Can Ospina REALLY be Arsenal’s next GREAT number ONE?

JUst like with Vieira and Gilberto, Arsenal fans have been waiting for a player to fill the massive hole once filled by our goalkeeping legends David Seaman and Jens Lehmann. Many have tried but none have quite managed it yet, but after a stunning start to his Arsenal career between the sticks our Colombian international David Ospina has the sort of stats that suggest he might be the one.

Arsene Wenger said the other day that our Polish international Wojciech Szczesny was still his number one, and time might see Shezzer regain his starting place from Ospina. But I think the manager said that as much to keep Ospina on his toes as he did to encourage the Pole.

Ospina himself seems to be well aware of what is expected of him at a club the size of Arsenal and he seems to be responding well to that pressure. And as he told Arsenal Player, he knows all about those two former greats who had the number one jersey for Arsenal.

Ospina said, “I always watched the Premier League when I was in Colombia because that was one of the leagues they showed on television.

“I see it as a big responsibility to come to a great club like Arsenal – it’s a dream come true. Now it’s my job to make the most of this opportunity that’s come my way, thanks to God and thanks to everyone here at the club.

“In Colombia everyone looks up to Rene Higuita. Then there were three other goalkeepers that were very important: Faryd Mondragon, Oscar Cordoba and the late Miguel Calero. They were very important to Colombian goalkeeping and achieved great things outside of the country.

“In Europe, I’ve always admired Iker Casillas. There’s Manuel Neuer now, who’s a great goalkeeper, and Buffon. You try to emulate them – they’ve won lots of titles playing for massive teams.

“There are some very good goalkeepers in the Premier League, too. There’s De Gea, Hugo Lloris, Hart – they’re great keepers who’ve proved their worth over the course of many seasons and are continuing to do so now.

“At Arsenal we have very good goalkeepers in the shape of Wojciech Szczesny and Emiliano Martinez. The Premier League has always had top-quality goalkeepers.”

It remains to be seen whether Ospina can keep up his excellent form but he does not strike me as the sort of character that will fold under pressure. And whereas Szczesny tends to get a bit over confident or loses his focus, the Colombian has shown no signs of that so far.

Of course he has a lot to live up to if he is to be put in with Seaman and Lehmann, but at 26-years old he is the same age as Seaman was when he became a Gunner before going on to make nearly 500 appearances. Lehmann was well into his 30s but still played in one shy of a double century of Arsenal games and was brilliant for us and played every game in our invincible season.

Has Ospina got what it takes to be the next great Arsenal keeper?

Tags Lehmann Seaman


  1. I see a lot of Casillas in Ospina, more in terms of style than talent obviously. But he has the opportunity this half of the season to make the number one spot definitively his.

    Ospina has the ingredients to be Arsenal #1 for a long time, I’d be hard pushed to name a significant weakness in his game. Seaman and Lehmann had the following attributes:

    Shot stopping
    Match saving moments

    Ospina has so far demonstrated all but the last two, and you’d have to say if he adds consistency (talking season after season) and match saving moments to his list – well we may have found a keeper worthy of mentioning alongside big Dave.

    1. Couldn’t have said it any better men.

      Its been long since we’ve had a solid goalie and in modern and the olden days this is a vital position. The club should just find ways of keeping all three goalkeepers in form, happy and competitive for an even better team.

      Ospina has been good so far, his calmness and maturity shown in games so far has been good and obvious the defense and our midfield have protected him well and starving our opponents chances to really go at him which is good to see.

      As long as he stays grounded, focused and have the traits well outlined by Champagne Charlie who could be exactly what we’ve been looking for.

      A good test for him this weekend, I know he will finally concede sometime but I hope NOT this time.

      1. If i had to pinpoint a weakness in Ospinas game it would be – I think hes one of those keepers who likes to show off to the cameras. Sometimes instead of claiming the ball he will make a big swansong dive and in the process knock the ball back into play or out wide. This is not a major problem and as long as the ball isnt going to the back of our net i am happy, but unnecessarily keeping the ball in play or giving away needles set pieces will eventually hurt you. Like i said though… only if i must be critical.

        What i like about Ospinas game – His energy/mobility is refreshing and should be an annoyance to our opposition. The calming effect he seems to have brought to our rearguard. The fact he hasnt blundered and the teams performances since he took the gloves. The Oooooospina kick.

    2. Did you just compare Ospina with Seaman!!!!??!
      What an insult to Seaman Ospina is nowhere near as good.
      Ospina is a decent back up that’s all.

      1. You should re-read the post before jumping down his throat – there is a fairly big “if” in CC’s assessment.

    3. I’d add passion and communication. Both balled out their defences when needed and took charge. Both looked devastated and seriously angry when the ball got past them. They had winner mentalities – it was personal, as it should be for every top keeper.

      1. I used to love that about Seaman, he would punch the net and then scream the whole field down… you really cant teach some things. Really hated getting bet, thats how youd describe him, off field compared to on it.. hes a bit of a jackal & hyde.

        I agree.. Passion and communication are great qualities for a GK and signs of every good leader, id also add bravery.

  2. “When you play for Arsenal against Tottenham, it’s not about just playing your game, it’s about winning. You have to win it.

    “For the fans and the team it’s a big game and it’s one we want to win.”

    Le Coq all fired up. Make them cry on their own pitch again boys.

  3. Ospina will make a great num 2 backup…

    lets spend some money and sign a quality gk for our num 1

    1. when we are leading 1-0, if he collects the ball then does not throw it again in the middle for a quick counter-attack. he takes his time and calms everything down/slows the pace a bit without getting any yellow etc..
      schezny…is so stupid i recollect so many times when we are under pressure and at 1-0 he will collect and then try to make a good throw to create a counter-attack and create more panic situations..if he tries to slow the game then he mostly gets a yellow card..

      ospina – anytime even if he does not make any splendid one-off saves… atleast we will not have reds/penalty situations.

    2. Er sepp maier, DINO zoff were 6ft or under, even Casillas is only 6′ 1″, so within reason height is not the determining factor.

  4. Ospina has payed 6 games for Arsenal.
    Szcz has played 132.
    A bit premature to be talking the end
    of Szcz and Ospina being number one.
    But so far so good.

    1. Exactly – so far so good and no more. Wait till he has a clanger at WHL and watch the flip-floppers turn on him.

      1. To clarify – the guy is class through and through and I am hoping real hard that he becomes what we need. Just so used to being disappointed so would rather wait a little longer before celebrating. Introducing in the red and white corner, David “The WALL” Ospina – COYGs.

  5. For me, it’s a no brainer. Ospina must be made our no1 keeper for two reasons. Since his debut and our defeat against the Saints, he has played in 5 matches and only conceded 1 goal. Perhaps much of that is testament to our new found strength in the defensive midfield, but there is no doubt the Spaniard simply look sharper and more confident than Sczcesny. Don’t get me wrong, I think Sczez is a great keeper and has saved our behinds plenty in the past, but I feel his attitude needs to change – much like Wilshere.

    Why change a winning formula? Bellerin, Le Coq and Ospina have been key in bolstering our defense and the results prove it.

  6. i WOULD WE AVOID PRESSURIZING HIM…2b honest i don’t recall any Arsenal goal keeper that’s been out standing. We’ve always had good ones but i think to being sure of their position start doing what ever they want..seaman used to conceade silly goals, lehman would do unbelievable staff like clear the ball to the foot of an opponent…

  7. Look at Ospina at WC guys. He was great, arguably the outstanding keeper. He has got a chance so let him prove us wrong or let Schezza fight to get back. It’s all about having back up and strength and at the moment he has the knife handle in his hand….
    Let’s do the business this weekend guys…stay on a positive winning run and keep the few mere mortals above us quaking in their fancy boots…!!!
    COYG always.

    1. I agree he was awesome at the world cup. His double save against Argentina was out of this world. However, as we all know there is a lot more to goalkeeping than shot stopping. Also, to spend 80 minutes on a cold wet english evening doing nothing and then producing the save that effects the match is very different to performing at the world cup in Brazil.

      I was pleased and surprised when we signed him. I beleive he has come to Arsenal to be no.1 goalie not to sit on the bench. The youtube videos indicate he is fearless at coming out to save at the attackers feet. So far I have been very impressed with his performances at Arsenal, even more impressed with the four consecutive clean sheets (hull, stoke, man city, aston villa). Szez stats for his last two games is four goals conceded (southampton, brighton).

      As for fans on this site and elsewhere saying “get a new world class goalie, like Czech or similar”. My thoughts are wait an see what we have already got. Ospina may be a World Class goalie, as yet we do not know. Some of the media pundits in uk are begining to highlight his perfomances particularly dealing with crosses and his decision making.

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