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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Wenger happy to retain Almunia

Arsene Wenger insists he is happy Manuel Almunia remains at Arsenal despite the goalkeeper falling down the pecking order.

Wenger hails tradition

Almunia, 33, has been plagued by elbow and ankle injuries and has not featured in for Arsenal since the end of September last year.

In his absence, Lukasz Fabianski has not been able to fill the void after picking up a shoulder injury, which has allowed third-choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny to show his ability between the posts.

With offers said to have arrived from clubs in Spain and Turkey, Wenger has acted quickly to give Almunia hope of re-establishing himself in the first XI.

"At the moment, Wojciech is number one," he said. "He has done nothing wrong for me to take him out, but I can rotate the goalkeepers. In the cups I sometimes play different goalkeepers as well.

"He is under contract [Almunia] and, as long as he is at the club, we are happy to have him. I like him as a man and as a player and I have shown that in my decisions. I am happy that he is here."

However, he added: "Almunia has not played for a long, long time. I don't feel that any player is happy not to play."

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