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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
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

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us