I wrote an article last week explaining why I thought Wojciech Szczesny should come back into the Arsenal starting line-up for the FA cup clash away to Brighton on Sunday. Whether Arsene Wenger brought the Polan international back for the same reasons, we don’t know, but I thought it was a great chance for Szczesny to excel and show that he should retain the status of first choice keeper for the Gunners.
He didn’t really do that though and it has been suggested that his positioning could have been better for the Seagulls’ first goal which beat him at the near post. I did think that Szczesny would prove to be the better keeper as long as he could keep his head right, but I am starting to change my mind.
David Ospina, after all, has done nothing wrong. Since his debut in the Capital One Cup defeat to Southampton, the Colombian international has conceded just one goal and that was a penalty conceded by Szczesny against Galatasaray. And while Ospina has told Arsenal Player that his recent clean sheets owe a lot to the defenders in front of him, he has made plenty of saves in those games and has commanded his area as well.
Our new keeper always seems to be in command and switched on and he puts that down to the fact that English football does not allow you to switch off because you will be punished.
He said, “[The defenders] helped a lot. They’re great players and great people. That has really helped me.
“They’re very experienced players. We hope to keep winning, keep learning every day and keep making the most of the opportunities we get.
“[As a goalkeeper] you try to help the team by giving them confidence from the back and keeping a clean sheet.
“Having said that, not conceding is a group effort, and I think the team did extremely well in that regard against City. From the defenders right through to the strikers, we all worked hard to win the ball back, and that was very important in terms of getting the result.
“English football is very direct. You have to be focused for the entire 90 minutes because you can score or concede at any moment.
“The football here is really physical and nobody wants to give an inch – that’s what I think makes this great league so exciting and special.”
Maybe it is that attitude that is the difference between the Arsenal keepers, because Szczesny can be overconfident at times, whereas it appears that Ospina responds well to pressure. The fact that he conceded the fewest goals in the group stages of the World Cup finals backs that up and also suggests that he is not going to give up his place in the Arsenal team easily. Is he set to be our regular number one?