It was a cold winter night in December 2010. Both Almunia and Fabianski were injured for the trip to Manchester United and so it was Szczesny who was to make his Premier League debut. The youngster didn’t let the occasion get to him. Despite only having a few League Cup appearances under his belt, he was assured. He made the supporters believe that we had finally solved our goalkeeping crisis. For four years he was our undisputed number 1. Fast forward to 2015 and it has gone pear shaped. Wenger nothing to quash speculation by stating:
“It is very difficult to answer that question (that Szczesny will leave)”.
So where has it all gone so wrong? [click to continue…]
1. Do not change a winning formula
I don’t know what New Year’s resolutions our boys had but it has certainly worked. We have hardly put a foot wrong since the start of the year and have more or less played the same team. It was then a bit surprising to see Wenger make several changes to this winning team for a big game such as the FA Cup semi final. Granted Wenger does like to rotate for the FA Cup, it was a massive gamble this time and almost backfired. The second half in particular was very worrying given the way Reading came back and the manner in which the goal was conceded. It is easy to say in hindsight, but the cross should never have come in from such a tight angle on the right. Gibbs’ marking was poor and was only able to get a slight deflection on the shot. Finally Szczesny’s fumble across the line was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Debuchy, Gibbs and Szczesny are great players but this passage of play clearly showed that they hadn’t played for a while and I hardly think this scenario would have played out had Bellerin, Monreal and Ospina started. [click to continue…]