By Chris Harris
Vito Mannone believes he has improved "every part" of his game this year - and he is determined to keep showing it.
The Italian goalkeeper has performed admirably since he replaced the injured Wojciech Szczesny, contributing to shut-outs against Stoke City and Liverpool in the Premier League.
Mannone's form follows a successful loan spell at Hull City - during which he kept a club record six consecutive clean sheets - and has helped erase the memories of a less impressive display at Olympiacos in December 2011.
The 24-year-old insists he is a far better keeper now and hopes he can keep his place in Arsène Wenger’s side.
"I think I have improved in every part of the goalkeeper position," Mannone told Arsenal Player.
"In my mind as well, I came back stronger and stronger [from my loan spell]. Especially after the mistake at Olympiacos – it’s never easy to come back, but when I’ve got my back against the wall, I don’t mind. I just roll up my sleeves and try to work because I know I can do well.
"It’s a good fight between the keepers because we know the level is quite high and you need to keep working and improve yourself to get the first spot."
Mannone is only 24 but he considers himself to be one of the squad’s ‘elder statesmen’ after seven years with Arsenal. And like all goalkeepers, he needs a run of games to demonstrate his true credentials.
"The most important thing for a keeper is to play," he said. "Only one plays and it’s difficult for the ones not playing because you lose your sharpness, your game time, your game experience. So when you do get on the pitch it’s not easy [to be at your best straight away].
"It’s been a great experience [at Arsenal]. Most of the boys are new and I feel like an old one even though I’m 24! I know the place and everybody here and I’m really happy when I’m involved, like now. I would like to be involved more and more and establish myself."
Watch the full interview with Vito on Arsenal Player.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 5 Sep 2012