The Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny can count himself lucky that he got his starting place back from Lukascz Fabianski. It was only the rib injury to his Polish international team mate that let Szczesny back in. He could have been in the same situation as the Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen, who has played just once since the derby defeat by Tottenham and that was because Per Mertesacker was suspended.
The two players were dropped at the same time and Szczesny has been very impressed with the way Laurent Koscielny and Mertesacker have performed as a defensive pairing since then, conceding just three goals in eight games. The keeper has been much better since returning, although the centre backs in front of him have made his job a lot easier.
“I think they’ve been terrific,” said Szczesny. “Not only defending very well but also creating goals for us at the other end, like they did last week against Fulham.
“They’re getting the credit they deserve because they work very hard and they’re very honest lads. I’m very happy for them and it’s much easier to play behind them when they are in that kind of form.”
The keeper is under no illusions that Arsenal will have things their own way in the last three games, even though QPR are down, while Wigan and Newcastle are in the bottom five. He does feel, however, that the Gunners have proved that we will fight all thew way and that will see us achieve what we need to.
“I am confident that we will be,” he said.
“At this point of the season, it doesn’t really matter who we play because I don’t think the game against Wigan will be any easier than the game against Manchester United.
“Wigan are fighting relegation, QPR will play for their pride and Newcastle on the last day of the season is not exactly an easy game as well.
“I don’t think it matters who we play, but we have sent a message by not losing, which makes our unbeaten run a little bit longer. We’ve sent a message to the teams around us that we are up for a fight.”
We certainly have, but Arsenal will need to show some composure and quality in those last three games. The defence has proved itself very tight, but we need goals as well.