Vito Mannone has given an interview in Italy and he doesn’t sound best pleased with his relationship with Arsene Wenger.
Whether he’s using the pressure that the boss is under to stick the knife in further or genuinely felt like saying these things at this time, we’ll probably never know. But the timing of the comments do seem suspicious. That being said, it would be something the English press would be more likely to do – how does this serve the press in Italy?
Speaking to Gazetta dello Sport, and translated by Tom Coast, Vito said “With him [Wenger], I didn’t have a great human relationship.
“He never believed in me, but when I played with Sunderland at the Emirates after that fantastic evening at Old Trafford [when he saved two penalties in Capital One Cup semi-final], he said: ‘I have to compliment you, you are a great goalkeeper’.
“His words were sincere. They made me happy.”
It certainly wasn’t all negative for Vito, who made 23 appearances (22 starts), for Arsenal, impressing some but showing too many flaws to be taken seriously as a number one for a club like Arsenal to many.
He added “Arsenal gave me the teachings of a great club.
“It is a club that makes you grow not only as a player but also as a man. I arrived there at 17, and lived unforgettable moments there: my debut against Stoke City, and the one in the Champions League at 21 in 2009.”
Mannone left the club in 2013 when he was sold to Sunderland after losing his place in the first team when Lukasz Fabianski returned to fitness and relegated Mannone to third choice.