New signing Fabianski stated that he wants to go for the Number 1 shirt, while Armand Traore wants to make first team sometime soon. As the season drags on and more injuries start piling up, Wenger will have no choice but to have the responsibility fall onto those further back in the line of succession.
With Lehmann no longer the first choice, he’s gunning for a deputy spot in the goalkeeping line. He’s young, he’s ambitious, and he’s got the right amount of agility. He looked sharp in the pre-season friendlies. That goal he conceded in the Salzburg game was a defensive error firstly. He is not afraid to get close to the opposing players running at him.
His saves are just as bright, and he’s certainly a good comparison to Petr Cech when it comes to acrobatic moves and anticipation. Once he handles the ball, he’s always going to look for an opening for a speedy retaliation. He knows just how dangerous the Arsenal strike force in a counter-attack is once all the opposing players are drawn further from their goal and have to scramble back to defend. An example is Lehmann’s throw to Sagna that led to Hleb’s goal against Slavia Prague.
He knows he can be just as effective as an instrument of attack as he is with stopping shots and claiming crosses. Experience in the League Cup games will most likely prepare him for the English game a few seasons from now, after all, Wenger did say that he’s “one for the future”, hinting that one day he’ll be Arsenal’s number 1.
He’s trying to break into the first team bench and doing everything he can to impress Wenger. Although he’s all the way at the bottom of the Left Back pecking order (since Hoyte and Sagna, even Gallas, can play at Left Back Position), he’s showing glimpses of great potential, much like Clichy did when he stood in for the injured Ashley Cole.
However, here’s the difference between him and Clichy: Traore, in my opinion, tends to be more physical with his approach. Don’t get me wrong, Clichy does the dirty work when he has to, but Traore’s physical nature is a subliminal message to the other team. He wants the other team to know that the left strip of the pitch, that’s his territory, and that any trouble on it will be dealt with by him.
This assertion of authority is a way of intimidation, and for an 18 year old defender, that’s a colossal statement to fulfill, especially one day when he’s going against players at a more competitive level. I know that every Arsenal player has some potential (that’s why they’re in Arsenal in the first place). These two however have been quite exceptional in pre-season and I have no doubt that when the time comes, they’ll be up for the job.
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