Tuesday 16 January 2018

Arsenal keeper Szczesny distances himself from dad’s outburst

Wojciech Szczesny has lost his place in the Arsenal team
Wojciech Szczesny has lost his place in the Arsenal team

Mark Bryans

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has distanced himself from comments made by his father about Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and admits current first-choice Lukasz Fabianski has been in better form.

In an interview with Przeglad Sportowy, Maciej Szczesny accused Arsenal manager Wenger of using his son as a scapegoat for the club's poor season.

Maciej Szczesny made the comments after Wojciech was dropped for the second leg of Arsenal's Champions League tie with Bayern Munich last week, with Wenger claiming the 22-year-old had been "mentally affected" by the number of games played.

The Poland international was then put on the bench for the Barclays Premier League win at Swansea, where compatriot Fabianski kept a second consecutive clean sheet.

Maciej claimed Wenger dropped his son as he was searching for a scapegoat following a poor run of form but Wojciech has revealed he expected to be dropped.

"I'm a realist," he told Przeglad Sportowy.

"I saw what is happening in training, who is in better form. The manager told me earlier, what will happen in the next few weeks. I was ready to watch the Bayern game on TV.

"Of course, I would have preferred to play, but Lukasz was in better form and he played a very good game. This decision is made based on player's form. The same happens with strikers; the striker who is scoring goals is playing.

"I don't think there is a player more important than the club. If the team won two games, and I was not playing, then I have no complaints. The most important thing is that the team is winning, and the player who is in better form will play."

Szczesny also used Arsenal's official website to release a statement apologising for the comments made by his father.

"I would like to apologise for the comments made by my father which have been used by both Polish and English media," the statement read.

"I'd like to make it clear that those were the views and opinions of my father and not mine, and although I respect his views I cannot accept them as I find them disrespectful to the club I truly love.

"I have been at Arsenal Football Club for seven years now and I have always shown my full respect to the club, Arsene Wenger, all the coaching staff, my team-mates and the fans.

"I've always felt that I received great support from the manager and the fans and I am fully focused on getting back to my best.

"I am proud to be a part of Arsenal and I see my future at this great club."

Szczesny's father, a former Poland international himself, was quoted as saying yesterday: "Wenger already started to look for the scapegoat. It is not the way the boss should behave.

"Wojciech has had two serious injuries. He played with one in April and May (last year). He shouldn't have agreed to play that time, but the coach insisted.

"Wojciech did not train the whole week and then a warm-up on Friday and played the match on Saturday. He was naturally more susceptible to minor injuries and his form was going down.

"In my opinion Mr Wenger messed up a lot in April and May. I don't blame the young man who went along with his coach, his current lack of form is a result of those two months."

Press Association

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