Arsene Wenger may have reiterated Wojciech Szczesny’s status as Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper yesterday, but that hasn’t put off Vito Mannone again laying claim to the number one jersey.
The Italian has been an ever-present between the sticks in both the Premier League and Champions League, ten games in total, since his Polish counterpart injured himself before the 6-1 win over Southampton in mid-September and firmly believes he has a shout to retain his place.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Mannone laid bare his ambition to retain Wenger’s favour.
“I have done my maximum and then it is up to the manager. I think I have done well enough to keep my place. I would like to push on from here.
“Obviously it is up to the boss and all I can do is work hard in training and in the games and try to give a hand to my team-mates.
“I have gained a lot of confidence from these matches because every game is like a cup final. The experience is unbelievable.
“I have played in great stadiums and against the best sides in the world. I am really happy to be in the team right now and to play these big games.
“I am happy with my performances at the moment. I am really concentrated and trying to give everything I can. I have the shirt now and I want to keep hold of it.
“There are tough games every three days and you need to show what you have got to help your team.”
Arseblog News doesn’t really have any complaints about Mannone’s performances, indeed we’ve been impressed in the last couple of games with his solid handling and improved distribution, but he’s still a work in progress.
It looks as though, despite Szczesny being set for a run out with the under-21s this afternoon, the Don will play again tomorrow against Fulham and assuming he doesn’t drop any clangers he could well give the boss a headache ahead of the North London derby. Good for him.