Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that he expects Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone to put behind the disappointment of recently conceding goals through his own mistake and comeback stronger.
The former Arsenal man moved to Sunderland on a permanent basis in 2013. He has been unable to get regular first-team spot at the club due to various reasons like changes in management. He has featured in most of the matches this season despite the club bringing in Pantilimon from Manchester City on a free transfer. His recent high-profile mistakes against Arsenal cost Sunderland a 2-0 defeat.
Wenger, who saw Mannone from close quarters for several years, says that the 26-year-old has enough character to get him back from this negativity. It remains to be seen if Mannone will be able to retain the first-team spot given that managing Gus Poyet has a ready alternative in the form of Pantilimon. The Romanian goalkeeper was even able to keep out Joe Hart for several weeks in the City goal. Wes Brown made the other error that resulted in a goal. Alexis Sanchez was once again the scorer on the night, as the Chilean took his tally closer to double figures. Mannone was also in the goal for Sunderland’s recent 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Southampton.
“I know what it is for a goalkeeper to concede eight goals. But it happens. Mannone is quick, confident and overall he has done extremely well there. I felt for him, of course.It is not easy to lift the confidence but we expect a natural reaction from everybody. It is never easy because you ask questions about your quality.It was nice of him to offer to pay for the supporters . His gesture was spontaneous and not calculated because it was quite an expensive one so I think he shows that he cares,” said Wenger.