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Does Wojciech Szczesny Still Have a Future at Arsenal?

Roma's goalkeeper from Poland Wojciech Szczesny celebrates after teammate Roma's forward from Ivory Coast Gervinho scored during the Italian Serie A football match Fiorentina vs AS Roma on October 25, 2015 at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI

When the likes of Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone departed Arsenal, it was evident that Wojciech Szczesny was going to be the club’s No. 1 for years to come… so he thought. He was closing in on 200 appearances for the club and he didn’t believe that David Ospina would be a threat but when he messed up badly against Southampton at St. Mary’s, he paved the way for the Colombian and he found himself on the fringes at the club.

Then Arsenal made a bold move in the summer – signing Petr Cech from rivals, Chelsea. Many believed that Ospina would be shipped out to accommodate the big Czech but no one, including Szczesny, saw the Polish shot stopper leaving the club after so many years of service but hey, that’s football.

A few months on, Szczesny now plies his trade for AS Roma and he’s playing consistent football for the Italian giants that are currently sitting on third place in the Serie A table after seven wins, two draws and two defeats in their firts 11 games, but Szczesny still harbors hopes of playing for the Gunners again,

“Anything can happen in nine months, so I don’t know what will happen at the end of the season. However Arsenal are like my family. If somebody would have told me a year ago that I would be playing for Roma I wouldn’t have believed them, but this is football.

“I must admit that if Arsenal called me back I would say yes.”

As it stands, it’s only Arsene Wenger that can determine whether Szczesny still has a future at Arsenal. Cech is 33 and is raking in the clean sheets like crazy and I expect him to be in Arsenal’s goal for many years. Ospina has more or less accepted his status as the deputy goalie so it’s going to be interesting to see how the situation is managed by Wenger.

If I’m Szczesny, I would focus on doing well at Roma. I’m pretty sure Wenger has deployed some scouts to Italy to monitor his progress. It’s too early for the goalie to start thinking about his Arsenal future.


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Diaby Reveals Why He Joined Marseille and More Players Leave on Loan

Good luck Abou

Time truly waits for no man.

I’m scheduled to travel offshore next week so I’ve been heavily involved in some front end activity here at work. Surprisingly, the last two days have waltzed past me and I’ve not even had the time to write anything on the blog. Its times like this I wished I had a columnist that could hold the fort when I’m not available but it’s aii. These things happen.

As we eagerly anticipate the Community Shield between the Gunners and those Rent Boys, their manager has been on the news lately and I wouldn’t even bother you with the bullcrap he has been spitting from his pile hole recently. I know Arsene Wenger hasn’t defeated him in 13 attempts but all records are meant to be broken. More on the Community Shield in the coming days.

The club has finally confirmed that Wojciech Szczesny has completed his long-awaited loan move to AS Roma and Arseblog wrote a rather emotional piece about the goalie, which in my honest opinion was a very good read, so help yourselves out. That’s if you haven’t seenit already. I’ve shared my thoughts on the Szczesny to Roma issue as well, so there’s no point dwelling on it anymore.


Elsewhere, the club has also confirmed that youngster, Jon Toral, will play the 2015/16 campaign in Birmingham City. Toral was loaned to Brentford last season and he made 37 appearances for the Bees, scoring six goals which included a scintillating hat-trick against Blackpool. Birmingham hasn’t returned to the Premier League since their relegation in the 2010/11 campaign but they’d fondly remember the Capital One Cup victory over the Gunners that season. Arsenal has had its fair share of contingent that have played for the club in the past with Lord Nicklas Bendtner featuring consistently for the club in the 2006/07 season, scoring 13 goals in 48 appearances for the club. Aliaksandr Hleb featured for the club as well, and he suffered the ignominy of relegation.

Szczesny and Toral will join the likes of Yaya Sanogo (Ajax) and Carl Jenkinson (West Ham) as players that have been farmed out on loan and I’d expect more players to join this list.

You also must be aware that everyone’s sweetheart, Abou Diaby, has returned home to play for Marseille. Just a few weeks ago, he was pretty close to signing for West Brom and Sky Sports even reported that he was due to go for a medical with the Baggies, but the move fell through for reasons best known to the injury gods of Novigrad, Velen and Skellige.

Diaby made 182 appearances in nine-and-a-half years for the Gunners but sadly, he made only two appearances in his last two seasons with the club. In an exclusive interview with RMC Sport, Diaby has revealed his reasons for leaving the Gunners, snubbed a move to West Brom and joined Marseille,

“It was knowing which club would help me the best medically. That was my real priority. I had very, very advanced talks with West Brom. But I found Marseille was better. I thought: why not come back to France?

“I don’t want to draw emotional conclusions. The reality is different. I haven’t played for two years. I need to rebuild myself, to put myself in a good place to play football again. It wasn’t an easy choice, but it was my choice.”

“I had hard times in those nine years, but some beautiful moments. I had the chance to get to know Arsene Wenger, who is a truly great coach and a great man, too.

“I regret that I wasn’t able to show all my qualities and potential. Now, a new chapter begins.”

His time at Arsenal was riddled with injuries and he has identified Marseille as a club that could help him medically. I wish him the very best in this new chapter of his life and I hope he realizes that potential we couldn’t see at Arsenal because of his injuries.


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Szczesny on Loan to Roma: Good for the Player and the Club

Here I am at Osubi Airstrip in Warri as I wait patiently for my flight back to Lagos to be announced. My stay in the city was worthwhile as I got to hang out with my friends as well as having a successful alignment meeting with the Department of Petroleum Resources. It’s always good to have meaningful engagements with your regulators you know.

When Wojciech Szczesny followed AS Roma, Francesco Totti and Alessandro Florenzi on Instagram, many fans thought that he had done it because things were in place for him to leave the club and play for the Romans. Their thoughts seem to be true.

ESPN recently published an article that AS Roma officials have began negotiations to secure the services of the Polish shot stopper on loan. It is believed that Roma harbored some faint hopes of making the deal permanent, but Arsenal was quick to quash to faint hopes. Szczesny will play on loan for the Italian giants for an entire season, and that’s it.

For the Romans, getting Szczesny would be a superb short-term fix for the club as they aim to challenge Juventus for the Scudetto and go far in this season’s Champions League. Morgan de Santics and Bogdan Lobont are currently on the club’s books but they are aging veterans that have given their all to the club and in Szczesny, the team would have a goalie that is ready to challenge them for a first-team berth.

It’s funny how things change in the twinkle of an eye. While David Ospina was busy flying his country’s flag, Arsenal secured the services of Petr Cech and if you pay £10.9m for a legendary veteran like Cech, you’re not going to put him on the bench. So rumors started flying that Fenerbahce had agreed personal terms with Ospina and all that crap and it brought mixed opinions, as some Gunners wished that it was Szczesny that got the boot instead – I guess their wishes came through.

Szczesny was somewhat elated with the arrival of Cech as he hoped to learn a lot from the Czech goalie but with the Pole moving to Italy, I think he has to put a rain check on his Goalkeeping 101 for Dummies class with Cech.

On the short term, a move to Roma would allow Szczesny experience new surroundings, and a new style of football that is Serie A. He has been around far too long at Arsenal and an air of complacency fell into his game as he saw the likes of Manuel Almunia, Vito Mannone and Lukasz Fabianski leave the club.

Moving to Roma will see Szczesny come back in the 2016/17 season refreshed and Wenger would assess his situation and make a decision on what his forward path would be.

I wish Woj the very best in his imminent experience in Italy.



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