Ospina determined to take Cech’s place

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David Ospina says he’s happy at Arsenal and he’s looking forward to another year challenging Petr Cech for a regular starting berth.

The Colombian is likely to start the season as back-up to the Czech but looks set to be guaranteed game time in the Europa League. Emiliano Martinez will be handed the responsibility between the sticks for League Cup matches.

As we reported the other day, despite a summer of speculation linking him with a move away from the Emirates, Ospina is not looking for a new challenge.

“I have a contract here [until 2020],” he’s quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.

“I’m happy and I’m going to fight to the end, I want to continue and win a job.

“That’s what I’m working for, I’ve been working for three years and now I’m waiting for the opportunity.”

It’s fair to assume that the departure of Wojciech Szczesny, who Ospina usurped as club number one back in 2015, probably made the Colombian’s decision to stick around a little easier.

He’s not everyone’s cup of tea (why do you stand so far back behind the goal line Dave?) but he’s proved to be pretty reliable when called upon over the last few seasons.

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67 Comments on "Ospina determined to take Cech’s place"

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Pedant

6 foot isn’t tall enough, someone taller can cover more of the goal.

OK back-up but would have preferred Szcz. Anyway, guess we need to move on from that.

SuckIt

Pantilimon must be the best keeper ever then.

Pedant

Cech and Szcz will make fingertip saves Ospina can’t. They will jump above attackers and dominate their area when Ospina can’t.

Someone tall can still be a poor keeper but if we have two keepers with the same ability then the taller one wins every time.

Mr Blobby

6ft Fabien Barthez might question that logic

Pedant

Like Pantilimon, there will always be exceptions. I know a Tottenham supporter that is OK.

However taller is better for the same skills.

Crash Fistfight

Barthez was a complete liability of a goalkeeper! A certain goal gifted to Thierry Henry comes to mind…

A different George

Yeah, except when he won the World Cup.

Ponsonby Gooner

Can someone please tell me what’s so great about winning a World Cup?

Crash Fistfight

Christophe Dugarry was obviously brilliant as well, then.

PFo

And Stephan Guivarch.

PFo

Yes, because no mediocre player has ever won the World Cup…

Martin

Seriously do you consider him to be a better than average goalie. ?

PFo

He was a very average keeper.

Brian

Cech and Szcz , finger tip saves . Jumping above the attacker . Pf,ff . Ospina goes through them , YESSSS .

john rambo

But by your logic the taller keeper wouldn’t be as good as getting down to low shots or as quick with his feet, right?

Ivan Drago

Casillas is 6ft, that really held him back being one of the world’s best keepers for over ten years…

emob

No, but it was a disadvantage he had to overcome.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

…or undercome if he was only 6 foot.

Pedant

Six foot 1 if we are being pedantic.

Like Pantilimon, there will always be exceptions. However taller is better for the same skills.

Loose_Cannon

Pedant, right now you’re just like the girls on Tinder!

Crash Fistfight

Casillas is probably the most overrated goalkeeper of all time. It must have been tough being the goalkeeper for Real Madrid in a two-team league and Spain when their opponents barely had the ball for 90 minutes each game…

He was great as soon as he left, wasn’t he?

A different George

To repeat what I said about Barthez: “Yeah, except when he won the World Cup.”

Yak

Casillas kept for during a period when they were struggling. They were a defensive shambles and he almost single handedly kept them competitive during that spell; hence the moniker San Iker!

Wole

Spot on. He is too small and his statistic are simply not good enough. Its not every ball that beats the defenders that must hit the net, but I say that “happen” in the game against Bayern last season and against Chelsea this pre season with Ospina in goal.

Huresohn

Hmm, Szcz had one of the worst shot:save ratios in Europe a few seasons back, but don’t let that statistics get in the way of the argument..

Martin

He certainly didn’t the past 2 years and became a great keeper. Pity we sold him.

Kwame Ampadu Down

If his decision making & positioning was better his size wouldn’t be an issue. Good enough to be Arsenal no.1? Not even close imo.

Geefive

I’m not saying Shay Given is Arsenal quality or ever was, but he played in this league for years and he’s the size of an Oompa Loompa….

Blex

Iker casillas

Bon Jello

I’ve seen this argument time and time again here, and it’s endless. It used to happen a lot in boxing conversation many moons ago. Both sides have good points but you’re missing crucial details, height is simply a better indicator of reach. Reach is the bigger issue, but crucially reaction is usually the deciding factor in a keeper making an important save.

Professionals learn their skillset in line with their natural strengths/weaknesses, as such a keeper like Ospina will have trained himself to avoid his own weaknesses.
A shorter keeper, or one with a lesser reach, will usually keep a foot back (like Ospina standing deep) in anticipation of maximising their lift (like an animal that prepares to pounce), and therefore reach.
However in instances such as one-on-ones, follow-up/rebound saves, (some) free kicks and penalties, a keeper has less reaction time and freedom of movement. So if you’ve got someone of average height and reach, and in a position where they have less reaction time, they (in this case Ospina) have deadzones in the far corners of the goal frame they simply can’t get to in time, no matter how hard they train. In turn smart attackers will place the ball in the corners, rather than test the keepers strengths, and in this case no matter how good a keeper seems they can soon look foolish.

There’s also a few micro-factors in this debate that weigh in too; hand span, finger muscle strength, coordination, positioning, body shape, flexibility, left/right/both handedness, the reaction to catch or parry, even luck. And then there’s the dominance factor, which height helps, but is more down to the keepers ferocity and defensive organisation.

People so often say “Oh, we’re fine for GK/DEFs, lets focus on offensive players!” then come April when Andy Carrol (or someone similar) has just eliminated our title hopes with a hat-trick, this debate flares up again and people demand a total overhaul. An average height keeper with a tall defence may not be as exposed, but at Arsenal Ospina really does struggle without Per in the back-line, sometimes leading to rash decision making.
The reality is whilst not the most important factor in a GK/DEF, height/reach is an important element in a team which does need to be addressed otherwise people will try to exploit it (just like any weakness). And currently Arsenal are limited in that regard, in the coming years we may need to introduce one or two bigger, athletic defensive players (statistically we’re midtable in set-piece attack conversion, and while the numbers are better defensively, we’re notably vulnerable there – and our opposition knows this), but we shouldn’t be singling individuals out for this reason, it’s very much cumulative. Were Ospina to have athletic giants like Koulibaly, Varane and vin Dijk in front of him, nobody would care less about his height, but at Arsenal he doesn’t have that.

Keepers such as Barthez had unbelievable reactions, even if sometimes he’d engage his body before his brain. Casillas has superb reactions, dominance, and great reach, hence his prominence in that role and the trophies and accolades he’s accumulated, despite his ‘average’ height. Ospina (of whom I’m a big fan), has good reactions, decent reach, and average height* (*for GK), but these, sadly, are a combination that top tier attackers can exploit, regardless of how good some of his other traits can be. If Ospina had excellent reach then there’d be little concern…
But as it stands there shouldn’t be too great a concern. Height/reach is important for a keeper, that shouldn’t be overlooked, but let’s face facts, he’s our second choice, and so far he’s been pretty good when called on. We could do an awful lot worse. And in the Europa he’ll likely come up against more European style football, meaning there’s slightly less emphasis on aerial ability/dominance as the ball (generally) travels on the floor more. I honestly think we’ll have more defensive success in the Europa than any other competition next season.

I’m really sorry for the long-winded explanation but I’m getting so tired of the constant, endless in-fighting in the comments sections, that I thought breaking it down to facts may dissipate the increasing tension.
Hope you all have a nice evening 😊

GoonerN16

Good analysis bon jello, thank you…

ForeignGooner

Good attitude.

Tommy K

I have to say, I feel a lot more confident in Ooooospina as our number 2 than Emi Martinez at this moment in time (and who doesn’t enjoy shouting “Ooooospina” every time he attempts…and fails…to hoof it to the half way line?).

Not that I’ve got anything against Martinez, quite the opposite, but we simply haven’t seen enough of him in competitive action to put that much responsibility on his shoulders at this stage. It seems a season-long loan deal would be the most sensible option for both Emi – and us.

OneBeatOff

Made some great saves in some big games. He has my faith.

Martin

What about the mistakes.? He’s not good enough in his decision making.

Kostas Greek Gooner

I believe his mistake per minutes ratio will drop if he starts regularly. I believe that Wenger should create a healthy contest between them and dont just hand No1 grandees’

GunnerYY

Probably will get a first spot for Europa and FA along with Martinez.
But in PL Cech will fill the role, unless Cech injured i can’t see him become PL starter, moreover if Cech is Wenger’s favorite no matter how good Ospina is and bad Cech in some period of time, the spot still for Cech

Helmet Lampshade

he gets a bad rap, but he’s always been decent, just never really looked like a no.1

Bobby_Pires_Boots

You need to be more than determined. You need to be good at your job. You need to do more than stand rigid and go “sheeeeeeeeet” and then flap when Costa is standing in front of you before taping the ball past you into your net. I don’t rate Ospina. he’s no better than Almunia, Fabianski, etc in my opinion. Not even a good enough stand in.

Chris

I kind of agree and disagree, the season Scz lost the plot Ospina came in and he helped steady the ship, which could of easily seen us drop out of the CL a few seasons earlier. He does have things like this in him though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liXeEouKpzo which is why I can never fully trust him so thanks David but your not my No 1.

Martin

I’m pleased someone sees him tha same as me. Why the hell did he let Szczesny leave ?

Paul mccarthy

The fact that other clubs are not exactly queuing up to prise him away speaks volumes, he would not be number 1 for any premiership team. To small, rarely comes for or catches crosses, decent shot stopper but even that is negated by his size, seen numerous goals conceded due to both of those issues but because they are not obvious errors they go unnoticed.

Matt

Has some advantages over Cech
Being able to save penalties and dive to his right, being two of them

NotSoFatGooner

Like he did in the FA Cup final? Dive right for the Costa goal i mean.

beNZed

Ooooooospina!!

Sorely undervalued ‘keeper. Superb #2

Wole

He can’t and he will not. He is too small in size and proven himself incapable of keeping clean sheets. Good keepers, even when their defenders have had a bad day should somehow still manage a decent score sheet. 10 goals against Bayern last season, 3 already against Chelsea this season…common, that’s alarming and I wander if the coaches are taken count!!!

Crash Fistfight

Hardly fair, and this coming from someone who wanted him shipped out and Szczesny kept.

Martin

Well if he grows a few inches and improves his decision making it might happen. An average keeper who fills me with dread. Never commands his area as a good keeper should. Letting Szczesny leave was a terrible error.

Florin

“I have a contract here [until 2020]”

2020, FFS

I Am Gunnaaaaa

If Ospina is staying, then Martinez needs to go on loan. He is too good and has too much potential to just be a third rate cup match fill in.

Iceberg10

I like him I really do, but I still prefer Szczesny who looks like he has really developed over the last two Seasons. Besides, he looks a genuine Gooner. But that’s done and dusted and time to move forward, Ospina has my support as long as he’s here.

Goontang

Is someone actually going to wear the number 1 jersey this year ffs.

Tapps

Please let Jens teach him how to deal with crosses!

Rectum_Spectrum

great news – good for Ospina. This is all part of having a competitive squad.

Gooner223

Fuck me, running. I’ve grown very tired of this man. He wants to move, he wants to stay, he wants to be number one. He is not good enough to be number one between our sticks. I’ve tired of his theatrics, his flash in the pan performances, his face palming decisions that make blooper reels and have others wondering just what in the actual fuck he is doing. We let Emi sit, so this hobgoblin can pretend he can be somebody, someday, soon. Face it, he doesn’t want to move, because, why would he? We’re paying him £40K/wk to sit on his ass, and no one else is willing to pay THAT, or anywhere close, for his mediocrity. Down arrow away lads, this one has me bent. I simply cannot find anything magnanimous to say about this.

Carlos Águila

Let’s not forget so soon that he was in between the sticks during the FA Cup Final last season. If so ask Diego Costa.

Crash Fistfight

Yep, Costa must’ve been laughing when he let in that soft goal.

UGooner

or May be a real goal keeping genius in Jens decided he’s good enough to b backup over Scz

Igbo Amadi-Obi

It is more than “a summer of speculations linking him with a move away from the Emirates…” We were actually told he wanted to leave, and that a Turkish club had offered money, but our club was looking to get a better offer.

yen

This is an interesting topic, since it is not black & white (but then again, what is) and the fan base is far from consensus about it.

I made a comment earlier (under the last article we had about Ospina) about why I don’t trust him between the sticks. Here’s a part of it:

“His height is simply too limiting and he hasn’t got enough tenacity to make up for it. Every time there’s a cross in the box and he has to go into a clash with a physical striker, it seems to be a problem. And I feel like he solves this problem by relying on the ref too much – meaning he goes down, loses the challenge, goes through the whole “micro-injury” thing we see way too many often – and hopes for the best.”

Whilst 1/3 of the people seemed to agree with me (based on thumbs up/down), the rest didn’t – no problem with that, but I would love to hear some arguments from the other side. So, what is it that Ospina has which you feel makes up for his lack of height (and the problems which come with it)?

I respect he’s a great shoot-stopper and don’t want my comment to come out like “ehrmahgerd he’s short ffs.”

My feeling is that Premier League is very physical (and now he wants to be nr.1, which kinda means he would be a starter in the Prem) and the GK is more likely to find himself in situations of chaos in the box where he needs to knock down everyone around him and get the ball rather than one where he gotta stop a fancy shot.

Steve Tulett

Dustbin Dave

A different George

I thought there was a strict club rule that any keeper who wins the FA Cup must never play for us again.

hernan

Jaja Jaja all this discussion are so stupid. When Ospina was number 1 Arsenal went to champions league with Cech Arsenal had the 2 worse consecutive season no either Champion League or somebody proof me something different?

Gooner4lifeFozzy

Great to hear from Ospina. I think he’s a class goalie and he’s saved our bacon on more then one occasion. Nice to hear him say he wants to fight for his place just like Giroud said a couple of months back. Any player that is committed to Arsenal is alright with me. COME ON YOU GUNNERS

Original Paul

Having skimmed down the comments I am shocked, surprised and disappointed the nobody has said “Ooooooossssspppiiiiinnnnaaaaaaa”! 🙂

Ausdrexler

Surely now the great German GK is in the coaching team, Ospina’s skillsets will improve!

Shaving arshavin

Could be worse. Could be choosing between almunia and fabianski.

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