Smoking in the showers? Honestly, I don't quite know what to make of it all if the reports are correct. I don't understand why a first team goalkeeper aged 24 would think about doing that, especially following defeat where a large slice of the blame lands on your doorstep.
In all honesty, I don't really care very much about this story, I just don't understand it. I don't agree with professional footballers smoking but many do it, that's not the point. The point is, try putting yourself in the position of Szczesny. How responsible and down you may feel after a defeat like that against a side one place above you in the table and then, this is the important part. Knowing how those actions would be frowned upon by the manager and his coaching staff. Yet he did so anyway. Allegedly.
I don't know any details of the story if there is any story. I don't know if I've missed some information, not sure I can be bothered to read around but perhaps the manager and keeper had words in the dressing room about the goals conceded, maybe Szczesny went into rebellion mode and said F*** it!
I don't know but I'm certainly interested as I am sure the press are to have a glance at the team sheet before kick off against Stoke City.
So here is a question for you, answer this honestly. Would you discipline Szczesny and demote him based on the incident? Not his form but the incident?
Ok, if you answered emphatically yes then would you answer be the same if Alexis got fed up after the Saints game and sparked up? Would a fine be enough for Alexis?
I haven't been overly impressed with Szczesny this season but neither am I totally convinced of those challenging him. I liked watching Martinez during his spell in the side but he is young and will make mistakes just as Szczesny has. David Ospina comes with a good reputation but I dunno, just haven't felt very secure when I've seen him but hey, it's not based on my very early feelings. The manager and coaches will watch our keepers a number of times a week and will know what is best for the team. At least I hope so.
David Hytner from the Guardian has written a piece about Szczesny keeping his place for the weekend and you have to imagine Arsenal would have wanted to come out quickly and defuse this situation. As inconsistent as Szczesny has been this season it was only a few days ago where he put in a truly commanding performance at West Ham, catching ball after ball. From the little I have seen of our current number 2, I don't see that being his game. My early impression is that Ospina is a quick sweeper keeper, good at one on ones and can play out from the back. The usual traits that Arsène wants in his keepers given how we play the game but I wonder if larger sides would target him rather than Szczesny who doesn't really have that label attached to him the way that perhaps Fabianski did or Almunia before him.
I am kinda up for putting the story behind us now. If the player truly has discipline problems then Arsène can address that if he sees fit in whichever window he chooses. For now, he is the best we have, at least from what I've seen and I'd be more than happy for him to remain in the side and put in the type of display he showed at West Ham, anymore of the Southampton stuff and it could be worth taking him out of the firing line so to speak.
Lastly before I go to bed I want to quickly touch on our strikers. The maths are not working out for me right now. It looks like Danny Welbeck has replaced Lukas Podolski as the former seems to be a fixture on the left. Even if Giroud is missing, Arsène selects Alexis as central striker. Yaya Sanogo is going on loan somewhere, hopefully somewhere in the Premier League. There is talk of Joel Campbell going on loan somewhere also. So I'm struggling with that. We can say we have Walcott, we have Chamberlain etc but we know what Arsène wants from a centre forward and it's why Walcott has played 99% of his games on the right for Arsenal.
So are we clearing the decks for another striker? Is Arsène not happy with our profligacy? It wouldn't surprise me if that was how the manager was feeling.
There has been constant talk of Cavani to Arsenal, mainly from Twitter which is pretty routine at this time of year. This is my take on Cavani and Arsène Wenger. I believe that Arsène wanted to buy him before he moved to PSG. I remember Arsène talking about the advantage French teams had with their wealth in the market soon after they bought him. He seemed a little agitated. Can't find that interview for the life of me. That was last summer when we needed a centre forward and we bought Mesut Özil. I think Cavani would be extremely difficult to buy in January plus his wages would more than likely be way more than we would be willing to pay, especially given the size of the transfer fee. So basically I reckon Arsène would like to have him at Arsenal but it won't happen. Whether he has his eyes on someone else, I don't know. Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree and he believes what he has is enough. Maybe Giroud, Welbeck and Alexis is enough number wise to play centrally, even if he has moved away from Welbeck in that role recently.
Basically if Sanogo and Campbell follow Podolski out then my ears will prick up and I wouldn't be shocked to see a new forward at the club. There seems to be other stuff going on with Perrin and Bielik but let's see what happens. Right now, I don't care too much unless something comes of it. That's not to say this stance will last but I am enjoying that stance for now.
'til next time.
PS - There was no post match podcast for the Hull match. It will be mentioned post Stoke so keep your eyes open for that.