Mannone happy to keep place
Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone is happy to have retained his place following the return of Manuel Almunia.
Last Updated: 23/10/09 8:15am
Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone admits he is 'very pleased' to have retained his place following the return to fitness of Manuel Almunia.
Mannone has started seven of the Gunners' last eight games after being thrust into the team while Almunia was laid low with a virus and Lukasz Fabianski was sidelined by a knee injury.
Regular No.1 Almunia is now fit again, but the Spaniard has had to settle for a place on the bench for the last two matches against Birmingham City and AZ Alkmaar after Arsene Wenger kept faith with Mannone.
The young Italian is happy to have the support of the Arsenal manager and is keen to make the most of his opportunity in the first team.
"I am very pleased to keep my place," Mannone told Arsenal TV Online.
"I just keep doing what I have been doing in the last few weeks and so far the boss has chosen me so I am happy.
"I can see he has kept faith with me. I am working hard to repay him with my performances."
Wenger also has Wojciech Szczesny as a fourth goalkeeping option at Emirates Stadium and he is happy with the quality he has at his disposal.
"Yes, I believe we have enough quality," said Wenger.
"Goalkeeper is a very difficult position. Why? It is the only position where you have only negative stress. People speak only about you when you have made a mistake.
"A striker has positive stress - he has a pressure to score, but if he scores he is always 'a hero', he is always 'fantastic'.
"But a goalkeeper is only spoken about when he lets a goal in or when he makes a mistake and it is a difficult position."
Wenger added: "He must be good with his feet, good with his hands, be very quick, be highly focused for 90 minutes, not make any technical mistakes and it makes the job very hard."