The tale Wojciech Szczesny’s rise to prominence is one of intrigue, fulfilling potential and maybe most of all, fortune.
I’ll get to the fortune part later but the very first thing that struck me about Szczesny was his unnerving self-confidence. Let’s not forget he made his Premier League debut, as a 20 year old, against Man Utd at Old Trafford and a few weeks later made his UCL debut v Barcelona , never putting a foot wrong and remaining utterly unfazed by the occasion(s).
As I mentioned earlier, for all of his ability, Szczesny’s career thus far, bares a serendipitous mark. He gained his initial breakthrough via injuries to Almunia & Fabianski, and on both occasions of him losing his title as Arsenal’s first choice (2011-2012 & 2012-2013), he regained his place, not by merit but by injuries to Fabianski’s shoulder and rib, respectively. Maybe it’s the fortune he built up having fractured both of his forearms in a training ground gym incident in 2008.
In recent times, the reports linking Arsenal to a new goalkeeper have been never-ending; whether it be Casillas, Pepe Reina, Rene Adler, Begovic, even Brad Guzan. More realistically however, had it not been for Mark Hughes playing up in his clart, the then Fulham goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer would have signed for Arsenal in 2010 and had it not been for Julio Cesar’s wage demands, he’d currently have cannon on his chest rather than warming pine at QPR.
What if, ey? All their losses have been Wojciech’s gain however. Most recently, on the back several assured performances, Szczesny seems to be following the trend of his Arsenal teammates, by having a vastly improved personal season as compared to yesteryear.
At time of writing, Szczesny has kept 5 clean sheets in his last 6 outings and Arsenal have the best defensive record in the league thus far. Maybe one of the biggest indications of Szczesny’s form is that since the season has commenced, Arsenal haven’t been linked with another goalkeeper.
Ceiling of potential is monumentally high and the mantle of best keeper in England, is there for the taking, it’s down to him to take it. It’s mightily easy to forget Szczensy is still only 23 years young; long live Wojciech.
Myles Cupid; I write sometimes
@mylesmello on twitter
P.S. ‘av a bit of this for good measure.