Manuel Almunia

Watford

Crystal Palace Promoted

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Kevin Phillips's penalty, 15 minutes into extra time, was enough to see Crystal Palace beat Watford 1-0 at Wembley today, and book their return to the Premier League.

With Watford goalkeeper Manuel Almunia in inspired form, it looked like this game was heading to penalties. But then Manchester United-bound Wilfried Zaha was brought down by Marco Cassetti in the box and Phillips smashed home the resulting penalty.

Video: Watford’s incredible 97th-minute winner (just seconds after Leicester have penalty saved) sends them to Championship play-off final

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There were incredible scenes in the Championship play-offs yesterday. Deep into injury time, Leicester appeared to be heading to Wembley ahead of Watford. With the score at 2-2 on aggregates, the Foxes were already going through on away goals when they were awarded a penalty. Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia pulled off an incredible double save from [.

Must-See Finish: Watford beats Leicester City

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By IVES GALARCEP

There are crazy endings, and then there are endings like the one seen in England today between Watford and Leicester City.

Anthony Knockaert stood at the penalty spot, prepared to take a penalty kick that would send his Leicester City through to the English League Championship promotion final at Wembley.

Watford reach playoff final on 97th-minute penalty double save and counter-attack winner

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Watford have reached the Championship playoff final after beating Leicester in the most stunning way possible. Leicester took a 1-0 lead into the second leg of the tie and with the aggregate score at 2-2 deep into injury time and Leicester still winning on away goals, they were awarded a penalty for very soft foul/dive from Antony Knockaert.

Championship Play-Offs: Troy Deeney Scores 97th-Min Winner To Send Watford To Wembley 10 Seconds After Double Penalty Save At The Other End! (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Watford will meet either Brighton or Crystal Palace in the Championship play-off final at Wembley after squeezing past Leictester City at the very death in the second leg of their semi-final at Vicarage Road earlier today.

With the aggregate score level at 2-2 and Leicester going through on away goals, the Foxes were given the chance to put the result beyond doubt when they won themselves a penalty in the 97th minute (only four minutes of stoppage time had been scheduled).

Football Team Lineup for Watford v Brighton at Vicarage Road Stadium on September 18, 2012, 7:45 pm

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Playing at Vicarage Road Stadium English League Championship Home Team Watford Keeper Manuel Almunia Midfield Mark Yeates; Jonathan Hogg; Almen Abdi; Forwards Fernando Martin Forestieri; Chris Iwelumo; Matej Vydra; Defense Marco Cassetti; Sergio Piccoli Neuton; Nyron Nosworthy; Daniel Pudil; Subs Away Team Brighton Keeper [.

Results for Watford ( 2 – 0 ) Birmingham at Vicarage Road Stadium on August 25, 2012, 5:20 pm

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Match just over at Vicarage Road Stadium English League Championship Home Team Watford Goals & Scorers 17′: Matej Vydra;3′: penalty Almen Abdi; Keeper Manuel Almunia Midfield Mark Yeates; Jonathan Hogg; Almen Abdi; Forwards Chris Iwelumo; Matej Vydra; Sean Murray; Defense Daniel Pudil; Lloyd Doyley; Martin Taylor; Nyron [.

Results for Watford v Ipswich at Vicarage Road Stadiumon August 21, 2012, 7:45 pm

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Match just over at Vicarage Road Stadium English League Championship Home Team Watford Goals & Scorers Keeper Manuel Almunia Midfield Mark Yeates; Jonathan Hogg; Almen Abdi; Forwards Matej Vydra; Joe Garner; Sean Murray; Defense Daniel Pudil; Lee Hodson; Martin Taylor; Nyron Nosworthy; Subs 67′: in [.

English Premier League

Crystal Palace Promoted to Premier League: Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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After a thrilling end to the match in extra time, Crystal Palace are promoted to the Premier League thanks to a Kevin Phillips penalty kick.

Manager Ian Holloway has done it again. The manager who brought Blackpool into the Premier League has done it with Crystal Palace.

Congratulations to Palace, who won the game 1-0 in extra time.

Summer Transfers Winners And Losers

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The summer transfer window has closed, with the usual rush if signings on the last day, including US star Clint Dempsey moving to Spurs.

Here is a look at who I thought were the winners and losers in the transfer window?

Winners
Tottenham Hotspur
Before Friday afternoon I had Spurs in the losers category.

Farewell, Manuel as ‘clearout’ begins

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Morning all.

We'll start today with the news that Arsenal have announced the release of 7 players, the most high profile of which is Manuel Almunia whose contract expires this summer.

The others are Gavin Hoyte, who follows his brother Justin out of the club, and youngsters George Brislen-Hall, Sean McDermott, Rhys Murphy, James Campbell and Jeffrey Monakana.

The Ideal Arsenal Staring XI for 2012/13, featuring Vertonghen, M’Vila, Podolski and RVP

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The Ideal Arsenal Staring XI for 2012/13, featuring Vertonghen, M'Vila, Podolski and RVP - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Arsenal have been through something of a rollercoaster season, starting very slowly before a revival has the north London side 90 minutes away from a respectable third place.

Arsenal

Arsenal goalkeepers – cause for concern?

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In the recent past, Arsenal has had problems finding a perfect goalkeeper. Of the quartet currently known as the ‘Big Four,' Manchester United relied upon the solid Edwin van der Sar, and now have the duo of David de Gea and Anders Lindegaard. Chelsea has Petr Cech and Manchester City has Joe Hart, who is arguably the best goalkeeper in the league.

Jack’s back while Manuel speaks well

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Morning all,

the main news this morning is that Jack's back, baby. Jack's back. The Wilshere played for just over an hour as Arsenal U21s lost 1-o at West Brom but the result isn't even vaguely important or relevant this morning. Apparently he told reporters he was 'shattered' after the game, which is completely understandable given the length of time he's been out.

Mannone: Wenger has backed me as No.1

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Vito Mannone has revealed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger finally feels he is ready to become the team's first-choice goalkeeper, despite Wojciech Szczesny claiming the No.1 shirt earlier this summer.

Szczesny's impressive displays throughout last season sent him clear of Mannone, Lukasz Fabianski, and the departed Manuel Almunia in the pecking order.

In Praise of Almunia

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It's not so much the fact of players leaving that riles fans, it's more the manner of their leaving.

Which is why I want to single out Manuel Almunia for a round of virtual applause (more of him later).

Not all players can guarantee the affection of supporters once they have moved, but they can guarantee a degree of respect.

In Praise of Almunia

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It's not so much the fact of players leaving that riles fans, it's more the manner of their leaving.

Which is why I want to single out Manuel Almunia for a round of virtual applause (more of him later).

Not all players can guarantee the affection of supporters once they have moved, but they can guarantee a degree of respect.

Former Arsenal keeper speaks out about Wenger

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Manuel Almunia "He (Wenger) is like a father to the players" by AM Manuel Almunia, who was released this summer, has spoken highly of Wenger and how respected the Frenchman is among the players. The former custodian said that – "Everybody respects him and they trust him, always. In all my years at Arsenal, [.

Van Persie and Song may be gone but Arsenal have cause for optimism

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Van Persie and Song may be gone but Arsenal have cause for optimism - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

The inevitable questions over who will now score the goals for Arsenal were particularly pertinent in the aftermath of a 0-0 draw with Sunderland which suggested they were already missing their Dutch talisman.

Transferencias de la Premier League 2012/2013

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ARSENAL INSanti Carzola (Malaga, £16.5m), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier, £13m), Lukas Podoloski (Cologne, £11m)
OUTGavin Hoyte (Dagenham, free), Manuel Almunia (Watford, free), Joel Campbell (Real Betis, loan), Denilson (Sao Paulo, loan), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan, loan) ASTON VILLA INMatthew Lowton (Sheffield United, £3m), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord, undisclosed) Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar, free) OUT James Collins (West Ham, undisclosed), Carlos Cuellar (Sunderland, free), Emile Heskey (released),
CHELSEA INEden Hazard (Lille, £32m), Oscar (Internacional, £25m), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen, £7m), Thorgan Hazard (Lens, free) OUT Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua, free), Jacob Mellis (Barnsley, free), Salomon Kalou (Lille, free), Jose Bosingwa (released), Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, loan), Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion, loan), Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen, loan)

EVERTON
INSteven Pienaar (Tottenham, £4.

Fabianski’s The Key

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All depends on him staying or going

As we gear up towards the new season, we all do our personal assessment of how the team is shaping up for the upcoming season. Whether we have enough in our tanks to mount assaults on all four fronts or whether we are a little light and should be looking to focussed our energy on on front only.

Almunia moans about trophy haul at Arsenal!

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The Spanish keeper Manuel Almunia has now joined Watford after he let his contract run down at Arsenal, despite having no chance of playing for the Gunners first team in the last 18 months. Now he has gone he has bemoaned the fact that Arsene Wenger continually sold his best players every summer and reduced [.

Numbers, arrivals and the Arsenal departure lounge

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Sometimes getting started is the most difficult part of writing a blog so I'll just jump straight in with Arsenal's announcement of the squad numbers for next season.

New boy Olivier Giroud will wear 12 while other new boy Lukas Podolski has not yet been allocated one despite many numbers being free.

Is Arsenal Changing Its Wage Structure To Pay For Superstars?

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There were some interesting things that came out of Ivan Gazidis's meeting with the Arsenal Supporters Trust earlier this week. Two good write-ups on the meeting are here and here.

While Gazidis has a knack of talking a lot and saying nothing, the fact that he was willing to meet with Arsenal supporters last night and stayed around afterwards to answer more questions is really something.

Backpage roundup: Wage structure changes, Gazidis’ Usmanov block and more

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Arsenal's Wage Structure to Undergo Changes

Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has said that in order to offer lucrative terms to the club's superstar players like captain Robin van Persie, the Gunners are prepared to make changes to their currently 'flat' wage structure.

Young And Raring To Go

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First bow

Hello to all and welcome. Not a great day so far? Well, let's try to cheer you up shall we. Jack Wilshere has completed his minor procedure surgery in Sweden and will now return to Arsenal to continue his rehabilitation. It's good that he has completed that and even tweeted a picture about it.

Young And Raring To Go

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First bow

Hello to all and welcome. Not a great day so far? Well, let's try to cheer you up shall we. Jack Wilshere has completed his minor procedure surgery in Sweden and will now return to Arsenal to continue his rehabilitation. It's good that he has completed that and even tweeted a picture about it.

Norwegian keeper confirms Arsenal interest

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With the news coming out of Arsenal that Manuel Almunia's has been released at the end of his contract, and also Fabianski has made it clear that he also wants to leave, it seems that the Gunners are now clearly in the market for a suitable backup for Wojciech Szczesny next season. Now it has [...]

A sound argument for Arsenal keeping hold of Almunia as cover….

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The curious case of Manuel Almunia by Richard B. Strength in depth is always something that provides a bit of a conundrum for managers. Every manager has a first choice team, a set of players that, barring injury, fatigue or suspension, are his automatic selection. Contrary to what some believe, I don't think that every [.

A sound argument for Arsenal keeping hold of Almunia as cover….

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The curious case of Manuel Almunia by Richard B. Strength in depth is always something that provides a bit of a conundrum for managers. Every manager has a first choice team, a set of players that, barring injury, fatigue or suspension, are his automatic selection. Contrary to what some believe, I don't think that every [.

Squad assessment – Part 1

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So the season has ended and we can take stock of where we are and the way we've performed. I've decided to a player by player analysis of each player and assign them a mark, just like in school. I just need to find a red pen with which to scribble on their report cards.

It's broken up into two parts (today and tomorrow), and we start at the back with goalkeepers and defenders.

Arsenal Season Review Part I: Grading The Defence

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After yesterday's posts on the highs and lows of last season, today I'm going to continue with the season review, with a multi-part review of the players who took part in it. Rather than review everyone at once, I'm just going to do the defence today, before hopefully moving onto the midfield and attack later in the week.

Arsenal pinpoint Szczesny’s backup for next season (or even real competition)

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It is being reported this morning that Arsene Wenger has finally decided who he wants to bring in as serious competition for Wojciech Szczesny next season. Manuel Almunia's contract at Arsenal has now finished, and Szczesny's Polish backup Lukasz Fabianski has already indicated that he wants to move to play more first-team football.

Who should Arsenal use as back up to Szczesny next season?

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There have much rumblings amongst Arsenal fans about the erratic form of the young Pole Wojciech Szczesny, especially after his clumsy performance against Norwich, and many Gooners believe that perhaps a little more competition may get him to raise his game a little. As we all know, Manuel Almunia is finally getting taken of the [.

Gervinho: The New Thierry Henry

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One of the commonest complaints levelled at Arsene Wenger by his critics is that he hangs on to sub-standard players for too long.

He is accused of having ‘favourites' and of continuing to select them long after we supporters have decided that they are not up to it.

‘Fawlty' Manuel Almunia, ‘Sideways' Den Denilson and Emmanuel "the Grinning Kamikaze" Eboue all spring to mind.

Gervinho: The New Thierry Henry

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One of the commonest complaints levelled at Arsene Wenger by his critics is that he hangs on to sub-standard players for too long.

He is accused of having ‘favourites' and of continuing to select them long after we supporters have decided that they are not up to it.

‘Fawlty' Manuel Almunia, ‘Sideways' Den Denilson and Emmanuel "the Grinning Kamikaze" Eboue all spring to mind.

goalkeeper

So Long Manuel - You Won't Be Missed

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I suppose you could sum up Manuel Almunia's Arsenal career through his performances during two of his first few games at the clubs.
In late-2004/early-2005, Arsene's patience with Jens Lehmann had apparently snapped after a few chaotic goalkeeping performances (I remember one particularly erratic performance in Greece against Panathinaikos that had cost us three points in the Champions League group stage).

Stoke preview: time for a fight

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Ok then, after a relatively quiet week it all kicks off again today against Stoke.

Their season is more or less complete, they're in no danger of relegation but you can be quite sure they'll be up for this one today. Their fans don't like us very much after we hurt their feelings by being upset that one of their players smashed Aaron Ramsey's leg in two.

The Rest

Crotch Collision: Craig Bellamy & Manuel Almunia

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What is there to be said about this photo? Ona day when we can't seem to find any form of a reliable hangover cure, not much apparently. Now if you don't mind, we'd like to be left alone with this video. Seriously Kickettes, please go.

What do you think of our rivals transfer dealings so far compared to us?

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Here's a question for you all on this hot sunny Friday:
Based on Chelsea's transfer dealings so far, compared to the top four finishers last season, What do you think of our chances this season?

Now we all know about Chelsea's transfer deals that have been completed so far as follows:

Chelsea:
In: Marko Marin (Werder Bremen, £7m) Eden Hazard (Lille, £32m), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen, £7m) Oscar (Internacional, £25m) Out: Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua, free), Salomon Kalou (released), Jacob Mellis (Barnsley, free), Jose Bosingwa (released), Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, loan)

So what of the teams that finished in the top four and above us last season and what they have done so far this summer?