Lucasz Fabianski error may have cost the Gunners a place in the FA Cup final but the Polish ‘keeper has all the ingredients to be Arsenal’s number one in the near future.
Birthdays are not meant to be like this but Lucasz Fabianski’s misjudgment unfortunately presented Chelsea with the match and the place in the FA Cup final against Everton. He made his mind up to come out and in the end fell agonisingly short. Some remain unconvinced by the Polish shot-stopper but Fabianski has all the ingredients to be Arsenal’s goalkeeper for years to come.
In what is a rarity, Lucasz Fabianski joined the Gunners last season at the tender age of 22 with Arsenal usually going with the reverse trend of outfield players and signing more experienced keepers. It says a lot of Fabianski to be signed at such a young age and expect to challenge for a first team spot. At any team he would be number one but joining Arsenal demands more; the high line requires great anticipation, rushing out and kicking.
Young goalkeepers are a rarity too; Casillas was a special talent, a leader too but would he have coped with the same demands placed on Arsenal keepers? He has got everything now and still 27, it shows goalkeepers require games more than any other position to get into the flow. Rafa Benitez said of Pepe Reina, who also signs keepers for more than just shot-stopping reasons, such as the means to distribute play quickly as typified by his assist against Aston Villa; “He can do almost everything well. He can make mistakes, like any keeper; but he’s good in the air, his distribution is good, he is always talking and organising the defence. He’s quick. I think he is the complete keeper.”
Fabianski represents the best of a fantastic goalkeeping talent to come out of Poland having won the Polish soccer Oscar twice in a row only in his early twenties. The Pole started at MSP Szamotuly, an independent academy that specialises in producing goalkeepers. The privately owned school funded by local businessmen, takes promising players from the age of 12, trains them and sells them on to Polish clubs. Fabianski is understood to have been recommended to Arsenal by Frans Hoek, the former Ajax and Barcelona coach, who is regarded by many as the world’s best goalkeeping coach.
“I firmly believe that he will be one of the greatest keepers in the world,” said Wenger. “He has the talent, he’s intelligent, he’s brave and is very good technically. He was not at his best against Chelsea and you have to accept that can happen to anyone. It happened to Cech last Tuesday against Liverpool in the Champions League.”
The MSP Szamotuly academy have a high regard for players emotional development (likeable, modest, strong and mature) and the Arsenal keeper will come back stronger than ever from the setback.