I have been watching the Sunderland games with much more interest since Vito Mannone became first choice for them. He has been excellent for Sunderland. His decision making, shot stopping and passing have improved no end.
I liked him a lot during his Arsenal days. It was apparent to me that he had the build and the courage that a goalkeeper needs to succeed. He showed during his loan spells at Hull that he was a very important player with a string of important saves at crucial periods during games.
I think that he would have been a better number 2 pushing for that number 1 spot from Szczesny than Fabianski who seems to have improved lately but seems to suffer from anxiety before and during games as well as injuries.
Vito was given a singing ovation by his team-mates and coaches in the dressing room after penalty shoot-out saves from Adnan Januzaj and Rafael secured the club’s first major final for 22 years.
Mannone who was a £1.5 million signing from us, denied two Manchester United players from 12 yards and booked a Capital One Cup final clash against Manchester City at Wembley on March 2.
His manager Gus Poyet, said that the Italian goalkeeper was cheered into the dressing room after emulating the heroics of 1973 FA Cup final hero Jim Montgomery who was watching from the stands.
Well done Vito!