Szczesny wants FA Cup final start

Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski

Wojciech Szczesny has hailed his compatriot Lukasz Fabianski for his displays in the FA Cup this season, but says he wants to start the final next month.

The younger of the Poles, immediately recalled to the starting XI against West Ham – making his position as the number 1 obvious – insisted the most important thing is that Arsenal win the cup, but like any player he wants to play in such a big game.

“I would love to play but it’s the manager’s decision,” he said. “It’s up to the him. I think Lukasz has done really well and he deserves a lot of credit. I’m an Arsenal fan and I just want us to get the trophy.

“For us, it’s important to get a trophy and hopefully we can appease everyone at the club.”

It leaves Arsene Wenger with something of a decision to make. If he sees Szczesny as his number 1, then it seems sensible to pick his best goalkeeper and one whose future lies with the club.

Fabianski has done well, no question, and while nobody would really begrudge him a final place, he is going to leave the club this summer.

Would it not be better for Szczesny to get that experience of winning a trophy (assuming we can do that?). Not easy, that’s for sure.

What do you reckon, folks?




        • Fabianski has one trait which Szczcesny is lacking. The ability to be good Even though the rest of the team is bad. Szczcesny tend to be bad when the rest of the team is bad. Unlike Keepers like David Marshall whom have been through some real shit storms in the Cardiff goal, But still managed to stand his ground and save Points for the bluebirds time and time again when his team have been utterly crap. Ofcourse when you have like 100 shots against you every game, it is impossible to save them all, but he has made some really impossible saves this season which defies both physics and reality. 🙂

          If Cardiff manage to stay up, most of the credit should go to Goalkeeper David Marshall, whom have been saving their Bacon over and over again throughout the season.

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        • I think you’ve forgotten how many damn times we’ve owed winning games to Szcez this season. Also, Szcez’s distribution imo is still better. And he’s had any number of eye-catching saves. If anything, the one department where Szcez really excels is his stopping ability – any game will really make that obvious.

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  1. Szczesny for the first half. Then in case we’re winning, Fabianski Back for the 2nd. See, I want Szcz to get a medal (has he completed enough minutes in the cup to get one?), but for the journey and the stupendous saves he’s made plus the penalties, I’d want Fabianski to be there at the final whistle.

    Wishful thinking?

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  2. Not picking Fabianski would be pretty disrespectful IMO. He’s a big part of the reason we’re there. Sure, he’s leaving this summer, but it’s only after a number of years of good service, of spending time patiently on the bench without complaining. He’s wanted to leave before, sure, but whenever the answer has been “no” he’s been professional and served as a reliable backup. For that, the guy deserves to win a trophy at Arsenal (or at least the opportunity to).
    He’ll be just as hungry as Szczesny since he’ll want to sign off on his time at Arsenal on a positive note so I don’t think we need to be worried about him playing.

    Of course Szczesny wants to play, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll resent it if the decision goes the other way. It was decided at the start of the season that this is how it’d play out – if it was a CL final it’s be Szczesny and if we won the league it’d be his name that would be known as the title winning keeper. I don’t think being left on the bench will affect him.

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    • Didn’t Blogs write about what it would be like for Szczesny if, once we win the cup, he is the only first team player not to have a medal? I understand why Fabianski is the favourite to be chosen, but I think Szczesny should start for that reason alone.

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      • No where near the level of Chesney, are you on drugs?
        There is very little between them and it would be rotten in the extreme not to start Fab in the final. HIS penalty saves got us there!

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      • No, I never booed Fabianski, and I believe he’s our cup goalkeeper and deserves to play in the final. As the last commenter said, there is very little between them. I’d be quite happy for Fab to stay on and fight for a place — I think with the two Poles in the squad we’d have the best goalkeeping like-up in the league — but I quite understand if he feels it’s time to move on. He’s been a loyal and generally reliable Gunner, and deserves a winner’s medal.

        It’s not out of sympathy, but respect for his development into a very reliable keeper, as well as an extremely able shot-stopper (which he always was).

        Szczesny will get his winner’s medals next season.

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    • I get this, but you can’t be sentimental. One’s second GK starts in cups because of rotation/fatigue. If we had gone to the final with Hayden, Gnabry and Zelalem, I’d still want Ozil, Rambo and Cazorla to start. We want to win this trophy. Arsene, put out your best team.

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      • Look at Sczc’s record on the big stage.
        Final vs Birmingham
        Euro 2012 with Poland
        Champs lge game vs Bayern

        He’s prone to the odd error especially when he’s needed the most.

        Whereas Fab seems to have matured and is more in control of his emotions, plus he’s distribution and shot stopping is better.

        For me Fab all day long.

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      • It’s not about being emotional. It’s about being fair. Arsenal is club of ethics, strong ones. You don’t rob a player of an opportunity like this after he has earned it. That’s plain simple wrong.

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    • Funnily enough I was thumbed down to death up to my comment being hidden for suggesting what blogs is saying here, some four articles prior. Having said so, and I’m merely repeating what I said then, the situation reminds me of Alex Hleb in Paris. Pires was sacrificed instead of the useless bastard (he pretty much was in that final) and he repaid us by moving to our opponents in that final only two seasons later. Now I would rather see opportunities like these being given to either loyal players or players who look a good bet to be with us in the near future. Makes little sense developing those who won’t be with us. Now Fab has been good this season but is not really David Seaman or Bob Wilson (who gave us seasons after seasons of solid goalkeeping and trophies) and it looks certain he’ll be off in the summer, so I’m thinking Szcezsny. But using that same reason maybe Wenger can get Fab to sign a new deal, sign or you don’t start the final.

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    • Its tough to call, torn between being loyal to the guy who got us here, and the first choice who might offer a slight edge in the game.

      In the end I’m mostly on the sentimental side, pick Fab unless there is a serious reason not to (he picks up a knock in training).

      There enough of a difference in quality between the two guys right now, that not playing Szczesny is a real risk.

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  3. Fabianski.

    We wouldn’t be in the final without his penalty saves. Deserves the chance the finish the job.

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  4. There was me thinking “come on blogs, this is an easy call”. Then you went and put a poll on it and I have been staring at the screen for five minutes, unable to pick. Well played sir.

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  5. Fabianski deserves to play. Simpe as that. And maybe winning the FA Cup for us will be a fitting send off, remember Vieira last game.

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  6. Fabianski all the way !!! I read somewhere he’s done u turn and want new contract as long as more playing time , other note never cheered a crystal palace win before last night

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    • These days even GBP100mm is not much of a war chest when you think about it. That only buys you one or two world class players when some would argue we need three or four. I’d bet Man Utd spends double that this summer.

      If (?) there really is GBP100mm available at Arsenal it needs to be spent wisely. Giving Sagna what he wants is a good start and avoids having to cough up for a new rightback.

      I think ditto with Fabiasnki. London is where most players prefer to live and it’s always a pain to move. Couldn’t he still be persuaded to stay?

      This whole “I wanna be #1 goalkeeper” thing could be addressed if we install a simple rotation system whereby:

      a) Keep a clean sheet and you start the next game.
      b) Concede and the other ‘keeper starts next game.

      Scheszchny still lacks the maturity of a Casillas or a Neurer. Think his errors would reduce massively under this sort of high pressure.

      Fabianski would be virtually guaranteed to increase his playing time and we could spend the transfer money where we really need it.

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  7. I think Fab has earned it due to his performances in the Liverpool and on the Wembley shoot out. But I don’t think Szczesny has spoken out of turn. He couldn’t exactly say he doesn’t fancy playing.

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  8. If Sczc is on the bench he’ll get a medal, so he’ll be an FA cup winner(fingers crossed)
    After Sczc last time at Wembley, I’m not sure i want him playing, Fabianski’s been great & I see no reason to drop him.

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  9. Give it to Lukasz, seems like a top lad. I’d cack myself if I saved 2 in a semi final shootout just to be dropped for the final!

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  10. I am surprised at the support that Lukas enjoys. While I wholeheartedly agree, I thought the posters here would be more hard nosed pragmatists rather than idealists. Go on Fab, makes us proud in Wem-ber-ley!

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  11. Let Fabianski in the middle of the post, in the middle of the year, in the middle of the team of which win the cup come May

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  12. Fabianski should start, must start. He deserves it. It will probably be his last match and that would be just like Vieira in 2005. Szcz should focus on keeping clean sheets in the remaining four league games.

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  13. To compete at the very top we need to have two top class keepers – which we have at the moment with Fab and Sczc.

    If Fab can be part of the FA Cup winning eleven, then it may persuade Mr. Wenger to split the keeper duties in future and that Fab stays longer term. Stability is a good thing in squads – we could see 5 or 6 leave this summer (Bentner, Ryo, Sagna, Verm, Viviano) and the same numbers coming in (or up from youth level/back from loans) – I believe that maintaining the bulk of the current squad would be preferable.

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  14. Fab undoubtedly. Without him there would be no final. We are pretty mediocre in the Wigan game for most parts till he stepped up and stopped those two penalties. Would be great disrespect if he didn’t start and on current form he’s just as good as Woj.

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  15. It’s a final – play your best team and forget about loyalties to players.

    This is about winning and FA Cup final, not making everyone feel happy at a school sports day.

    If Scz is most in form come final day then play him, if Fab is looking better than play him.

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  16. I would definitely pick Fab since he has had a storming Cup Run. Saved 2 penalties in the shootout and I still remember that brilliant display in the 2-1 win over the Mugsmashers. I think for what it is worth Fab deserves the chance. The best case is probably that we’re 5-0 up in the 90th minute and then Fab picks up a red and concedes a penalty. Szcz comes on and saves the penalty thus manages to pick up the trophy. Everyone’s happy right? Well maybe not… anyway just hope we win the cup above anything else. COYG

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  17. Doesn’t matter who ends up in goal if Abou Diaby makes his return. Our unfortunate opponents will be lucky to even get into our half with Abou in the side.

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  18. Pisses me off that anyone could even consider dropping Fabianski for the final. The manager would never even be given a chance to explain himself out should Szcesny fuck it up like he did vs Birmingham. But why? Why? If Szcesny wants any silverware, he should work for it period. No entitlements

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    • Conversely, should Wenger play Fabianski in the final and he makes a clanger, Wenger will be hung drawn and quartered for not playing his No.1.

      There are no entitlements, but as our No.1 keeper it appears to me that Szcz has done enough to earn his place in the final also.

      Like blogs says, it’s a tough one. A lot tougher than your logic makes out.

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  19. Think it’s too sentimental saying Fabianski should play as it’s his last match – The team is more important so should be Szszney for me as he’s likely to stick around and would be more beneficial to us in the long run. However, if Wenger can somehow persuade Fabianski to sign on, then I’d be happy for him to play as there really isn’t much between the two of them

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  20. Sorry Sczc but you had your chance a few years ago and it did not end well, Fabian has been Fabulous, he deservers his chance on goal, as least like you said the bottom line is winning so chin up

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    • So, you’re saying we should never play Szcz in a cup final again because of a mistake he made when he was 20, having played a handful of games for us?

      Right you are chap!

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  21. Fab has earned it; whether or not he’s leaving in the summer, he’s earned it.

    Plus, if it goes down to penalties (which it won’t, we’ll win in regulation), I trust Fab.

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  22. Fabianski played a very big role in getting us this far. It is only fair that he plays in the final. Who knows he may just change his mind about leaving.

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  23. Feel for Wojciech, but Fabianski deserves to start in the final as he’s a big reason why we’re there in the first place, not only for his penalties saved but also for his heroic performance against Liverpool.

    Szczesny on the other hand will play in our CL final next year, that’ll do it. 😉

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  24. It has to be Fabianski all the way. Love Szczesny and all that but Fabianski has done all the had work. He deserves to play in the final.

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  25. Fabianski started the good FA cup ride and should be allowed to finish it. Please, please, please Shezney concentrate on the final games of the league for now.

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  26. Fabianski certainly to play. Cannot be dropped now after his brilliant performance got us there, that would be disrespectful. Szszney should get some time also cause he has also helped get us there and should experience winning and getting a medal as well.

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  27. Can’t help but think there’d be more pressure on sir ches if he was picked..knowing he’d kind of nicked a cup final off his mate plus some bad cup final memories.
    If there is one (there’s probably more than one) thing this team seems to struggle with its pressure. Fab’s looked cucumber cool so far – he gets my nod.

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  28. I don’t see why we can’t do what Real Madrid do i.e. One goalkeeper playing all the league games and another playing both Champions League and domestic cup games. Both goalkeepers would remain sharp and be in constant competition with each other. Surely that’s only positive.

    Most outfield players would only expect to play a maximum of two thirds of games. Why should the position of goalkeeper be different? I think some people are too obsessed with the idea of a “Number 1” who always plays.

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  29. You don’t get the experience of winning a trophy, if you haven’t earned it. Fab has been much better, should have replaced szczesny after the anfield embarrassment.

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  30. Who ever gets picked we need to ensure that Szczesny stops pushing his fingers through the back of Fabianski’s head like that before the final, head/hand morphing will only end in tears.

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  31. It’s not playing Fab instead of Szcz that has me worried

    It’s Wegner’s cup preference for Sanogo and Monreal that scares me!

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  32. Citeh changed their keeper for the FA Cup final and karma detroyed them. Stick with Fab who’s played an incredible part of the campaign and anyway, a lot of people think he’s equally good or better than Szczesny. I like his demeanour more as well.

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  33. Real Madrid stuck with casillas in the cup games they won the copa del rey last night and are in the CL semis,We must stick with Fab in the FA cup Final and we’ll win it.Simple

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    • WOW! I just realized, there is a team on Earth using Iker Casillas as its cup goalie!

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  34. I vote for Fabianski. He’s done a great job to date. He’s shown brilliant form for a bloke who is playing so rarely. But the main reason is that I could well see it going to penalties and, dare I say it, he may have the edge on Szsz in that department…

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  35. Definitely think Fabianski is a better penalty saver than Szsz. In fact, I can’t remember the last time Szsz saved a penalty.

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  36. Hey blogs,

    I understand all your points about why you think SZC@$%!^ny should start but I think there might be something bigger at stake here. If Wenger promised that Lukasz would play FA Cup games, and he breaks his word to Lukasz, then its a signal to all the other players that he is willing to break his word. Particularly for younger and back up players it is important that they know they can trust him. Cause otherwise they will all leave to go play elsewhere.

    And frankly, I think Lukasz is a cracking keeper. I have every confidence he’ll do a job in the Final


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  37. Fab all the way, for the penalty save in Munich, and his performance at Wembley! He deserves it, and Szczesny has time on his side to get a final. This is Fab’s last game in an Arsenal shirt, let him go out in a blaze of glory!

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  38. I’d pick Fabianski, not because he “deserves” it, but because it’s important that our players recognize that we reward good performance. Profiting from a player’s form but replacing him nonetheless sends the wrong message, killing the incentive fostered by competition for places. Without any context, I want Szczesny to have the chance to win the cup; given what Fabianski has done, though, he should be rewarded, if not for his own sake, then for the sake of current or future players who will recognize that a role in the squad is only earned on merit, never guaranteed by external circumstances.

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  39. I’d like Fabianski to start as i’m keen on him staying at the club. He’s been outstanding when called upon in recent seasons well and truly shaking off the Flapiasnski moniker. I know it’s likely he’ll leave but Wengers open to giving him a new contract and maybe a winners medal ( fingers crossed) will help change his mind. We have two capable stoppers at the club the only thing they both need to work on improving is their distribution in my opinion.

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  40. More than Fabianski being his lucky charm, I think Wenger promised at the start of the season that he would be his cup keeper. And Fabianski has done nothing wrong to make Wenger break the promise.
    Something like what’s happening at Real Madrid. Iker Casillas plays the Cup games, some Lopez guy plays the League.

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  41. Let’s not forget we haven’t won the cup yet ! We scraped past Wigan so no more talk on winners medals
    But I believe fabianski should start the final

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  42. Absolutely no room for sentiment like this in football at the top level. Pick the players to get the job done.

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  43. Chez has come on a lot and I totally get Blogg’s point about wanting your long term keeper to be happy, rather than playing a guy who looks to be off in the summer.

    We just need to win the thing, and Chez is young (and I think he’s a great keeper and will be one of the best in the world in a year or two) and does seem to lose it sometimes in big games (Birmingham and Bayern spring to mind). Fab is lucky in the cup. I’m not a ‘rabbit’s foot/lucky heather’ guy, but Fab hasn’t shat himself in big games this season. In fact, he’s seemed calm and assured.

    Sorry Chez, but I would go with Fab. And I think Arsene will too. Perhaps if we are 3-0 up (yeah right) with 10 minutes left he may bring on the Chez for a medal.

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  44. Normally i would say pick the best keeper with no hesitation, but i really think szczesny hasnt been at his best and i know there are other reasons such as kos and gibbs being injured plus are tendency to selfdestruct but i really think fabianski’s form makes him the better keeper in this moment in time

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  45. Why is the FA Cup different from the CL or the PL? Play your absolute best 11. Szczesny is our best keeper.
    Sagna Mert Kos Gibbs
    Arteta Ramsey
    Chambo Ozil Cazorla

    If everyone I mentioned is fit, then they start.

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  46. This is Fabianski’s competition and deserves to get picked as he has worked hard to get us into the final especially after the semi final performance this is a no brainer.

    Szczesny is trying to do a john terry and come in at the last moment to steal the glory

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  47. Lukaz will playin the final!! Arsene said so in the interview immediately after the
    penalty shootout. When the interviewer asked whether Lukaz will play in the final, the Boss replied “Yes he will”

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  48. Well, who wouldn’t?
    I understand it’s important for the keeper with a future in the club to get this kind of experience, but I still voted for.Fab because against a wigan side that just wouldn’t go down at wembley, he held his own and showed that this is exactly the kind of situations he is in form to deal with. I’m just saying..a final could go to penalties again.

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  49. I believe Fab is the more reliable goalkeeper. Szcz fills me with dread most of the time but can pull off exceptional saves. Fab should play in the final. I feel the clubs best goalkeeper is leaving in the summer. And biggest concern is we are left with only one goalkeeper at the club. Another wenger cock up. The goalkeeper we are left with although arsenal through and through is complacent cocky and quite often absent minded. Poor distribution. Is quite often out of position which leads to all this bizarre own goals that we have. Give Fab a new contract and make him number one. This will wake Szcz up into the great keeper he has the potential to be.

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  50. i was delighted to see Fab retian his place for the semi. stood in the bar saying ‘thats a class call by wenger, he deserves to play in the final too’.

    but you know what, just sitting here thinking about it, we’re not talking about a guy who’s done 10 years of firt team service, being replaced next year, but given this swan song. we’re talking about a guy who we gave plenty of chances too but really only came good this season and has decided he’s off anyway despite the offer of a new contract and much public praise from le boss.

    absolutely delighted for him, he’ll get a good enough club and a shot at number 1 now thanks to his exposure from wenger – despite all knowing he’s def away – wenger has boosted his profile. job done, above and beyond.

    now its a major cup final and its a full strength first team stating 11. Szczesny to start. Unless Fab wants to sign a new contract.

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  51. What message would it send out not to put fab in goal, ” if you are first team you get in no matter what”. This could cause resentment in the squad and laziness in those picked no matter what.

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  52. As much as I’d like Szcz to play and win something, it’d be a slap in the Fab’s face if he did. Fabianski, for all his mishaps over the seasons, has simply been outstanding in the Cup. He’s helped get us get to the final (possibly single-handedly if you think back as far as last weekend). To drop him now would be the biggest “fuck you” in football. Let him play the final. Let him win a trophy. Szczesny will be around for a few more years, and have a lot more opportunities to win trophies. Changing it now may disturb the balance in our FA Cup force, and after another bullshit ending to a league campaign, that’s the last thing we need!

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  53. … In other notes … What would happen if for some weird magical reason we have Casillas ???? … According to Spain media he’s really considering move forward ! ….

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  54. The journalist might have asked if you would start and the reply from Szcez clearly says, he don’t give a fuck who starts, i just want that trophy

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  55. I have a feeling Wenger has it in his head that Szsc is the league keeper and Fabianski is for the cups.

    Being as that is the case, then it is fair to have Fabianski in the FA cup finals (particularly after recent heroics). I think that is how it will pan out.

    It also plays into giving Fabianski a slight incentive to staying on. It would be fabulous to have your cake and eat it (if you were Wenger here)

    Likely though Fabianski will get a decent offer on performance currently.

    There is merit to Szsc as our number one playing the finals and winning the medal but I don’t think this is a big issue. He should get a medal anyway on the bench. Rather if Fabianski has been cup keeper then he should finish the job IMO.

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