Wenger backs Szczesny for ‘great future’


Arsene Wenger has praised Wojciech Szczesny for his response to being dropped and backed the 22-year-old keeper to have a great career despite his recent downturn in form.

Benched for the wins over Bayern Munich and Swansea the Polish international has had a busy couple of weeks, not only taken it upon himself to play down comments made by his angry father after he publicly took aim at Arsene Wenger but also confessing that his form has not been up to scratch.

Reflecting on a March of awkward headlines for his young charge, Wenger underlined that with much experience gained he’s ahead of schedule in his development.

“I haven’t spoken to him [about his dad’s anger issues] and I believe he responded very well,” Wenger told his pre-Reading press conference.

“There is a not a lot more to say. We are in a competitive world, he has nearly played 100 games for this club and at his age that is absolutely fantastic.

“The rest, we have ups and downs in our form and we have to fight against that. That’s what he said, basically.

“He has a great future. He is a very young goalkeeper. You do not find very many goalkeepers at his age who have the experience he has already. That’s why I believe he has a great future. But he lives in a world where competition exists.”

Asked whether he might be in the market for a new keeper, a logical bit of speculation given Lukas Fabianski and Vito Mannone have both been linked with exits, the boss played down transfer talk reminding journalists that it’s not a decision to be made before the end of the season.

“A lot of people speak about that but we are not especially after anybody,” he said.

“What is important is we look at how we finish the season, how well we play and make the decisions who to buy and who to sell at the end of the season. This will be influenced by the way we play in our last nine games.”


  1. Of course the manager backs him, he’s very talented. There’s certainly no danger of Fabianski taking the #1 of him any time soon.

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  2. He’s 22 years old and for a goalie that’s like what..infantry?. Already shown he’s capable of doing a job, to dismiss now would really be foolish of anyone. Arsene backs him because he very well knows he will be great. I Fully concur.

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    • Agreed. His age (hopefully with time, also his quality), reminds me back when the World Cup 02 was taking place. I just turned a teenager but like everyone else I collected these stickers of football players. There was one I remember still vividly, Iker Casillas. Back then, Casillas was already representing Spain at the same age like Szczesny now with Poland.

      It’s memories like these that make me admire Wenger more for giving youth a chance at Arsenal. One day they might turn into legends and you can sort of witness their journey along the way.

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    • Szczesny has time to grow as a goalkeeper, however there are quite a few cases of established goalkeepers in top teams at his age. Just through quick browsing:

      -Cech was 22 when he became Chelsea’s No1
      -Casillas became Real’s No1 at the age of 19
      -Reina was a regular at Villareal at 20 and joined Liverpool at 23, at a time when he was actually good
      -Valdes emerged as Barcelona’s first keeper at 21
      -Buffon was a starter at Parma, a top 4 club at the time, by the time he was 18
      -Neuer established himself at Shalke at the age of 20

      So, Sczeszny is young, but not unprecedentedly young. In fact, many of the goalkeepers we consider top of the range today were already established at his age.

      Right now, he has a very glaring deficiency, his foot game which he is improving very slowly and to a cost for a team that focuses on passing like Arsenal. He is prone to soft mistakes as we saw with Aston Villa. His shot stopping stats last season were between average and poor. The defence improvements we’ve seen with Fabianski bring also into question his capacity to organize his defenders.

      So, all together if he wants to establish himself in a CL club he has to improve a lot in a short time. In my opinion, Wenger’s top priority should be to bring some experienced competition in the summer at least as a fall back option in case Sczeszy doesn’t make the required leap.

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  3. I think he will be great. The hard decision I think is whether to get someone in to be a challenging #2 or to get someone with more experience to be a #1 to make szczesny fight for the #1 spot and eventually take it back…

    Personally, I’d like to see szczesny in goal for the next 10 to 15 years and become an Arsenal legend. A bit of consistency is great for a team

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    • Should we buy Samba as well? I mean, why not buy players that were part of a relegated team. We should get Scott Dann while we’re at it….

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      • Julio Cesar is class, he had outstanding season in the Pemier League with constantly great performances he is one of the best keepers this year maybe N 1, worth taking him. Did anyone remember Juventus selling vandersar to fulham that he was not good enough anymore and his first season at fulham was excellent and ferguson bought him the next year and he was one of the best keeper for years in the league same with Cesar.

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        • I think getting cesar would really help, hes done really well at an awful team, plus hes actually won things with inter. He can defo teach a thing or 2 to szc and maybe fab if hes still here, not so sure about vito. I’m kind torn up about if we keep both fab and szc we should send 1 on loan, maybe even abroad but in a top league cus I don’t think its good to have both here with one always on the bench, competition is all well and good, but playing 40 games a season I think is much better, like what chelsea are doing with courtois.

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      • What is peoples obsession with Chris Samba………… Wasn’t he part of a Blackburn defense that got relegated? Isn’t he part of a QPR defense that looks like getting relegated?

        I don’t think he is a bad player, but that sort of quality isn’t what we should really be looking for if you want to improve our defence. I would take Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen over Samba over a longer period of time. People calling for him to get signed up by Wenger are suffering severe short-termism in my oppinion.

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        • im not pointing fingers here by the way, it is just something i hear allot from friends, other fans and even pundits sometimes

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      • There could be one or two good players even in a team fighting for relegation. That’s why we bought Poldi. If ManU only looked at proven winners, they wouldn’t have bought RVP!

        This is not to say we have to buy Cesar.

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  4. Top attitude from a top player. Arsenal’s number one for years to come. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

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  5. The truth (which Wenger never tells these days) is that Chez is at a crossroads. He can tack this knock and learn from it and become a better keeper oe he can sulk and eventually leave the club.

    But either way we need a top-quality goalkeeper for next season: if the Nutty Professor doesn’t buy one then he’s a fool.

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