Wojciech Szczesny was left fuming after Arsene Wenger named him on the bench for Arsenal's game against Stoke City, reports The Mirror.
Few pundits were surprised to see David Ospina start ahead of Szczesny in the 3-0 win on Sunday afternoon. The Polish stopper was fined £20,000 after he was caught smoking in the showers after a particularly bad performance against Southampton.
Reports suggested that Szczesny could be dropped for the rest of the season but the player himself was under the impression that he would keep his place as Arsenal's first choice goalkeeper.
Szczesny reacted furiously after finding out that Ospina would start ahead of him and now faces a fight to regain his position after the Colombian performed well. Arsenal have kept consecutive clean sheets with Ospina between the sticks and Wenger will be considering him as a full-time number one.
Wenger himself insisted that Szczesny remained Arsenal's first choice goalkeeper despite the decision to omit him from the starting XI against the Potters. He did, however, say that he has not decided which goalkeeper will start against Manchester City next weekend.
Sulking on the bench
“I don’t know, I haven’t made a decision yet,” Wenger is quoted in the same report as saying. “I made a decision for today’s game. Szczesny is our number one, he is competing with Ospina and Martinez and that’s our job, we have to accept.”
Szczesny looked like a sulking teenager on Arsenal's substitutes bench and looked less than enthusiastic when warming up. It all adds to the reports that he was not happy when told his position was now under a clear and present threat.
The goalkeeper has been an almost ever present figure in Arsenal's team since he made his breakthrough in 2011. However, there is disappointment through the ranks that Szczesny, 25, has not yet reached his potential despite superior first team experience when compared to his peers of a similar age.
With Petr Cech likely to be available from Chelsea in the summer, Szczesny has a massive fight on his hands to stay at Arsenal. The challenge from Ospina is just the beginning.
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