Foolish Szczesny Has Paid the Price
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny found himself embroiled in one of the most bizarre disciplinary scandals in recent memory when he allegedly lit up a cigarette in the shower area of the Saint Mary’s dressing room following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Southampton on New Year’s Day.
Szczesny’s silly behaviour apparently landed him with a £20k fine and saw him replaced in goal by David Ospina for last weekend’s FA Cup win over Hull City. But now he should be recalled by Wenger and given the chance to redeem himself for the Southampton loss and for his off-the-field misdemeanour.
Arsenal face Stoke City in the Premier League this weekend and those with money riding on the Gunners will be hoping that the 24-year-old shot-stopper, who has been in excellent form in recent months (aside from the Southampton display), will be back in action. Blue Sq can keep Arsenal fans up to date with the latest team and betting news but, if reports are to be believed, under-pressure Arsene Wenger, who has rubbished suggestions he will himself walk away from the club after 18 years, has forgiven Szczesny.
Chance to Redeem Himself
Szczesny’s actions were disrespectful of his team-mates, his manager and the Southampton club, not to mention being illegal and setting a bad example for his young supporters. But the huge fine that he was handed should have taught him a lesson. Whether the Pole wasn’t thinking when he lit up, whether he was too arrogant to care about his team-mates’ comfort, or whether he was so angry with the team’s loss that he couldn’t wait for a smoke, we will never know. However, Wenger will surely be hoping that this is the last time he has to discipline a player for smoking. Having reprimanded Jack Wilshere last year it should have been clear to the Arsenal squad that smoking would not be tolerated. Szczesny clearly didn’t get the message. Szczesny has some real making up to do and Wenger should give him the chance to make amends by putting in an exemplary performance on Sunday.