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Shirt Sponsor: Nick Blanks
Match Boots:In Memory of B Culverhouse
Match Kit: Brian Ball, Perivale, Middx
Tracksuit:Roy & Jane Taylor
Training Boots: Joan & LindaTraining Kit:David AbrahamTraining Top: CT Hagger Plumbing & Heating
A LEADER, and experienced member of Gianfranco Zola’s new look Watford side, Manuel Almunia’s arrival in the summer of 2012 brought a wealth of Premier, and Champions League experience to Vicarage Road.
Regularly team captain in the absence of John Eustace, the 6ft 4” stopper has been inked in on Gianfranco Zola’s team sheet this season when fit, and proven a more than capable last line of the Hornets’ defence.
His football development came in his Spanish homeland, as he came through the ranks with Osasuna but failed to make an appearance for the first team. Short spells at Recreativo, Celta Vigo and Albacete followed before a 27-year-old Almunia joined Arsene Wenger and Arsenal in 2004.
The Spaniard spent eight years in north London, in which time he won an FA Cup, and kept goal against Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final after Jens Lehmann was sent off early on.
Often understudy to the enigmatic German in his early days as a Gunner, Almunia made the spot of first choice goalkeeper his own in the 2007/2008 season, and went on to make over 150 appearances at the Emirates.
Joined from: Arsenal (July 2012)
Debut:August 11th, 2012 v Wycombe (h)