Thursday 23 November 2017

Seaman urges Wenger to move for Schwarzer

Mark Schwarzer. Photo: Getty Images
Mark Schwarzer. Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal legend David Seaman feels signing Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer could be the difference between success and another season of failure for the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger looks set to move for the wantaway Fulham stopper, who is reported to have handed in a transfer request after the Cottagers rejected a £2m summer bid.

Current Arsenal number one Manuel Almunia captained the side in their opening game of the new Barclays Premier League season at Liverpool, where a fine late save from Steven Gerrard's free-kick helped secure a dramatic 1-1 draw after an own goal from Reds keeper Pepe Reina.

However, the Spaniard admits the constant speculation has been unsettling, and revealed he would consider his own future if an experienced goalkeeper such as Schwarzer was brought in.

Seaman, though, believes Almunia and his deputy Lukasz Fabianski have cost his old club dear with some high-profile errors.

The 46-year-old former England number one - nicknamed 'safe hands' and part of Wenger's Invincibles side of 2003/2004 - said: "Both Almunia and Fabianski did not end the season well. They both made mistakes in high-profile games that effectively cost them the chance of some silverware.

"It means if the quality of someone like Mark Schwarzer becomes available, then Arsene needs to look at him.

"He is a great player, tried and tested and can make saves that win you games. He is a world-class goalkeeper."

Seaman, talking at the launch of Yahoo!'s online Barclays Premier League highlights, feels Arsenal will have to maintain their high standards throughout the campaign if they are to overcome Chelsea and Manchester United, while also fend off the challenge of another of his old clubs, big-spending Manchester City.

"I am desperate for Arsenal to do well, but they need to be more consistent," said Seaman, who joined the Gunners from Queen's Park Rangers in 1990 and went on to make 564 appearances, winning three league championships and the FA Cup four times.

"They have got to play ugly at times, sneak a few results when they are not playing well."

Wenger has not secured a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, while the unbeaten campaign was the last time the Gunners lifted the championship.

The 60-year-old coach looks set to finish his managerial career at Emirates Stadium after last week signing a contract extension.

Seaman feels it is only a matter of time before Wenger's young Gunners deliver.

"He is by far the best manager I have had. He will get it right again," Seaman said.

"He has built the ground, the training ground. Now he wants trophies. I can see him winning them."

Arsenal's injury problems were extended today with the news midfielder Samir Nasri would be out for a month after needing minor knee surgery.

Captain Cesc Fabregas missed the trip to Anfield because of illness, but the World Cup winner - now fully focused on Arsenal after a much-hyped, big-money summer move to Barcelona failed to materialise - is expected to be back in contention for Saturday's visit of new boys Blackpool.

However, with Alex Song hampered by a calf injury which kept the Cameroon midfielder on the bench at Liverpool, Denilson not making the trip to Merseyside at all because of an abdominal problem and Wales international Aaron Ramsey still some way from a return after his broken leg last season, England teenager Jack Wilshere could be in line for only his second Premier League start for the club.

Wenger, though, has more worries in the centre of defence, with summer signing Laurent Koscielny suspended after his sending-off for two late yellow cards at Anfield and Johan Djourou, just back from a long-term knee injury, battling to shrug off a hamstring problem.

The Arsenal Supporters Trust today launched the 'Fanshare' initiative which offers supporters the chance to purchase affordable part stock in the Gunners' parent holding company.

Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson welcomed the move, which has the full support of the Arsenal board.

He said: "It is part of the coalition agreement to encourage supporters to have more representation at their clubs.

"Arsenal's proposal is an enlightened and forward looking way of doing this and makes it affordable for their fans to own a part of their club.

"Clearly it is for individual clubs to decide, but this is a model I would like to see other teams explore."

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