Monday, February 26, 2024

Bielik on his progress, Rosicky’s help and magic Santi

Arsenal fans haven’t seen much of Krystian Bielik since he signed from Legia Warsaw 866 days ago, however, the 19-year-old Pole insists his recent loan spell at Birmingham City is proof he’s made progress.

Speaking to press in his homeland, the youngster took stock of his Gunners story to date, revealing how Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla have helped and inspired him, why experience in midfield is shaping his defensive education and how he’s hoping to earn the trust of Arsene Wenger going into next season.


The following quotes have been translated by Reddit user Gooner37


On his progress…

Many said that I didn’t make progress or that I regressed. Honestly, the English U-23 is a completely different level to the reserves or youth teams in Poland. There’s no comparison in any way. Training with the first team everyday helped me a lot. Thanks to that I went to the U-23 games with more confidence and it turned out that I was ready.

On his style of play as a centre-back…

Sometimes I watch the Polish League or Championship matches and I notice that the centre-backs either don’t notice a pass between the lines or are scared to play it. For me it’s a habit – I get the ball and I instantly look to play it forward. I want to make a difference with my pass. I know that if I play with Santi Cazorla and I give a good, strong ball between the lines, he’ll receive it on the turn and create a lot of space for us. Sometimes it gets tight and there’s no sense in complicating things, but I always look for the midfielders or forwards first. Or – when the strikers drop back – I let myself dribble out from the back. I love doing that.

On his early days at Arsenal…

I remember the first training. Francis Coquelin immediately made me aware of his presence. I tried to push around a bit and instantly got a slide tackle to my legs. He wanted to show that I shouldn’t mess about, just play my football. But it’s normal. Today I have a great relationship with everyone. That is, I don’t expect to be going out to dinner with Alexis Sanchez, but everyone asks how I’m doing. At the beginning, there was also [fellow Pole] Wojciech Szczęsny.

On who has helped him at Arsenal…

I had the best relationship with Tomas and Jack Wilshere. Jack always chose me first for a game of football tennis and Tomas helped by talking to me. After a worse training he would always take me to the side and explain that I should not worry, because tomorrow will be better. Maybe it’s nothing, but when someone so experienced as himself comes out and shows that kind of initiative, it helps a lot. Tomas regularly watched our U-23 matches. They were usually on a very good level but he always found some minor mistakes.

“Look, it’s all cool, but do you remember the situation from the second half?”
“We will do it in training. Watch how Santi or Ramsey behave in such situations.”

Rosicky – a fantastic man.

On Santi Cazorla being Arsenal’s best player…

Whenever someone asks me who the best player at Arsenal is, I always say Santi. Dear Jesus, he’s magic. When you are on a team with Santi then you don’t lose, the ball is always moving. You can play anything with him. Like a toy. And at the same time he’s a cool guy. He kept joking around with me. After training he would kick the ball at my shin and then tell me that I’m wooden.

On his plans for the summer and beyond…

In the back of my head I was hoping that Wenger will trust me. I have been fighting for that trust for three years. It’s tough, but I heard from the boss that he has never seen a center back as technically-gifted as me. I still lack experience. It is no secret that it would be nice to play a bit more in the Championship. I know that I have convinced the clubs here. I’ve also heard about the Bundesliga, but most importantly I want to play as many games as possible next season. If that happens, I’ll come back ready to compete for a place in the team. Now it all depends on how much I play at the Euro (U-21). If I play – let’s say – three matches, I’ll probably have time off and I’ll be able to return to Arsenal around July 13th. Otherwise, maybe I will be back sooner and I will go to the Australian tour with Arsenal. The coach wants me to be rested and one hundred percent ready. Some clubs have decided that they want me, but we are waiting for the papers or a phone call: “We are sure, we want Krystian for next season.”


For more quotes, read Gooner37’s Reddit post here. 

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Wright on the money

I hope that Bielik, Holding and Elneny turn into top players in the next couple of years then there is some promise in the youth talent.


Would be nice. Can’t say I have much fate in elneny being a star for us, but who knows.
we also have iwobi and the Jeff who are exciting prospects.

Hear, hear

Elneny is 24, hardly a prospect


His average.

Kai -malayan gunner

We always need a backup player as the season is very long & normally backup players are a bit above average. They are willing to be 2nd or 3rd in the pecking order without complaints, always committed and ready when called up. Like Elneny. He played for Arsenal so his place in Egypt can be said secured. All he needs to do now is stay committed & unleash his true potential under a great manager.


Sorry but Elneny is an average player. We bought him as a punt but also bc he is content to come off the bench. He doesn’t add anything special for us. Hard work yes but we need more than this. This sentiment on Elneny is the dame trite sentiment which was lauded upon Jenko. frankly they are not good enough but some fans like to view them through tinted glasses for whatever reason. Elneny isn’t even anywhere as good as Flamini. I’d sell him on but likely if we should reinforce midfield, he will either lurk around in periphery or… Read more »


Having a guy who puts in a shift and rarely a misstep or pass is needed on every club. Not sure we should scoff at a guy with his passion, team first attitude and hard work.


Sounds a good lad, hope he develops and breaks through. Tough but with his intelligence and skill he can do it.


I’m 100% certain we would have qualified for CL if we had Santi available for the whole of last season. Top class.

Kai -malayan gunner

Very true.


Rosicky is love


Absolutely loved it that he was there during the FA Cup final on Saturday. Loves the club! And we love you Little Mozart!


“After training he would kick the ball at my shin and then tell me that I’m wooden” 😀

santi…how we miss the little genius!


Made me laugh. Reminded me of my playing days (amateur as our league was). Whenever you wanted to make fun of a fellow you’d toe poke the ball against his shin.

No chance of controlling that so everyone laughs at a ” brick wall control” or a ” first touch of a rapist”

Cazorla such a fun guy. Now I know why he always has a smile


I miss Rosicky so much

a different George

Sounds like Rosicky would make a fine youth coach–and maybe more.


What a treasure.
Wonderful Player 100%always.
Love him back with us, just for
He’s presence around the place.
Love him!

Capn Crunch

Man, it really does piss me off when “pundits” completely disregard certain players as leaders just because they aren’t screaming on the pitch and beating their chests each week. If they did the tiniest bit of research they would hear all the stories of Mertesacker, Cazorla, Arteta and Rosicky mentoring and supporting teammates behind the scenes, not just as footballers, but as people going through tough times. But that wouldn’t fit the narrative, would it? Plus, there are barely any top teams who have a captain that play each week. Kompany, t*rry, rooney, henderson etc. Yet we are the only… Read more »


Pundits are idiots.

Linneker now getting in the retarded act giving us no chance for next season.

Does he not recall where Chelsea were last season?

We are only one point shy of Liverpool despite our debacle and we finished with an important trophy at that blowing away the top team.

These pundits need a bit of a reality check.

Bouldy\'s bald spot

It’s so true! This is why Per ia such an important figure at our club. People slag him off because of his pace but the best defenders never really have any pace. Their attitude both on and off the pitch is what make great leaders along with solid performances which he has given consistently, of course, when the team is sh*t everyone playa like sh*t. Arteta, Tomas, Petr, Kos, and other people former players like Bobby and Thierry giving advice to fellow teammates/players is so important because we forget they’re human beings like you and I. Stories like these are… Read more »


Anyone see supertom at Wembley? Class act

Winterburn Wanderers

Definitely consider him part of the conversation when talking about ‘our centre-backs’ – he’s probably at the back of the queue but has a lot about him.


He’s off to join The Rams next season if The Derby Telegraph is to be believed today. Gary Rowett is a big fan, and took him to Birmingham at the start of last season


Mabey playing in the Europa league will give some of these lads a chance to show if there good enough to make the step up


We could give him some time in early Europa League and League cup.
I would like to keep him here if he can get enough playing time.


That is one thing I do like about being in the Europa league…we won.t feel under pressure to field our first XI every game. Key players can get a bit of rest for the league games and we have an opportunity to get a good look at how well the squad players can perform. Am excited to see the likes of Jeff, Akpom, Maitland-Niles, maybe Willock and Nelson getting some game time and also to seeing a better rested first team tearing up the EPL


A team like this should be able to negotiate the group stages
Scsz or Martinez
M-N, Chambers, Mert, Gabriel, Bramall
Coq, Wilshere, El Neny
Akpom, Jeff
Giroud or Welbz

Then we could have the likes of Bielik on the bench with our hottest U-23 prospects and a couple of more experienced players if all is not going well. And this is before we sign anybody this summer who might push current first teamers down the pecking order
Also I.m assuming Wally, Gibbs, Debuchy, Jenks and Ospina will all be off in the summer


That 12 man formation may work?

Mate Kiddleton

Rosicky watching the U23 and helping out the young lads, what a top man


Hope Tommy can come in and get involved with the club. Ditto Per Metersecker one day. Keown generation was a bit of a let down. Not many decided to stick their neck out. Adams did at least but he is an average coach at best who likes to shoot his mouth when he should prove better before doing so. Bergkamp doesn’t fly. The other bloke lurking around the training ground is Pires. Maybe Bobby can also get more involved. Wenger in his last seasons needs to think of succession. It may well come from outside the club structure given time… Read more »


Still very young. Could do with regular footy to continue to develop. We are sufficiently covered at Cback…unless you are some numpty pundit who writes for ESPN whom Ozil recently shamed (linneker is up to the same thing again predicting our chances before the season has even started forgetting we are only a point off Liverpool this season and with a cup to boot) Bielik could also end up in midfield but I do feel we need an upgrade to the likes of Elneny who is one of these players decent but doesn’t add anything other than hardwork coming off… Read more »


The problem at the moment is Wenger also needs to stay away from too many projects. he had the Little Britain core project which frankly has beset us with issues. We lack technical/creative players when the league has in general caught up bc of oil rich teams and better TV money distribution, all further eroding the edge we once enjoyed. Particularly with Wenger allergic to intervention tactically, he does himself no favours with not buying sufficient technicality these days. We need to upgrade the squad regardless if Alexis stays or leaves (ditto Ozil) Walcott can go (And we should sell… Read more »


Santi is an exceptional player. Again David Dein thank you…or not.

Considering how much Wenger paid for him and the fact he improved him by converting him into a deep lying midfielder…you wonder how people can say Wenger doesn’t know how to buy or can’t improve players.


Carlos _ Santana

Tomas get those coaching badges!..


Honest question. Has there been any player other than Jack Wilshere who has really been able to come into the first team squad through the loan system in recent years? Not making a comment on the system just asking since I can’t think of any right now.
And Coquelin does not count since as far as I understand he did not come in because he was considered good enough based on his performances on loan but rather because an injury crisis meant no one else was available.


I would argue that Coquelin does count. But beyond that there’s Szczesny and Bellerin would took major steps forward on loan. Chambers will probably get chances next season off of the back of what he did this one.


Which loan was that for Szczecny?
Are you referring to the current loan to Roma or the couple of months he spent at Brentford? Because he was already first team starter before the Roma loan.
Bellerin also seems to have spent only a couple of months out on loan.
My point, and the reason why I am discounting Coquelin, is that loans don’t seem to be working towards making the management have more faith in players. Especially loans to lower division teams in England.


Big Ben!


Well, we have a bunch of youngsters here. They all need game time to develop. Remember when the Jeff was signed? We were all hail him as the greatest talent of his age. But how mane times have we seen him on the pitch? Oops…

So, my point is, maybe next season with the Europa League would be the chance for those youngsters to step out and get themselves game time which they need? I hope Wenger stick to this.


I miss seeing Rosicky in an Arsenal shirt :/

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