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Almunia enjoying game again

Manuel Almunia is delighted to be one step from the Premier League with Watford after enduring a tough time at Arsenal.

Last Updated: 27/05/13 at 14:11 Post Comment

Manuel Almunia: Setting his sights on a return to the Premier League

Manuel Almunia: Setting his sights on a return to the Premier League

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The Spanish shot-stopper spent eight years with the Gunners, during which time he picked up an FA Cup winners' medal and graced a UEFA Champions League final.

He was, however, to slip out of favour towards the end of his stay at Emirates Stadium - with the 2011/12 campaign seeing him bow out on a low note.

Almunia was released by Arsenal in 2012 and made the short journey across London to sign for Watford.

Stepping down into the Championship has allowed him to find regular football once more and he is now readying himself for a play-off final appearance against Crystal Palace on Monday - with a return to the top flight very much in his thoughts.

Almunia said: "If we are promoted I will be very proud for the club and the team and proud of myself, because it wasn't easy for me last season.

"I had many low days as I wasn't even in the squad so tried to enjoy life outside of football and train the best I could, so I would always be ready.

"Franco's (Zola) character is like that of a young player so he interacts with the players very well. Arsene Wenger keeps more distance away from the players."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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