I haven’t had much time for blogging lately. I have sent the odd tweet out into the world, just so people don’t think I’ve died. Usually I tweet when a thought occurs to me that seems interesting enough to share. Sometimes I think that maybe I’m a bit like a woman asking for advice: despite initial appearances, I don’t actually want a response, I just feel the need to share my thoughts. (Apologies to any ladies offended, but you know as well as I do you don’t actually want any advice, do you?)
Anyway, after seeing some over the top and undiluted praise for Arsenal’s keeper, I tweeted earlier:
“Szczesny played well yesterday. World class keepers do that every week, in case anyone’s getting carried away. Which some are.”
Didn’t really care if anyone tweeted back, as I expected the wise to merely nod in agreement and move on.
Clearly Chezzer is capable of good performances. He wouldn’t have got where he is if he wasn’t. He’s well capable of a pretty much perfect 90 minutes. But then so is Fabianski, so was Almunia for God’s sake! Even Mannone had a faultless performance last season (once), and I’ve lost count of the number of keepers who seem to play blindingly well against Arsenal while shipping goals left, right and centre the rest of the season.
In fact if there is one position on the pitch where it’s possible to play a perfect match, keeper is probably it. But to my irritation, it only takes one or two good (not even faultless) performances from the likes of Chezzer and a section of Arsenal fans are back to lauding him as World Class, likely to be Arsenal’s keeper for the next decade or more, and other unlikely scenarios. It’s tedious having to explain that World Class players give exceptional performances week after week, and only occasionally slip from that standard. Szczesny at the moment is nowhere near that level. His decision-making is sometimes poor and sometimes terrible, as it was against Villa, and two matches where he doesn’t make the same mistakes is hardly proof of moving to a whole new level.
However, I got a few replies to my tweet. As Joe Hart appeared to cock up today, some of them concerned him – as though I had been touting him as World Class replacement for Szcsesny! I don’t consider Hart to be World Class either. He’s had periods of very good form, but is still error prone at times. Looking at the last three years, though, he is ahead of Szczesny.
I couldn’t be bothered to argue with anyone telling me anything about Hart, or how great Szczesny is, but here’s a selection of mostly sensible replies. As one says, we’ll see in a few years if he’s World Class or not. Right now, he isn’t.Twitter: @AngryOfN5