Arsene Wenger has revealed which outfield Arsenal player would be his emergency goalkeeper if needed.
Previewing his side’s clash with Manchester United on Sunday, Wenger says that Olivier Giroud would be used as an emergency goalkeeper if circumstances dictate as such.
“Who would go in goal if we got a goalkeeper sent off? That would give me a big problem, because I haven’t thought about it,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website. “Usually it’s the central defenders or the strikers.
“I had George Weah at Monaco and he was a fantastic goalkeeper in training. Maybe a guy who has played basketball in his youth would be good, he would be used to using his hands.
“In our team I don’t know what I would do, it was more of a problem before when you didn’t have a substitute goalkeeper. It can still happen late in a game though. I would have to make an instinctive decision, maybe it would be Giroud.”
Wenger went on to praise Petr Cech, who has kept the most clean sheets of any Premier League keeper this season after joining the Gunners last summer.
“The peak age for a goalkeeper is 28 to 36 or 37,” Wenger said. “That is where you can absorb the bullets, you have the experience and you still have the physical quality to perform.
“For a footballer it is always important to have that balance between experience and physical potential. Unfortunately we need our body to express what we know. Our body allows us to perform more in a goalkeeper’s position compared to a striker’s.
“Experience is probably the most important quality for a goalkeeper. The problem is that to get the experience, you need the quality, it’s a vicious circle. You need to play.
“Cech played when he was very young, and [Gianluigi] Buffon too was playing at 17. They had the luck to get into the first team, to gather the experience and be good enough to stay there.”