Friday, March 1, 2024

Szczesny’s comments damning for Arsenal goalkeeping coaching

In a revealing interview in the Independent, Wojciech Szczesny says the coaching he’s received during his time in Italy has improved him far more than his many years at Arsenal did.

The Polish international spent two years on loan with Roma before signing for Juventus this summer, and he says the technical side of his game is much better.

There have long been worries over Gunners veteran goalkeeping coach, Gerry Peyton, and Szczesny’s comments add more fuel to that fire.

“I enjoyed working with some great coaches at Arsenal, Roma and here, but the goalkeeping school in Italy is very different, it’s very technical and pays more attention to the details,” he said.

“It’s really made a difference for me because I started playing at a very young age with Arsenal and as you play you gain experience and that’s how you grow.

“But, honestly, I couldn’t say from a technical standpoint that I improved in any way from when I became first-choice at Arsenal until the day I left for Roma.

“However, in the two-and-a-half years since I came to Italy, I’ve improved massively which is thanks to the coaches and the way they work.

“It’s not about improving when you play, it’s every day in training you have to work on every aspect of your game and that’s something I’ve really enjoyed.”

Former stopper Lukasz Fabianski was known to have issues with Peyton’s coaching and when he went to Swansea he brought coach Tony Roberts to work with him there.

Jens Lehmann was brought in during the summer, but his role is more general, not specifically with the goalkeepers, and when Arsene Wenger was handed a new deal by Stan Kroenke in May, he signed up all his current staff with him rather than making any significant changes.

Some might want to write this off as Szczesny being bitter, but it’s worth paying attention to what he says – especially as he still talks fondly of Arsenal in general.

“Accepting that my time with Arsenal was over was difficult because I never imagined leaving,” he said.

“I supported them as a kid and I got to play for the club of my dreams, but life goes on. It was the right thing for me and both clubs and, while one side of me found it difficult to say it was over, the other said lets just get it done.”

Read the full interview here.


Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Lost a great keeper there! End off!


He also clarified something that we have all been thinking for a long time: ‘At Arsenal you’d just prepare physically for it (games) but here you watch film analysing a specific opponent before the game and afterwards we’ll watch again to see what worked and what didn’t.’ So that’s it. The reason why we consistently keep seeing these same mistakes repeat themselves is because our preparation before a game isn’t where it needs to be. Literally every other club is taking this other side of the game pretty seriously, and reaping the benefits, whereas we completely ignore it and we… Read more »


Fabregas said similar while at Barca; we don’t focus on tactics and we don’t look at how our opponents play. That in part explains why we never seem to learn from our successes or failures

Dave M

There have been a bunch of fans saying the same thing for a long long time. Wenger decides on a tactical formation and tempo and rolls it out against whoever we play. There is no adjustments. Even adjusting formation hasn’t changed much teams play exactly the same tactic against us because it works. Park the bus with the midfielders pressing when our midfield is in their half, look for a turn over and break on the counter. Wenger makes players adapt to his style. He doesn’t adapt to the players he has. Backwards coaching. We so so clearly have a… Read more »


Isn’t that the definition almost of insanity? Repeat the same thing over and over yet expect a different result?


I remember taking the piss out of all my London-based United supporting friends at school when Fergie would roll out these bizarre lineups with 6 or 7 defenders and win every time, usually with a goal from Park. “It’s boring”, “not the point of football”, “I’d rather be entertained”. What I’d give for Arsene to do that now.

Dave M

Well I wouldn’t because we don’t have the players to do that (which is my point). I’d love to see us play a good structure defensively and attack fast, direct and let Ozil do what he does best – carve teams apart in space


Haven’t we literally gone from 442 to 433/451 to 523/343 that seems to be a lot of changes to me. Also all good teams have the bus parked against them to say it’s some how a phenomenon that we alone deal with is ridiculous the term was invented by the biggest hypocrite of them all about a rival team. Now if you’re saying we should give the ball away more and not look to hold possession when we have it that doesn’t really make sense. The problem I see is that the players aren’t good enough to play at the… Read more »

Dave M

Wow. yes we should give away possession more that is what I said. Higher tempo faster attacks generally mean more turnovers because you are making higher degree of difficulty passes, but the turnover generally occurs with more players behind the ball because your attacking faster in more space with fewer attackers and defenders, therefore its a less dangerous turnover. Do we play differently whether we play a 442, 433, 523? We play slow tempo possession football for the most part and teams soak up pressure and look to turn us over and hit us with pace. Even the big teams… Read more »


Spot on

Kartik Iyer

But isn’t it the managers job to work with what he has…he had his chance in the transfer window, now he has to make do..and it’s not like we have very poor players…if we use the correct tactics to utilise the best from each of our players and not try to cram all the big names onto the team sheet we still should have a team good enough for top 4. I realise ours is not even remotely a title winning team compared to city or united at present but we can aim for the cups and top 4 at… Read more »


To a certain degree though those are just numbers on paper (or a tablet, what have you). We still end up with u-shaped passing around the opposition box and a jam up of our players in the middle top of box with a huge gap between them and the 2 (maybe) set back to “defend” a counter attack.

Faisal Narrage

If Wenger can only produce results with only world class players, then that doesn’t speak well for Wenger then.

Because guys like Poch and even Silva are getting more than the sum of their parts; players much less than the quality of ours.


This is sound. Most times, when we lampoon our players for not “caring” and “utterly gutless”, we forget that they are as bewildered with the arrangement of the team as us. I remember when Ozil joined us, his first touch was an assist to Giroud. He went on to make 8 assists in his subsequent 5 matches and even added about 3 goals. Alas! big weng started tinkering with the team. Before we could open our eyes, he sent Ozil to the wings. Ozil got injured afterwards (for 3 months or so, in fact he was injured for a combined… Read more »

Kartik Iyer

I agree with most of this but the thing that struck me most was the laca’s runs bit….for the past 2-3 games and especially in the Watford game I have seen this happen so many times…he makes such good runs beyond the defenders but no one puts in a long one and he gets frustrated..I mean at least once in a while the team should try’s like nobody knows that laca is playing..they just ignore those long balls

Dave M

That 100% has to be on the coach. There are only two scenarios here as this has happened repeatedly over multiple games: (1) They are being told not to play the balls because Wenger wants possession (2) They do not review the video of games properly and no-one is stopping the video saying. There Laca makes a run you have to look for that ball. There another run… In all honesty I think its both. Wenger’s mind seems all over the place media concerns, fan concerns, player contract concerns…no wonder he has no time to focus on coaching the team,… Read more »


That’s the problem. The players don’t understand how to approach a game against a specific team, so they don’t know what to do when XYZ happens. For example – when we went 1 nil down away early doors at Anfield, they had no idea what to do. So we panicked, and went two nil down, they panicked some more, and we were three nil down.. etc.. Thats the problem. Thats why no other big team gets beat like the way we do. Yeah, they might have the odd once in a blue moon poor result, but 9/10 when they lose… Read more »


Couldn’t agree more

Dan Hunter

But I would argue they are professional footballers and if Wenger and the coaching staff are not doing it, why would the players themselves not get together to prepare for games… to me it seems that is Wenger’s way – to allow the players to think and react for themselves and not rely on coaches and managers so much. Why not Mertesacker or Koscielny invite the players for a meeting, showing the opponents and their strengths and weaknesses… surely a player should be doing that anyway… do you really need the coach to do that for you? It’s like school,… Read more »


Because that’s the managers job. He decides how the team plays; he decides what each individual players role is within the system he has selected. And in theory how the Manager does all of the above should be based on who we are playing. I feel so many of us are stuck in the past, we have to all collectively wake up. Its not 2003 anymore. The reason why we had such great success under Wenger in the earlier years was solely down to the extreme quality of the squad at the time. And they were predominately playing teams that… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Agree and just want to add that Wenger shows no ruthlessness. Xhaka already caused three goals against us by losing the ball but he is still one of the first on the team sheet. Last game, he stood and watched opposition score.


I will never forget the story Thierry Henry said about how before the Barcelona CL game, AW only looked at film the NIGHT BEFORE THE GAME! That is unacceptable IMO. It’s one thing to have a philosophy that values what your team is doing first and foremost. But it’s downright arrogant and foolish to not prepare in that way.


Can’t help thinking Arsene selling the one player with some balls and a bit of personality was not just a sporting decision..


Oh look, more criticism about the backroom staff of Arsenal FC from players who left to achieve greater things.

Colour me shocked….

Crash Fistfight

I’m tired of this now. Kroenke should just give the power to Gazidis to make some changes and get rid of all the dead-wood in our set-up. If he does that and we’re still shit, get rid of him as well. When Arsene came to Arsenal in 1996 a lot of the methods around the footballing side of the club were outdated and Arsene revolutionised things. The same thing is happening now, only there isn’t a new manager to make those changes happen, only the stale, badly performing coaching squad. Bringing in Jens Lehmann because he might shout a bit… Read more »

Faisal Narrage

Much as we have issues with Gazidis taking money and keeping quiet, it’s clear he does want to modernise things, but Wenger won’t let him (and Gazidis is protecting Wenger). The worst thing of all is….the potential hero could be none other than….Josh Kroenke. Rumours are he’s quite passionate about the club and wants to make changes with Gaz, but he doesn’t want to step on his Dad’s toes. Gosh, it feels like the days of being run by a sovereign king. One day you have a bad king, then next his son takes over and is a good king,… Read more »

A different George

Is there any actual basis to this story about Josh Kroenke? You know, facts? Or even rumours that don’t come from a waiter who overheard him saying something while he was pouring the wine? Or that are invented to get a click?

Faisal Narrage

Oh I’m sorry, I’m I meant to provide clear evidence for something I’ve clearly stated as a “rumour”?

Do you know what rumour means? Do you know what “potential” means? Or are you just being intentionally obtuse to try and prove a point?

Well congrats. You win at the internet.


Lol, exactly how old are you?


I would agree. It’s strange that Gazidis is almost in a general manager position and here in the States nearly every GM that is hired by an owner is at least allowed to try the manager/coach/whatever he wants for a few years and then if it doesn’t work kick to him to the curb. Only at Arsenal do we have this stupid power vacuum where Wenger has no accountability to anyone. I would like to see what Wenger does with some real pressure down his neck again. No coincidence his best work was done at the beginning of his time… Read more »


Did you say give Gazidis the power? ????

Yankee Gooner

Who has the power?


One of the biggest issues for me. Seems like alot of our players arent trained properly. It just seems like its up to the players themselves to figure out how to improve. I can think of maybe Oxlade and Bellerin, who are players that came through, and over the years have looked like they have been overtraining, and put on too much muscle. Just seems to me that they lost a bit of agility and speed after a couple of years here.

Faisal Narrage

And he’s the one Wenger pushed out. It was clear he didn’t want to leave, dude had just being unveiled for Juve, and started crying at the mention of Arsenal. Some fans here tried to give him stick, and the talk of him coming back “to be number 2” when it’s clear he had improved whilst at Roma (FYI, for those who consider Cech de facto first choice, go look at his By The Numbers stat posted yesterday). As for Arsenal? I think this comment from Chesney pretty much sums up our entire coaching philosophy, which can be seen in… Read more »


Cech wasnt aloud to bring his coach from chelsea!

Bob Wilson tried to get Seaman a job.

Unfortunately its Wenger Yes men only and we are stuck with gerry payton


It’s not just the goalkeeping coaching though, is it?

Faisal Narrage

Yeah, that’s my point.
That comment sums up the coaching set up at Arsenal.


I’ve never been a Wenger Outer, but this has become ridiculous. One need not be a life long Arsenal supporter to see that Wenger is the problem now. He was the answer for many years. But football had changed, moved on, but Wenger hasn’t. He and his stale staff are what hold the club back. He is now the problem. He is too arrogant, too predictable and too comfortable to see it and no one at the club has the balls, or authority, to move him on. Wenger must go. We’re suffering under Wenger like Manu did with Moyes and… Read more »


To call our players average is nonsense.

Dave M

I actually agree. There is no way Wenger is getting the best out of these guys. Playing guys in the positions they should would be a start. Making players accountable for poor performances would be another – make them fear playing bad, this is not U/10s. Playing a tempo that suits the pace and creativity of our team would be another. While I think we are a couple players short for sure (DM like we’ve all been saying since Gilberto left, another wide attacker, and some fullback depth) our problem stems now from Wenger not being in control. Not knowing… Read more »

Dave M

Oh and Stan Kroenke


After the few clearance of some average players during the summer, About 2/5 of them are definitely still average but over hyped. These players are riding on the back of some good and dedicated teammates (which can only serve them for so long). Meanwhile, average players can still be improved on by a good manager/coaching crew. The short term solution is for them to play ad a team (a well oiled machine) and cover for each other on the field of play. The long term solution is to get quality players for each position and do away with Wenger and… Read more »

Jimbo Jones

Good post!


Him or Ospina – only once choice surely?

Except we did the opposite.

Crash Fistfight

Yeah, but he smoked in the showers once, so clearly Ospina’s better.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Crash, you’re forgetting about the legendary Ospina ‘calm presence’ ! What a joke.

Crash Fistfight

I know I’m always calm when he’s pushing the ball straight in front of his goal when making saves, or when he catches the ball behind his own goal line.


“But he’s a well-regarded international keeper!”

Jean Ralphio

But would he have stayed as a second choice? No point thinking about what ifs.


He’s second choice at Juve now. He wouldn’t have stayed long as second choice and we could have kept Cech as keeper coach.


He’s second choice to buffon right now, isn’t he?


I know it’s a little different because he has a genuine like for the club, but for anyone who didn’t, it would be a pretty obvious choice if you could choose between being backup keeper for arsene and backup keeper for Juve. We’re not in the same class any more, not even close honestly.


But you guys seem to forget when the two of them played for the same team, with the same defense, and we were conceding loads of goals with Szczesny first half of the season. Then Ospina came in and he was a major reason we made top four that year. Ospinaaaaaaa!!!!!!

Kwame Ampadu Down

Coquelin came in. That made the major difference, not Ospina. No-one would deny Chesney had a poor spell & needed to be dropped….but Ospina did nothing in that period to suggest he was a better long term option.

The arsenaut

Blogs, considering the mood, could you bring back that thing where we compete with creative ways to replace song lyrics with Arsen-al related mess..


This club needs sweeping changes from top to bottom.
I won’t hold my breath though.

BG gunner

Next year Buffon retires and they will bring new N1, Szczesny will remain N2 as obviously, they are trying to bring in Oblak from Atletico Madrid. Hopefully, Wenger will be out by then and we could get Szczesny back.

Jimbo Jones

I would say Szczesny is firmly lined up for the no1 spot; he’s already started a few games over Buffon. Great planning by Juve, not something we’re used to!

Evang. Femi

It is not a new thing that the method deployed by Wenger has not change. U can’t be doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. I hate to say this…. Arsenal style of play is predictable, no motivation, no enthusiasm, no bite, no fire , no sense of urgency, no nothing. Arsenal is an eyesore over d last couple of years. I remembered vividly a friend who is Chelsea fan telling me he won’t be bothered if Arsenal is topping d league with 10 points that we will eventually capitulate. Although I disagreed with… Read more »


Should never have sold him. Still makes me sad.

Faisal Narrage

Makes me mad, if anything.


Cech and Ospina have been getting worse ever since they arrived, and Emi Martinez doesn’t seem to improve. There have been issues with our coaching for years, but Wenger looks after his old mates and they never question him. The whole lot should be moved on, I honestly believe our players all regress under Wenger, not only goalkeepers.


Cech has been brilliant for us so I disagree with your comment.


Big surprise…outdated coaching staff, outdated scouts, outdated board. Club is now mediocre


Yes, and over at the ‘lane’ things are going swimmingly so it seems. Cracking new stadium on the way, dynamic young coach, young players etc. They say football is ‘Cyclical’, sadly Arsenal are stuck in the quicksand.
Just one sentence to Gazidis & the board – Notts Forest – Brian Clough! But the old skeleton won’t turn to Scotch or whatever like Cloughy. ‘I believe it has Calories & carbs and I want to run my club till I’m 100+ !


What does that make the 15 clubs that finished below us and never won a trophy. 3 Fa cups in 4 years is not exactly mediocre

Sir Solar

He is matured now and he is confusing that with something else. He would have mature in Arsenal if he was here anyway. And with him, maturrity can best be explained as mastering the lessons to shedding loads of stupidity, egocentric tendencies, better than Fabianskism etc. etc. etc. He has broadened his horizon in the few places he’s been to. I believe he found many more competitors than Fabianski as well?. Always better to maintain focus in whatever you do Shot Stopper… and if that took you this long to learn then I’m sorry to say you just might be… Read more »

Jim Gordon

Maybe he’s grown up a bit since he was at Arsenal. Not as much of a fucking gobshite as he was .

SB Still

Wenger protects his players, when don’t cross him, even if they perform badly. So, what are the chances that he is going to be any different to his coaching staff – they will only retire, they’ll never be fired.

On the subject of crossing Wenger, that was the reason that Szcz was sold, not because of his ability, which was clearly much better than Ospina.

Jimbo Jones

I wish Wenger was my boss


If Serie A has the best coaching why are the clubs there so shit?I mean Crystal palace would top the table if you let them play in Serie A.

Crash Fistfight

It’s not as if an Italian team has made the CL final in 2 out of the last 3 seasons, is it?


Napoli would beat us easily. Juve, Napoli and probably roma would destroy all the epl teams that aren’t man city and Manchester United


Probably the most idiotic comment of the day

Jimbo Jones

Don’t confuse revenue with quality


Ignorance like this is astounding. Eating into the whole “BPL is best league in the world and everyone else is trash” rubbish that the pundits seem so intent on feeding us. I remember watching MOTD a few years ago with Mark Lawrenson going on and on about how boring football was in Italy since everyone was playing 3 at the back, yet Conte brings it over to the Premier League and suddenly it’s a move of tactical genius, lauded by pundits left, right and centre. This idea that the Premier League always does it best is just completely backwards thinking.

Igbo Amadi-Obi

“It’s not about improving when you play (like not be erratic and rush out of your goal needlessly), it’s every day in training you have to work on every aspect (like not smoking cigarette in the bathroom).

I see his point.


How can anyone with such knowledge of football,stoop to such levels that he can’t see problems with his own team ,that all others-fans,pundits, journos n all can point out… players with no passion at all…just painful


It’s not only about Arsenal, it’s about all the goalkeeping school in England.

Jean Ralphio

You think he’s a better GK than Cech? Wenger was right to punish him for smoking in the showers, what else would you want? for Wenger to give him a slap on the wrist? While a move for Christophe Lollichon did not work out, we have made changes to our goalkeeping staff over the last two years or so. How that pan’s out in the coming years I don’t know. Cech’s record at saving penalties is bad, but IMO he is otherwise a solid keeper and has won us games this season. Let’s not pretend he has no faults. All… Read more »

Rocky\'s little brother

I look at Alex Ferguson and remember all the coaches he would have and then let move on to other clubs. We have had the same set up for years and the same problems are being ignored. Get them all out. Maybe Sanchez and Özil will sign new contracts

Godfrey Twatsloch

I recall a comment on here from someone who knows an academy goal keeper who didn’t make the grade for Arsenal and went to a lower league club. He said he was worked much harder at his current club than he ever was at Arsenal. Rather shocking if true.


I don’t get this. Guy spends 6 years at Arsenal, formative years, yet only becomes good enough to replace Buffon while at Roma?

Either Roma’s ‘keeping coaching is out of this world or Woj is underestimating the impact of the coaching at Arsenal.

Steve Tulett

Don’t think he’s said anything we didn’t already know,the coaching staff are stail and so’s the manager


And yet again another damming indictment of Wengers outdated way of doing things! He has NEVER really been a good judge of keepers or defenders he got lucky with both areas in his early years here but has been found out since, the man is a dinosaur ! Catalyst for change we were told yeah right the only way we’ll get change is if and when Wenger leaves !!


Wenger’s problem is he doesn’t have the quality through the whole squad to play Laissez Faire football anymore. BUT he still sits on his hands many times and refrains himself from intervention when clearly the team look lost and in need of instructions from the bench. I’ve always said Wenger flattered to deceive bc he buys well in market. But he hasn’t bought enough instead reliance has been on internal improvement. A combination of unprepared players and injury prone issues have prevented that from fully being realised. With the entrant of oil fueled clubs and the rest of the league… Read more »


We are pretty much average at every aspect of the club under Wenger and Kroenke now. No longer trail blazers or elite in anyway. Sad really.


After actually reading the interview, it’s becoming clear that Arseblog is becoming more and more like the Mirror or the Daily Mail, trying to create controversy to generate clicks and comments. Szczesny’s comments are more an indictment of English football and its general lack of sophistication and emphasis on physicality over technical quality than they are a specific criticism of Arsenal. For anyone who watches German/Spanish/Italian football, the difference is obvious. Those leagues are about football, the Premier League comes down to just a physical scrap more often than not. It’s really a shame to see Arseblog go this route.

Crash Fistfight

What you fail to take into account in your inference is that Szczesny’s experience of coaching in England is limited to Arsenal and Brentford. When he refers to coaching in England that is all he has to go on. In reality he is not talking about coaching in England vs coaching in Italy but rather coaching at Arsenal and Brentford vs coaching at Roma and Juventus. How does he or you know if the goalkeeping coaching at other clubs in England is as bad as at Arsenal and Brentford or that the coaching at other clubs in Italy is as… Read more »


I value this site, but am beginning to think the same. If we had won 1-0 with a shitty performance, no one would be up in arms the way they are now. It was just a few weeks ago that the posters who were calling Granit a key part of midfield now turn against him after a bad match. Is there a problem at Arsenal? Yes. Is Granit the best deep lying midfielder in the EPL? No. Is there a seeming stagnancy at Arsenal? Yes. But in this sad state of affairs, it doesn’t help to engage in a journalism… Read more »


I’ve had a sneaking suspicion for awhile and this confirmed it. I think Szczesny told us to sell him because he wasn’t going to sign with us. I think he loves Arsenal and that’s what hurts him. That in order to better himself he had to leave. The loan spell at Roma opened his eyes to just how good he could be. Players used to come to Arsenal to better themselves. Quite the opposite now..


The day when Wenger finally leaves is not that far away; hope the board brings some top more modern manager so we don’t have to read these kind of news anymore.


My your hopefull!!!! The old fool will be here till he drops, face up to it. The emperor with no clothes or Brian Clough. Did you listen to Talksport tonight?

Crash Fistfight

not if he had any brain cells to rub together.

Fuhgedaboudit l

With all the problems facing Arsenal, I think their largest blunder was losing Szczesny. Cech is beyond his best years, and Ospina is definitely not the answer. Still trying to make sense of that senseless move.


Seems inevitable now that Wenger will parachute us down into mid table if we lose Sanchez and ozil this season and continue our pursuit of mediocrity by failing to replace them. Im prepared to watch us sink into the championship at this rate to be brutally honest. Any club is it’s player and manager first and foremost. I look at Wengers lack of tactics and sczceznys words sting true. I put my self in the players shoes and it becomes clear our best players will leave in droves if we remain a content Europa league team. Barring a massive change… Read more »


Steady decline at Arsenal as a stubborn old man rules the roost. The other big clubs have top managers and coaches, they demand hard work and results. The best players leave after a few seasons knowing that nothing is going to change. Arsenal is left with the Walcotts.


Thanks Arsene for keeping Ospina instead.


Hugely damning of the whole coaching setup if it’s really true they don’t prepare the players for specific opponents. Shocking, honestly. Hard to believe even Arsenal could be that backwards – surely EVERYBODY does that these days?


we lost szczeny a great goalkeeper!…??? any penalty agianst peter cech is a goal!!!


Damning stuff…but not very surprising

Naija Gunner

I still love the guy….


Everything with the club is just wrong at the moment, management, board and players even fans are not in the right frame of mind. We already know in October we’re not winning the league. We can’t even be a pressure club a la spuds.. So sad

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x