All pre match press conference involving Arsene Wenger is always eagerly expected because of the updates and information that comes with it. When the transfer window is open, such forum becomes a place to get more information. Last week press conference preceding the Stoke match was no less so, especially with the present goalkeeping situation at the club. The manager spoke extensively about Wojciech Szczesny, when he harped on the fact that the Pole takes responsibility for his action despite his unprofessional conduct during and after the match at Southampton.
“I like Wojciech as a person,” he said. “When he makes a mistake he stands up for it. He has contributed as well to the good image of Arsenal football club. He is a guy who learns from his mistake.
“I am happy with his development. Yes, he did apologise. He is a serious boy who works very hard. He made a mistake. He is not the first one and not the last one. Every club has its own internal discipline or rules. It doesn’t need to be public.”
After those comments, many would have thought that the manager would have stuck with him for the Stoke City match, but despite being complementary about him, he made a detour by bringing in David Ospina.
The question the Szczesny issue raises is that he is a goalkeeper that continually loses focus, and how long would the club have to put up with such a situation. He was dropped in March, 2013 because of poor form and because of the same focus issues.
Wojciech Szczesny later admitted that it was a decision he needed at the time and he has gone on to become a better goalkeeper for that decision. However, no sooner had he praised how far he has come, he fell into the same trap that he has regain his form. The form issues were also followed up with disciplinary issues which again highlighted a lack of focus once again.
Another thing to look at is Wojciech Szczesny’s father’s comments, and whether that also played a part in the decision of the manager to drop him. When you read Wenger’s comments and the way he reacted, he was not best pleased with the senior Szczesny’s comments, especially as it targeted certain individuals in the team. “I don’t listen to fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers.” The manager said.
The manager might not have considered that when he made the decision to take Wojciech Szczesny out of the firing line.
The goalkeeper’s situation at the club is purely based on circumstances. Wojciech Szczesny’s situation is a circumstance that has brought David Ospina into the team.
The key point though when looking at the issue of circumstances, is whether Arsene Wenger decides to stick with David Ospina for the much bigger test against Manchester City. If he does that, it would have do take a bigger circumstantial issue like an injury to David Ospina to bring the Pole back into the team.
Although not far away after that is the FA Cup fourth round tie against Brighton, which could through up a dilemma of the goalkeeper that will man the post if Ospina is trusted with the tie at the Etihad, that alone means the goalkeeping debate at the club could continue for sometime.
The manager has a big decision to make though ahead of the tie with the Citizens, and according to him he is still undecided.