The greatest cliche in World Football “If you’re good enough then you’re old enough.” Well, okay there are cliches aplenty in football but this one is very apt here.
Arsenal under Wenger have always given young players their chance. At 17 and 18 years of age Fabregas, Wilshere, Ramsey and Watt among many more have got an opportunity to play for the Senior team. So what’s stopping Wenger given Wojciech Szczesny his chance between the post?
Yes, goalkeepers normally flourish later than others but there are exceptions to the rule. Igor Akinfeev made his debut for CSKA Moscow at 17, Russian debut at 18 and to date has played 177 times for the Moscow club and has 40 international caps and he has just turned 24. Meanwhile, Iker Casillas is just 29 (another decade left in him?) but has been first choice ‘keeper for Real Madrid for eleven seasons and has 103 Spanish caps to his name. Neither CSKA or Madrid baulked at putting in such young keepers so why should Arsenal?
Sometimes you have to take a chance and our young Pole could be one well worth taking. Almunia has to be dropped from first choice, I’d trust my cat to look after my hamster before I’d trust Fabianski to keep a clean sheet and Mannone seems to have exited to the wilderness again.
Szczesny is an extremely brave young man who is not afraid to exert his influence on his own team or the opposition. During his time at Brentford he has gone down extremely well with the fans who reckon he is good enough to be Arsenal number one. Laugh as you might but the lower leagues are no laughing matter for goalkeepers who get roughed up big time. But Szczesny was able for it, more than able for it. Last April, Brentford manager Andy Scott said: “His performances suggest that he would not be out of place in the Championship or even the Premier League. It has reached the stage where when he lets in a goal we wonder why he hasn’t saved it.” Would make a nice change from us wondering why and how Almunia/Fabianski saved a shot as opposed to blundering it in over the line.
Arsène Wenger has said “I believe one day he will be the No 1 at Arsenal certainly, but we will see next season. It is down to his performances.”
Well here it is on a plate for you Arsene, Almunia is cack, Fabianski is cack so give Chesney his chance. he certainly looks good enough so you know it – he’s old enough.