Vital Football

Latest Arsenal FC News

Almunia Amongst Seven Released

Almunia Amongst Seven Released

Arsenal have announced that they have released seven professionals from their books this summer, headed up by former first choice goalkeeper Manuel Almunia. The Spanish custodian joins George Brislen-Hall, Gavin Hoyte, Rhys Murphy and Sean McDermott whilst scholars James Campbell and Jeffrey Monakana are also released.

Gavin Hoyte was out of contract having taken countless loan spells, culminating in an underwhelming time at AFC Wimbledon. Murphy had unsuccessful trials at Middlesbrough and Glasgow Rangers last summer before joining Preston on loan. Sean McDermott finished the season at Leeds having not played a game.

It was widely expected Almunia would be released having seen out the last year of his deal. Almunia featured on the Arsenal bench twice without playing a single minute following a disastrous last couple of appearances at the end of 2010-11 against Blackburn and West Brom.

Almunia's stock and confidence fell to such a point that he spent the end of the season training with the U-18s. Personally, I hope Almunia can restart his career somewhere else. He was a good deputy for a while I felt but was never quite up to being number 1. Whilst his incompetence was massively overstated in my opinion, I think Manuel would be fine at a club that keeps him busier during matches.

His best performances for the club came when he was peppered with shots- in Champions League ties at Old Trafford and the Nou Camp. He was also something of a penalty specialist, achieving a better save ratio than David Seaman. However, lapses in concetration and a lack of decisiveness often cost him as he couldn't quite deal with the periods of inaction being an Arsenal goalkeeper. He also seemed to struggle with the scrutiny.

Mistakes are highlighted much more when you play in goal for an Arsenal or a Manchester United. Not to pick on Tim Howard in particular, but if you got a video reel of goals Everton have conceded in the last 2 years, you'll see many a Howard clusterf*ck. But Almunia's reputation took a beating as he was probably a midtable goalkeeper in a team that aspired to titles. But ultimately, Almunia didn't pick himself in goal. The bell seemed to toll for him around 2 years ago when his mother in law died tragically in a car crash, which then begat a period out of the side. A fact often skated over.

In any case, I wish him well and hope he can restart his career elsewhere with a clean slate. LD.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Tuesday May 22 2012
Time: 7:21PM


He always seemed like a really nice guy so I'm not going to slag him off, but needless to say he just didn't quite have the quality to succeed at Arsenal. I wish him well though. Also looking forward to seeing the boss rid the club of some more dead wood this summer.
22/05/2012 19:29:00
Sincerely wish him well. He had some good games with us, it wasn't all bad. Just wish he could've been better, more consistent and could've succeeded with us.
22/05/2012 19:51:00
He was an at par back up. Not as great as some thought him to be (after the Barca game 09-10) and not as bad as some thought him to be.
22/05/2012 19:58:00
I seem to recall that Gavin Hoyte was seen as an excellent prospect. just goes to show how players so often fall at the final hurdle, whatever colours they wear.
22/05/2012 20:29:00
Almunia is a competent back up. I agree too much was made about his mistakes, but he did have a lot of them. Plus his decision making let him down, he didnt come out early enough for corners and to close down the attacking player. Wish him well, hopefully, he can do well somewhere else.
22/05/2012 21:09:00
Wish Manuel well. He does deserve a chance at another club seeing that he can get no change at Arsenal at the moment. On the contrary, Prits, I am not sure Almunia was found wanting coming out for corners; it was his major strength, in my view and had good handling on corners. He was a towering figure and did use his height to good advantage in these situations.
22/05/2012 22:35:00
I can't fault you on the others, though. Almunia did have a knack for making the wrong decisions in coming out to close an attacking player or when coming out to clear balls out of the danger area. He was too hesitant where he should be decisive and on occasion, would be guilty of passing the buck to his defenders when he should be taking charge. I can recall a good many spats with Gallas and Silvestre, for just his failure to come out to bail out his defender. But then, no one is perfect.
22/05/2012 22:40:00
Best of luck to Manuel. Whilst he wasn't the most solid of custodians (plenty of howlers in an Arsenal jersey especially towards the beginning of his career with us) he showed he could be a decent goalie at times. He just flittered between dependable to liability too many times to ever be a strong no 1 for us and with Scznesny's emergence, it was more or less curtains for Manuel's Arsenal career. Hope he does get his career off the ground again somewhere else. Best of luck to him.
Ned Stark
22/05/2012 22:52:00
How he was our no1 for so many appearances I cannot fathom, he's never even got a sniff at an international call up at any level, never, ever, good enough for us. That said, he seems like an alright bloke, and it's not his fault he was picked, all the beast Manuel.
22/05/2012 23:51:00
WTF.. I dont see Denilson, Nicklas, Diaby, Vela, Squillaci, Chamakh, Park, Botellho in that list.. Next out of the door please.. We really really need to get the deadwood out of the door to create some space. But if last summer is any indication - easier said than done.
23/05/2012 04:43:00
Page 1/3
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

Login to post a comment

Recent Arsenal Articles

Wilshere Dismisses No Arsenal Future Thoughts

He has a contract at Arsenal with Wenger adamant Wilshere does have a future with the club after his loan with Bournemouth.

Perez On Arsenal Chances

After signing from Deportivo La Coruna for £17m in August Perez came to Arsenal expecting to be involved more than he has so far.

Cazorla Was Missed Against Middlesbrough

Arsenal might have retained an unbeaten run but the seven-match winning run did end after a disappointing draw at home against Middlesbrough, in a match Cazorla was missed in.

Match Day Officials v Reading (25/10/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Reading this Tuesday.

Archived Vital Arsenal Articles

Vital Arsenal articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
no email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Arsenal v Reading
Suggested By:
Arsenal win0%
Reading win0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Man City 9 6 2 1 20 11
2 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 20 10
3 Liverpool 9 6 2 1 20 9
4 Chelsea 9 6 1 2 19 10
5 Spurs 9 5 4 0 19 9
6 Everton 9 4 3 2 15 5
7 Man Utd 9 4 2 3 14 1
8 Southampton 9 3 4 2 13 3
9 Watford 9 3 3 3 12 0
10 AFC Bournemouth 9 3 3 3 12 0
11 Crystal Palace 9 3 2 4 11 0
12 Leicester City 9 3 2 4 11 -4
13 WBA 9 2 4 3 10 0
14 Burnley 9 3 1 5 10 -5
15 West Ham 9 3 1 5 10 -7
16 Stoke 9 2 3 4 9 -7
17 Middlesbrough 9 1 4 4 7 -4
18 Hull City 9 2 1 6 7 -14
19 Swansea 9 1 2 6 5 -7
20 Sunderland 9 0 2 7 2 -10
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Arsenal Results (view all)

Arsenal Fixtures (view all)

Oct 25 2016 7:45PM : Reading (H)
Capital One Cup
Oct 29 2016 12:30PM : Sunderland (a)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 6 2016 12:00PM : Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 19 2016 12:30PM : Manchester United (a)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 27 2016 2:15PM : AFC Bournemouth (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 3 2016 3:00PM : West Ham United (a)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

3.Galway Gooner2
5.mar 121
Write for Vital Football