I still think Wenger was wrong to let Alex Manninger leave!

Arsenal From 1997-2001

Alex was signed by Arsenal in June 1997 as cover for David Seaman. During the 1997–98 season Seaman suffered a long spell out injured and Manninger ably covered for him, enjoying a spell of six clean sheets in a row in the league, a joint-club record with Jimmy Ashcroft. The last of these was against Manchester United at Old Trafford, where Arsenal won 1–0, a result which helped them beat United to the 1997–98 FA Premier League title, thereby winning the player of the month award, a first for an understudy goalkeeper in the Premier League. However, Manninger had to make way for Seaman once the Englishman returned from injury.

Manninger continued to deputise for Seaman for the next three seasons, but without a consistent run in the side he was unable to maximise his potential. In all he made only 64 appearances over four seasons for Arsenal. After the Gunners bought Richard Wright in 2001, Manninger became number three at Arsenal, He was then sent out on loan to Fiorentina, making 24 appearances.Since then Alex has played for a host of clubs inc, Torino,Siena,Salzburg

Today Alex still only 31 is the number 2 keeper at Juventus backup for Gianluigi Buffon.

Alex was a great stopper who really should of gone on and become number 1 at Arsenal. I watched him play a number of times and was always impressed with him, The penalty shoot-out Vs West Ham. And of course his run to us winning the league in 98 where he was unbeatable. I do feel that maybe Wenger was wrong to drop him after his fantastic run in the side and after that he was never the same player. His confidence went as he knew no matter how well he played he was always going to be dropped as soon as Seaman was fit again. And for a keeper confidence is everything!……..Since Manninger moved on from Arsenal Wenger has signed a number of keepers.Guillaume Warmuz,Rami Shaaban, Mart Poom,Richard Wright. I cant say any of them were any better then Manninger.

Maybe Wenger was wrong to let this guy leave?

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20 Responses to I still think Wenger was wrong to let Alex Manninger leave!

  1. Pat says:

    Come on man that was a stupid post. Have you actually seen him in serie A this season or last??? Not good enough 4 arsenal point blank period!! Try and be more creative with your writing I know theres not much to write about but come on!!

  2. thegoonerforum says:

    Pat if he was “SO BAD” last season why have Juventus just signed him on a 4 year deal?

  3. Pat says:

    Haha thats not an argument mate, chelsea signed ben haim n sidwell on 3-4 year deals, so what does that mean they must be good? If thats your argument then essentially any player a top team signs can’t be rubbish? I’m dealing with facts here and the fact is he’s not good enough to play for arsenal, and anyone who’s actually watched him recently would agree.

  4. thegoonerforum says:


    A player who is not good enough according to you has a record at the club of keeping six clean sheets in a row in the league.

    I doubt you are even old enough to remember him during that season

  5. thegoonerforum says:

    And Pat have you seen Henrys recently?

    was he not good enough?

  6. Stu says:

    I only recently heard that he played for us once so i’ve never seen him play. But if he kept a record numer of consecutive clean sheets and was so young then why was he allowed to leave.

    Wenger seems to have very little knowledge when dealing with defensive players especially CBs. Lehmann only really had 1 good season and apart from him we haven’t hade a quality keeper since Seasam left. I have been crying out for a top keeper and a solid defence but it seems that that wont appen with Wenger being as he is.

  7. thegoonerforum says:

    Stu you are 100% right. When it comes to GK and CB Wengers record is poor.

  8. Pat says:

    Listen i remember him trust me. the quality of the leauge back then was not as good and even then there were keepers much better than him. Look at the top 5or six clubs and ask yourself is he anywhere near that standard of goalkeeping, reina, van der sar, cech, almunia, friedel. Sorry but your wrong, i’d rather have almunia and fabianski any day and anyone who knows anything about football would surely feel the same.

  9. Pat says:

    You guys make me laugh, we have had 3 main goalkeepers under wenger, seaman lehman and now almunia. Seaman was part of a defence which conceded the least goals in europe while not only was lehman part of the invincibles he also has one of the best GK records in the champions leauge. Sounds like wengers proper shit at selecting gK’s eh?

  10. thegoonerforum says:

    Well Pat thats your opinion and thanks for sharing it…I on the other hand think that if Wenger had given this guy a chance at Arsenal to become number 1 he could of become BETTER then reina, van der sar, cech, almunia, friedel. He was outstanding for ARSENAL! and he should of never been dropped after he great run in the side

  11. Steve says:

    What a fucking joke post. Manninger was shit – he was a good shot stopper but got found out time and time again and cost us so many goals. The experienced players didnt trust him and neither did Wenger.

    Stu – you obviously know very little about football and the history of Arsenal if you think Arsene crap at judging defenders. Lehmann was a world class goal keeper for us and a snip at 1.5m. He more than adequately replaced Seaman (who was kept at the club for two seasons too long). Look how many keepers it took for Fergie to replace Schmeical. Our defenders under Wenger have been either brilliant or value for money. People say Cygan or Stepanovs were shit and they were but Wenger didnt spend much on them. We got what we paid for. Sagna, Clichy, Cunt, Silvinho, Campbell, Lauren, Toure, Gallas, Djourou were/are excellent defenders. Please don’t give me shit about Wenger having a poor record regarding defenders and keepers.

    We now have a solid keeper who has improved beyond recognition and makes less mistakes than the other keepers in the top 4 yet continues to be rubbished by fans. Actually WATCH the matches rather than go by the stats on FM or Pro Evo (cant wait for the new one next Friday but I digress).

    If you want some perspective – the great 98 double team won the league with 78 points, last year we got 83 and ended up potless.

  12. thegoonerforum says:

    Steve, Manninger was not shit! And if Wenger and the experienced players didnt trust then why did he play him in so many key games?

  13. vinagonner says:

    exelent post, steve!

  14. Fabregas' Dad says:

    I’m sorry but he may not have been shit if you really think so but the fact is, RIGHT NOW, he’s shit, just like how right now Henry’s shit.

    The reason he played in so many key games was ‘cos Seaman was injured!

    Almunia doesn’t really get the credit he deserves. His shot stopping is great and so are his reflexes and distribution. He could dominate his area a bit more but there aren’t many ‘keepers out there who we could buy that would do a better job.

  15. Steve says:

    Manninger played in only 6 games in the league in 98 – Seaman chipped a knuckle in a game against Coventry and as deputy keeper, Manninger stepped in. I took to him straight away and really liked him, sung his name and believed him to be a great prospect. However, when Seaman was fit he came back straight away and even though we conceded on his return (much to the amusement of Dixon, Adams, Keown and Winterburn) we had much more authority at the back.

    In between 2000 and 2001 Alex played in quite a few games for us, big games, but never looked convincing. Look where his career has gone since he left us…he even lost his Austrian number 1 status to Jurgen Macho.

    To put this stupid post to bed once and for all, Manninger played 6 times when we won the double in the league, yet Wright AND Taylor made 10 appearances EACH when we won the double in 2002. When they were given an opportunity after that, neither looked convincing and their careers have never progressed.

    Arsene knows

  16. toure tribe underboss says:

    let him leave?? what makes you think arsene wanted him to leave?

  17. sam says:

    Manninger did well in 97/98, but was hopeless afterwards. In the Nou Camp he made one of the worst goalkeeping ricks I have ever seen… mind you, i just looked on soccerbase and he played for us a lot more than i recall… he had a far go at it… All i can remember is, post double winning 98, he was very unconvincing , and i felt a bit gutted he wasnt up to it as he looked promising

  18. jon says:

    Wow, what a stupid post. I gotta agree with pat + stu. Your well of the mark ere son!

  19. Alvin T says:

    I’ve been a Gooner since the 88/89 season and been to Highbury a few times. AND I agree with this article, Manninger was freakin’ awesome for us. He became shite after he was left out of the side since Seaman’s return and like what was discussed in the article, his confidence no doubt suffered. He was a special talent and so many times, talents are wasted due to wrong decisions. Anyone remember Dani from Ajax? The excellent Portugal teenage wonder who also had his career wasted due to wrong decisions… There are so many more if you guys watch enough football, you should know. Excellent article TGF, keep it up!

  20. Mike says:

    Manninger was excellent when he stood in during Seaman’s absence.

    The English back four wanted their mate back in the team, and Wenger bowed to their pressure.

    It destroyed Manninger’s career and put Arsenal in a keeperless wilderness where we kept Seaman on for three seasons more than we should have.

    It was a mistake, and the same mistake is being made with Djourou.

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