By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger has thrown his full support behind Manuel Almunia following the Spaniard's “outstanding” start to the season.

The goalkeeping department was under special scrutiny in the summer when speculation suggested that Arsenal were after a new No 1.

Despite all that, Almunia began the campaign between the posts and, thus far, the 33-year-old has had barely a blemish.

“Our goalkeepers have been exposed to a lot of pressure in the summer and there was a lot of speculation,” said Wenger speaking at a Shareholders’ Q&A on Thursday night.

“Their mental strength was tested more than ever. But when you are an Arsenal footballer you have to live with that. In every position you know you can be challenged - that is part of the job. The goalkeepers understand and accept that.

“I believe we have four very, very good goalkeepers. Manuel Almunia is in front at the moment because of his quality and the way he accepted what happened to him. Since the start of the season the way he has responded to the challenge has been absolutely outstanding. That is why I give him my full support.

“It is sometimes easy to reduce that fact we dropped points [last season] to the fault of the goalkeeper. Normally in any goal you have four or five mistakes. But the keeper has the last.

“You can take any goalkeeper and they all make mistakes.”

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16 Sep 2010