Wojciech Szczesny has revealed that he works with a psychologist to ensure that he is fully focused on football when he steps onto the pitch.
Speaking to the Polish press, the shot-stopper confirmed he made the decision after personal problems, combined with Arsenal’s strife on the pitch, saw him struggling to juggle the pressure of his newfound prominence.
“For about a year, I’ve been working with a psychologist,” Szczesny said.
“Twelve months ago I was surviving hard times. Personal problems were matched by problems at the club and then I thought about using a psychologist.
“Now I know how to not transfer problems on the pitch. I can totally put off those thoughts during the match.”
While the use of psychologists by sports fans is nothing new, you wouldn’t necessarily associate Sczesny cocksure public persona as one in need of extra help. Nevertheless, it does appear to fit with the 22-year-old’s determination to continue learning his trade to the best of his ability.
“Now I try to listen to wiser people and do what they tell me,” he continued.
“I realise what others think about me. Many people think I’m very self-assured and that I think Wojciech Szczesny is the best player in the world.
“However, I know that in football there are people who have more knowledge and have seen more than me. I listen to their advice, it’s what others call a football education.
“I’ve played less than 80 in Arsenal, but it’s still a big number for me as a 22-year-old. I make mistakes, sometimes I make big saves, but basically, I’m focusing on my bad sides and I’m trying to fix these. I don’t treat myself like a best keeper in the world, but I’m motivated to become the best.”
This summer Wojciech’s burgeoning reputation will be under the microscope. Carrying the hopes of host nation Poland on his broad shoulders he’ll be watched by a global audience next Friday when his homeland play Greece in the opening game of Euro 2012.
Let’s hope he excels and comes back to Arsenal in pre-season in high spirits…
Cheers to Matt at Gunners.com.pl for the translation.