Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was happy with first choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s development after he gave a private apology for smoking following the defeat at Southampton.
“What happens in our dressing room stays in our dressing room apart from the fact that it doesn’t stay,” said Wenger, smiling.
“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.”
When Arsene was asked whether Szczesny would start in the game against Stoke City on Sunday, he didn’t confirm either way.
“I haven’t selected the first eleven yet. I take everything into account. I don’t think it has been damaging but ideally you want everyone to behave in a perfect way.
“My issue is the player here is judged on their performances. Ideally to have a high level of performance is to behave as close as possible to the rules. I’m against smoking but have grown up in a period where, to accomplish military service, you are paid by cigarettes. You were encouraged. When I was a young boy I was surrounded by smokers. I smoked myself when I stopped playing and was a young coach. I was only alerted later. We know now it’s not good.”
Arsene also did not give too much credence to what Szczesny’s father had to say, saying, “I don’t listen to the fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers.”
It will be interesting to see if Arsene goes with his number one goalkeeper or if he will continue with David Ospina, who had an assured game against Hull City in the FA Cup. Szczesny may have had an error prone Southampton game, but he has had a very good season despite the fact that the number of clean sheets he kept have been far too less.
After keeping the joint highest clean sheets in the Premier League last season, the Arsenal defenders have not been helpful for the Polish goalkeeper, and as his father pointed out, they have been all over the place in all their games this season.
We’ll need to wait and see if Arsene will go with the Polish international or give David Ospina another go.