Is Vito Mannone Now Arsenal’s Number One?

A wonderful performance gives Wenger a ‘good’ selection headache.

Arsenal’s rookie goalkeeper Vito Mannone earned a ’10 out of 10′ rating from his manager Arsene Wenger for his performance in the 1-0 win at Fulham.

With Manuel Almunia sidelined by a virus, and Lukasz Fabianski out with a knee injury, third-choice keeper Mannone started his second successive Premier League game on Saturday.

Though Robin van Persie’s second-half goal won Arsenal the points at Craven Cottage, Wenger’s side were indebted to the performance of Mannone.

The Italian youngster produced stunning stops to deny Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey, Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora to earn high praise from Wenger.

“I believe you would give him 10 out of 10 because everything he did was right, and for a goalkeeper, that is the most important,” said Wenger.

“He stopped everything he had to stop and did not make any wrong decision.

“Overall he has shown he has the potential to be a very good goalkeeper.

“In this job you have to go from game to game. Consistency is the first sign of quality.

“Sometimes keepers look unbeatable, and he looked today that he could make every save.

“He has played a fantastic game today and until the next game, he is the No.1.” (Sky Sports)

As young Italian Vito Mannone played a blinder at Craven Cottage Manuel Almunia must have watched on with a mixture of admiration and anxiety. It took our Spanish stopper the best part of three years to unseat Jens Lehmann and when the crazy German left the club Almunia must have hoped he was as safe as houses as our number one, but after some average displays towards the tail end of last season could he be under serious threat from the 21 year old newcomer?

Vito had done pretty well in his three previous starts this season but he came into his own against Fulham. He pulled off save after save and grew in confidence and stature as again and again he was called upon to keep Arsenal in the game and now he presents Wenger with a ‘good’ problem as he has to consider his goalkeeping options.

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