Vito Mannone is ready to grab the No.1 jersey, permanently! by AM
Before this season started, Mannone was perhaps the number three goal-keeper in the Arsenal squad, behind Szczesny and Fabianski. But injuries to the Polish pair during the start of the campaign meant Mannone was suddenly Arsenal’s No.1. The Italian custodian started in the matches against Stoke and Liverpool, where he kept two clean sheets in a row. But Szczesny returned in Arsenal’s last Premier league match against Southampton which the Gunners won 6-1.
Szczesny did make an error against the Saints which led to the only goal the Gunners have conceded in the league so far this season, but Arsene Wenger said it would be harsh to drop him after one mistake on his return from injury. But the Polish international got injured once again and Mannone was called back in to the starting line-up against Montpellier.
Now the Italian goal-keeper has come out and said that he is ready to be Arsenal’s No.1 and that Wenger has shown lot of faith in him.
“Every goalkeeper has his own path and I had mine.
“I had bad times and I just rolled up my sleeves and worked hard. Then, I thought: ‘Let’s go to Hull.’
“Nobody wants to go there really, but I found a good club, good fans and I gained experience.
I played games as a No.1 – 24 games in a row – so that’s what I needed.
“It helped me going on to the pitch thinking: ‘Okay, I can be No.1 now.’
“Before the Southampton game the boss talked to me and for the first time I felt he understood I was ready to be No.1.
“I hope, after this result, something has changed.” – Szczesny was quoted in SkySports.
The severity of Szczesny’s injury is still unknown. No return date has been announced but some believe he could be out till December. This will certainly give Mannone enough opportunity to make his place in the team a permanent one.