By Chris Harris

Manuel Almunia believes that Arsenal's growing maturity will hold them in good stead this season.

The Spanish goalkeeper is the most senior member of Arsène Wenger's squad and shouldered extra responsibility last term as the Club's younger players were given their chance in the major competitions. They fell just short of silverware - despite staying unbeaten from November to April - but Almunia expects the team to be older and wiser when the new campaign gets underway.

The 32-year-old has plenty of experienced heads around him with the fit-again Tomas Rosicky and Andrey Arshavin hopeful of playing a full part in Arsenal's quest for trophies. And Almunia expects the younger elements of the squad to take more responsibility after the highs and lows of 2008/09.

"We have a few lessons to learn from last season but I think that the more mature we are, the more responsible we are too," Almunia told after Saturday's friendly at Barnet.

"I hope this season every player is responsible with their attitude and in all circumstances. I hope we will be very professional not just in the games but every day as well.

"There is a hunger in the squad. The good intentions are always in our mind and personally I will try to do my best for the team. Sometimes other teams are better than you and this season we will try to be better than them. I think every single player has to realise what club we are playing for.

"At the moment I have the same feelings I have every season. We are working hard at the beginning, enjoying seeing everybody after their holidays and putting every effort to building up the team.

"I think the squad is good enough. We will have to wait until a few games into pre-season to find out - the Emirates Cup will be a good test for us."

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20 Jul 2009