Manuel Almunia is determined to take his chance as Arsenal's No 1 keeper.

The 30-year-old stopper has retained his place in the past couple of games despite the return to fitness of Jen Lehmann. The German picked up an injury on August 19 at Blackburn and since then Almunia has rattled up nine clean-sheets in 12 games between the posts.

It is worth noting that before the game at Ewood Park, the Spaniard had played 43 games for Arsenal but only 11 in the Premier League. After another clean sheet against Slavia Prague on Tuesday night, the keeper explained how he was hoping to extend only his second real run in the top-flight.

"I will stay positive," he said. "The goalkeeping position is a difficult one. I've been here almost three years without playing in the League. It's normal for people to assess the situation.  But I forget the past and now I'm playing so it's not a problem.

"If I read the papers and listen to what other people say about me and all these things I will turn crazy. I don't want that.
"When I'm playing well I honestly don't mind other things. Maybe if I will be playing badly or not too good I would be more worried. But now for me life is fantastic and I want to take my chance."


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24 Oct 2007