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Arsenal fans have known it for years…lets hope the penny’s finally dropped!


Football
FanCast guest columnist
Mark
Rivers
hopes that Vito
Mannone's performance on Saturday will give Wenger the wake-up call he needs.

Why the media paint Arsenal's battling 1-0 victory
as a sign of their title credentials, the truth of the matter, in my mind at
least, is had Manuel Almunia been playing we would have lost this game pure and
simple.

Vito Mannone's excellent performance at the Cottage
has drawn praise from everywhere and it was certainly refreshing to see a
commanding figure in the penalty box and not someone who gets nervous outside
of his six yard line. I actually think another reason for that so much has been
made of it, especially among the Arsenal sites and forums is for so long we
have put up with Almunia and his errors in games (some of which don't get punished) that it was a sense of relief
that we may have someone within our ranks that is finally capable of bringing
presence in between the sticks that we haven't had since the departure of
Lehmann.

The goalkeeping situation is something that has been
widely overlooked in the criticisms of Arsenal. Most have pinpointed the
defence over the last few years or in more recent times the lack of a holding
midfielder as to why we always look vulnerable at the back. It is fair to say
that both have certainly contributed, but I feel the uncertainty behind them
and the lack of presence and organisation has been a significant factor. The
likes of Adams and Keown always claim that their job was easy half the time as
they always knew that Big Dave Seaman was always there to mop up any trouble
behind them, or pre-warn them of what was going on around them. I have always
questioned whether Almunia does enough in instilling confidence in the defence,
especially when it comes to defending set-pieces.

Arsene Wenger has come out today and heaped praise
on Mannone and suggested that he may well prove a future No.1 at Arsenal and
while I feel that will be somewhat a bit early to throw him in as regular
starter, I hope the Italian's performance highlighted to Wenger the difference
it makes to have a decent goalkeeper between the sticks and the amount of
points they can save you over a course of the season. The lack of one has cost
us for far too long, so I hope Mannone's performance will give Wenger the
wake-up call he needs over Almunia.

 

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Article title: Arsenal fans have known it for years…lets hope the penny’s finally dropped!

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