Exclusive: Arsenal goalkeeper wants his remarkable record to continue
Wojciech Szczesny is gunning for Wembley and even more clean sheets
WHISPER it quietly but Wojciech Szczesny has a little secret he is rather hoping continues – the young Polish goalkeeper has NEVER let a goal in for the Arsenal first-team.
Szczesny has kept clean sheets in both the fourth round and quarter-final Carling Cup wins over Newcastle United and Wigan, just as he did when he made his debut in the competition last season in a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in round three at the Emirates.
Those 270 minutes without conceding have added to the belief that in the 20-year-old from Warsaw, Arsenal might finally have the found the long-term answer to their goalkeeping problem.
“I’m starting to wonder if I will ever concede a goal for Arsenal” joked the 6ft 5ins keeper whose English-speaking is as perfect as his clean sheet statistics.
“Actually I’m not thinking that at all, I’m keeping my feet on the ground but I am going to keep working hard and making sure that when I get my chance I put in a good performance.
“Whatever the circumstances are I want to keep a clean sheet, and I have managed to do it twice this season, and I hope I get more opportunities to show that I am capable of doing it again.”
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He looks likely to get that chance in January’s two semi-final games with Ipswich Town, with a place in February’s Carling Cup final at Wembley at stake.
“At this club you want to win every competition you take part in, whether it’s the Carling Cup or the Champions League. We want to win everything if we can,” added Szczesny.
“This is the first trophy we can win early in 2011 and we are looking forward to the semi-finals. Then hopefully we can get to Wembley too.
Wembley would be a far cry from where Szczesny finished last season, playing on loan at League One Brentford. But like many young Arsenal stars, he believed the loan spell where he started 28 games and became a fans’ favourite, has greatly improved him.
“I really enjoyed my time with Brentford,” he added. “It was a great opportunity for me and I think I did well there. I still look out for their results now and I went back to a game and to see people the other week.
“It taught me a lot about football and how hard you have to work to win, and now I want to do the same here at Arsenal.”