Wojciech Szczesny says benching was important.
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has admitted he suffered from complacency last season before being benched in favour of fellow Pole Lukasz Fabianski.
Szczesny was dropped following defeats to Bayern Munich and Tottenham in February last term and only regained his place in April when Fabianski was injured in a clash with Norwich City’s Grant Holt.
The Gunners were linked with a host a goalkeepers over the summer and signed Palermo’s Emiliano Viviano on a season-long loan deal on deadline day.
Szczesny has started this season as the club’s number one but has admitted he became complacent during the course of the previous campaign.
“He had some bad luck with injuries and I knew every single day that I was going to be playing on Saturday,” Szczesny told Arsenal Player.
“Subconsciously you maybe take it easier in your head and only give 98 per cent in training and not 110 per cent. It’s very important to have the competition.
“It wasn’t nice [to be left out] – you want to be playing every week. But then again, the most important thing is the team and that is what the team needed.
“Lukasz was in better shape at that moment in time, he came in and did really well. I worked really hard to get back into the team and when I did I thought I did pretty well. It was good decision by the manager.
“I worked on my fitness and sharpness and came in much earlier every day to work in the gym with the fitness coaches and the physios. There was a lot of stuff to be done – I realised I wasn’t in the best shape, but it all worked out pretty well.”
Despite the arrival of Viviano, Szczesny is hopeful he can retain his place and has targeted silverware this season.
“Hopefully I can be the Club’s No 1 this season. It is important, I want to win a trophy for this club because that is what is missing in my career and I’m sure it is what the fans have been missing. It’s a big season.”