Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ospina: Keepers have to stay on good terms

David Ospina says healthy competition exists between Arsenal’s three first team keepers, but the new boy admits his ‘good’ relationship with Wojciech Szczesny and Emiliano Martinez is a professional rather than personal.

Since the turn of the year the Colombia international, who signed from Nice for around £3 million in the summer, has usurped Szczesny as Arsene Wenger’s first pick Premier League stopper conceding four goals in six starts; a quick-fire turnaround for a man who spent his first few months at the Emirates nursing a hamstring problem on the treatment table.

Speaking to the Evening Standard ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League showdown with Monaco, Ospina reflected on how a tough start has made him stronger.

“When you are injured, it is a difficult period. But you have to remain cold-headed and work double or triple harder to get back into shape and back into the game as soon as possible. Obviously, during these difficult periods, being able to count on the help of your family is really important.

“So you hope to recover and get back to 100 per cent so you are ready when an opportunity comes up. As a team, we do have a strong and healthy competition between myself, Wojciech and Emiliano [Martinez] so that is something that inspires us all to always be there and giving it 100 per cent in training sessions.”

“Unfortunately for us goalkeepers, that’s just the way it is,”continued Ospina when asked about the difficulty of striking up a friendship with fellow keepers.

“The rest of the players have got more possibilities of playing. But we do maintain a good relationship and we have to in the training sessions because otherwise it becomes difficult for the team and for the coach.

“It is a healthy competition. In a team like Arsenal and at this level, you need to have very good goalkeepers like you have in all the major football teams. Number one and number two goalkeepers really need to be ready to react very well. They have to be 100 per cent prepared and not prepared as and when but every day. You need to be that prepared and committed so you can continue to play.

“At the end of the day each of us is fighting to get that one spot. It is the coach that makes the final decision on who gets it so we do try to have a good relationship.”

Whether Wojciech agrees is a different matter.

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Love the competition. If Szcz comes back in he will be very motivated to stay there.


Clean sheets please
Up The Arsenal!


Loving the competition. But I can smell the beef brewing between him and Szczesny lol.


Not so sure.. if Szcz doesnt realise he got himself dropped and this is the way it is at the top level then he needs to grow up



Le Jim

Like the competition, it’s a tough one in terms of finding the right balance between said healthy competition and a full-blown rivalry. We want motivation but not disharmony (not that this necessarily means anything, but I seem to remember Wojciech making similar comments earlier in the season).

Anyway, good luck to both the lads; may the best man ‘win’.


Spot on, they don’t have to be the best of friends, but have to be good teammates that can get along and push one another. Little difference from the competition for many spots on the field such as with Gibbs and Monreal, Bellerin and Chambers, Coq and Flamini, etc.. In the end they all need to put the team first and work their tails off to be ready when called upon and to push the players they are competing for playing with to get better.


Loving the competition .. my 2c is that Szcs is the better keeper although must admit I never watched Ospina at Nice so I dont really knw


I feel the opposite. Ogc nice finished 17th last season, but they have Ospina to thank for surviving. He topped the save % charts in Europe making 3.4 saves per goal conceded and conceded only 0.89 gpals per game despite being one of the busiest keepers in Europe. He kept 12 clean sheets in 28 appearances. Now if we compare that to Szczesny, he made 1.95 saves per goal conceded and conceded on average 1.11 goals per game, and he kept 17 clean sheets in 37 appearances. In my book Ospina was one of the nest keepers on the world… Read more »


Totally agree. Most people didn’t even follow him at Nice but those who are just know how good Ospi is.

After Lloris departed fans were in total despair, this guy grabbed his chance and singlehandedly saved them from relegation multiple times.

And I’m sure he’ll prove himself here as well.


Thanks for the info that is mighty impressive! And we got him for peanuts too


How can a team that finish 17th concede only 0.89 goals per game? That is amazing


I love chezzer he just needs to grow up a bit.. He’s only young so time is on his side. I think by the time he is 28 he will be fully matured and a wc keeper. But I am wrong quite alot!


Rambling Pete, where art thou?


Seems like a decent man, but I do hope he stops hanging out with Cuadrado. I mean, he has to take into consideration the easily-hurt feelings of random people he’s never met before considering his own happiness. Just my 2c.


I dont think theres much doubt that Szeszney is a more reliable goalkeeper. Apart from the recent dip in form which most goalkeepers go through, he had a great couple of seasons. Although i think Ospina has down reasonably well, he still has that little something that makes you abit nervous when hes playing. All in all hes got a lot to prove so lets hope he knows these monaco players well after playing against them last season in ligue1


I personally think that Shezza is the better goalkeeper of the two, but maybe that’s just the loyalist in me wanting to keep hold of players we actually ‘educate’ as it were. Both are good goalkeepers, no doubt, but I think that Ospina is the more sensible of the two whereas Shezza prefers to pull off impressive saves at the cost of reliability.

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