Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ospina fit for Monaco + Wenger on Szczesny

Despite some reports that David Ospina might miss this week’s game with Monaco, the Colombian is fit and trained fully today.

It had been suggested that a back injury, picked up when he came steaming out of his goal to leap above Per Mertesacker and head the ball clear, might keep him out of the Monaco clash. He received treatment for the knock during the game but was fit to continue.

However, it does seem as if Arsene Wenger is happy to sweat both Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny as he seeks to have them compete with each other for the number 1 spot.

Asked who would get the nod tomorrow, Wenger said, “I cannot tell you that today”, and when pressed on the Pole’s current state of mind, having lost his place, the Arsenal manager said, “I worry about every single player in my squad and I want every single player to be happy but at the end of the day only 11 players can start the game.

“That’s the same for every single player. We have competition for places and that’s part of our job. I don’t think that’s a special worry.”

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I can’t say Szczesny fills me with with complete confidence but I do feel he is the better ‘keeper – especially in the long term. Would quite like to see this Ospina experiment end in the wake of a very important fixture. But that’s just my opinion; does anyone disagree?


I think it would only be fairer to compare the two after ospina records a longer run of games. At this stage i’d say the difference between him and szczesny is marginal though i’m more comfortable with ospina as i’m always worried of szczesny making rash decisions and poor judgement

i think AW will start szczesny tomorrow night though given the fact that it is not a league game

Big Chief from Antarctica

I agree. Ospina hasn’t warranted anything to lose his place, Szczesney has done that during the winter period. However, Szczesney’s long term future isn’t in doubt, last season he was wonderful sharing the golden glove and this year there’s been pretty much a permanent makeshift defense.

Both goalkeepers have got something to prove and seem not that far from each other in terms of quality. Szczesney got the sentimentality (being as close as you can be “homegrown”, what age do you need to be at the academy for that “status”?) and character to boot but that’s the only difference.

Bould's Eyeliner

Sczc is definitely more assured in the air, but that might be just confidence with playing with the team for years. who knows.


Not trying to be a smartass but it could also just be that he is quite a bit taller. Woj is like 6’5″ compared to Ospina’s 6′ stature.


Szczesny is indeed homegrown, so I think even if he can’t beat out Ospina long term, we’ll definitely want to keep him around just to fill the quota. That being said, he is a great keeper when he isn’t trying to be Neuer, so I think he probably will be first choice long-term.


Ospina has got to start tonight, he has abit knowledge our opponents from his time in Ligue 1 so I am quite confident he’ll get the nod over Szcz.


I agree completely, I think ospina is decent and probably just as good a shot stopper but szczesny is more dominant in the air particularly against bigger teams


I’m a ‘Szcz with his head screwed on right’ fan, his size is a definite asset.

Did great in 2013 behind a solid defence, Golden Gloves the 2013/4 season. Struggled behind dodgy defences and no Coq this season, Ospina has been very lucky that way and v lucky with the bounces eg off the post v Palace in the last minute.

Would start him tonight to see how he has responded to the competition.


Can be sensational – ask Brentford fans.


Tomorrow night.


I have to tell you that I did that for people that will be reading this tomorrow. It will make sense then.

[Or I don’t know what day of the week it is.]

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

Your first sentence sums Sczeczny up to a T


I totally agree – Szczesny struggled behind very dodgy defences, Ospina just found that out for himself tonight!


Seems the competition is very real for the players. Watch Wellbeck’s body language when Wenger talks about competition in the squad.


First it seemed like most people preferred Ospina, now they prefer Szczesny. The fact is both of them are good keepers, and we are lucky to have two keepers of such quality. In the league, only Chel$ki has a better pair of keepers.


De Gea and Valdes might have something to say about that!


Agreed – vive le competition!

Diaby's hamstring

You obviously forgot about De Gea and Valdez


Cabellero and Hart, I would take them


Let’s buy Hugo lloris when spurs start to crumble and he wants to leave.


And everytime we get a penalty vs them, it’s got to be Lloris to take it.

Hoosier Gunner

Ospina makes it look like he’s trying too hard while Szczesny makes it look like he’s too casual. Talk about extremities.

Arsene's Nose

Menopause can cause a tingling sensation in one’s hands and feet.

Arsene's Selfie Stick

I’m kind of surprised to see Andrew so publicly state that the Polish guy is the better keeper. I don’t know a lot about football, but it seems overwhelmingly obvious to me that the Colombian keeper is more experienced, more relaxed, more in control, and that he breeds an infectious sense of calm in his defence. That’s who I want to see back there, not the wobbly Polish keeper he does something ridiculous Every game. Sure the Colombian did a few crazy things in the last game, but look at the United keeper, he was all over the place in… Read more »


Even everyone now can take more selfies thanks to no small to the stick, how does the stick take a selfie?!

Thanks for the coat!


Not to forget this is his first season in the Premier league.
I feel a lot more confident with the Colombian at the helm; and it seems that the players agree with me.

La Défense

I’m in the Ooooooooooooooooospina camp myself.


Personally, I would stick with Ospina until he does a ‘Southampton’. In all the games he’s played since that match I can only remember 1 genuine mistake that’s led to a goal, so it’s not like he’s costing us games. On top of that, his games to clean sheets & wins ratio is good and while it’s not necessarily a true reflection of performance its definitely partly to his credit and the team don’t look at all uncomfortable with him behind them. On top of this you have to consider what Szcz’s poor attitude on top of a bad performance… Read more »


To be fair both keepers have had a ‘Southampton’


They have? Ospina is on the e-cigs, I hear.


Seeing as Monaco’s style of play is unlikely to consist of long balls into the box, might be worth it to stick with Ospina for now even if you think he’s weaker in the air.

I missed the Palace game, but he’s looked alright otherwise. Don’t think this needs to be a big issue at the moment, we’re playing alright, we have 2 fit players for almost every position and so on. Let’s just be happy we can have a debate between two solid keepers with international experience. The media can do what they want about it.

Unyoke Th Ox

I think that the one area where there is a clear difference between the two is distribution. Chesney has better kicking, but Ospina is a much better thrower of the ball. He’s set up up some pretty slick counter attacks at times.

Ramsey's Spirit

Id stick with Ospina until his form or something in training changes, Wojciec may be better suited to arial threat teams and ospina to more technical teams as 1 is taller and 1 gets down to ground quicker but i dont know, they are both good, im not worried.


Ospina a fantastic shot stopper ,well experienced in leading tha game very well,focused nd committed……..


I was very concerned about the way Ospina was handeling crosses against palace, only a very good performance of our defenders won us that game in my opinion. And i guess if palace would have capitalised on the Mertesacker collision or the last cross he completely missed, we’d be talking about his southampton moment. I like Ospina, he has very good reflexes, but in the end Szczesny is just the better keeper for me as he seems so much more commanding, similar battle like he had with Fabianski, which he also won. It was right to drop Szczesny and give… Read more »


if you look at this year’s stats fabianski has outperformed szcz hands down. szcz might’ve won the battle, but arsenal lost in the end.

Unyoke The Ox

Fabianski looked shocking the other day, coming for balls that he had no right to.


Ospina should be familiar with Monaco, considering his past. That could be an advantage in this particular match.

Diaby's hamstring

Szcz has what it takes to be a great keeper. I really like his shot stopping qualities, his reflexes and his mobility (for a keeper that size, that is). But he’s too prone to cock ups, his decision making is calamitous, his distribution is all over the place (Ospina is a world apart in that respect). We’ve been seeing Szczesny with the same short comings and there’s no sign of improvement, when he really should have due to his young age. The spark that lit the fuse really was the way he “dealt” with his cocking up of the Southampton… Read more »


Both are better than Aluminia.

Anonymous Kumquat

IMHO I don’t think we ever properly replaced Richard Wright. Almunia’s the only keeper who’s even come close to filling his shoes.

True Red

Thumbed up for the name and the sarcasm (God I hope it was sarcasm)

igor stepanovs

i think szczesny has more potential as a goal-keeper and is, as others have said, more dominant in the air and a bit better with his kicking. ospina is a fine keeper though, and the truth is, the most talented keepers aren’t always the most successful. remember what wenger said about fabianski actually being superior to szcezesny in terms of talent? ospina has played well in high pressure world cup games for his country and has greater big game experience than szcezesny. even though i’m not convinced he’s a better keeper in terms of talent, i still think he might… Read more »

Serge Blanco

Ospina will play tomorrow. He is the incumbent and has done well overall IMO. Had he stayed on his line at the end against Palace Murray would have scored. Horrendous cross for a keeper and Ospinas decisive action saved our 3 points as he made contact.

Hoosier Gunner

“Had he stayed on his line at the end against Palace Murray would have scored. Horrendous cross for a keeper and Ospina’s decisive action saved our 3 points as he made contact”

My eyes! My brain! Ugh.


Just look at these Legends!

Keown, Pat Rice, Mad Jens, Pires, Lauren, Joel Campbell and Ray Parlour.


Lightening Pace

JOEL Campbell?
Try again.


I’m pretty sure that’s Joel Campbell, part of that vintage 94/5 team.


Surely a good thing to have competition. Wenger has at very least sorted out the depth issue at GK which has been an issue with us for quite some years. We have two players (at very least) competing for each position now : CF – Giroud, Welbeck RW – Walcott, Ox LW – ALexis, Gnabry AM – Santi, Ozil CM – Jack, Ramsey DM – Flamini, Coquelin MM – Rosicky, Arteta RB – Debuchy, Bellerin LB – Gibbs, Monreal CB – Per, Chambers CB – Koscielny, Gabriel GK – Ospina, Szsc All positions have third alternatives be they younger players… Read more »


my only worry with ospina is that his technique of saving.. he parries the ball into a dangerous area and then pulls off a stunning double save.. happens so frequently with him.. watch his great saves compilation..:/


Off topic but I just like the way almost everyone that has commented on this article so far has done so with measured opinion and clear perspective. You rarely find that with comment threads nowadays.

I’d take Ospina for two reasons. 1. He seems a calmer influence in goal even if he does not have aerial superiority over Sczc. 2. That French thing having just recently left Ligue Un (may not be much though)


Ospina brings a bit of “gamesmanship” to our side. Watch him, he always gets injured when we are under converted pressure. His head never even touched anything during that incident at Palace, and every other save he makes he “injures” a knee or sprains an arm. All he’s doiny is buying our defenders a breather and sucking the wind out of opposition attacks. Honestly I’m not sure how I feel about this, on the one hand it’s borderline cheating, on the other hand after 10 years of watching a team of naive nearly men concede cheap goals all the time… Read more »


Sczc has had his chances. More than once. If we want to compete with the biggest teams in Europe and in the PL , competition is the key. No sentiment. Scz fucked up big time at the Saints and did not give a shit afterwards. I don’t think that kind of attitude leave a good impression on his teammates… Ospina has just to be secure , calm and confident and lear the BPL ways and the spot ‘s gonna be his on the long run.


Whoever plays, this situation can’t continue. Hierarchy must be established. GK is a position where stability is key.


maybe it is the questions he is getting asked because of the attacking players we now have, but Arsene seems to talk more about the balance of the starting 11 this year then I recall previously. On this note I’d say His calm personality, experience of football outside the arsenal, and generally great distribution offers more to the team then the probably better gk that is sczc.


This is a no brainer gents. Ospina is calm, mature, reliable and has influence over our back four’s composure. WS collects red cards at both club and international level. He has cost both is club and country numerous times. He is the biggest spoilt brat i’ve ever seen on the pitch, spoilt by both protection from his coach and the fans. The one place i’m willing to sacrifice X-factor is in a goalkeeper. We are such a good team on attack that all we really need are a defence and keeper that do the basics right. WS isn’t good for… Read more »

palace gunner

Both keepers can play in goal and at the level of our team are fighting it out for top keeper which is important for the squad to the big games arsenal fc face, goals happen even with clean sheets in some games we seen mistakes that lead to concedeing goals coyg

Canuck Gunner

For now, I’d stick with Ospina – he hasn’t done anything to warrant losing the starting position.
They are both good keepers and each has his pros and cons. Competition is good to have, and when we signed Ospina, I was hoping it would push Szczez to up his game. Not sure if it has yet, but this spell on the bench might.

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