Wenger to keep faith in Mannone despite recent blunders

Arsene Wenger will not drop goalkeeper Vito Mannone despite the Italian goalkeeper making costly errors in recent matches, with the Arsenal manager claiming more uncertainty in the position would be damaging to the Gunners’ cause, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Mannone was widely considered to be at fault for the only goal of the game in Arsenal’s defeat to Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday, failing to adequately deal with a long-range shot and instead pushing the ball back into a dangerous area. Canaries striker Grant Holt subsequently converted the loose ball and Arsenal were unable to equalise despite dominating possession.

Wenger is however short on options in goal as both of his other senior custodians, Polish pair Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski, are still on the injured list. Fabianski requires further surgery on a ligament injury while Szczesny is facing another two weeks absent with an ankle problem.

That leaves only Mannone and Argentine Damien Martinez, 20, and lacking any real first team experience, as Wenger’s choices in goal. The manager insists however that he has faith in Mannone, and that making a change now would do more harm than good.

Wenger said: “I’ve spoken to Mannone – we both know mistakes can happen to every big keeper. But I am not tempted to play Martinez. The biggest quality of a keeper is experience. Putting an even less ¬¬experienced player in now wouldn’t be the right thing.

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