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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 13:09 GMT
Wenger to keep faith with Almunia
Manuel Almunia
Almunia has been in goal for Arsenal's last 13 league and European matches
Arsene Wenger has vowed to stick with Manuel Almunia in spite of criticism the goalkeeper received after Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Manchester United.

The Spaniard was wrong-footed for United's first on 45 minutes and left an unguarded net for Cristiano Ronaldo to tap into for their second.

Almunia is keeping Jens Lehmann out of the starting line-up and Wenger is happy for things to remain as they are.

"I believe in sticking with one goalkeeper," said the Arsenal manager.

606: DEBATE

Lehmann himself was guilty of two glaring errors earlier in the season when his miscued clearance allowed Fulham's David Healy to score and then, in the following match, he let David Dunn's shot slip through his grasp to gift Blackburn a point at Ewood Park.

The German was then sidelined with Achilles and elbow injuries and has since failed to win the starting berth back from Almunia.

When asked if Lehmann would return for Wednesday's Champions League trip to Slavia Prague, Wenger replied: "Not at the moment, no."

While conceding the 30-year-old may have been at fault against United, Wenger is in no hurry to make a change to a side that has set a new club record of 25 matches unbeaten in all competitions.

"He rushed out to block the cross and I feel he was unhappy with his decision-making," said the Frenchman of Patrice Evra's cross for Ronaldo's goal.

"But, would he have caught the ball? Could he have stayed inside? He left his goal and didn't get his ball so he'll feel as if he made a mistake. I'll have to watch it again.

"You cannot tell him: 'No matter how many mistakes you make, you'll always be my goalkeeper.' But you have to give him at least two games.

"Lehmann was injured and Almunia has done extremely well since then for 10 games on the trot. I didn't want to disturb the side and until now, he has done very well."

Lehmann, 37, has spoken of his unhappiness at the current situation prompting speculation that he could be set for a move away from the Emirates Stadium in January.



SEE ALSO
Arsenal 2-2 Man Utd
03 Nov 07 |  Premier League
Beckenbauer warns angry Lehmann
25 Oct 07 |  Arsenal
Lehmann issues threat to Wenger
23 Oct 07 |  Arsenal
Lehmann banks on Arsenal recall
15 Oct 07 |  Arsenal
Lehmann set for two-week lay-off
23 Aug 07 |  Arsenal


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