Almunia - Wenger is suffering
Manuel Almunia believes that Arsene Wenger is 'suffering' from Arsenal's lack of silverware.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 11/08/09 9:13am
Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia believes that manager Arsene Wenger is 'suffering' from the club's lack of silverware.
The Gunners have failed to lift a trophy since they defeated Manchester United on penalties in 2005's FA Cup final.
Wenger's side have since come close to glory but ultimately fallen at the final hurdle in both UEFA Champions League and League Cup showpieces.
French coach Wenger remains confident ahead of the new season that glory is on the horizon, and shot-stopper Almunia is hopeful his boss is soon rewarded for his efforts.
"When time passes and you don't win anything it's not easy for the boss," said Almunia.
"You can see the face of the boss every day. It is calm and relaxed but I think, inside, he is suffering because he can't give the people what they want. And the patience of people can run out.
"The boss is very experienced, and puts a lot of effort into doing things differently - in not spending money and giving opportunities to young people.
"I hope, and I think, he will be rewarded one day. It's a long period without anything being won.
"Arsenal is a big, big club and people are not happy with semi-finals. People want celebrations and street parties. As players we need that too, to have us touching medals, to have something in our hands we can always remember.
"Semi-finals will not be very well remembered in a few years. People need something more."
Spain-born Almunia also confirmed he is continuing to consider applying for a British passport as he weighs up the possibility of playing for England.
"I've been informed what I need to do (to gain British citizenship)," he told the Guardian.
"If I take the decision I don't think it's difficult to get citizenship. It could be very quick - and soon.
"I have to see what people think because it's not an easy decision. I'm 32 so I don't want any problems with anyone.
"This is not a silly thing. You are playing with the hearts of people. It [an England cap] is not something you can buy in a shop. I don't want to disturb anybody."