Is Szczesny Good Enough For Arsenal?

Poor old Wojciech.

He was so excited about being Poland’s out-and-out Number One as they set out to try and win the Euros on home ground.

Instead he woke up on Saturday morning knowing that his main contribution to the national cause may turn out to be helping to ensure that Poland fail to qualify from the group stages.

Let’s face it, if Poland couldn’t manage to beat a Greek team that would struggle in League Two, their chances of progressing much further are slim indeed.

His nightmare day comprised two huge blunders: first, making an ill-judged lunge for a cross when it was always unlikely he could get there before either his central defender or the Greek forward.

I haven’t seen such a bad case of miscommunication between a goalie and a centre back since… er…  oh… Szczesny and Koscielny in the 2011 Carling Cup Final. Whoops.

As if gifting Greece (who were then playing 10 against 11) an equalising goal wasn’t enough, shortly afterwards Szczesny brought down a Greek attacker in the box for a clear penalty and an automatic red card. Our Pole’s blushes were spared slightly by the fact that his replacement saved the penalty. However, Szczesny’s dismissal had taken away Poland’s numerical advantage and was probably instrumental in them subsequently failing to grab a winner.

You have to feel sorry for Wojciech. As he walked off the pitch following his red card he looked to be one consoling word from a team mate away from bursting into tears.

But he only has himself to blame for both incidents and, truth to tell, for those of us who have watched him all year between the sticks for Arsenal, they are not a great surprise.

When Wojciech became first choice ‘keeper at Arsenal some contributors on Arsenal Arsenal took to calling him “World’s Number One.”

Around about that time I wrote a Headline Post here saying: “Right now Wojciech Szczesny is a raw, inexperienced player with bags of promise and the chance of becoming great in the future. A bit like Alex Manninger, Stuart Taylor and Richard Wright before him.

“In his performances for the first team this season he has been good but far from exceptional, which is entirely as you would expect for a 20-year-old making his inaugural steps in the top flight. All of which makes the fashionable hysteria about his talents premature, not to say ridiculous.”

I’m not trying to say “I told you so” because in that same article I argued that we should promote Fabianski and keep Szczesny as second choice – a suggestion I’m glad M. Wenger ignored.

But the fact is that Szczesny made many mistakes in his first season as Arsenal’s number one and his blunders for the national team are in keeping with the poorer aspects of his ‘keeping for us: namely, impetuosity; miscommunication and poor concentration.

So does all this mean we should reconsider his position at Arsenal? That we should bring in a Premier League veteran for a year or two until Wojciech has matured?

I would like to hear your views, but mine is this:

On no account should we remove him as our Number One.

For all his shortcomings, Szczesny has shown enough bravery, character and shot-stopping prowess to suggest that he can grow into a goalkeeper to rival legends like Jennings, Seaman, Wilson and Lehmann.

All he needs is age and experience. Age will take care of itself, but his experience will progress more rapidly if he plays every first team game (which, in turn, will end up making his “game age” greater than his birth age).

Even experiences like Friday’s will help make him a better ‘keeper.

In our forthcoming 2012-13 season I have no doubt that Szczesny’s faults will cost us points on occasion. But his strengths will win us points and his contribution to the team’s character cannot be overlooked.

Over to you.



132 Responses to Is Szczesny Good Enough For Arsenal?

  1. j says:

    WS needs to improve on getting down, kicking and communication. He relies on his height too much and doesn’t improve his ability.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky, thanks for a fantastic post. 🙂

    You have more or less covered all the angles re Szczesny and I agree with your final conclusions.

    I believe our fortuitous win at Anfield was a major factor in establishing a run that finally overtook the Spuds, and Wojciech’s performance – epitomised by the wonderful double penalty save from Kuijt – played a big part in it.

    Like you, I believe he has all the core ingredients of becoming a great GK but it will take time to gain the necessary experience to reach top level. I hope Arsene is able to get a good, experienced nr2 this summer, so this area is properly covered and Szczesny can learn from him.

    Anyway, Evonne loves him and that’s why we should all love him! 😆

  3. gestur says:

    he is just as good as joe hart !!!

  4. Bradster says:

    I dunno what STFU stands for but I see calamity James errors popping up. He needs to get that sorted out while he’s still young. De Gea was having the same problems but at least Fergie saw that De Gea needed to get his head right and used Lindegard in the meantime and brought him back when he was ready. I’d prefer an experienced keeper to back up and cover for Sczechny.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    For Evonne:

    ‘Hei! Koko koko Euro spoko
    Pilka leci hen wysoko
    Wszyscny razem zaspiewajmy
    Naszym doping dajmy’

    I love it that the Polish word for cheering is doping! 🙂

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning, I am in total agreement with your conclusion. It’s a good thing that WS is achieving some of his learning curve with the national team – hopefully he will start next season with a bit more composure.

    He is potentially the one of the best keepers we’ll ever see (with due respect to Wilson and Seaman) and we should stick by him. As you’ve said, his confidence/over confidence (arrogance?) is all part of what will make him a great keeper.

    He tried too hard for Poland and got over excited, but he is by far the best option we have at Arsenal and bringing in another keeper as No.1 would be a bad move. We stuck by Almunia when he was past the age when he could improve, but WS will keep getting better and better.

  7. Rasp says:

    Bradster, Its an acronym for ‘be quiet’, and as such was disrespectful and not welcome on this site – I’ve binned that comment

  8. Pebbles says:

    Completely agree. What I am worried about his back-up/competition to keep him improving. I think AW needs to sign a better number 2, but if Fabianski’s shoulder injury is bad, we won’t be able to sell him in this window. Martinez sounds like he is a great goalie in the making, but I don’t like the thought of him starting a PL game.

  9. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    great post as usual

    I agree with Rasp’s 10.00, he was to eager to prove something on a National stage that it lead to uncharacteristic errors. He is our number one and will stay that way for quite some time. His cheering with the Arsenal fans is a joy to behold also, unlike Evonne i love the bloke! Anyone after suffering through Almunia’s campaign is going to be a world beater, thankfully for us he will be soon enough

  10. henrychan - indonesia says:

    I’m agree with you rocky.. We need a mature goalkeeper.. Szczesny is good.. but ‘labile’.
    He can be very emotional and arrogant sometime.. And that can ruin his games.. and of course Arsenal also..

    No doubt he shall be our best goalkeeper someday.. but need to improved in his attitude..
    Michel Vorm (Swansea) will be nice.. He is 28.. And EPL proven also.. By the way, any news about Dempsey..???

  11. Nii says:

    Not at all cos he is too sure we have to bring in the france goalkeeper liourice

  12. Slimgingergooner says:

    I remember when Casillas broke onto the scene as an unbelievable shot stopper, but even he was rough round the edges. He’s now arguably the best in the world due to the fact he has played nearly every single game for club and country in the last 7/8 years. I agree that we should bring someone in who is older as back up (Robinson, Green, Jaaskelainen?) but Szscesny is definately a great in the making and should be given the number 1 jersey.

    Oh, and he fucking loves Arsenal, something we need more of from our players!

  13. Dattijo Aliyu says:

    I think he is good as a back up but not as a number one, I always have my reservations for him. Arsenal should buy a goalkeeper if we are really serious for trophies

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Nii, he sounds delicious!

  15. olumide says:

    Szczesny is a world class talent and I still believe he can emulate the likes of Iker Casillas and become one of the best GK in the world. All he needs to improve on is his concentration until final whistle cuz most times he loses concentration which always costs us severely. And secondly he lacks communication skills with his defence (defenders). He’ll still be the number one no doubt about that but he needs a competitor whom I can see us bringing in a new GK if lukasz shud leave. I love Szczesny more than anyone could imagine, I so much believe in him taking us to the Top. Let’s give him another season and prove us wrong.

  16. Shard says:

    Good article.. I agree with the conclusion as well. Szczesny is going to be our No.1.. Besides..Him making a blunder with the Polish team is hardly enough reason to drop him. On the whole, Szczesny has brought confidence and calm to the arsenal defense, and who’s to say experienced keepers don’t make blunders. Cech’s performance against us in the 5-3 was hardly one to write home about. ALL keepers make mistakes.Not just young ones. And Szcz is something special as far as young keepers go.

    Interesting that slimgingergooner brings up Casillas. I was thinkiing about Casillas as a parallel to WS last year, and wondering who it was that Real had as backups to Casillas through the years. Were they young GK’s, or experienced ones? How did they cope with being behind a young whippersnapper in the pecking order. We probably need to get in a 30+ GK as backup if Fabiansky and Mannone are leaving. But which keeper of sufficient quality will be willing to play second fiddle? Tough one.

  17. Shard says:

    In response to your question..I’m from India.

  18. Morning all – a question that The Rock has very expertly brought up is one that was at the back of my mind also when I saw Chesney come steaming out of his area and miss the cross on Friday.

    As I tweeted at the time I hoped that Chesney was getting all his season 2012/13 clangers out of his system early so he comes back to us in tip top form.

    Shard – I think I’ve seen you at Tim’s site(7amkickoff) in the past

  19. goonerjake says:

    W.S The Arsenal No.1 – Enough said.

  20. Abu says:

    He is the best goalkeeper so far. An experinced partner is necessary to give him competition. The striker did it intentionally to get a penalty, was up to Szczesny to be on toes and treat any player at that range will seek favour from ref. For the cross that made them lost a point I could count of extra excitement. Still young to wear such boots. Bufon the best so far in Gunners line up or Krol

  21. Francis says:

    For a goal keeper that conceded the first shot on target in 13 games, has a league high of 7 errors contributing to conceding a goal and has the second lowest shot to save percentage in the top 4 leagues for number 1 keepers (Paul Robinson lowest); no he should not be starting for a team with ambitions.
    Take off the red and white tinted specs for a while. World Class? Hardly. As good as Joe Hart? With a save percentage 24% lower? Don’t make me laugh.
    Potential. Yes. But not right now. We are not a bloody finishing school for footballers. They should play when they are ready.

  22. Shard says:

    You definitely have.. We’ve had conversations involving Judas Priest too.

  23. Shard says:


    A lot of those statistics are to do with how we play. The high line means that if people break through our offside trap, they tend to get an easier shot on goal. Not really the keeper’s fault there.

  24. I thought so Shard, although I don’t remember the JP stuff; I must be getting senile. 🙂

    An interesting snippet for you, my parents are from H.P. originally. Don’t suppose you are anywhere near there ?

  25. Red Arse says:

    A very interesting Post, O Great Rockadillo! 🙂

    I have noticed over the years that there have been many talented young players who, for some seemingly arcane reason, simply have not made the grade, and I have oft times wondered why.

    In goal keeping mode, the then young Manninger fitted that description to a tee.
    He was a tremendous shot stopper, had incredible reflexes and was physically very athletic and sharp. And yet …… and yet, he did not quite ‘do it’ for me or meet the standards needed by the club’s coaches, and was let go very early. Why, I ask, again?

    Well, Manninger did not have one particular personal quality that someone like Chezzer has in spades. That quality is known as “chuzpah”, a yiddish term that can mean many things, including ‘brash audacity’, ‘brass nerve’, ‘cheekiness’ which implies a presumption that he is the best.

    Another description of him, no doubt preferred by some, is that he has a bombastic personality, meaning he has an overblown and ostentatious regard for his goal keeping abilities.

    Whatever term is used about our skinny totem Pole, it really boils down to him possessing large dollops of personal self confidence.

    I am sure we all know guys who are pretty good at what they do, but allow a degree of introverted angst and self incrimination to affect him, and his work, if he makes an occasional mistake.

    Chezzer is quite the opposite.
    He is an extrovert, [with chuzpah/bombast?] who will shrug off the occasional goal keeping blemish as ‘just one of those things’, carefully put it aside, clear his mind and get on with becoming one of the best GKs in the world, and not let setbacks in the university of life affect his mindset in any material way.

    We must ‘keep’ him. He is young, but good, and will only get better with experience, and one day may well achieve the pinnacle of being the World’s No 1 Goal Keeper! 🙂

  26. Scott says:

    Look at the top keepers in the world…most hit their peak in their late 20’s,early 30’s,so the guy just needs time.
    Keep in mind he was thrown into the deep end,and has done it all on his own.
    Towards the end of last season,having an injured Szczesney was a better option than any of our other keepers fit,so that tells us that he’s had nobody to learn off,to get help from.
    The guy is potentially the best keeper in the world,without question.
    Potential doesn’t always turn into performance,but anyone suggesting he’s not good enough for our club knows little about the game,especially keeping,imo.
    Oh and as for stats and percentages…bbbllllaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.
    How many times did Joe Hart have players running at him one on one??
    Compare that to our guy,behind our defence which we all acknowledge was shaky at best,bloody woeful at worst.
    Patience will be rewarded.

  27. Shard says:

    By HP, do you mean Himachal Pradesh?(In the himalayas) Well, I’m in Delhi. So..not exactly near, but not that far either. About a 6 hour drive.

  28. Red Arse says:

    Can someone “un-moderate” please or I will squeam and squeam!! 😦

  29. Rasp says:

    Morning RA, I have no idea why your comment went into spam, I’ve released it now, hopefully you’ll be clear from now on.

  30. Yeah, you’re right Shard that is the HP I meant, but as it’s a remote and sparsely populated area the chances of anyone else being anywhere near there are less than that of Howard Webb ever awarding a PK against ManUre.

    Just saw the player’s season review for our number 2 on; surprised they could think of more than 2 lines for that.

    I’d a just said “Injured all the time, no change there.”

  31. Red Arse says:

    Thank you, and good morning to you, too, Rasper. 🙂

    Chas, that link to “He blogs when he Wants” was excellent.

    BTW, I perfectly well understand your comment, and Oz’s too, about my somewhat sanguine or ‘rational’ responses to what can be pretty emotive stuff, like yesterday’s excellent Nasri Post from Micky.
    It must be my professional background coming to the fore.

    That said, I can rant with the best of them, or get hot under the collar when provoked, and to that extent, at least, I am a fairly typical, one-eyed, biased fan! 🙂

    Fans normally speak from the heart, rather than the head, and why not? I am with you on that! 🙂

  32. charles says:

    barca hav been complainin bout valdes for years bt szczesny is beta dan him and we all know its cos he’s spanish he keeps… I blame szcezesny for the equalizer bt his sendin off was d fault of defenders dat left d greek attacker unmarked and he would hav scored as well… Wen he makes a mistake, he’s criticized Y is nobody talkin bout cech’s shitty performance

  33. Okocha says:

    I think with chezzer he’s always going to get the benefit of doubt because he’s so young!! I’d prefer to see us sign a proper 27 yr old + goalkeeper…let fabianski stay as back up & let chezzer go out on loan to a decent epl team like Aston villa or Sunderland…let him develop there, work on his kicking, his positional sense isn’t what it should be & I think he needs to bulk himself up massively…he’s very lightweight compared to a guy like neaur whose around the same age as him!! There’s no point thinking that he’s going to get better sitting on the bench or even accept being a sub…he’s too arrogant to accept that he’s got a lot of developing still to do so won’t accept being a squad player this summer!! I think a season or 2 under a guy like Martin o Neil would be massive for his career & he’d return a far superior keeper than he’ll ever be if he remains at Arsenal where defensive organisation is not part of the day to day training!!

    I know this might seem like a radical idea to some…but i think he’s no where near as good as people make him out to be, how many goals did he concede all season where he really only had 1 or 2 shots in total in the game?? I think a season on loan elsewhere would give fans a less rose tinted view of chezzer & we’ll either end up with a super young keeper in a year or 2 time or we’ll be glad that we spent & bought a top class keeper that helped us win something because chezzer wasn’t as good as people or even he believed he was!!

  34. evonne says:

    TA 🙂 🙂 where did you get verse from? Doping is a verb meaning incourangement. Vodka is a drug of choice in my homeland; we leave doping to your compatriots 🙂

    AND – Evonne loves Szczesny?! yeah, right

  35. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Thank you for the Monday morning starter.

    Is he good enough? Yes.

    Bob Wilson, who is probably the best GK coach of the past 30 years, said of Szczesny that he is the finest young GK he has ever worked with. This coming from a man who has worked with Seaman, Lehmann, Jennings etc etc is high praise indeed.

    If Bob rates him, so do I

  36. evonne says:

    Rocky – great post, thank you!
    I was actually thinking about writing something about Szczesny and in his defence I was planning comparison of Wojtek and Seaman at the the start of his career. I read about Birmigham and QPR, but they all said the same – DS was always great. I gave up the idea of a post 😦

    In answer to your question – unless AW buys a very exprienced goalie (but not Shay Given), there is no point of replacing Szczesny with another inexperienced lad. So my guess is that AW won’t buy Petr Czech and will are stuck with Szczesny, like it or not

  37. Big Raddy says:

    We are desperate for an experienced back up GK. Fab is shot as his poor performances last season showed – he needs to go to a club where he can be first choice. Mannone doesn’t inspire confidence – who can forget his comedy keeping last time out?

    I would take Jaaskaliien. At 37 y.o ,he will come and sit on the bench and be a fine teacher for The Pole in Goal.

  38. Hi Big Randy – how would you feel about Craig Gordon, who’s been released by the Mackems ? Perhaps his moment has past.

    And while I’m interrogating you Bug Daddy, what do your countrymen think of Rikke Hvilshoj ? She sounds like a diamond to me but as this is a football blog just say yay or nay on her.

    You can guess it’s a yay from me, if you remember a past conversation walking to our seats from the Tavern.

  39. Red Arse says:

    Re an earlier comment comparing Szczeny unfavourably with Neuer and saying they are of similar ages;
    Chezzer is 22 y.o, and Neuer is 26 y.o.

    Only 4 years difference but a long time in a young players career.

    But to hell with facts, eh?

  40. Red Arse says:

    Szczeny = Szczesny. Sorry too many Ss and Zz for me!! 🙂

  41. Red Arse says:

    Reports on Sky that the Ox will play tonight!!

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Evonne 🙂

    According to the Guardian it is an anthem specially composed for the tournament. They say it means: ‘Hey! Cluck cluck Euro’s cool / The ball flies up so high / All of us, singing together / And sheering our boys’.

    My daughter and I prefer the Polish version. I am tempted to go and sing it to our Polish neighbour, but as he is not into football – he was cleaning his bike whilst the Poles were playing the Greeks – it might be lost on him! 🙂

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I would worry about taking on another GK with a poor health record. So, I would pass on Gordon.

    As to Rikke, she left politics in 2008/9 and is about to head up a Citizens Think Tank (how European) (thanks wiki!). I think her attitude towards immigration and integration is the only realistic way forward in Europe, but that is politics and not football 🙂

  44. oz gunner says:

    @ Okocha

    based on that philosophy VDS was a terrible keeper because he is a string-bean! We need Mark Schwarzer. He’s cheap, a good coach, top quality for an old bloke and he’s our only good football player in Australia so i’d like to see him at Arsenal. Then we can also have two keepers that have names that none of us can remember how to spell!

  45. Big Raddy says:

    RA. And Neuer has played 200+ first team games.

    TPIG is by no means perfect but he is much better than anyone since Lehmann, and I believe will go on to be better than MJ (Mad Jens)

  46. Scott says:

    I’m unbiased like Oz,but I like the Aussie boy too:)
    Schwarzer has desperately wanted o play for the club for a few years now.
    He’s still a great keeper,and the ultimate professional….Chezza wold learn a lot.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    I fully expect Evra to be stretchered off the pitch with twisted ankles, knees, hips and internal organs after Theo turns him inside out .

    Theo to score tonight (and not just in his hotel room Glic 🙂

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Schwarzer would be great. We have tried to sign him for 2 summers running – perhaps this summer he will finally sign.

  49. Thanks for the insight Big Randy, my final word on that is there should be a Rikke in every western government.

    Didn’t realise Gordon was that injury prone, but we do need a PL experienced GK back up.

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    I am a big fan of Szczesny, but I have one major concern and that is his ability to handle low shots/deflections that come at him quickly.

    This is a big issue for most goalkeepers but with Sz it seems to be more accentuated. He does not appear, due to his size, to have the degree of flexibility required to get down quickly enough – and if it is down to dexterity then it cannot be taught.

    In one of the games in the rundown he goofed in such a situation causing us to be behind, his error seemed to break his confidence for the rest of the game – can’t remember the game Swansea? Norwich?

  51. evonne says:

    TA – does your girl like footy then? Good girl, sh’s my pal, buy her a dog 🙂 When I was little girls were not interested in football, it was for hooligans like me

    What’s the matter with those Polaks, so many of the them are not interested in football or any other sports? There is something VERY wrong in a man that has no interest in footy

  52. evonne says:

    TA – my translation:
    ‘Hey! Koko koko (chicken noise) Euro cool
    Ball is flying high
    Let’s sing together
    Supporting ours!’
    It is even more silly than the Irish Jedward’s green cap 🙂

    Rocky – Poland WILL go through, slim chance by foot

  53. RockyLives says:

    Hello All
    Thanks for the comments. The post was just a quickie I threw together following an SOS from TRHWP.

    But as I wrote it I did realise that I have a slight sense of unease about TPIG. We all want him to be great, most of us think he will be great and yet…

    …there’s that nagging feeling that maybe he will continue to be error prone.

    The most encouraging thing is Bug Daddy’s point that Bob Wilson rates him as the best young ‘keeper he’s seen.

    I think it’s no coincidence that our GK problems began more or less from the time that Bob retired as GK coach at Arsenal. But if he rates young Chezzer then so do I.

  54. RockyLives says:

    I hope they do go through – I’ve got them qualifying to the knock-out stages in my Euro 2012 predictions chart and I stand to win about $500 if I get the best score 🙂

  55. jnyc says:

    I like more than anything his confidence and attitude. Thats so important in a gk. He will be ours for two decades i hope. 🙂 Right now, id also love an experienced pl backup. Then we are set

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, your 11.15 is ample proof you are not a bean counter but a top class shrink! 🙂

    ‘Whatever term is used about our skinny totem Pole, it really boils down to him possessing large dollops of personal self confidence.’ Very beautifully said, Sir! (dollop is one of my favourite English words).

  57. RockyLives says:

    I hope the drive to Manchester is going smoothly and that your nuts are tight. (By the way, what are you going to that dump for?).

    I saw your comment from this morning and want to reassure you that your Post yesterday was perfectly clear. My own comment about Na$ri (coming on, as I did, very late in the AA day) was more in response to the comments than the Post.

    Your main point: whomever we sign, you feel their character is as important (if not more so) than their footballing abilities… Couldn’t agree more – and I suspect AW has already woken up to that necessity and, in fact, it informed his transfer decisions at the fag end of last summer’s window.

  58. RockyLives says:

    I also thought “totem Pole” was brilliant. Bravo Redders.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Evonne, my daughter still(!) does not like footie but she did like the song when I made an attempt to sing it in Polish.

    My Polish neighbour seems to do a lot with wood (EASY RA, GLiC, Terry!) – I always hear him banging about next door, but never see any outputs. Other than that, he is the world’s biggest sneezer (the walls are no match for him).

    I said to him: well done to Poland – a draw is not a bad start. He said: what happened, I did not watch the game. I said: what sort of Pole are you – how many times will Poland host a major sporting tournament? He just shrugged his shoulders and continued to clean his bike, although it was of no use as he promptly sneezed all over his bike again… Looser! 😆

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Rocky, agreed; totem Pole was genius! I feel he might be brewing over a new post! 😉

  61. neamman says:

    I like the idea of bringing in an experienced number 2.. who wants to get practise as a goalkeeping coach. Keep WS as number 1..
    As an aside on BBC it says Napoli have bid 8 million for Djourou. I will miss him..a good back up when played in his proper position ie. CB ..not as a RB for sure!!

  62. goonermichael says:

    He’s at least as good as De gea. I think he will improve.

  63. neamman says:

    not everyone likes football. I wouldnt watch if GB hosted the Olympics! now know who WON’T be watching this summer.
    Athletics..almost as boring as basketball.

  64. goonermichael says:

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Neamman, never too late to widen your horizon! 🙂

  66. evonne says:

    Rocky – ok, I will do my best for 10% of your winnings

    Big unrest in Warsaw before tomorrow’s game. Russians requested permission to march across Warsaw (5000 of ruski), some communist anniversary. Polish are preparing for riots

  67. Hellos, Fellows.

    I arks yew to spik to that strange viking living next dor to mine coz he yer frend.

    He kips arksing me aboot Po Land. Why he likes country of pee pee pot?

    Iss not my fault i can not keep my wood quiet. when i fall over it pole vaults me into wall. ouch it hurts – the wall – not the wood – that nice.
    iss this meaning of pole talk?

    pliss you spik to total arse, tell him leeve me alones with my bike, she is well used but i am licking her. (licking that right term yes?)

    i lick lying on the beach. ok i go now

    signed: No Pole Gooner

  68. glic says:

    Afternoon all 🙂

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Great to see The Ox get a start but must be a huge disappointment for Theo

  70. evonne says:

    Koscielny vs Na$ri,Clichy and Ca$hley.

    Come on France!!

  71. evonne says:

    not as team vs team, but individuals

  72. Reddawn says:

    RL, what a interesting post………Ballet dancing leasons is the answer. What the hell am I talking about, you may well ask! Lev Ivanovich Yashin one of the greatest goalkeepers ever, converted from ballet dancering to goalkeeping. Wojciech, take note, get your pas de deux right and you will be fine my son.

  73. glic says:

    Just been cutting the grass banks, took me 5 hours, got a bit of a colour though. Talking of our skinny pole, I`m sucking on a Ice Pole, coz I`m still hot.
    Fine post Rocky.
    Let me ask you this, what other goalie at 22 years of age is better ?. Even though I asked a question, dont answer, If you know of one , shut up and keep it to yourself, I dont want to look silly !. 🙂
    Between Raddy and Redders, the nail has been firmly hit on the head. Uncle Bob say`s he`s good and the boy oozes confidence, spot on. Off for another Ice Pole.
    One more thing ( sorry e va va vonne ), People learn from their mistakes, let him make all his mistakes for Poland !.

  74. evonne says:

    oh lovely, thanks Mr Glic
    I hope Ox will take a few lessons too 🙂

  75. Red Arse says:

    Pretty good 1st half.

    Disappointingly the Ox has only received the ball twice in that half, and looked threatening on both occasion.

    Errmmm, have the England boys been told to by-pass him?


  76. Big Raddy says:

    How many passes have Parker, Cole or Gerrard given to Ox? None.

    What is the point of playing him if they don’t use the guy?

  77. neamman says:

    yes, when he had the ball he made something happen

  78. evonne says:

    I’m glad Ribbery didn’t join Arsenal. He is a disgrace

  79. RockyLives says:

    Good goal by Na$ri 😦

  80. RockyLives says:

    But his “shush” celebration makes him such a twunt.

  81. RockyLives says:

    That’s how player power works among England’s “senior” pros. If they don’t like the manager’s decision (i.e. starting with Oxo) they just don’t give him the ball. Oxo’s probably not in Terry, Cole and Gerrard’s card club (or whoring gang or whatever).

  82. RockyLives says:

    Are you all out enjoying the English summer 🙂

    Very hot and sunny here in the freezing north 🙂

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky, it is very cold here in Norfolk: about 13 degrees with a chilli wind, bah!

    England were well-organised at the back, but lacked fluidity in the centre of midfield. Gerrard has lost a lot of speed and agility since he came back from his last injury – I cannot see him leading this team very far at the moment.

    The Ox indeed hardly got any balls but I reckon this will be different once Shrek is back. Not a bad result for England though. Still think they gave the French too much respect.

  84. glic says:

    Rockster, After 5 hours of mowing in the sun, my body has got it`s first Red Arsenal shirt of the summer !. 🙂

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Very pedestrian from England. Tight defensively but nothing happening to assist the front men.

    I thought Young was hopeless, Theo played as well in his 3 minutes.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Sweden coming up. Look for Elm – tasty young player

  87. glic says:

    I dont know If it was a tactical decision to park the bus or just that we couldn`t keep hold of the ball, but I dont like getting all bodies behind the ball and inviting the oppo` to attack, it has me chewing my nails down to my elbow. Still, it`s a great result imo.
    Ukraine Vs Sweden, doesn`t do it for me, now let me see, what films have I got on the planner.
    Mrs glic`s birthday tomorrow, I shall take her to a film I want to see !. F**k going to see a RomCom, Prometheus looks good. 🙂

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC, if you can, go and watch Angel’s Share!

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Prometheus was nonsense …..

  90. goonerjake says:

    Personally ukr vs swe game very watchable unlike that chess match from earlier on

  91. glic says:

    Total, Is It sci-fi ?. I only go to the cinema for sci-fi. I cant help it if I`m shallow !.
    Have you seen it then Raddy ?, was it in Danish ?.

  92. RockyLives says:

    Very good point GLiC – it must be weird trying to translate some of those strange movie titles into foreign languages like Danish or Greek.

    I mean, imagine trying to translate “Prometheus” into Greek!

  93. glic says:

    🙂 Exactly Rocky, Trying to Translate ” Thor ” into Norwegian caused allsorts of problems, the sequal , ” Five “, will be murder !.

  94. Illybongani says:

    There’s not a keeper in world football who hasn’t made embarrassing mistakes. Footballs are light as beach balls nowadays and very difficult to predict the flight of the ball when thumped. All I’ll say about Chezzer is when the ball is crossed into the box I don’t feel as if I’m going to have kittens a like I did when Almunia and Flapihandski were in goal. I’ll take a couple of errors in lieu of positive decision making any time.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    In American and it might as well have been in Chinese. Slow, no story, whole film based around special effects … you will love it!

  96. Hi all

    I haven’t had any internet so I’m nagging now …………. we need posts for the coming days please.

    Just a few words to start the day’s chat, if you’ve got anything to say send it to me by email to

  97. RockyLives says:

    I’ve read some positive reviews and was thinking of going to see it…
    One question – do you dislike the genre or you just feel this particular film was not well done?

  98. goonermichael says:

    Just booked hotel and flights for me and the wife to Cologne for the friendly :0

  99. goonermichael says:

    I’d reccomend Corialanus (spelling) I know nothing about Shakespeare but it’s a great film. I’ve had a lot of bad reports about the ridley scott one

  100. oz gunner says:

    Cheers for the recommendation GM, i have it but haven’t got around to it yet.
    For those who haven’t seen ‘Drive’ yet you definitely should. Voted one of the best last year and it is brilliantly done.

    As for Nasri, looks like he’s ready to pimp himself out to teams again. When i saw ox start it make me think of Downing’s article the other day haha. About how ox keeps him on his toes and working hard while he is starting, and how the other experienced players are giving him pointers ect. Haha oops Downing he just stole your position, I think you should be taking pointers off of him.

  101. lekam says:

    In essence what are u sugessting.bcos one part of ur ariticle praises the young pole the other part is otherwise

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Lekam, Rocky, the writer, is giving him the benefit of the doubt, after having looked at various angles.

  103. weedonald says:

    Szcesny didn’t cost us any points last season and won a few matches for us (Liverpool, Chelsea and City) thanks to his excellent shot stopping. He is a milder,gentler,more talented version of Bendtner and knows he has a lot to learn,is ready to learn and while making some serious errors in judgement, is getting stronger each season. A keepers ¨best¨years are around 28-35 so he has ages to perfect his skills and character. He has a nice sense of humour and that is what the dressingroom needs.

  104. Super says:

    ” a Greek team that would struggle in League Two” i guess you don’t know much about football

  105. Dolapo Williams says:

    I still want him to be our no,1 GK next season with time he’ll be good in all area wht i love most in him is d confidence he has, dis coming season am 100% sure dt he’ll prove himself to be arsenal number 1gk let’s give him d support.

  106. RockyLives says:

    Are you Greek?

  107. RockyLives says:

    I agree – his confidence is perhaps his greatest strength. It also helps give confidence to the defenders in front of him.

    It’s late here in Canada, but tomorrow I’ll try and illustrate some examples where Chezzer cost us points.

  108. Scott says:

    Why bother Rocky??
    Forget proving your point for the sake of it.
    Szczesney is massive part of our future.
    We all now he has weaknesses at the moment,so who cares if he cost us a few points?
    He saved us more,and that’s what fans should focus on.
    I guarantee you any club in the world would love to have him in their squad.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    OK I will write a post…. could be for today or tomorrow….

  110. chas says:

    Nice post, Rocky.
    Big Woj is definitely good enough for The Arsenal. Power to the Poles.

  111. Big Raddy says:

    So, the general opinion seems to be an emphatic Yes. TPIG is good enough for Arsenal.

  112. evonne says:

    Morning all
    Chas – power to the Poles!! Yo man! Respect!

    Polish are quite mad and their bravado was well known during the WW2. Monte Cassino, Battle of Britain were some of the examples.

    But the best trait is loyalty,Polaks won’t let you down.

  113. Scott says:

    Don’t forget we Aussies,Evonne lol.
    Gallipoli,France…..oh,just everywhere.
    We’ve dug these poms out of a few holes,haven’t we Evonne 🙂

  114. evonne says:

    Scott – you are righ, Aussies are quite mad too 🙂 I was in Oz about 5 years ago – marvellous, loved it

  115. Big Raddy says:

    The double penalty save should have been Save of the Season. Awesome.

  116. glic says:

    Dont forget us English either.
    Two World Wars and One World Cup……Do Dah, Do Dah. 🙂

  117. glic says:

    My Pup is going to the doggy grooming salon today, he`ll be so handsome ( yes , they do look like their owners 🙂 ) that he will get wolf whistles from the female puppies !.

  118. evonne says:

    Glic 🙂 🙂

  119. glic says:

    Am I the only one that cant wait for these Euro`s to end, so we can get down to the serious business of Transfer Window Shopping ( now I know why you ladeez get so excited about window shopping 🙂 ).

  120. Gooner In Exile says:

    Interesting post Rocky, for me too much is asked of the young man. I agree with you that the only way to improve is to keep playing at the sharp end. Although he has to start learning from his mistakes.

    Sorry not been around to debate more … first day back at work 😦

  121. Rasp says:

    Morning all…….

    ….. New Post ……..

  122. S says:

    I think Szczesny is quite good but he lacks comunication and he has quite poor diving skills but he does have tricks. I think we should leave him out for a bit because remember Mannone against liverpool and with Mannone we were usually winning but when Szczesny went back in goal we started conceding and even losing and we would have lost to SOUTHAMPTON!!!!!! because of him but Gaston Ramirez fouled Laurent Kosiencly (spelling?) and Mannone has reflexes, Diving most of that stuff. I think we have had a problem with `keepers since Lehman.

    I dont think Szczesny is good enough to be a long term `keeper since he always gets injured and Fabianski isn`t; Mannone might be but still he isnt brilliant. Szczeny shouldn`t be number 1 for another reason: he will give away penalties, sometimes keepers have to use their feet but he thinks he can tackle well keep on dreaming Szczesny, you are better with your hands than feet

  123. weedonald says:

    From what I have seen over 3 seasons (2 at AFC) Szcesny has the following positives and liabilities:

    1)He is still learning the trade and can only improve.
    2)He is very tall and athletic, ideal for a world class keeper and great for covering a lot of the net when coming out.
    3)He has courage and heart and likes to order his players around.
    4) He loves the Arsenal and is committed to stay with us.
    5) He has great reflexes and a reach that can get to most shots.
    6) He has imprioved his distribution fromn last season.
    7) He is not Fabianski or Almunia.

    His difficulties include:

    1)Staying calm in high pressure circumstances (lacks maturity?)
    2)Seems to miss shots by inches, despite his great height. Is he daydreaming?
    3) Isn’t aggressive enough on free kicks and corners (most set pieces),
    4) Very young for an EPL keeper, and pretty much on his own at AFC.
    5) Needs an older head to help him and back him up when he is not ready for a game….maybe another keeper to spell him?
    6) Too impulsive in certain situations but being so huge, he can easily intimidate an oncoming attacker.
    7) Needs as much game time as he can get and needs to eat a bit of humble pie on occasion…all part of a keeper’s maturing.

    I believe Wenger want to bring in a more experienced keeper to spell Szcesny but can’t find anyone affordable and of equivalent quality to Szcesny. No EPL team will sell their starting keeper to reinforce their rivals.

  124. Mr Arsenal Guy says:

    Many people are blind to it but a S says Szczesny is the reason we are losing and i am afraid to say he should not be playing for a team in the top half and also mannone is slightly better as im afraid to say and he gets us penalties against us

  125. Mr Arsenal Guy says:

    Mannone is better, he has a 76.19% save rate and Szczesnys is only 65% or something

  126. gunner4life says:

    Szczesny is awesome, He makes great saves! We all love him, Nice Post Rocky, he is good enough

  127. There is definately a great deal to know about this issue.
    I love all the points you’ve made.

  128. kremy says:

    Very descriptive blog, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be
    a part 2?

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