Saturday, May 25, 2024

Wilson backs Szczesny for Wembley start

Former Gunner and goalkeeping coach, Bob Wilson, has given his backing to Wojciech Szczesny as the debate about who should start the FA Cup final continues.

The Polish international lost his place to David Ospina in January and has been the ‘cup keeper’ ever since. Under normal circumstances that would mean he was assured a start at Wembley, but it remains an area of uncertainty as he didn’t get a warm up game like compatriot Lukasz Fabianski did last season.

However, Wilson believes Szczesny will get the nod and said he feels the criticism he’s received since losing his place in the side has been overblown.

“I think he will play Szczesny,” he told the Islington Gazette. “That is what Arsene Wenger does – it is a loyalty thing.

“Despite everything, despite his rashness and the incident with the cigarette – which I actually think was blown up a little too much – I still maintain the potential for Wojciech is really big.”

He also outlined some concerns he has over current number 1 Ospina.

““I have admired Ospina but he will not get shots that other keepers can because of his size – that is a problem.

“He is under 6ft and these days, with the way the ball moves and the size of players, a goalkeeper needs to really be 6ft 3ins at least.

“Ospina has really impressed me with his presence and has been pretty safe, although he made a couple of terrible decisions in the win over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.

“I think Arsenal fans are probably split 50/50 on who they would rather have in the team.”

Bob goes on to talk more about Szczesny, but also advocates the signing of Petr Cech this summer.

Read the full article here.

And, as a totally unscientific poll, let us know who you’d play at Wembley below.

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Szcz please.


Szcs hardly covered himself in glory the last final he played in for us. Ok that is a few years ago but He’s been crap this season. Based on results and form ospina is the only choice. I’ll reiterate that. Szczeny has been muck this season and caught smoking after his worst display. Ospina has been very good. He may not convince bloggs but he’s had one or two dodgy moments in a 12 match run. The defence seem settled, and it’s not a defence that many would have seen as our strongest at the start of the season, so… Read more »


Szcs had the worst game of the season between the two keepers, yes, but you cannot say he was “crap this season.” And while the results with Ospina have been good, has he really been that impressive? He’s avoided the big mistakes, but he’s not the best decision maker and he can’t make the same saves as Szcs. If he had gotten that red card against chelsea which he probably deserved, I don’t think people would speak of him in the same light. Maybe it’s still best to stick with Ospina for the Final, but I’m still in team Szcs… Read more »


Why would he have gotten a red card against Chelsea? Oscar’s foot was high and he got his shot away? So he was not denied a goalscoring opportunity – I’ve seen goalkeepers get frees when clearing out several players to claim a cross. What games did szczeny play particularly well this season? He was great last year. This year he has faced 63 shots and conceded 21 goals in the Premier League – thats 1 in 3 on target shots. That’s down from 1 every 3.56 last season Courtois has conceded 30 to 103 shots – 1 every 3.43 Goalden… Read more »


The poll is flawed, you can vote as many times as you want. Cb’s comment is more accurate almost 50/50.

Rozza the samourai

Everybody who had followed Wenger for a long time know Szczesny will start. There is no doubt about this.


If he had played West Brom I would agree. Not so sure now.

Ramsey's Spirit

Even though he didn’t play the wbrom game, i think Szcz will want to leave if he dosn’t start and given his potential i don’t think Arsene is quite willing to give up entirely on him, smoking retardation or not.

Cosmological spermbank for all life - Dennis Bergkamp

Really? I thought it would be quite obvious, that when Wenger has said that Szcz is our cup keeper and Ospina plays in the league, he is just going to stick to it. implies he is in. Would be strange if he wasn’t playing and did this video. Though he does say it is the manager’s decision.


Szcz nay.

Me So Hornsey

Szcz looked a bit ropey against Reading and that makes me nervous. But I keep imagining Ospina getting outjumped by Benteke on crosses and it makes me nervous as well. Having said this Szcz’s temperament and decision making on the big occasion and lack of match sharpness also makes me nervous.

It’s very frustrating not to have a goalkeeper that we can have total confidence in. It’s been this way for the past 10 years and it’s something Wenger really needs to deal with once and for all in the summer.


He still shouldn’t be getting outjimoed even if he is 4inches shorter than Benteke seeing as his arms should be at least 5 inches long.

I’d sell Scz as he’s not improved as you would have thought, maybe even gone backwards. Golden gloves is fair enough but the games when he did concede last year he conceded loads – 6,7. etc.
Anyhoo what’s she wearing?


I agree. Even if he plays tomorrow – which I’m sure he will because it’s a tradition and Wenger is loyal – I don’t see him wanting to spend the rest of his career on the bench as second or even third choice (assuming we sign someone like Cech), especially as he must be miserable that he’s lost his place in the national team to Fabianski. If he gets a reasonable offer, I’m sure he’ll put in a transfer request, and that could be the best thing for us from the financial point of view. Right now, while his reputation… Read more »

Ramsey's Spirit

Voted for szcz, not because i think he’s better, but because i think not playing him will end his Arsenal career and i think he has potential to grow yet, on Cech, im not opposed to the signing, but i do feel Maureen will dick us around and could waste our efforts on other targets, so I’d look at it as try to sign, but don’t devote too much time to it if Maureen is being a cunt again.

OG Mike

Can’t agree more about Cech–Mourinho dicked us around when we were supposedly after Demba Ba the summer before last


It is a testament to Szczesny’s potential that Bob Wilson has come out again to reiterate his faith in the Pole’s talent. However, Wilson, because he is not in the backroom staff at Arsenal, does not know the whole story with Szczesny’s fall from grace, like most of us. Looking at the way Wenger has left Szczesny on the bench, despite errors from Ospina, makes me think that the manager has lost faith in his Pole. On another note, it is amusing to see how the emotions of the fans vary from one week to another. If this poll was… Read more »


WS should have warmed up against West Brom last weekend. It will be risky to start him in this massive game without judging his level of sharpness.
Under normal circumstances, AW will start him, same way as he stuck by Fab last season for the Cup games but it increasingly looks like WS was dropped earlier this season for a quite serious reason.
Difficult to call this one. 50/50.


Another poll…lets get to it boys

Naija Gunner

Just as Mr Wilson says, it’s a loyalty thing, Szczesny should get the nod to be in goal for the Arsenal.


but also its a principle thing. get benched for the final and know never to fuck with Wenger and respect the club. its the kind of kick up the ass he needs.

das pauly bear

Well placed poll . Right at the end of an article pulling for chez.


Szcz the bednter of goalkeepers, ps Bob wilson is talking old man jiberish. Not one of his goals he has conceded has anything to do with height.


Oi, 1971 hero keeper, respect please.

And there is an argument that at least two of the last three goals (eg getting outjumped on a cross versus WBA!!) were to do with his height.


I’d play whoever has been playing better in training recently. I’m sure Arsene will do just that!


It was an inflatable cigarette?
It was blown up too much. Had he less air in it maybe Wenger wudnt have seen it

if Carlsberg made #7 Just Pires

For me, Ssczesney is the better of the two keepers. Yes, he made some mistakes before being dropped, and as has been said by better analyzer’s than me, our improvement coincided with coquelin coming into the side. I think we would have we would have conceded less with schezza in goal, on top of the coq factor. Ospina is a good backup but Schez is the better keeper and I for one, think he should be given the #1 next season.


The defence has played with Ospina for the last dozen games, would be really strange to change it up now.

So it’ll be the Pole in goal, no doubt about it.


Got some free tickets given to me to go watch Sydney FC v some pub team called tottenham on Sat night in Sydney. Politely took them cause you dont want to offend people, then flogged them to a friend cause be buggered if I am going to go watch a Spurs game and risk getting caught in traffic on the 2 hour drive home to Newcastle and risk missing the Cup final.


A poll???
Let’s ruin itu then


*it. Damn autocorrect


Getting sick of the GK conundrum, fuck if they score one we score 2, THE GUNS BLAZING IT’S THE FINAL.


He puts it into row Z!

Szczesny hasnt played a single first team game for a while. Aston Villa will choose players who are match fit 100% to lift the trophy. I cant believe some of us are risking the trophy for the sake of loyalty. It was Szczesny who lacked loyalty and respect in the first place.

Chris B

Agreed. ‘loyalty’ means everyone doing their bit to see the team lift the cup – and that means ‘hurt feelings’ need to be put aside. The boss has to choose the players he feels are in the best form and mental-strength to get the job done. End of.


The bigger risk would be Ospina. He’s been wholly unimpressive apart from one game against Sunderland. Szczesny is better in every way


AW ahould play who is he thinks is the better GK. The fact that he played Ospina in the last league game when we were still chasing third clearly shows who he thinks is better GK. He play Fab in the last game of last season because we already qualified fourth and cant go any higher and also Fab was confirmed leaving the club. Ospina hasnt done badly as Szcz has in all his games played so far. Against WBA? Well I have seen Szcz dine much worst. So I hope AW stick to Ospina is he wants to retain… Read more »


szcz has been dropped twice in the last three years for being complete shit. and now it’s obvious that fabianski was actually the better keeper by a distance. ospina all the way for me and if we can find a new keeper in the summer i won’t shed a tear when the door hits szcz on his way out.


I’m not sure I’d use the word “obvious.” Fabianski might be a better keeper at Swansea, but that doesn’t mean he’d be a better keeper had he stayed with Arsenal. It’s a different team, different expectations. They probably have more reasonable fans, for one.

And with all due respect Fab had some moments too. Ever see him pick up a backpass in the box and concede a penalty? Drop a cross square on the head of Titus Bramble (or some other opposing CB) and watch it go in? I’m pretty sure I did.


For me if he’s staying he’s playing, provided he’s not training like shit or mentally checked out. He missed the last one by this Cup Keeper rule. If he or the boss has decided he’s not staying, then Ospina.

I fully realize that’s not how it shaped with Fabianski, but from the sound of it he had the perfect professional attitude through his bench period.

Rohith J

Always been a believer in Szcz. But when you lose your place like he did, that too, for a second time, I think you have to consider other options. Ospina for the final. Replacement for Szcz next season. Would love to see Lloris or Cech.


Ospina all day long. Just think the defence prefer him.

Also I don’t trust szcz temperament and maturity in big games. Cost us League Cup final, sent off for Pol


…Poland in World Cup.

Chris B

some BIG questions about squad selection on this one. Not just Szczesny or Ospina, but there’s Walcott, Giroud, and even Wilshere to suss out – and with very strong arguments for a lot of different possibilities, I’m glad I’m not the bloke in charge of making the call!

Tazmanian Jesus

Damn it…voted wrong.
Can i change my vote??


I’m not sold on Ospina. He’s been lucky the team hit form when he came in. He’s a decent keeper and a good pro but he’s not cut out to be a Prem No.1. Szcz’s progress has slowed over the last couple of seasons but I still have high hopes for him and hope he’ll play the final as he’s the better of the two by far in my opinion. One thing I will say is that there’s a lot of talk about Casillas and while he’s a legend in Spain I don’t think he’d cut it at all in… Read more »


Oops. Neglected to put I want Szcz for the final but it’s pretty obvious from what I posted I guess!?!


Just a small note: Ospina is not “under 6 feet”. He’s the around the same size as Valdes and Casillas, who have won more than just about any other goalkeeper alive. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them is the most winning goalkeeper alive. I’m not saying Ospina is as good as Casillas in his prime – I’m saying the reason he’s not “world class” is not height.


Think Szczesny is the inherently better keeper but Ospina has been in good form and lucky that most of his huge mistakes have gone unpunished like the red card he should have gotten against Chelsea. I’d go with Szcz just because I feel he has far more to prove and his aerial ability will be vital against a team looking to work to Benteke’s strengths but over the summer look to get in a keeper.

Giroud's abs

We’re forgetting that Szczesny won the golden glove last year with Cech, who most people are saying would be an improvement in the goalie department. He’s still a class keeper, and with a solid defence can do well.


you guys, blogs and Wilson for that matter can like Sczs all you guys like but I rather trust Wenger on this. Truth of the matter is that Wenger is the one who sees both keepers in training on a day to day basis. Shouldn’t the best part of a bit more than half a season be punishment enough for whatever Sczs did? but yet Wenger is still going with Ospina…shouldn’t that tell you something? think about that for a second. What top keeper doesn’t have a bad game? yeah Ospina had a stinker vs West brom but come on.… Read more »


Funny because Ospina has the highest saves per shot percentage in the league this season.


Give the kid the chance to banish the ghost of that COC final against Birmingham.. If he fails, he fails.. We’re all in this together.. I am from Nigeria and my whole family supports Arsenal, so its safe to say #ArsenalIsFamily. #COYG

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