Arsenal are currently on a very healthy eight match winning streak in the Premier League and have conceded just five times in the process. Just one player has played every minute of the 720 – David Ospina.
How things have changed since the New Years Day loss to Southampton. The Colombian shot stopper is firmly in possession of the proverbial Number One jersey, making it his own with some superb performances and just general competence and consistency.
Wojciech Szczesny will still hopefully have a successful career in north London, he is arguably the better of the two ‘keepers on their day but is clearly lacking confidence (not something you usually associate with the cocky Pole) as a result of losing his place in the side.
What Ospina seems to do on a regular basis is relatively low-frills. He isn’t producing heart in mouth moments, attempting Cruyff-turns in front of an onrushing striker – he is doing what is necessary. That’s certainly not to say he can’t pull off outrageous saves, because the 26-year-old certainly has ‘mad hops’ and can produce moments of brilliance, what he offers is a more secure, stable option until Szczesny pulls his head out of his ass. Or until we find ourselves the elusive ‘world class’ goalkeeper.
Of course a lot of the Gunners solidity is down to consistency at the back. Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin have featured in at least six of the eight wins. Factor in Francis Coquelin’s impressive impact and it’s not difficult to see why Ospina is gaining a lot more protection.
The former Nice goalkeeper was quick to point this out in a recent interview with Arsenal’s official website:
The defence I play with is full of experienced players who have played many games in strong national teams. It has helped for sure. We take pride in doing things well and I’m sure we can achieve a lot.
Still, Szczesny is a very good goalkeeper. Last season he managed to claim the Golden Glove with Petr Cech after all but both ‘keepers are now firmly second choice at their respective clubs. Is Ospina the long term solution? Probably not. However what the facts say are undeniable, it’s eight wins in a row and the Colombian is certainly and contributing factor to our new found resilience. Let’s the streak going in what is to be our toughest time this Sunday.