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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Almunia refuses to play second fiddle

The penny seems to have dropped for Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and he seems to be prepared to accept that Arsene Wenger wants another goalkeeper to help his side go for the Premier League title.

Wenger questioned the Spanish keeper during the summer and Lukasz Fabianski was given the nod in a number of pre-season games, but Almunia was given the spot for the opening Premier League match and will have been disappointed to see a David Ngog shot beat him at his near post to give Liverpool the lead.

The 33-year-old has made over 100 appearances for the Gunners but Wenger has been linked with Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer – who has handed in a transfer request at Craven Cottage.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Arsenal manager hopes to have a deal tied up in the next couple of days and Almunia has stated he wants to talk to Wenger about his future and he could leave the Emirates if Schwarzer is brought in. The side's Champions League betting odds certainly suggest they need a new stopper.

Almunia, who has split Arsenal fans during his time at the team, has stated he is "very happy" in North London and could not play for another team in the Premier League.

"If somebody comes in, I will have to talk about my future at Arsenal. That is it. I have to work and if one day I am not good for Arsenal, I will talk," the Spaniard said.
"But I am 33 years old and only have a few more years left in football. I would like to enjoy them. I am a keeper who enjoys playing."

It has been six years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title and their young winger Theo Walcott has said the team needs to develop a ruthless streak if they want to make the step-up and beat Chelsea and Manchester United to top spot this season. The football betting suggests they're in for a tough time though.

He has said that playing attractive football is "no longer enough" to guarantee success and a vein of aggression is needed among the Arsenal ranks if they want to win their first trophy in five years.

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