Wojciech Szczesny's miserable 2015 is about to get a little bit worse after The Mail claimed he is set to lose his place in the Poland national squad.
The goalkeeper is still paying the price for a New Year's Day horror show at St Mary's. Two clangers helped Southampton to a 2-0 victory over the Gunners and Szczesny drowned his sorrows by smoking in the dressing room showers.
He was reportedly fined £20,000 for smoking and his poor performance has given David Ospina chance to establish himself as Arsenal's first choice shot-stopper. So far the Colombian has suitably impressed, keeping four clean sheets in six games.
Lack of playing time
Meanwhile Szczesny has played just once, a FA Cup game against Brighton and Hove Albion, in which two goals were conceded. It also clarified where Szczesny is in Arsene Wenger's mind. The Arsenal manager has historically used cup competitions to give his reserve goalkeeper a run out.
The lack of game time is set to cost Szczesny on the international stage as well with Poland manager Adam Nawalka recently visiting England to watch Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc in action. Boruc already has 59 caps for Poland but has been out of favour since Szczesny emerged as Arsenal's first choice goalkeeper.
Article continues below
Boruc may not be playing at the top level of English football, but he is playing week-in, week-out for the south coast side. The fact that Bournemouth are fighting for promotion to the Premier League is also helping his cause.
There is reportedly a lot of disappointment from Arsenal coaches that Szczesny has not made the most of not only his enormous potential but the equally enormous faith that Wenger put in him from a young age.
The Gunners boss tied Szczesny down to a long-term contract worth a reported £100,000-a-week when he appeared to be on course to reach a world-class standard, but a lack of competition has been his undoing.
While Jose Mourinho has been shrewd, keeping Petr Cech at the club to push Thibaut Courtois to get better, Szczesny has never had any significant competition for his place. Even with Ospina, there is a feeling that the Colombian will slip up and Szczesny will come back in.
It would be no surprise to hear that Szczesny thinks along the same lines and is just waiting for the chance to come to him rather than him going to it. Wenger needs to take the blame for that as he decided against signing Hugo Lloris when he was still at Lyon.
That decision has not only gifted their local rivals a world-class goalkeeper, but prevented one of Arsenal's biggest academy talents to rest on his laurels.