By Rob Kelly
Vito Mannone says his loan spell at Hull City last season convinced him he could become a No 1.
The Italian equalled a 104-year Tigers club record after keeping six successive clean sheets in the Championship after moving to the KC Stadium in January.
And now the 24-year-old is making the most of his opportunity at Arsenal, conceding just one goal in three appearances this season.
“I had a great spell last year [at Hull] where I learned how to be a No 1 really,” Mannone said. “When you have games every three days it is a big challenge because you need to recover well and prepare for the next one.
“Goalkeeper is one of the most important positions on the field because you can make a save and bring the three points home or you can make a mistake and everything is your fault.
“Every goalkeeper has his own path. I had mine. I had bad times and I just rolled up my sleeves and worked hard. Then, I thought, ‘let’s go to Hull’.
“I found myself really well. I found a good club, good fans and gained experience. I played games as a No 1 - 24 games in a row - and that’s what I needed. It helped me going on to the pitch thinking ‘OK, I can be No 1 now’.”
Mannone has been an assured presence since his return to Emirates Stadium, and made a vital late stop against Montpellier in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
“The boss knows that I have the kind of experience now to play and I think I have shown it in the three games I have played,” he said.
“They were tough games away at Stoke and Liverpool. Even against Montpellier it wasn’t easy because you come to opponents in the Champions League and you could see they really pushed hard towards the end.
“The boss told me, ‘if you keep doing well, you are going to be ready’. That’s what I am hoping for.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 19 Sep 2012