Archive for September 24th, 2010

Bob Wilson on why Wenger won’t pick Szczesny

28 comments September 24th, 2010

The day before our Carling Cup tie against Spurs, when he discovered he wouldn’t even be warming the bench at White Hart Lane, Wojciech Szczesny was furious.

“Wenger told me to fight for a first-team place, but then he didn’t include me in the squad for the Carling Cup game. My friends told me not to worry, that it’s a marathon, and not a sprint. But a marathon isn’t about running in the same place for three years.”

Szczesny’s frustration will have been compounded by watching Lukasz Fabianski make yet another rick.  After an impressive loan spell at Brentford, he would have hoped to get the nod in the Carling Cup this year.

The problem is that we now have four goalkeepers on the books, and four into number one just doesn’t go.  I suspect the fact they’re all still around is indicative of the manager’s collective lack of faith: he is hedging his bets.

Quizzed about Szczesny’s outburst yesterday, Arsene said:

“He is right, he deserves a chance but the keeper is in front of him, Vito Mannone, deserves a chance as well.

You can only play one goalkeeper. It’s part of their job as a football player to live with competition and decisions.

Impatience is a characteristic of youth. What they forget when they are 20 is that they can play until they are 40, whereas a normal player can only go to 32 or 34 if it all goes well. What they lose at the start they gain at the end of their career.”

Szczesny won’t be pleased to hear that young Italian Vito Mannone is currently ahead of him in the pecking order.  Mannone is a solid but less spectacular talent, a capable understudy rather than exciting prodigy.

Bob Wilson is an expert on all matters to do with Arsenal goalkeeping.  As a former player and coach, he remains embedded in the culture of the club, and knows a keeper when he sees one.  He has praised the young Pole before, and in a recent interview with goalkeeping magazine GK1, spoke about why he has yet to be handed a run in the first-team:

“It takes a very brave manager to put a youngster in a first team. On the whole they don’t risk it. In the 70s, an 18-year old called Peter Shilton forced Leicester City to sell England’s World Cup winning goalie Gordon Banks and they got away with it! Shilton was brilliant and Banksy had to go to Stoke City. Pat Jennings was signed by Spurs from Watford at the age of 18 and was stuck straight in the first team.

Because the price of failure is so high these days, the majority of teams just dare not risk throwing in a young goalie. Arsenal have a brilliant young goalie called Wojciech SzczÄ™sny. He was absolutely brilliant on loan at Brentford and at this moment, Arsene Wenger is very reluctant to use him because of the enormous pressure that would be upon him with so much at stake: Champions League, FA Cup and the league.”

Is that possible?  That the very high-profile mistakes that have tarred Fabianski are what prevents Arsene throwing Szczesny in?  Arsene, it seems, sees himself as protecting Szczesny rather than holding him back.  Which, reassuringly, makes Fabianski the cannon-fodder, the shield to a brighter star.

Whilst it’s a well-intentioned strategy, it’s also very high-risk.  Szczesny’s contract expires at the end of this season, and we are now in serious danger of losing him and five years of development work.  If Szczesny is good enough, he will cope with the demands of first-team football.  If he crumbles like Fabianski, then he was never the risk man anyway.  When you have a great talent on your hands, you have to take the plunge: just look at rivals Man City.  They’ve got Shay Given, a very solid experienced goalkeeper, and have essentially jettisoned him in favour of the Joe Hart.

That said, Joe Hart has three years on our young Pole.  If he’s not going to play immediately at Arsenal, Szczesny should really be out on loan, playing regular football, just as Hart did so impressively at Shewsbury Town and then Birmingham.

The financial results are out today, and as far as I can tell it’s good news.  You can hear Ivan Gazidis explaining the figures here.  The knowledgeable Swiss Ramble summarised thus:

“Arsenal 2010 results: profit before tax £56m (2009 £45m), revenue £380m (2009 £313m). Net debt £136m (2009 £298m).”

All of which sounds very good indeed.

Tomorrow, we’re at home to West Brom.  The usual suspects will still be out, including Thomas Vermaelen, but Abou Diaby could be ready to return.

With respect to West Brom, that simply has to be three points, especially after the last-gasp disappointment at Sunderland.

Search Gunnerblog

Get your Gunnerblog t-shirts now!

get regular updates from GS with twitter

Top Gunn

Cesc Fabregas
The man in form.

    Retro Arsenal T-Shirts from - Bringing Back The Good Old Days!: Click Here!

Latest Posts

Sponsored Links


September 2010
« Aug   Oct »

Posts by Month

Most Recent Posts

Posts by Category


Powered By

eXTReMe Tracker