Alex may have only made 63 starts during his five years in north London but the Austrian stopper deserves a lot more credit than he often receives.
Early in 1998, with the Gunners challenging for League and Cup silverware, an injury to David Seaman cast then 20-year-old Alex in to the first-team spotlight. And astonishingly, the Gunners’ legendary goalkeeper was hardly missed.
Incredibly agile and possessing superb shot-stopping ability, Manninger slotted effortlessly between the sticks. He was particularly outstanding in a run of six successive clean sheets in the Premier League.
He also played a major part in Arsenal’s FA Cup success that season, performing spot-kick heroics as Arsenal beat West Ham on penalties in their Sixth-Round replay.
His vital Premier League contribution continued in Arsenal’s memorable victory at Old Trafford in March 1998. The Austrian pulled off stunning saves from both Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham during the match to ensure that Marc Overmars' iconic strike was enough to secure three points. And, although he did not play the required number of games to receive a League Winner’s medal, Alex was rightfully awarded with one.
But, with Seaman always Arsenal's No 1, first-team opportunities were understandably limited at times. Manninger eventually joined Fiorentina in 2002.