After what seemed a decade of trying, Arsene Wenger has finally found someone to (at least temporarily) take Manuel Almunia off our hands. The patsy? The man, the myth, the legend: Sam Allardyce. Almunia has moved to West Ham United on a one month emergency loan deal, after their first choice keeper Robert Green suffered an injury to his knee cartilage that will put him out for six months.
Here's Mr. Allardyce on his new keeper:
It's a big 'thank you' again to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal for allowing us to get such a high-class and experienced goalkeeper to come in and fill-in for Robert for the time being. I think he hasn't had as many games at Arsenal as he would have liked so he wants to play first-team football at the end of the day. We hope that huge amount of experience he has had at Arsenal and the football he has played on a regular basis will stand us in good stead here at West Ham and more and more clean sheets will come from his presence in goal.
All jokes aside, Almunia has been good for us in the past (no, really, I'm not making that up), most recently against Barcelona in an emergency substitute appearance at Camp Nou last year, after an injury to Wojciech Szczesny. He was also awful at times last year, like the 2-2 draw at West Brom. So who knows what the Hammers are actually getting here. Manuel Almunia handled a usually messy career at Arsenal with dignity and honor for the most part, and didn't complain when he dropped to third on the depth chart last year, at least not publicly. For this, I wish him good luck and better form.