In the midst of the hustle and bustle following Tottenham Hotspur’s loss to Juventus, it was easy to miss some of the comments made by Wojciech Szczesny.
The Juve keeper, who spent many years on the books at the Emirates, had some fascinating things to say to The Guardian regarding the support of the North London club in the wake of The Old Lady progressing to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
“There were a couple [of Tottenham] fans – very vocal – next to my bench, who went missing after the 80th minute, so yeah, I enjoyed it. Plus winning at Wembley is always special.”
From these remarks alone it’s easy to see why many Gunners still hold the 27-year-old in a high regard, with many noting that the Pole has gone on to bigger and better things since leaving Arsenal.
Unfortunately, when you analyse the evidence, that fact becomes true of most goalkeepers who depart Arsene Wenger’s side. For one reason or another, they haven’t quite been able to nurture a number one to the point where they become a world-class player in the first team, with Petr Cech even experiencing some difficulties as of late.
Szczesny may come across as a ‘back-up’ to Gianluigi Buffon if you’re an outsider looking in on the situation, but in reality, he’s kept 12 clean sheets in 16 first team starts since joining the Italian giants. Sure, they’ve always been phenomenal defensively, but you still need to put in the hard work in order to gain a record like that.
Onwards and upwards
As Arsenal and Juventus continue on throughout the remainder of their respective seasons, it’ll be fascinating to see where Szczesny’s future in the game lies. Logically speaking he could wind up playing for another decade at the highest level, and if that happens, we’d imagine that he’ll want to head back to the British Isles for one more run with his beloved Arsenal.
Following a few months of pain for the Gunners, this is one of the many positives that they can take from this week, as they continue their quest to win the Europa League and gain entry into next season’s Champions League competition.
When it comes to the betting odds, Arsenal are still 150/1 outsiders to claim a place in the top four with Bet365.