Is it Nervousness or Excitement to Have Wojciech Szczesny Back in Goal for Arsenal?


Wojciech Szczesny has been out of the Arsenal loop now since his shocker against Southampton on New Years Day. He has been given spot starts on February 15th against Middlesbrough and January 25th against Brighton, but neither one did much to enhance his resume. Not because he performed badly, but because the team around him performed so well that he really didn’t have much work to do.

Arsene Wenger has insisted that the Pole is still Arsenal’s number one keeper, although playing time would beg to differ.

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But now that Wenger has revealed (via InsideFutbol) that Szczesny will be starting against Manchester United in the biggest game he’s faced since last year, is it time for the golden gloves co-winner to reassert himself and reclaim the spot that had seemed to be guaranteed to him?

While David Ospina has been very impressive in his stint as the go-to keeper, even he admits that the battle with Szczesny is not won (via the Express). He admits that the relationship he has with Szczesny is healthy at best, stating:

"“We do maintain a good relationship and we have to in the training sessions because otherwise it becomes difficult for the team and for the coach. It is a healthy competition. In a team like Arsenal and at this level, you need to have very good goalkeepers like you have in all the major football teams. No1 and No2 goalkeepers really need to be ready to react very well.  They have to be 100 per cent prepared and not prepared as and when but every day. You need to be that prepared and committed so you can continue to play. At the end of the day each of us is fighting to get that one spot. It is the coach that makes the final decision on who gets it so we do try to have a good relationship.”"

This is a very rounded concept in light of Szczesny’s somewhat infamous statements early in the year, indicating that Ospina was no friend of his (ESPNFC).

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But friendships aside, this is obviously a huge game for Wojciech Szczesny, arguably one of the biggest of his career. At 24 years of age, it’s time for him to be consistently world class. While I still believe he was unfairly unseated given his shaky defense early in the year, he does need to step up and prove that he can inspire confidence across the Emirates.

Goalkeeper Bob Wilson echoes this sentiment (via ESPNFC), saying that if Szczesny wants the No.1 spot, he can take it. “I thought this boy has the potential to really be a solid, outstanding goalkeeper, I still believe that because he is — for his position — still relatively young.” Wilson said. “All I would a say to him is ‘look, Arsenal is one of the greatest football clubs. If you go from here I am not sure you are ever going to get a club as good as this. At your age now you need to dedicate yourself to being the best you can be, to the exclusion of a lot of other things in your life.'”

Sounds like good solid advice from someone who knows goalkeeping better than most. Let’s hope Szczesny was listening as he takes on Manchester United in an absolutely enormous match.

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