s trying to patronize anybody here, its just supporters doing what supporters do, which is enjoy the momments, bad or good. Some of us will praise Deni, some of us will defend Diaby whilst some of us wishes Song’s hair was not that colour.

    I do hope Almunia gets shipped out soon but sometimes its better not to repeat things thats been repeated over and over by most arsenal supporters.

    Sometimes taking a step back and enjoying the momments does wonders for the heart.

  25. Why not Fabianski…he WILL do the job. If our defense shapes up, it will make Fabianski more confident.. A draw will be a good result, a WIN will be better to make up the loss against WBA. We should not try to walk into the net and waste crucial chances. UP the Gunners

  26. Andy,
    You are a legend, Iv never met anyone that knows what they like about the game and can express themselves so articulately, I admire you, everytime I come on here you have something intelligent to say and you have never knocked any opinions, which is lucky for me as Im often quick to express an emotion, I am too impulsive but my feelings stem from, not NEEDING silverware, but a desire to see pride and determination from our players, I want them to to represent how we feel through their performances on the pitch, but all too often I am left disdsapointed in this respect….the football we play is the BEST on the planet, I dont think Barce play total football, when they are in trouble the ball goes to Messi ALL the time, when we hav had games in the balance we have never abandoned our philosophy and we have stayed passing the ball….often to our own detriment, this is something Im am very proud of though and shows a belief and discipline that other top teams DO NOT possess.
    Looking at the Fabianski instance the other night from your perspective I can enjoy and now appreciate the moment, but if Im honest it pales in comparison to how I felt when we used to go to Old Trafford and fight tooth and nail for each other, also a human element, when Van Nistlerooy got Vieira sent off and when he missed that pen, the reaction after wasnt pretty but how did it make you feel when it was unrolling in front your eyes??? they were representing what we love and representing how we felt, sometimes I feel no connection with the team when I see Diaby getting tackled the way he did by robinson and none of our guys getting angry or getting in robinsons face….in OUR home ground, no wonder teams think the can come and do this to us.
    You and I can come on here and kick up stink about Robinson and his comments after, but really if that happened at Anfield, Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge you could have been sure that muppet would have got what he was looking for……and those teams have not witnessed the horror tackles our guys have in recent years….you would think such shocking instances as this would trigger reactions form our guys but no, I just cant understand that.

  27. This is a really good push for fabby i hope he can keep it up for the games against chelsea he needs to be very good for them

  28. Were just to small up top and in back also we need to get a legitimate #1 keeper
    Given is rotting away on city’s bench just an idea

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