Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed his reasons behind dropping number one goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny ahead of the decisive Champions League match with Bayern Munich this evening.
The Gunners go into the second leg against Munich 3-1 down after being thumped at the Emirates Stadium a few weeks ago, and face an uphill battle to stay in the competition.
When announcing the 18-man squad that will fly to Germany, Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski were left out due to injury, however Szczesny had no injury but was still omitted from the squad, which sent the rumour mill into overdrive, with fans and pundits alike speculating as to why the Polish international was left out.
Before the tie, Wenger revealed that he feels Szczesny needs a break from action as he has featured heavily since the start of the season, and he believes he has been effected mentally by the recent dramas at the club.
Speaking to the club's official website, Wenger said: "He has played many games and [been under] a lot under pressure. And recently, he had one or two games where he was performing less.
"With goalkeepers it's always a difficult problem. Do you keep them in to find confidence back or do you give them a breather?
"I decided to give him a breather just to refresh him and [so that he would] not be under increasing pressure, because once people start speaking about you, you think, ‘Now I cannot afford any [errors]’ and that's when you make mistakes."
Despite not taking Szczesny, Wenger has reassured him that he still has full-faith in the goalkeeper.
"It is only his second season at the top level. If you look at the number of goalkeepers at the top level, you do not have many of that age," said Wenger.
"It is only his second season. Sometimes you need a little refreshing period. I also used him in the FA Cup - he has played many games and mentally that is difficult to absorb with such pressure at a big club because everything you do is analysed."
Lukas Fabianski will start in goal for the Gunners as Vito Mannone is still recovering from a minor injury.
Earlier in the week, it was reported that Wenger was looking into signing a new goalkeeper in the summer with Barcelona's Victor Valdes and Liverpool's Pepe Reina at the top of his wishlist.
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