Arsenal - Szczesny, A Tenner & A Sack Of Badgers
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Szczesny, A Tenner & A Sack Of Badgers

It`s often said that "you don`t have to be mad to be a goal keeper, but it helps", and in the young Polish stopper, Wojciech Szczesny, we`ve clearly got one whose more mental than a bag of badgers.

Some of the greatest keepers of our time were off their rockers, most recently the aptly named Mad Jens, and as we saught to replace him, the more subtle and laid back attitudes of Manuel Almunia and Lukas Fabianski almost made it feel as they didn`t have the edge.

Yet over the last twelve months the completely bonkers Szczesny has blossomed into probably the finest goal keeper in the Premiership at this time.

The Big Pole has even now added further to his state of insanity by suggesting he`d put a cheeky bet on Arsenal to win the title this season, pulling a "Wenger" and claiming we could go the rest of the season unbeaten.

"I'd put a tenner on it! I completely believe in this Club and if we win every single game like we have been recently then why not?!

"Obviously the mood has turned around and so has the belief. We believe that we can win every single game and if we can do that we are confident. I think it's all about the spirit in the team now. There's obviously been a few good results and we've got our confidence back."

"I think we just need to keep going and show everyone that we can be consistent."

"I think we still have a point to prove. We've picked up a bit of form and a few good results but we still have something to prove. I think you have to judge us over the course of the season. If we can keep going as we have been in the last few weeks then we will show people how good we really are. I think it will still take a few weeks to prove to people that."

Now whether winning the title is even possible I seriously doubt, the start of the season was too horrendous and Manchester`s City and United are just to strong for us to overhaul, but that doesn`t mean Szczesny`s stance isn`t exactly what we should be thinking.

If our players get that winning mentality that we can suceed and emerge victorious in every match it will only go to strengthen that belief throughout the entire club. And we all know how fragile confidence could be. So whilst winning the title is way wide of the mark, that winning attitude is a welcome on.

Of course Szczesny saying he`d put a tenner on us to win the title doesn`t nessacarily mean he`s mental …. Just that out players are paid waaaaaaaay too much :)

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 7 2011

Time: 7:31AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I'm not sure what Chezza earns but even at £10,000 a week then it'll only take a few minutes to earn a tenner so maybe he's not sticking his neck out too far! This time last season Chelsea were storming the league putting 6 past the opposition in two of their games and a couple of other big scores too. ManU hadn't then won more games than we have at the same stage this season (though they hadn't lost any either). It's still way too early to call how the season will pan out but if we're in touch after the Xmas fixtures then we can at least take some satisfaction from that. This season was always going to be a tough call given the money others have been able to spend and the disruption that has caused us but we may not be in as bad a shape as some would have us believe either.
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07/11/2011 07:57:00

We can say that now Amos, a few weeks ago we were definately in a bad place, and we're still not completely out of it, there's still a cause for worry in certain areas, but it certainly does look much rosier. Wenger has often talked about 4th being like a trophy, and in my opinion that hasn't been the case, but this season after what took place in the four months before it started and how we performed at the start, it will be a great acheivement to get there, especially if we can have a good run in the other competitions.
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07/11/2011 08:00:00

"And I still think Arsenal are the most beautiful club in ­England. At Man City and Chelsea, they will never have that class and style." - Marco Van Basten ESPN
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07/11/2011 08:12:00

I've always liked that van basten chap. Always talks sense.
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07/11/2011 08:32:00

Its true that we are not as bad as many believed but the issue I have we are not in a nearly as good a position as we could have been. There is no excuse for a club with as massive resources as Arsenal FC to have found it self in the situation we where in erlier in the season.
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07/11/2011 08:33:00

Yea I agree about Van Basten. And he says it like it is and pulls no punches when he speaks up. Interesting to read though where he hints at the club needs to buy to ensure RvP signs a new contract.
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07/11/2011 08:42:00

I keep changing my mind with regards to the need to buy to secure RVP's signature. Part of me thinks that just a solid run in the league and cups will get him to stay, because i believe him to be a loyal man who loves Arsenal, but then I realise i know no such thing and I'm just guessing. One thing is clear, he's a winner and he wants trophies, he's getting on in years for a striker and this next contract will be his last big one.
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07/11/2011 09:10:00

A 4th place finish will be quite the accomplishment, and I'd be happy with that. Players need to keep their feet on the ground and not look too far ahead. Move up to 4th place first, build a decent lead over the 5th placed team, then all this talk can happen after that.
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07/11/2011 09:41:00

As for RvP, the moves in the Jan transfer window, followed by the summer, will influence his decision, it has to. I don't believe that he will move for more money, but he will certainly move to another club if there is a greater chance to win trophies there. Its all about the intent. Things are going well for the club now with recent results, but 1-2 more injuries could easily derail all the progress. I will be happy with more world class talent in the squad.
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07/11/2011 09:44:00

Things could have been better. They could have been worse too. What's important is that the club is still in a good position even if we're not where we want to be in the league. This may still prove to be a poor season by our aspirations and recent expectations but we'll still have the resources to give it another go the season after. As long as the club is sound there's no need to get too down when things aren't going well or over excited when they are. Much depends on the environment we have to compete in. If that changes it will only be slowly but our best chance of success is to sustain the ability to compete.
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07/11/2011 10:02:00

Another thing that could seriously influence RvP's decision would be what Mr Wenger is going to do. AW brought Rob here when he was in a bit of trouble emotionally and helped mould him into the player he is today, he also stood by him through those awful rape allegations. I reckon Rob feels a lot of loyalty to the boss. I think their contracts run out at the same time, I wouldn't be suprised to see their decisions on whether to sign an extension were identical.
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07/11/2011 10:04:00

Wenger's contract runs out at the end of the 2014 season, RvP's the at the end of the 2013 season. If RvP isn't willing to sign a new contract on sensible terms at the end of this season then it might make sense to sell him then. What sort of deal would we want to offer a striker taking him beyond 30 anyway?
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07/11/2011 10:11:00

2014? are you sure? I was under the impression the Boss only had 18 months left to run?
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07/11/2011 10:27:00

He signed a 3 year extension to his contract, originally scheduled to expire last summer (so maybe he now wishes he hadn't!), in August 2010.
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07/11/2011 10:35:00

I stand corrected.
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07/11/2011 10:37:00

if we win the league, i will give chezza a tenner and the rest of the squad as well !!!!!!!!!!!
cornish gooner
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07/11/2011 15:25:00

RvP deserves to be our highest earner by a mile, for his final contract here, unless we get a marquee signing in between. Wenger will do well to prevail on the board to jettison this salary cap thing or at least, update it to bring it up to speed with the realities of our times. I don't advocate 200k a week, but we should be able to pay as high as 160k/week. Another player who worries me, re contract re-negotiations, is Alex Song. Would he feel good knowing others, say Theo, are being offered more (80k, is it?) than he is likely to get? Song should, at the least, be on 80k otherwise we would have a sticky situation on our hands when other clubs come with better offers.
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07/11/2011 16:11:00

Ill dye my hair Frimpong...
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07/11/2011 16:28:00

RvP definately needs to know how much he means to us, and songs from the terrace isn't always enough. The sooner we get him tied down the happier I'll be. And if he won't sign, then we literally, tie him down. lol
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08/11/2011 09:15:00

We did sing for Cesc though.....and Nasri. See where that got us :-)
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08/11/2011 14:59:00


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