I suggested before Arsenal travelled to Brighton for the 4th round of the FA cup yesterday that the game was a great chance for Wojciech Szczesny to lay down a marker and prove to Arsene Wenger that he should still be the first choice keeper for the Gunners.
And with Arsenal now involved in a tight race with the likes of Man United, Southampton and Liverpool to finish in the top four of the Premier League, there might not be too many chances for a second choice keeper at the club. And there are also rumours that the Arsenal boss might be looking for a new keeper in the summer, so the player who is sitting on the bench for the rest of this season could be looking for a new club at the end of it.
So did our Poland international do enough to regain his place? The short answer is no. There were only two shots on target from the home side and both of them ended in goals with the keeper possibly at fault for the first one at the near post. Brighton’s other shots were off target, but it does leave Szczesny with the unwanted stat of having conceded two without making a save.
And after three clean sheets in a row from Ospina, that is not good news for Shezzer. However, I did feel that Ospina has not been sorely tested since getting into the team, so I did a quick stat comparison on Squawka.com based on a 90 minute average from their EPL games.
And that does not help Szczesny’s cause either, with Ospina actually making more saves, catches and punches per game. The Pole beats the Colombian with his distribution but that is about it as Ospina has not made any errors and has not been booked, whereas Szczesny has and been sent off.
I know that stats can be misleading, especially with Ospina only having two EPL games under his belt, but at the same time I can see no reason for him to be dropped in favour of Szczesny and unless he does something bad in the games coming up, Szczesny may have to hope for an FA cup run to get any game time at all for the rest of the season. Is his whole Arsenal career at risk?