Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


July 2021

Mannone, what a difference 10 months can make

The club that changed football

Looking for a terraced house in Northamptonshire?

Making the Arsenal

Coming next week our latest publication: “The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal”


By Walter Broeckx

If we go back to last year December 6th…. Arsenal went to Olympiacos in the knowledge we are already first in our group of the CL.

We sent out a team that can be called a mixture of first teamers and reserves.

Remember what happened….

Fabianski starts in goal but gets injured and has to be replaced. So after 25 minutes Mannone enters the field. And I think some 10 minutes later he will have wished he was still on the bench.

Arsenal concedes a goal in what now can be looked upon comedy capers style. And Mannone looked terrible at the moment. I think he still was puzzled about the fact that he didn’t just catch the ball with his hands but went to it with… yeah with what exactly?  Total mess up and there was more bad things to come as in this game Santos injured his ankle and was out for months. A day to forget.

After that Mannone disappeared a bit and was sent on loan to Hull a bit later. He then managed 9 clean sheets in 11 games and played a total of 23 games for Hull, so clearly he was making it there.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

In the summer he came back to Arsenal and nobody really noticed him. He was just third choice between Szczesny and Fabianski after all. If lucky he would play a league cup game at most.

But things in football can change quickly. From third choice to first choice in 7 weeks. It isn’t the title of a fairy tale, it is Mannone his season so far.

Of course Szczesny would have been in goal if it wouldn’t have been for his injury. He was the number 1 at the start. But sometimes you need a bit of luck in your career. First bit of luck for Mannone was the fact that Fabianski also got injured so he was sitting on the bench. Then Szczesny injured himself and at Stoke he stood in goal for Arsenal. He did fine over there.

Szczesny came back against Southampton, only to get injured again and the next game at Liverpool Mannone was back in goal. And with no other first team keepers available he still is there.

In the 5 games he played he conceded 4 goals. He kept 2 clean sheets away from home. At Stoke and Liverpool. Not a bad thing on your CV as keeper I would say.

Let us take a look at the goals we conceded. At City he will have felt bad. He came for it and didn’t get to the ball. And you know what they say about a keeper: when you come for the ball, you should get there. He didn’t so one could say not a wise thing and maybe staying on your line would have been the better option. But talking with hindsight is always easy.

But he also was in goal when we lost against Chelsea.

Was he to blame for the goals? As I have been a keeper myself in my younger days I would have been furious at my defenders. The height of the ball made it impossible for any keeper to come out and catch the ball. It was a ball that had to be dealt with by the defenders. You cannot run in to a crowd of some 12 players running in your direction with a ball that floats at chest height. The chance of you as keeper ending up in a collision with your defenders is immense with such a ball.  So you have to stay on your line and the defenders should do the job.

They didn’t. Twice. All it needed was one defender or midfielder looking at the ball and saying: I just got to attack it and head it or kick it away. But as all ran back to goal nobody did what should have been done and the goals flew in.  I blame our defence for those two goals. They should have headed or kicked the ball away from the danger area.

The last goal he conceded against West Ham was not his fault. It just happens that the person who shoots has the perfect shot and the ball ends up in the net and you cannot stop it at all. I don’t blame Mannone for this goal. I just give credit for the West Ham player for a brilliant goal.

All in all I think Mannone did rather well in the games he played this season. One can always argue when the keeper misses a cross but this happens to all the keepers. Overall he was calm and he certainly was not afraid to throw himself in the feet of onrushing strikers.

Against West Ham United he showed something that is also very valuable. He showed he has courage and is brave. He got targeted by Carroll and got an arm smashed in to his face without the ref giving anything. But he kept on coming when was needed. Had luck on one occasion but maybe this is the kind of luck you force yourself as a keeper. Das glück des tüchtigen as they say in Germany. The luck of the hard working.

And speaking about luck. If the boot of Vaz Te would have touched him a bit harder it could well have been the end of his season. Or maybe his career. Leaving your foot in to hit a keeper on the head is something I really cannot understand. But Mannone didn’t make a big fuss about it. He stood up, looked at Vaz Te, you could see him thinking: serves you right. Felt his head still sitting on his shoulders and carried on with the game.

It looks as if the Mannone from last December is a long lost bad memory. He looks relaxed and cool for the moment. And let us hope that he stays that way. And when Szczesny is back, I hope that both will push each other further and further and will make sure that they play at the top of their skills to keep their place in goal. The team can only benefit from this situation with all keeper knowing they must give it all to stay in goal.


8 comments to Mannone, what a difference 10 months can make

  • elkieno

    Good article I feel proud of Mannone now, makes you also feel good that the German saying comes true. Lets hope they battle it out and we get the best one.
    Speaking of luck how is Fabianski’s luck he must me madder than a cut snake at getting injured at that time…
    Already bored knowing that weekend is coming and no Arsenal..

  • Nice piece Walter,for me i saw manone last season when he saved us from Fulham they where like zombies. About Vaz Te and diame i can not understand what planet was the ref coming from!! If Diame or Vaz te was an arsenal player with that ref idon’t think he would have thought twice;any Van the man is the right guy to talk too its rarely a manure guy to get a red card.

  • He’s not good enough for Arsenal.
    That’s all that needs to be said.

  • ARSENAL 13

    well…Agreed keeper cant for those balls….Vito left the door open for the first goal. His positioning was just not right.

    BUT I think we needed such a performance from VITO. He can keep Szczesny on his toes now.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    I agree with Big Al. Behind a solid defence, he has proved to be a decent goalkeeper but I will think Arsenal has scrimped badly in the department if he becomes our long term goalkeeper. There are simply to many more decent keepers out there that will not cost us dearly and that will therefore do less injury to our blood pressure in testy, keenly competitive matches.

  • John Lynch

    It seems to have become fashionable for all Arsenal keepers to be routinely criticised in recent years (” we’ve never replaced Seaman etc.)
    Confidence is even more crucial for keepers than for other player and they should be entitled to support from the club’s own supporters.

    Almunia and Fabianski have had brilliant performances overlooked because of inconsistency and well-publicised mistakes. Wojech has also been a target for criticism from some people. We should pay less attention to the media messages (Schwarzer, Given etc promoted as signings as if they are infallible — they are not!)

    Mannone had a brilliant game against Fulham a couple of seasons ago, but some people forget that too easily and focus only on the errors.

    Let’s ignore the media, trust the manager and support the players.

  • Ong Bing

    Yeah, sometimes football is funny.

    A few years ago (I am not remembered exactly), Szczesny is 3rd choice behind Fab and Mannone, but 2 of them injured and Szcsesny played as number 1.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Don Vito played most of a season for a side that faces a lot more shots on target, concedes a lot more corners and free kicks, generally plays more physical opposition and still kept a lot of clean sheets. That’s the minimum standard an Arsenal backup keeper needs to reach. Fabianski & Almunia never got there.