Szczesny furious at 'childish' Arsenal


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Arsenal's late collapse at Craven Cottage on Monday evening was "childish", according to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal were leading 1-0 with 12 minutes remaining before Johan Djourou was sent off: Steve Sidwell and Bobby Zamora scored in the 85th and 93rd minutes respectively, condemning Arsenal to defeat.

While Szczesny admitted tiredness was a factor, he was obviously unimpressed with his team's lack of application. "We played 48 hours ago and then had to play with 10 men," he said after the Fulham game. "There was probably some tired legs but I think probably we should have kept the concentration and focus and we would have been fine. But it was a very childish performance in the end from us."

Szczesny believed the dismissal of Djourou, which so angered manager Arsène Wenger, turned the game. "I thought for 85 minutes we defended really well with 11 men and they never looked like scoring," he said, "and then, when we had to play with 10 men, they looked very dangerous."

As Arsenal attempt to regain their place in the top four, as well as FA Cup and Champions League challenges, Szczesny is thrilled by the imminent return of club legend Thierry Henry, whom he said Arsenal "need".

"He's quality," said the goalkeeper. "He's a great finisher and he's very clever, very intelligent, plus he's a great figure to have in the dressing room. He helps all the players off the pitch as well as on it, so it's great to have him. Hopefully everything will be confirmed as soon as possible, because we need him."

After a hectic period, Arsenal have some rest; a week between their defeat at Fulham and their FA Cup third-round home tie with Leeds United, in which Henry may make his return.

Szczesny suggested their defeat to Fulham was a product of the hectic Christmas and New Year schedule, but hoped Arsenal could now make up lost ground. "The fixtures comes think and fast and players get tired and these kind of results can happen," he said.

"We were hoping to take advantage of that [other teams dropping points] and were disappointed. Hopefully in the coming weeks we can do much better."