Vito Mannone, currently enjoying an unexpted run in the Arsenal side due to injuries to Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski, says he was mad as hell when Arsene Wenger told him he felt he wasn’t ready for first team football.
After a spell in the team in 2009, again due to injury, the boss told the Italian stopper he needed more time to mature, but Don Vito, with the impetuousness of youth, didn’t agree.
“I had some tough time, as in 2009 I played for 10 games after Almunia’s injury, but the manager did not think I was ready,” he told Corriere della Sera. “I was absolutely furious and wanted to leave. Now I understand and have achieved maturity by working hard.”
A loan spell at Hull gave him regular football and renewed confidence, but even then Wenger made it clear he’d have let him leave this summer. The poleaxed Poles opened the door for Mannone though, and he’s setting his sights on a long stay at Arsenal.
“I am happy at Arsenal and want to be Number 1 here,” he said, but also revealed he’d like to play in, and for, his home country at some stage.
“I’d love to play in Serie A, hopefully with my beloved Milan. I have always supported the Rossoneri. And finally, the Nazionale, which I already experienced at youth level, but the senior Italy squad is very different.”
There’s no harm in aiming high, that’s for sure, and with no sign of Szczesny returning in the very near future, he’s going to have more chances to prove he’s got what it takes.