Almunia 'growing' into role

Spaniard enjoying responsibility of being Gunners' No.1

Almunia: Honoured

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Manuel Almunia believes he is 'growing' into the responsibility of being Arsenal's first-choice goalkeeper.

The Spaniard emerged as Arsene Wenger's No.1 last season after he capitalised on the poor form of Jens Lehmann, who has since signed for Stuttgart.

Almunia, who joined the club from Celta Vigo in 2004, feels he is improving as a shot-stopper and admits starting on a regular basis for the Gunners is an honour.

The 31-year-old told the Evening Standard: "Of course the No.1 jersey at Arsenal is very important. It has been famous for the great goalkeepers in the club's history that have worn it before so it's a big responsibility.

"But at the same time it's a great thing to enjoy for me and I hope that people can be happy with my performances.

"I'm very happy to wear this fantastic number for Arsenal and I'm pleased with how things are going; I'm feeling very well and we have not conceded too many goals, although we always need to improve.

"I think this season I am growing as a goalkeeper and hope I can grow more as the season progresses."