Vito Mannone has said that the young English forward Connor Wickham should be given the credit for Sunderland’s great performances in their last few league games.

The Black Cats who are struggling to keep their place in the top tier of English football have secured 7 points in their previous three outings. It’s not that they have secured those points against weak teams. They have done that against the contenders of the title and that’s what has got their fans going again.

First, Sunderland stunned everyone by stopping City on a draw and then, they got one step further and bamboozled the Blues in their next game by 2-0.

With 3 games to go, Sunderland is currently sitting at the 17th position in the league points table and there are still chances of them ending up in the relegation zone, but, if they keep up the kind of rhythm that they have shown recently, they would surely manage to survive.

The thing which had been a major worry for Sunderland all through this season was their attack. They seemed to be lacking firepower upfront, but, with Wickham coming in, that problem has been somewhat rectified. The 21 years old has found the back of the net thrice of late.

Speaking to the press yesterday, Mannone acknowledged the impact of Wickham. The goalie said, “Connor has brought some aggressiveness into the mix which was badly needed by us. Off course, it’s a team game and thus, everyone needs to be credited, but, Connor deserves a bit more credit.”

Sunderland’s next match is going to be a big one. They will travel to Old Trafford to take on the defending champs Manchester United on 3rd of May and they will definitely not want to return empty handed from there.


Sunderland’s Vito Mannone admitted that there was nothing he could do to deny the attacking forces of Manchester City from scoring during their match a few weeks ago as they battled it out for the Capital One Cup silverware.

Wembley Stadium was the scenario which witnessed both teams going at it, against each other and it was actually Sunderland the side that managed to score the opening goal of the match with Fabio Borini finding the back of the net after 10 minutes had passed.

Unfortunately for Sunderland, it was only a matter of time until City could find the breakthrough moment as they were the dominating side for the majority of the match and Yaya Toure scored the equalizer at the 55th minute and only 1 minute later Samir Nasri gave Manchester City the lead.

It was pretty much all over when Jesus Navas scored the 3rd and last goal for Manchester City which sealed the victory for Manuel Pellegrini and his men. Vito Mannone praised the performance from their opponents as the Italian goalkeeper said that there was nothing he could to deny them from scoring.

“I thought the first one was incredible, the way it dipped down. I didn’t expect a shot like that, to be honest. It kept going away from me while I was diving. The second one as well was such a brilliant finish. It was the only spot it could go in.

“Unfortunately, we need to accept that they have got quality. But we need to be proud because the team did really well and we need to be at the same standard in every game from now on because we know we can do it.”

Mannone said: “We are proud even if we are disappointed, like any Sunderland fan. We gave everything – at least we have no regrets. We went into the game, we surprised them. We played really well in the first half and in the second half; they only came back with two class finishes, to be honest’’. Mannone admitted.


Before Vito Mannone was loaned out to Hull City back in 2010, he had spent 4 seasons playing with Arsenal and some years later, the Italian goalkeeper enjoyed 2 more years with Arsene Wenger and his men.

Vito Mannone did not experience the best of times at Arsenal as he could only manage to make 15 appearances and was eventually offloaded to Sunderland as they were determined to sign the Italian shot-stopper with a price tag believed to be around €2 million.

The former Arsenal player is now going through some of the best moments of his entire career as he recently stated on an interview after being questioned about what it feels like making a move from Arsenal to Sunderland.

“It’s something unbelievable, it’s like a dream,” said the 25-year-old, who took over as Sunderland’s first choice when Keiren Westwood suffered a shoulder injury in November. I suffered a lot in the past at Arsenal if I’m honest. I expected my chance for a long time there, but they never really gave me a real chance.

“Finally, I got it at Sunderland and I don’t want to waste a minute. I’m loving every minute of every game and when I can perform, I will do my best to help the team and to give something back to the fans, who have been incredible. It’s great to hear them singing my name.”

Mannone has become a fans favorite at Sunderland with his penalty shootout performance against Manchester United as he managed to save 2 set-pieces which helped his side defeat the team of David Moyes during the Capital One Cup match.


Sunderland’s season so far is not one that any club would want to be going through as they are sitting on the bottom spot of the Premier League as they are trying to climb positions in the league but have been unable on doing so.

The fears of getting relegated are escalating after week match-day but the summer signing Vito Mannonne said that all what Sunderland needs to do is believe in the objective they set themselves, which in this case is getting out of the bottom positions.

Mannone told the Gazette: “We knew it was an important day against Norwich. We looked at the fixtures before, and we knew that other teams would possibly not get all the points.
“It was our chance; at home against Norwich, and we didn’t take it.

“But we’re not the only team in our position. Some teams have to climb the table, and come out of the situation. You just need to believe it and do your job every day, and do your best. We’ve shown we are a good team.”

The boss of Sunderland Gus Poyet is considering making a move for the QPR shot-stopper Julio Cesar who is having more time on the bench than on the playing field as Harry Redknapp prefers using the services of another player instead of the former Inter Milan player.

An offer of £1million would be enough for Sunderland to snatch him up considering his situation in QPR but the real problem lies on his wages which is £50,000-a-week. Those wages might be too much for the budget that Sunderland has available and considering the recent string of great performances from Vito Mannonne, signing Julio Cesar is getting further and further out of reach for the relegation zone club.


Vito Mannone has expressed his happiness over the fact that his team Sunderland has made it to the final 8 in the ongoing Capital One Cup by securing a 2-1 victory against Southampton yesterday.

Mannone played for full 90 minutes in that game against Southampton and did a decent job. It was Mannone’s only third appearance for Sunderland.

Talking to the reporters at the end of the game, the 25 years Old Italian said, “It’s a fantastic win for us. Now, we will be confident going into our next league game this weekend.”

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get points from the last game, but, the way we played with only 9 guys in the second half of that game; it raised our confidence level.”

When asked how he is feeling after finally getting the opportunities to feature for the first team of Sunderland, Mannone said, “I am really happy. I had been waiting for the chances since the start of the season and honestly speaking, I had expected myself to be the first choice goalie coming into the season, but, that didn’t happen.”

“You get frustrated when you don’t get playing chances. It happens with everybody and I am no different. I wanted to be given opportunities. I had been working really hard in the training sessions.”

Mannone has arrived at the Stadium of Light this summer after leaving Arsenal. It hasn’t been revealed yet how much Sunderland had to pay to buy him.

Mannone had been in the starting XI of Sunderland in a few of their pre-season games and he was expected to start the league games too for the Black cats at the start of the ongoing season, but, Paolo Di Canio (the previous Sunderland boss) preferred Keiren Westwood ahead of him.

Sunderland turn attention to Walter Gargano

Premier League club Sunderland is hot on the heels of Napoli midfielder Walter Gargano with manager Paolo di Canio looking to add more spark to the centre of the midfield.

The North East club has by far been the busiest movers in the transfer market with the incumbent manager bringing in as many as eleven players in the close season as he continues his amazing squad overhaul following the club’s fight to stave off relegation last season.

But in spite of strengthening in other areas of the field, the club has failed to land a creative midfield player after their moves for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tom Hiddlestone and Inter Milan player Alfred Duncan fell through. And di Canio feels the midfield in the major problem in his new look Sunderland side and after scouring through the transfer markets in different countries, has set his eyes on bringing the Napoli player to the Stadium of Light.

The club already has two pacy wingers in England international Adam Johnson and Italian international Emanuele Giaccherini to play down the flanks. But according to the Italian manager, they do not have a good quality ball playing central midfielder capable of opening up defenses on a regular basis.

Gargano spent last season on loan with Inter Milan at the San Siro but the Milanese giants opted against making the move permanent and having been left out of the squad for the Emirates Cup by Napoli boss Rafael Benitez, it is thought that the player himself is keen to move to the Premier League as well.

Sunderland is also in the market for two top quality full backs as di Canio continues to stamp his own authority on the side he inherited from Martin O’Neill at the end of last season and managed to keep in the top flight.

Vito Mannone aims to be first choice

New Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone has fired a warning at rival Kieran Westwood that he has come to the club to fight for a place in the first team.

Westwood, a Republic of Ireland international, has endured a very difficult two year spell at the club, finding himself as the second choice and he thinks the time is now right to become the first choice keeper for the club, but manager Paolo Di Canio has swiftly moved on to buy Mannone from Arsenal and has already briefed him to make things difficult for Westwood and provide competition for him.

The Italian spent eight years at North London and was a bit part player for most of that time and he is unwilling to play that same role again after moving to Wearside. Speaking after his move, he stated that he is a fighter and he loves a fight. Vito Mannone added that if there isn’t a fight to be had, then it makes things difficult because he is not someone who is habituated with watching proceeding from outside and wants to be in the thick of things at all times.

He mentioned that as soon as the offer to join Sunderland presented itself, he was certain that it was his next club because it is a place with a rich history and he is glad to have been able to make the move. He also mentioned that he needs to get back into perfect shape before the start of the new season and is aiming to work that extra hour to achieve it.

Vito Mannone joined Arsenal as a 17 year old in 2005 and has made only 27 appearances for the Gunners and has also spent time on loan at Hull City as well as Barnsley to gain experience.


The manager of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, has said that his team can still make it to the UEFA Champions League, but, for that, they will have to be very consistent in the remaining matches.
Arsenal is currently in top 4 in the Premier League points table, but, they have only a couple of points more than the Spurs. Also, the Spurs have played one match less than the gunners. So, quite clearly, Arsenal’s place in top 4 is not secured.

In their last match against Manchester United, the Gunners could get only one point. Both the teams scored one goal each in that match and it was a draw.

Arsenal had taken the lead in the second minute of that match and maintained that lead for 40 odd minutes. Just a couple of minutes before the half time break, a terrible mistake from Bacary Sagna gave the former Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie the opportunity to score the leveller.

Talking to the reporters after the match, Wenger said, “Winning this match was very important for us, but, we could get only one point and that’s disappointing. However, I still believe that we can qualify for the Champions League. There are three matches remaining and we need to get as many points as possible from them.”

When asked about Bacary Sagna’s mistake, Wenger said, “Bacary is gutted. He is one of those guys who give more than 100% for the team. Yes, he did a mistake there, but, it happens in the game sometimes.”

“That leveller was obviously pretty crucial. That brought them right back into the match. However, that’s history now. We made some mistakes against United and we lost the opportunity of getting three points. Now, we need to ensure that we don’t commit such mistakes in the rest three games. We will have to play consistent football.”


Arsenal has defeated Aston Villa in a Premier League match played at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Arsenal won the match by 2-1.
With this victory, the Gunners maintained their position in the points table. Currently, they are at no. 5 with 47 points in 27 matches. They are just one point behind the Spurs who are at no. 4 in the points table. However, the Gunners have played one match more than the Spurs.
In their last match, the Gunners had performed poorly and were defeated by Bayern Munich by 3-1, but, in this match, they showed considerable improvement in their game.
Arsene Wenger made four changes to the starting line up that had played against Bayern Munich. Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal, Abou Diaby and Carl Jenkins were the players who came in.
While for Aston Villa, Gabriel Agbonlahor returned to the starting XI.

The Gunners were off to a flyer in the match. They got the lead in the 6th minute with Santi Cazorla’s goal. At first, Cazorla’s cross was blocked by the Villa goalkeeper, but, the ball again fell in his path on the rebound and this time, the Spanish midfielder placed his shot well. He sent the ball into the bottom corner of the net with a low shot and the Gunners got up by 1-0.

It took Villa a fairly long time to score the equalizer. The equalizer eventually came in the 68th minute when Andreas Weimann found the net with a flat shot. That goal stunned the Arsenal supporters who were out there in the stadium. There was complete silence in the stadium after that goal.

However, Arsenal again managed to take the lead when Santi Cazorla scored his second goal in the match in the 85th minute. The Gunners maintained the lead in the remaining time and secured their 13th win in the League.

Arsenal will play against Tottenham Hotspur in its next match. That match will be played at White Hart Lane on 3rd of March.


The FA Cup match played between Arsenal and Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday has finished in the form of a draw. Both the teams scored a couple of goals each and shared points.

The match was played at the home ground of Swansea City and a huge crowd turned up to watch the match. The fans who were out there in the Stadium saw an absolute thriller. The match got very exciting towards the end and three goals were scored in the last 10 minutes.

Neither of the two teams was able to find the net in the first half and at the half time break, the scorecard was showing 0-0. In the second half, the Swansea City team looked in an attacking mood. The Swans took the lead in the 58th minute of the match. It was Michu who opened the scoring for Swansea City. He had substituted Jonathan De Guzman just a couple of minutes before and immediately after coming on to the field, he made an impact.

The real drama started after the 80th minute. At first, Lukas Podolski scored the equalizer for Arsenal in the 81st minute of the match. He capitalized on Koscielny’s cross and sent the ball into the right hand corner of the net with a fine volley from a distance of 12 yards.

Just after a couple of minutes, the Gunners managed to get ahead in the match with the goal of Kieran Gibbs. That was a great volley from the English defender and the ball went into the bottom corner of the net.

It seemed that Gibbs’ goal had turned the match in Arsenal’s favour. But, the scenario changed just after a few minutes when Danny Graham found the net and the scores got equalized. There were no goals scored in the remaining time and the match ended in a draw.

Arsenal’s next match will be a Premier League clash against Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.