The life of a number 2 goalkeeper is not an easy one. You train, you sit on the bench, you train, you sit on the bench, and so it goes.
So for Lukasz Fabianski to come in and play so well yesterday deserves real props. Let’s be honest: the Polish stopper has had his nightmare moments in an Arsenal shirt, unable to translate the training ground displays into consistent first team performances, but after a bad shoulder injury, he seems to have matured into a very reliable understudy for Wojciech Szczesny.
And despite admitting he’ll likely leave the club in the summer when his contract expires, he put in a man of the match display against Liverpool yesterday, and spoke afterwards about his pleasure in ensuring qualification for the FA Cup quarter-finals.
“I’m happy with my performance but especially I’m happy with the team,” he told the official site. “We managed to win a really difficult game against a really difficult opponent who basically killed us last week. So a response was important and we did that so we’re all happy.
I”m just happy that that I helped the team. It could have been a similar story because we started again a bit slow – in the first few minutes they had two really good chances. I managed to help the team in those situations.
“After I was kind of focused on every single chance that they had or any through balls because I think it’s really important to sweep up all those things where there is a chance. I just try to help the team and luckily enough I think I did OK.”
There was also praise from Arsene Wenger who has long insisted the keeper is of better quality than people give him credit for.
“I’m especially pleased for Fabianski,” he said, “because I have a huge respect for him and his attitude and his quality. I’m so happy that he gets this opportunity to show his quality.”