MANCHESTER ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Lukasz Fabianski of Arsenal makes a save from Emmanuel Adebayor of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at City of Manchester Stadium on October 24 2010 in Manchester England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The second of our player reviews focuses on Lukasz Fabianski
Lukasz Fabianski might one of the unluckiest goalkeepers in the world. In the first half of 2010, Arsene Wenger gave him lots of chances to supplant Manuel Almunia, but Fabianski was awful in all of them. Finally, though, he does supplant Almunia, and shows confidence and a shot stopping ability that many didn't know was possible. Then, he injures his shoulder and countryman Wojciech Szczesny never looks back. As a result, Fabianski only started 6 games, none of which were in the league. Unsurprisingly, he wants to leave, with his first team and national teams limited by not being played and by the excellence of Szczesny.
Aidan: It's hard to judge a player on 6 games, especially a goalkeeper, but Fabianski didn't look great; he could've done better for Darren Bent's goal in the FA Cup 4th round and he was horrendous in the half an hour he played against Olympiacos. It's hard on him, because on his day he can be an excellent keeper, but he's too dodgy on crosses; having him against Stoke would be a nightmare. His distribution is far better than Szczesny's, but it doesn't make up for the other Pole's superiority in basically everything else. It speaks volumes that even though Szczesny couldn't train, and was hampered by a shoulder injury, Arsene Wenger decided not to select Fabianski. Best of luck elsewhere, Lukasz.
Paul: There is almost nothing good about being a goalkeeper. Think about it - if you're a midfielder and you make one mistake in a game, chances are either no one will notice or the mistake will be covered by a teammate and it won't linger in the mind for more than a couple seconds. Now imagine being a goalkeeper. One mistake = one goal. Multiple mistakes = enjoy the bench! This year, Fab only played in the Carling and FA Cups and in the meaningless Champions League game against Olymipakos; in none of those games did he cover himself in glory. A good emergency keeper to have around, but not someone you'd want to count on every game.
Ted: Losing 2-0 to Sunderland away to crash out of the FA Cup was probably the lowest moment of the year for me, coming as it did on the heels of the 4-0 loss at Milan and just before the dawn (5-2 vs. Spurs). Fabianski didn't do much in the Sunderland match; he didn't even help Ox out of the net after his own goal. That being said, backup keepers are backup keepers. They need merely to exist, basically, and if he had to fill in for more than the few matches he did this year, it wouldn't be the end times. There are worse. (*Remembers Porto Champions League Match*) I think.
Thomas: Last season Lukasz Fabianski was, for a brief shining moment, the goalkeeper Arsene Wenger keeps telling us he is. He was The Man, after Manuel Almunia finally succumbed to being awful, and looked ready to take his #1 shirt. Then he hurt his shoulder, and his assailant took his starting spot and his Poland place, and looks to keep both for the foreseeable future. He appeared in four games this season, and wasn't impressive in any really. He says he thinks he deserves to start, and based on 2010 I believe him: but not for Arsenal. He is likely to leave this summer with his lasting impression being his nickname, the inauspicious "Flappyhandski," but that's not really fair. Given regular games he could be a fine goalkeeper. He is a talented player, but not enough for us. So farewell, and good luck.
Grade: 5/10, :/