One of the positions that came under intense scrutiny in the summer as Wenger planned to beef up the squad was the goalkeeping position. Begovic, Cesar and Mignolet were amongst the names that came up for consideration but at the end, Wenger ended up with Palermo’s Italian shotstopper Emiliano Viviano. The argument for a new shotstopper was that Szczesny wasn’t good enough to be Arsenal’s number 1 and needs to be under the tutelage of an older head.
Despite the acquisition of Viviano, Szczesny has remained the undisputed number 1 and has remained in goal for all of Arsenal’s matches (league and Champions league). After suffering the ignominy of been benched for some matches last season, he has got the reality check that he is not above the axe.
Szczesny might not be the best goalkeeper in the EPL but he is certainly talented enough to mann the post for us. His form this season has been very encouraging, he has conceded just 2 goals from open play, the remaining 3 from the spot. Having conceded just 2 from open play isn’t down to the robust defence alone but also down to his agility and brilliance. He made a super save from a shot that took a heavy deflection against Tottenham to preserve the clean sheet and give us the crucial 3 points.
What might have caused his blip in form last season was complacency and it’s not unexpected. When a player gets to a stage that he feels he is indispensable, unforced errors will start creeping into his game but after Wenger dropped him in favour of Fabianski until the elder Pole suffered a rib injury, Szczesny now knows his place in the team isn’t written in stones. He even has bigger competition this season with the presence of Viviano than last season.
Szczesny is a good goalkeeper but just like every other player, he needs competition to be perpetually on his toes and seems Wenger has got that for him with Fabianksi and Viviano.