In a revealing interview in the Independent, Wojciech Szczesny says the coaching he’s received during his time in Italy has improved him far more than his many years at Arsenal did.
The Polish international spent two years on loan with Roma before signing for Juventus this summer, and he says the technical side of his game is much better.
There have long been worries over Gunners veteran goalkeeping coach, Gerry Peyton, and Szczesny’s comments add more fuel to that fire.
“I enjoyed working with some great coaches at Arsenal, Roma and here, but the goalkeeping school in Italy is very different, it’s very technical and pays more attention to the details,” he said.
“It’s really made a difference for me because I started playing at a very young age with Arsenal and as you play you gain experience and that’s how you grow.
“But, honestly, I couldn’t say from a technical standpoint that I improved in any way from when I became first-choice at Arsenal until the day I left for Roma.
“However, in the two-and-a-half years since I came to Italy, I’ve improved massively which is thanks to the coaches and the way they work.
“It’s not about improving when you play, it’s every day in training you have to work on every aspect of your game and that’s something I’ve really enjoyed.”
Former stopper Lukasz Fabianski was known to have issues with Peyton’s coaching and when he went to Swansea he brought coach Tony Roberts to work with him there.
Jens Lehmann was brought in during the summer, but his role is more general, not specifically with the goalkeepers, and when Arsene Wenger was handed a new deal by Stan Kroenke in May, he signed up all his current staff with him rather than making any significant changes.
Some might want to write this off as Szczesny being bitter, but it’s worth paying attention to what he says – especially as he still talks fondly of Arsenal in general.
“Accepting that my time with Arsenal was over was difficult because I never imagined leaving,” he said.
“I supported them as a kid and I got to play for the club of my dreams, but life goes on. It was the right thing for me and both clubs and, while one side of me found it difficult to say it was over, the other said lets just get it done.”