What will Arsenal do without him?

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News has reached Arsenal fans that their goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has pulled out of Poland’s friendlies against South Korea and Belarus after picking up a back injury. The club has reported that it’s only a ‘minor’ injury, but given recent experience, fans will take this diagnosis with a pinch of salt.

These ‘minor’ injuries that are supposed to only sideline players for a couple of weeks more often than not nowadays seem to rule a player out of action for upwards of three months. Hopefully Szczesny will be fighting fit for Arsenal’s upcoming game against Sunderland, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Of course Szczesny has been subject to some criticism following his ‘blunder’ against Spurs at the weekend, where he let Karl Walker’s tame effort sneak in underneath him. But criticism amongst Arsenal fans has been almost non-existent given that everybody knows just how important he is for the team. He was brilliant against Tottenham and one mistake doesn’t make his injury any more devastating to Arsenal fans.

Personally I don’t think his absence from football over the next couple of weeks is a good thing for his psyche. Goal keepers don’t really need resting and the time off may allow for his mistake to play on his mind. This may in turn affect later performances. Whilst I think it would be better for him to ‘get back on the horse’ immediately, hopefully his big ego and ceaseless confidence will see him over this hump.

Arsenal fans may well suffer a degree of trepidation from the potential return of Lukasz Fabianski. But they’d do well to remember that ‘Flappy’ was playing pretty well before Szczesny took over. Though he didn’t look up to much early in his Arsenal career, he had began to show signs of quality and may well have established himself as a number one at the club had he not been competing with a genuine prodigy in the shape of Szczesny.

My only fear is that Fabianski may require a run of games in the team before he recovers his form. The Gunners desperately need to find their own form and start moving up the table. To this extent they can’t afford to give away cheap goals.

Could this concern see Arsene Wenger turn to Vito Mannone? It’ll be interesting to see how Arsene reacts to this one. One thing’s clear: Arsenal fans across the globe will have their fingers crossed that Szczesny makes a speedy recovery.

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