Wenger has faith in under-fire Szczesny
Published 29/03/2013 | 13:27
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny should be very proud of already having made 100 first-team appearances - and recalled even legendary number one David Seaman had his "blips".
The Poland stopper has not featured for the last two matches before the international break, decisions which brought outspoken comments from his father. The 22-year-old moved quickly to distance himself from that direct criticism of Wenger, insisting he was happy to fight for his place, having come through the Arsenal youth system after joining in 2006.
"That (100 appearances) is a huge credit to him, something absolutely fantastic and shows he has a great future," Wenger said in an interview with Arsenal Player.
"What is happening to him at the moment is just a normal process of any career - we had (Jens) Lehmann, (David) Seaman, they had their blips and their periods where they were less good, even when they were more experienced than Wojciech."
Wenger must decide whether to recall Szczesny for Saturday's visit of relegation-battlers Reading, but has drawn a line under the recent selection row.
"I haven't spoken to him (about his father's comments), but I believe he responded very well. There is a not a lot more to say," the Gunners boss said. "We are in a competitive world, he has played 100 games for this club and at his age that is absolutely fantastic. For the rest, we have ups and downs in our form and we have to fight against that, that is what he said, basically.
"Wojciech has a great future. He is a very young goalkeeper. You do not find very many goalkeepers at his age who have the experience he has already, that is why I believe he has a great future, but he lives in a world where competition exists."
Arsenal's win at Swansea moved them back to within four points of Tottenham, who have played a game more. Wenger knows the race for Champions League football is set to go to the wire.
"It is the sprint for the line now and we want to continue our run, to have the satisfaction where we want to be at the end of the season," said Wenger, whose team have recorded five wins and suffered just one defeat, at White Hart Lane, in their past seven league outings.
"It is just down to consistency, you try to achieve that on your own side knowing all teams can drop points everywhere, so you want to be the team who drops less, and if possible not at all. That is the only attitude we can have to be successful."