Almunia for England?

Arsenal keeper considers change of nationality

Almunia for England call-up
Hot on the heels of last week’s revelations that Sven-Goran Eriksson was eager to call-up Carlo Cudicini during his reign as England manager, attention has turned to the fact that Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is eligible for a British passport in July. The debate is now about whether Fabio Capello should call-up the Spaniard if he becomes a British citizen.

Personally, I have never rated Almunia particularly highly and considering he will be 32 years old before he is eligible for a cap, calling him up seems a bit pointless. England goalkeepering coach Ray Clemence is leading the anti-Almunia camp. He said:

“I am sure Almunia would be happy to play for England, but he can’t get in the Spain squad, can he?

“I am for English goalkeepers in the English team – as simple as that. People have been saying for a number of years the English goalkeeping situation is in crisis. But now we have got six or seven, of which only one is over 30. So we are heading in the right direction.

“We have got some promising young lads. Joe Hart is playing exceptionally well for Manchester City week in, week out and Scott Carson is coming back to the form we know he can produce.”

Capello would have to steamroller this through over some considerable opposition on grounds of national pride. Portugal has Deco, Spain has Marcos Senna, and even Poland has Roger Guerreiro. Should we have a more flexible approach to nationality? Have a little vote and see what you think.

5 responses so far
  • Upminster Iron // October 7, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I would have supported Cudicini playing for England back when he was Chelsea’s number one but as much as Almunia has probably exceeded expectations since becoming Arsenal’s number one, I kind of agree with Clemence that we have good keepers right now.

    Kirkland (probably my personal favourite at the moment though he’s so injury-prone) and Green are great, Carson is impressing again, Hart looks promising and even Steve Harper is a great keeper who if moved to someone like Boro for regular football would be worthy of a call. Of course the best keeper in the Premier League is Irish though!

  • Svenalike.co.uk // October 7, 2008 at 9:26 am

    In 2006, a few xenophobes deprived England of the most consistant and (outside of winning past a quarter final) statistically successful coach manager in history with disastrous consequences for Euro’08.
    If truly talented and commited “foreign” born players qualify for the England squad, why let a xenophobic minority keep them out?
    We may need all the help we can get when (if?) we meet Mexico’s (and Sven’s) “El Tri” in 2010…

  • abel // October 7, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Well, it’s our present, all yours.

    Almunia is the tenth or eleventh best spanish goalkeeper (Casillas, Palop, Asenjo, Valdés, Reina, Aranzubía, Diego López…), and is not a much loved person here.

    Enjoy it!

  • paul // October 8, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Manuel Almunia is no better than what we have already got so why bother to pick him and this is comming from an Arsenal fan

  • Quini // October 8, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Agree with Abel. Almunia has no chance to play with Spain. We already have too many great goalkeepers: not only the 3 called up usually like Casillas, Reina and Palop, also many others like Diego López or Asenjo are in great form right now.

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