Four clean sheets into the new year and David Ospina is getting the rating as the Number 1 goalie in the opinions of Arsenal fans. Not for Wenger, though, as the manager maintains his firm faith in Szczesny, stating he remains open to the possibility of recalling the young Pole to his first-choice role.
Wenger was forced to relegate Szczesny to the bench following his horrow show at Southampton, a defeat not helped by the player’s decision to ‘celebrate’ his shame by getting smoky in the showers. Ospina has since replaced him in goal for League games but despite successfully holding out the opposition with very confident showings, the Arsenal boss will not slam the window of redemption shut on his Polish protégé just yet.
“David Ospina has had some time to settle because he was injured when he arrived here,” Wenger said, according to the Daily Star.
“During that time we could see his dedication, his focus and his quality. He’s in a fight with Wojciech Szczesny to start at the moment.
“Wojciech is the No.1 but David has played recently. Can he retain the shirt in the coming games? We’ll decide that.”
Ospina made two good saves in the last home game against Aston Villa, the first a show of good reflexes and awareness to keep the team in the lead going into half time. Arsenal’s next game is the crunch North London derby at Tottenham this Saturday and surely Wenger will continue with him. The last away League game at City had been tagged his big test after an easy game against Stoke, but seeing he was part of a united solid defensive game on the day, you wouldn’t put it beyond him keeping his place going into the next game at home to Leicester.
Szczesny had had his chance since that unfortunate day at St. Mary’s but would not have been proud of his defenders not helping him keep a clean sheet in what was a good, straightforward win against Brighton. None of their goals could be blamed on him but there were obvious signs of a man trying to show remorse in his game, even if he was not entirely convincing.
He will be gutted not to be in line to start against Spurs as he did not concede against them in two meetings last season and will now have to watch from the bench to see if his deputy will slip up to give him a chance to return.
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