Wojciech Szczęsny Takes Blame For Lukasz Fabianski's Injury, Ascends To No.1
Arsene Wenger has recently signalled a full stop to Arsenal's perennial goalkeeping conundrum. However, the origin of how the current pecking order is shaped may not be what we expected.
It's been a few days since Wenger announced Szczesny as his No. 1 choice keeper for the rest of the season and the foreseeable future. The 20 year old made his debut Premier League appearance in a pivotal clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
As for the performance, supporters eventually realised why Wenger had stood firm and backed his "quality" keepers. We were impressed.
Up until now, with Szczesny/Fabianski between the posts, Arsenal's goalkeeping situation is recuperating at an extraordinary pace. Six goals conceded in ten matches since start of 2011, Arsenal statistically boast one of the top two back-lines in the Premier League.
Many of us would've expected that Szczesny's performances during his recent stellar run of matches played an integral part in Wenger's decision, but that's not all. The former No. 1 choice, Lukasz Fabianski, earlier confirmed he is set to undergo a shoulder surgery that resulted from a pre-match warm up injury.
Ahead of Arsenal's home game against Manchester City on January 5th, Fabianski, blessed with great reflexes saved a whipping close range shot from a team mate and sustained the injury.
Bar Fabianski's injury, who truly deserves the starting spot?
The shooter? You guessed it, Szczesny.
Speaking to sports.pl, Szczesny said: "I was warming Fabian up before the game with Manchester City and I took a very powerful shot. He made a beautiful save but also got an injury. I didn't do it on purpose, I was just doing my job.
"I feel stupid about it. I even told him it would have been better if he didn't save that shot. I take advantage of my teammate's misfortunes." (should be interpreted as benefiting from teammate's bad luck)
Wojciech's mercurial rise to stardom has been undoubtedly given a tremendous boost from Fabianski's season ending setback. But Wenger has indicated that the basis of his decision is solely down to Chezza's performance.
Speaking at Friday’s press conference, Wenger said: “At the moment Wojciech is number one, he's done nothing for me to take him out.”
Surely at this stage, a lot of fans will ponder whether Fabianski would have kept his No. 1 jersey without the surgery. It does seem rather unfair on Lukasz, who has performed admirably and deserves applause for possessing the mentality to keep striving after intense scrutiny and ridicules from the media.
In the end, Wenger's decision is certainly justified, considering the team's third choice keeper Almunia has been out of action for so long. Playing games against the likes of Huddersfield would surely aid him in regaining some sharpness needed whenever called into first team action again.
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