Wojciech Szczesny Headed Down the Same Path as Lukasz Fabianski?


Wojciech Szczesny is in quite the pickle in his Arsenal career. On one side of the spectrum, he just turned 25, which should be the prime of his career, yet he’s playing second fiddle to David Ospina who has suddenly emerged as one of the best keepers in World Football, statistically speaking. He was caught smoking in the shower after an atrocious affair against Southampton and every time he’s seen the light of day since, he’s been remarkably average.

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On the other side, he’s the reigning co-golden gloves winner, he has a boatload of talent, a boatload of confidence and Arsene Wenger still backs his skill in being a world class keeper.

But the fact remains that Wojciech Szczesny is still sitting on a bench when he believes he should be starting every day in goal.

The situation is actually incredibly reminiscent of Wojciech Szczesny’s countryman and former Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski, whose job Szczesny himself took. Fabianksi is quoted by BBC Sport as saying “The main reason I came to Swansea was because I want to be the number one goalkeeper.” Seems like something Wojciech Szczesny may end up doing if the situation at Arsenal doesn’t turn more towards his liking.

However, there are some differences between his and Fabianski’s situation. Fabianksi had injury problems and was never really able to maintain his spot in the starting XI. When that happens, form dips, and that’s what happened to the Pole. Wojciech Szczesny has no injuries to blame, he just had a bad stretch and capped it off with a crucial smoking mistake. However, I fear that both outcomes could be the same.

Plenty of people out there are offering their advice to Wojciech Szczesny. Jerzy Dudek, a Polish keeper of the Liverpool persuasion spoke in favor of Szczesny moving on. “If I were in his place, I would wonder whether there are still opportunities to arise at Arsenal and wouldn’t wait as long as Fabianski, because you can see that Arsene Wenger is firmly set on David Ospina” he said (per Daily Mail).

Dudek’s reasoning comes mainly from the concern for the future of Wojciech Szczesny’s international career, as he won’t be chosen as Poland’s keeper if he’s not gaining any experience as Arsenal’s keeper. In other news, there will most certainly be more opportunities at Arsenal, he’s already getting them with the FA Cup, so that’s a silly point to make.

David Seaman gives much more sound advice, and seeing as how he’s a former Arsenal keeper who didn’t make it until he was 26, I’d listen to him.

"“It is about how he reacts, and what does the player want – does he want to play as a number one? Or is he happy being at a big club as a number two? With Wojciech, it must be hard for him now to be No.2, coming off the back of a season where he was a regular and had been playing at his best, but it is totally just because he had a couple of bad mistakes and Ospina has gone in and done his stuff.”"

Seaman went on to state (via the Daily Star) that “It is all about his ambition. If he wants to be a No.1 somewhere, then how long is he going to have to wait? But if he leaves Arsenal, then it won’t be the same level, because it is not until after they go, that all these guys realise how good Arsenal is.”

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I think that’s the main thing, Wojciech Szczesny’s ambition. Fabianski is doing great for Swansea but, and no offense to Swansea, but it’s Swansea. They aren’t going to be making any challenges on the world football stage any time soon. Arsenal are hitting their stride and are currently the hottest team in England and as long as they stay healthy, why would that change?

The fact of the matter is that no position on Arsenal is safe anymore. A single slip up and there’s a guy waiting in the ranks who’s ready to capitalize. Wojciech Szczesny needs to avoid becoming another Fabianksi and continue to grind out training and days on the bench and use them to make himself a better keeper. Arsenal have two great keepers and if they can feed off each other’s successes and use those successes to drive themselves, then we won’t have to worry about a slip up because the other will be there to pick up the pieces.

Luckily, I think that Wojciech Szczesny’s ambition will keep him at Arsenal. I don’t think he’d be content being the first choice keeper at a Stoke City or a Hull City. Arsenal is a big team going big places and Wojciech Szczesny wants to be the big time keeper that gets them there.

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