The Italian has definitely had to bide his time in order to get an opportunity as good as this, with both Szczesny and Fabianski succumbing to injury in recent weeks.
Mannone recorded good performances against Liverpool, Stoke and most recently Montpellier, while in contrast Szczesny made a blunder in his return game against Southampton.
The Italian is quoted as saying by Sky Sport News:
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.
While I admire his optimism, Wenger has already stated it would be very harsh to drop Szczesny for a solitary error in his return game. I am inclined to agree.
Although Mannone is unlikely to get the number 1 spot, it is good to see that Arsenal finally has some decent competition in the goalkeeping position, with Fabianski surely moving down the pecking order to third choice.
We have seen Szczesny somewhat drop the quality of his performances towards the end of last season and I am sure with Mannone breathing down his neck will he will definitely keep more alert. Competition is definitely a good thing.
What do you guys think? Does he deserve to get his chance? Feel free to leave a comment below or discuss Mannone in the allArsenal.com forums!