IS RICHARD WRIGHT FOR ARSENAL?
By Ben Romaner
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Last season, Seaman managed to save 68% of the shots that he faced which made him the 17th best shot-stopper in The Premiership and a further sign that Arsenal needed to invest in another keeper.
Wright, however, saved 72% of the balls fired at him which is superior to the current Arsenal number one but is still only the 12th most solid in the Premiership. The best was Fabien Barthez who kept out 82% of shots.
It appears that Wright has better agility than the elder keeper and this is reflected in the fact that Wright has saved 85% of shots from outside the area, while Seaman has only managed to keep out 76%.
Many Arsenal fans feel that the ravages of time are catching up with their Rotherham-born goalie and the FA Cup final was a good example Çô Liverpool only hit the target four times but scored twice to snatch the trophy from The Gunners.
Seaman's competence with crosses is far sturdier than his potential young successor. The added weight of his pony-tail has not stopped him claiming 31 crosses this season without dropping a single one.
Wright will no doubt learn a lot from the current Arsenal custodian and he would do well to start with crosses. The 23-year old had dropped high balls and punched 20 times Çô 12 more than Seaman Çô although it should be noted that he was far busier than Seaman was during the course of last term.
Goalkeepers tend to hit their peak in their late 20s or early 30s and with Wright still in the infancy of his keeping career there will be an abundance of time to learn the intricacies of his trade. However, if Wenger intends to put Wright straight into the team there are areas that would need some improvement.
Wright clearly feels that he will improve more quickly at Arsenal and being at such a big club will also improve his chances of international recognition Çô one of the reasons Francis Jeffers signed.
Should the move be finalised and Wright joins Arsenal then it will be a biter blow to Ipswich who will be looking to build on the fantastic season that they have just had. Missing out on Hassan Kachloul, who snubbed them at the 11th hour was insulting, but the loss of their number one keeper is a disappointing setback.