Tag Archives: szczesny

Wojicech Szczesny – Were We Right To Sell?

Posted originally on Arsenal Mania

Wojicech Szczesny spent 11 years at Arsenal. In that time, and growing as a player through the Gunners ranks, his attachment to the club unsurprisingly grew. Over a decade at the club he supported as a boy, the bond the Pole had with Arsenal only became stronger.


So it was with an undoubtedly heavy heart that he bade farewell to North London recently, when he was offered the chance to play for Juventus and work alongside Gianluigi Buffon – the keeper that most consider to be this generation’s finest exponent between the sticks.


The prospect for his career was simply too good to turn down, but was it the right decision for Arsenal?












With last season’s miasma of horrors still so hard to erase from our mind’s eye, many of us fans looked to Szczesny’s efforts on loan at Roma, and with Petr Cech letting his high standards slip – it appeared as though we had the perfect remedy to clam up our porous team.


There are many other facets to this transfer though, that have not risen to the surface as prominently as the above though.


Szczesny performed way above expectation in Serie A last campaign, but the level of competition between the two league’s is still different. A perfect example of this is Gervinho – the Ivorian was an abject failure in an Arsenal shirt, but when playing for Roma only a few seasons ago, he looked like an accomplished professional. It is especially easier to grab clean sheets in the attritional playing styles of Italy too.


True, it looked as if the Polish keeper with a penchant for selfies at White Hart Lane had indeed acquired the one thing that stopped him being a great keeper at Arsenal – consistency. We can give him the benefit of the doubt, but can we forget?


Twice, the Number1 shirt was in his grasp in his time in London, and twice, continued erratic displays meant that Wenger had no choice but to drop him – once for Lukasz Fabainski and once for David Ospina. Five seasons was spent trying to establish himself and firmly rebuff all other goalkeeping competitors, but he never quite managed it. Whether it be silly mistakes on the pitch, like when he fouled Gabby Agbonlahor in the 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa, or when he was caught smoking in the showers, Szczesny couldn’t quite leave the doubts behind.


Now, after two excellent seasons in Rome, he was given an opportunity to work at Juventus. It would have been impossible to turn down, but what really rankles is that, why did Arsenal not hold out for more money?


Considering the experience that Szczesny has, and his still relatively young age, his transfer worth must have been higher than the reported meagre fee that we have received. When a young English keeper plays one season of top-flight football, gets relegated and then commands a £30m fee – that should have correlated into a higher fee for Wojicech too.


The fanbase, when poring over tweets and posts on social media, seems to be undecided on whether Wojicech Szczesny was the long-term answer in goal for our club, but we can all agree that he is worth far more than Juventus are scantily paying us. 

Goodbye Szczesny, and thanks for the memories….

Original post on Goonersphere

On the 5th of August, there was a piece of transfer news that slipped under the radar somewhat regarding Arsenal.

A player had left the Gunners fold, one who is held in high regard by fans. Wojicech Szczesny was declared to have left Arsenal on loan once more as he did last season – the destination once more was Roma.

This felt a little different to last season however. Szczesny moved initially to ensure minutes on the pitch, with a view to reminding Arsene Wenger what he is capable of. Thirty four appearances and a third placed Serie A finish later, Szczesny could look back on an accomplished campaign.

He must have returned to Colney with renewed hope of ousting current first choice goalkeeper Petr Cech, or at least enjoying a duel with the Czech stopper. The news he must have received though, could not have been to his taste, as he once more looks to play in Rome for the season.

A second season long loan indicates that Szczesny’s Arsenal career is hanging by a thread. The situation he finds himself in is that the position he desires is unattainable at present. Petr Cech holds – and deserves to – the first choice goalkeeping slot. Does Wojicech have the patience to wait for his dream to come to fruition?

The Pole has never been short of confidence, which in turn has been his strength and his greatest weakness. In the 2013/14 season he shared the Golden Glove award with the same man who blocks his passage at Arsenal – Cech – and his future seemed assured. The next season saw Szczesny lose concentration on a number of occasions and his rise to prominence was halted a little.

Szczesny’s Arsenal career has been a series of peaks and troughs. A season of dependable displays and assured displays were surely followed by a campaign which was evidence of the chinks in his armour. 

There has never been doubts surrounding his talent, but his mentality has been subject to scrutiny. The position he so craves at the club he clearly adores was in his grasp – twice – but mistakes made were to plant doubt in the manager’s mind. This was swiftly followed by a spell on the bench – or a new goalkeeper coming in.

Reportedly, Roma have a clause inserted into the loan deal which allows them the first look at a permanent deal for Wojicech. A second season at the Stadio Olimpico shows that Luciano Spalletti rates him highly, and Szczesny will no doubt enjoy the fact he is the undisputed number one for his team. 

So all things appear to point toward a departure from Arsenal for our Polish keeper. If a poll asked one hundred Gooners about their opinions regarding him, would he be rated above David Ospina? The Colombian has rarely put a foot wrong since joining, but doesn’t enjoy the bond with the fans that Szczesny has. Will Szczesny be missed?

Szczesny has been responsible for some fantastic memories – none more so than his celebrations after a North London derby victory – and his antics via social media have been a tenable link between fans and the players we laud on the pitch. He enjoyed the spotlight we shone on him, and he in turn gave us something we all enjoyed, which was a player we could relate to. We could all see the fan in him, that aspect of him that took great joy from victory, just like us.

He is a fantastic shot stopper, and has no problem owning his box. He has also shown he can attain consistency over a whole season. It is when he has no one breathing down his neck that Wojicech suffers with blips in his performance. A second season in Serie A will undoubtedly benefit him, but if we were to recall him, would he be content with the Number two slot?

Petr Cech has plenty of life in him, but David Ospina will surely look to other offers with a second season as deputy. That would mean a spot opening up on the Arsenal goalkeeping roster, but will Szczesny’s ego allow him to sit in the shadows for a season or two, until the first choice opening becomes available?

For now, we must keep an eye on his results in Rome, and when this season ends, it is his choice to make. Utilise patience, and allow himself the chance to be a Gunners icon for many seasons? Or choose to leave? 

The Return of the Loanees – Part One.

Whilst not matching Chelsea’s exodus of players farmed out on loan, Arsenal can look forward to a healthy amount of additions to bolster our ranks.

With the addition of Granit Xhaka, and the promise of our club continuing to plunder the transfer market this summer, our squad appears to be in rude health.

The question for the players returning to Colney is whether they can establish themselves upon Arsene Wenger’s plans this coming season, when the competition for places has become ever more heated.

Continue reading The Return of the Loanees – Part One.

Petr Cech – The Final Piece in the Jigsaw?

Originally posted on Goonersphere

Last seasons excellent run of form coincided with the emergence of a certain Francis Coquelin. The much-travelled Gaul evidenced every asset that fans and indeed the team – were crying out for. Prior to his surprise inclusion we had looked similar to previous seasons efforts – pleasing on the eye, capable of running rings around any team, but brittle in the heat of battle.

The ‘Coq Block’ proved to be ridiculously effective. Those that are interested in stats marvelled at his numbers as he repelled wave after wave of attack with bared teeth and trademark grimace. The fact he had been one of our recruits for a number of years and not a £25million superstar holding midfielder was a stumbling block for a lot of Gooners but week after week, his performances were so complete that he convinced the majority that he was the answer to the conundrum which had plagued Arsenal for some time. He was the midfielder we had been lacking. That’s not to say he could do with a little help perhaps…..

We were close to the complete team. Now all we needed was an accomplished goalkeeper…..

Continue reading Petr Cech – The Final Piece in the Jigsaw?

Ospina Cech’s Out of Arsenal?

Eight clean sheets in eighteen League games hardly screams incompetent, does it?

So the rumours gathering pace today surrounding our Columbian shot-stopper David Ospina being given an escape route from the ignominy of being benched to Fenerbahce give an air of the unbelievable.

Yet, I released a blog surrounding Cech, Ospina and Szczesny only two months ago and the prospective chances of Cech joining, Ospina holding the No.1 jersey and Szczesny reclaiming it.

Bearing in mind, it is still in the rumour stage, but there is a sliver of credence to this story. Petr Cech, he of the fantastic collection of Golden Glove awards, has been linked so heavily with Arsenal that bookies have now stopped taking bets on the Czech goalkeeper donning a red and white safety cap next season. Continue reading Ospina Cech’s Out of Arsenal?

Ospina has the Gloves, has Szczesny dropped the ball?

Originally posted on Goonersphere.

David Seaman. Bob Wilson. Jack Kelsey. Pat Jennings. Jens Lehmann.
These are the names that current goalkeeping glove fillers David Ospina and Wojicech Szczesny must aspire to. To be able to match the achievements of these heroic men that guarded the Arsenal goal – Ospina and Szczesny have to eliminate the doubts that linger around them.

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Continue reading Ospina has the Gloves, has Szczesny dropped the ball?