The 22-year-old Pole was dropped by Wenger in Arsenal’s last two games against Bayern Munich and Swansea, along with captain Thomas Vermaelen.
Arsenal have inflicted upon themselves numerous defeats this season thanks to lazy, disorganized and, frankly, farcical defending yet the young stopper has been dealt a large portion of the punishment.
Wenger claimed earlier this week that Szczesny had been ‘mentally affected’ by the amount of games he’s played this season – 27 to be precise – and subsequently attempted to divert questioning on the subject to the fatigue of his number one.
However, 27 is really not very many games – even for an outfield player, never mind a goalkeeper. The fact that he revealed it was a ‘mental’ issue hints that perhaps Szczesny’s frame of mind has been negatively affected by all the pressure on him and his goal this season – he really hasn’t had much protection from his defence, the team, or the manager.
He does have protection from his father though. Maciej Szczesny hit back at Arsene Wenger claiming,
“Wenger already started to look for the scapegoat. It is not the way the boss should behave. Wojciech has had two serious injuries. He played with one in April and May last year. He shouldn’t have agreed to play that time, but the coach insisted.”
The word ‘scapegoat’ is interesting here – it did seem strange and even somewhat alarming when I sat the squad sheets for the game in Munich that Szczesny had been replaced by his compatriot Lukasz Fabianski. Szczesny has not had a great season but he certainly hasn’t been the worst offender at Arsenal.
Perhaps he and the captain were dropped for the purposes of setting an example to the rest of the squad and, furthermore, as a public relations exercise to show that Wenger was doing something about their poor defensive record. Technically, if that were the case, that would make him a ‘scapegoat.’
Szczesny senior continued:
“Wojciech did not train the whole week, then had a warm-up on Friday and played the match on Saturday. He was naturally more susceptible to minor injuries and his form was going down. Wenger was playing with a young man’s good health and Wojciech foolishly agreed.”
These are revelations about what goes on behind closed doors at Arsenal and the way in which decision are made. I take it with a pinch of salt due to the fact this has come from the keeper’s father but, nonetheless, you would expect there to be at least a grain of truth in what he’s saying.
“Wenger messed up in April and May. I don’t blame the young man who went along with his coach. Then, in August, there was an ankle injury after which he played almost instantly. After seven weeks out, Wojciech trained for just seven days and played a match. How on earth can he be on his highest form?”
It is true that Szczesny has not been at his ‘highest form’ this season. However, whether or not that is down to his lack of recovery and or preparation time is uncertain. One thing that is for sure, the boss won’t be invited back round to the Szczesny residence for tea any time soon.
image: © wonker