Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger signed Italy international Emiliano Viviano from Serie B side Palermo on a season-long loan deal on deadline day last week.
The Polish international was left out of the team after a string of poor performance with Lukasz Fabianski stepping in. However Szczesny has since re-established himself as the Gunners first-choice goalkeeper, and insists his spell on the bench was what he needed in order to kick-start his game.
Szczesny is hoping to find a consistent level of performance and fend off competition from Fabianski and Viviano for the number one shirt.
Speaking to Arsenal official website, he said:
Obviously I had mixed feelings about my form last season, I had my ups and downs.
It wasn’t nice [to be left out] you want to be playing every week. But then again, the most important thing is the team and that is what the team needed.
Lukasz was in better shape at that moment in time, he came in and did really well. I worked really hard to get back into the team and when I did I thought I did pretty well. It was good decision by the manager.
I worked on my fitness and sharpness and came in much earlier every day to work in the gym with the fitness coaches and the physios. There was a lot of stuff to be done I realized I wasn’t in the best shape, but it all worked out pretty well.
Hopefully I can be the Club’s No 1 this season. It is important, I want to win a trophy for this club because that is what is missing in my career and I’m sure it is what the fans have been missing. It’s a big season.
Wojceich Szczesny arrived at Arsenal as a 16-year-old from Legia Warsaw’s youth system in 2006 and worked his way through the junior ranks at the North London club emerging as the long-term replacement for Jens Lehman. The 23-year-old had impressed and emerged as number one, taking the shirt off the calamitous Manuel Almunia and Fabianski in 2010/11. He has now made over 140 appearances for the Gunners at senior level and kept 40 clean sheets in his three full seasons.
Szczesny was not at his best last season. He conceded 35 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions last term and kept 12 clean sheets overall compared to 57 goals conceded and 18 clean sheets kept in 2011/12 in 48 appearances. The Polish international is still a very good goalkeeper but i think he just fell victim to fatigue and complacency which was due to the fact that he didn’t have much of a competition for the starting spot.
The Polish has all the arsenal to become a world class keeper but is being let down by those in-decisions which have led to his poor performances last season. He is a very talented and committed young goalkeeper but for him to become the best it’s going to take at least another few years of hard work and experience.
Viviano will definitely provide competition for Szczesny for the starting spot which might bring the best out of the Polish keeper too. What do you say Gunners?