Arsenal season has been a failure, says Wojciech Szczesny

The Gunners should be competing for the Premier League title says keeper

Arsenal have an FA Cup final to look forward to – and the opportunity to scratch that embarrassing nine-year itch – as well as another entry into the play-offs for the next Champions League, but Wojciech Szczesny does not believe the season can be judged a success.

The Arsenal goalkeeper, who does not yet know whether he or Cup regular Lukasz Fabianski will start against Hull City at Wembley a week on Saturday, kept his 16th clean sheet in this Premier League campaign against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday to wrap up a weekend when the club confirmed their fourth place, one secured with a degree of comfort after Everton’s challenge faded.

“With two games to go we had nothing to play for at home and I think we shouldn’t really be in that position,” said Szczesny. “We should be fighting for the title.

“I believe that we should be in a position to challenge to win the Premier League. I never considered fourth place before the start of the season as a successful season and a good position. I play for Arsenal Football Club because I want to win the title every year. 

“Obviously at some point, when you lose games and you lose the chance to fight for the title, then the new challenge is to secure the Champions League spot, but I wouldn’t have taken it before the season.”

Arsenal sat on top of the Premier League from September to the start of February apart from one hiccup in mid-December but catastrophic defeats at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea ruined their prospects of remaining there. The contrast with their home defensive form is acute – 11 goals conceded in 19 games is the meanest (equal with Chelsea) of any team in the top flight. Away from home 13 Premier League clubs have tighter defences than Arsenal’s, who finish their campaign at Norwich on Sunday.

“At home our defensive record has been fantastic and we’ve managed to keep it going throughout the season,” said Szczesny. “Hopefully that’s something that we can take into the next few seasons. Hopefully we can improve our away defensive record because that hasn’t been very good.

“We dropped some important points and lost games and had to finish fourth when we weren’t probably the favourites to finish fourth. At least we managed to do that for our fans and hopefully we’ll manage to get the FA Cup for them.”

Fabianski has been Arsène Wenger’s choice throughout what has been a demanding FA Cup run, playing against Tottenham Hotspur, Coventry City, Liverpool, Everton and then Wigan Athletic in the semi-final where the Pole saved two penalties in the shootout success that earned Arsenal a return to Wembley.

“I speak with Lukasz but I haven’t spoken to the boss about it,” said Szczesny. “We’re both professional and we would both love to play in the Cup final. It’s the boss’s decision to make, not an easy one, because there is a No 1 at the club and a goalkeeper who is the reason we are in the FA Cup final. I think Lukasz has done so well that he deserves to play, but having said that I’m a professional and I would love to play in the Cup final.”

Suggested Topics
News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album