Arsene Wenger has made it an Arsenal tradition that his reserve goalkeeper who plays in the FA Cup games, even if it is a semi-final or Final, and this years demotion meant that Wojciech Szczesny was between the sticks against Reading yesterday.
It has already been proven that David Ospina has a MUCH better record than Szczesny, and I am certain that the Colombian would have saved the goal that Szczesny fumbled yesterday and would have saved us the trouble of played the extra 30 minutes, but that is just conjecture on my part I guess…
Immediately after the game, Wenger (as usual) did not want to publicly criticise the Pole. He said on Arsenal.com: “I have to watch it again. I thought it wasn’t in at first because it took some time for the referee to give the goal so I thought we escaped, but unfortunately not. Maybe on slow motion you could see that Wojciech goes back a little bit to save the ball with his feet and then when the ball bounces, the ball was certainly over the line. We have to analyse that but I think the cross before the goal shouldn’t have come in as well and then the scorer was free. There’s a combination of mistakes but Reading really wanted it and were ready to die on the pitch to go to the final.”
Szczesny himself didn’t make any mention of his part in the goal. He simply said: “It was unlucky. Fair play to the goal-line technology – you can’t even argue with the referees any more! I’ve just seen the replay now and it’s clearly gone in.”
Personally I can’t understand it. When the cross came over going to the other side of the goal, Szczesny made sure he was in the right position to stop the ball, but somehow didn’t get any clean contact on it and it ended up in the net. It looked clumsy and amateurish to me, and I just don’t think it is worth the risk of him playing in the Final. Do you?