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Gunners in safe hands - Wenger

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Arsene Wenger believes whomever he puts in goal at West Ham on Sunday will do Arsenal justice.

Experienced Manuel Almunia is fit again following six weeks out with a virus. However, for the last two matches - against Birmingham and in the away UEFA Champions League draw with AZ Alkmaar - young Italian Vito Mannone has retained his place.

"Yes, I believe we have enough quality," the Arsenal manager said. "Goalkeeper is a very difficult position. Why? It is the only position where you have only negative stress. People speak only about you when you have made a mistake."

He added: "A striker has positive stress - he has a pressure to score but if he scores he is always 'a hero', he is always 'fantastic'.

"But a goalkeeper is only spoken about when he lets a goal in or when he makes a mistake and it is a difficult position."

Wenger added: "He must be good with his feet, good with his hands, be very quick, be highly focused for 90 minutes, not make any technical mistakes and it makes the job very hard."

Mannone, 21, hopes he has done enough to become first choice on a regular basis.

The Italian, outstanding at Fulham last month, said: "I am very pleased to keep my place.

"I just keep doing what I have been doing in the last few weeks and so far the boss has chosen me so I am happy."

Mannone told Arsenal TV Online: "I can see he has kept faith with me. I am working hard to repay him with my performances."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Arsenal
European News
Fulham
Football
Manuel Almunia
UEFA Champions League
Birmingham
Vito Mannone

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