A quick post today, but to start things off it looks as if Arsenal will hang on to Manuel Almunia until the summer at least. There are a variety of reasons but the main one is that the level of club that may be interested in him isn’t willing to fork out the wages that he is currently on.
I am not aware of the exact sum, though it has been said to me in the past that it is a surprisingly high amount due to the status he had within the squad, this was reflected by him being given the armband when Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie were unavailable – he was/is considered one of the older heads around the dressing room despite his frailties when doing his job between the posts.
In the summer this blog brought you exclusive news of interest from Spain and Turkey, the discussions with Osasuna that broke down due to his hefty wage demands, (wants his Arsenal wages matched), and also the interest from Galatasary from which nothing really developed though their interest is said to remain and they have monitored his situation.
Another issue is his fitness, despite what the cynics among you may think, Manuel is being plagued by a continuous fitness issue – he hasn’t got a cold as he couldn’t catch one (I joke) – and despite the small sum I first mentioned back in the summer of £1.5 million, no team will shell out for a half-fit, highly paid goalkeeper.
So, Almunia looks set to stay in the treatment room and hopefully he is fit and ready again soon, I don’t want him back on that pitch but when a player is being compromised by a niggling injury you just genuinely wish them back to full health soon.
This may have a big effect on the destination of Vito Mannone for the rest of the season, Arsenal and Hull will meet over the coming days to discuss extending his loan deal and to see him hopefully continue his current record of not losing a league game he has played in. Impressive.
May I just take this chance to thank everybody who has read, left a comment, followed or just had a fleeting glance at this blog in 2010. Writing this has given me the chance to meet with legends of the blogging game such as goonerholic.com and Jamie from younggunsblog.co.uk, fantastic journalists such as John Cross of the Daily Mirror, popular Arsenal TV Online personalities such as Akhil from akhilvyas.com, Darren (@darrenarsenal1) at members day Steve (@steviegooner) who is always a laugh at games – chances that don’t come around often.
Its been a good year for the blog too, over a million of you have visited and I really can’t thank you enough. I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
All the best for 2011, and I have a little feeling that it will deliver at least one nice shiny silver pot.
To good health and The Arsenal