Wojciech Szczesny is a brilliant keeper and with a bit of luck and hard work could become a legend at Arsenal, right up there with the likes of David Seaman and Bob Wilson.
However, his rash challenge on Ashley Cole betrayed a lack of maturity. He has done that a couple of times before and while his decision making is not quite up to scratch, I’m confident it will improve with experience and he will go on to become a superb keeper.
Another example of immaturity came in the aftermath of the game when he tweeted the following:
“I don’t know why I stayed on the pitch but WHAT A GAME!! Great spirit, great atmosphere and a great win!”
Now there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the result and I understand he was excited and buoyant, but was it really necessary to comment on the potential red card incident? The decision has been hotly debated with opinion split down the middle — for example, Graham Poll said it was a wrong one in his Daily Mail column while Dermot Gallagher claimed a yellow card was the right call on TalkSport.
So as the incident is not clear cut, why risk annoying Mariner and other referees by seeming to mock the decision? He may not have meant it to be a derogatory comment, but “I don’t know why I stayed on the pitch” could easily be interpreted as “What a terrible decision by Mariner!”
I love you Szczesny, but some opinions don't need to be tweeted
No ref likes to hear someone say he got it wrong, least of all a player he’s just given the benefit of the doubt to. Szczesny’s tweet has been read by his numerous followers and picked up on by the media, including Gary Lineker reading it out on Match of the Day, so almost everybody in football has now heard his comments. My worry is that referees are a tight-knit bunch and they won’t take kindly to a fellow ref being criticised unnecessarily by a seemingly ungrateful young player.
I know it’s not like he’s racially abused Anton Ferdinand or called the ref a twat, but the next time Szczesny hares out of his area like a rabid dog and takes out a fellow pro, his comments will be in the back of the ref’s mind as he decides which card to reach for. That’s not a situation we really want and I think young Szczesny has made a rookie error and should’ve kept that particular opinion to himself.
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