Why Arsenal should avoid the pressure to drop Fabianski for the FA Cup Final

By Tony Attwood

Lukasz Fabianski will leave Arsenal in the summer, to pursue the first team football that his recent Arsenal performances deserve.  It’s a shame, but that’s how it goes.  No team manages to keep two top keepers long-term.

He’ll be one of many players to have left in recent years for a wide variety of reasons.  Sebastian Squillaci was always a filler, Marouane Chamahk had awful personal problems that only came to light after he left, Andrei Arshavin started so wonderfully, but then faded away as the crowd turned on him – a terrible shame.

Fabianski is different; he leaves in good form, still contributing to the first team, and his stocks with the fan base at an all time high.

Yes, the morons of the AAA were against him a few years back, with a childish nickname and the abuse that is their speciality, but this season in the cup he has been superb.  Remember Liverpool, and in the penalty shootout against Wigan?

His performances have befitted a starting goalkeeper and no reasonable Arsenal fan begrudges Fabianski for his choice to leave, but unless he changes his mind in the next month (and in doing so, accept his role as a back up to Wojciech Szczesny) there are still some who argue he must not start in the FA Cup final.

Those who argue against Fabianski in the cup final quote the “trophy drought” without bothering to check Arsenal’s history, or mention when Man U last won the cup, when Liverpool or Tottenham last won the league, and so on.

There are even some who suggest that the lack of success has affected the players, but the evidence is that for the most part it is the allure of going home (Cesc) or a pay packet reaching well past one’s sell by date (RVP) that has been the problem.  If anything has affected the players it is the AAA.

There has even been talk that because we’ve been defeated by the oil clubs, Liverpool and Everton, things are still not right, forgetting that it is because of Arsenal that we won’t be hearing scousetalk at Wembley this year, and because of injuries to the triumverate of Ozil, Theo and Aaron that we slipped.  Bring one of them back and we recover.  Bring two back and we take control.

This lack of success has not only affected Arsenal fans, but also the players themselves. The weight of pressure on the current group of Arsenal players to deliver success has been great. Many fans saw the capture of Mesut Ozil as a defining moment, a sign that Arsenal was back in the big league.

The 2014 FA Cup final won’t be a formality for Arsenal as per football betting odds at Betfair the truth is that none of us will take anything for granted.

The effect of an FA Cup victory would be transformative; a catalyst for future successes. But at the same time it would just send the journalists and their AAA camp followers looking for a new way to knock Arsenal.  Remember the “50 red cards under Wenger” drivel – such stories after generally untrue, and always done without comparison.  (Although it was amusing this week to have the Telegraph get carried away with the “worst in living memory” slagging off of Moyes at Man U.   Check the facts guys – cos if you don’t we will).

So it isn’t really true that players that were once apprehensive, nervous and unsure of themselves on the games biggest stage would be liberated of the pressure that the nine-year trophy drought has put on every Arsenal player.  In fact that is gibberish.   The pressure comes from the AAA fellow travellers and the media with its instant “who cares about research” stories.

Arsenal can afford to exclude Szczesny from the final, and leave him on the bench, because of a quite different reason: honour.

Arsenal do things their way, and their way includes that rare commodity in football, being honourable.  Fabianski got the nod as the cup goalkeeper.  Removing the prize for great performances is not what we should be doing.

Tomorrow is the day for picking up cup final tickets.  The start of the return journey.  I hope Fab. is going to be on the pitch for the event.


16 Replies to “Why Arsenal should avoid the pressure to drop Fabianski for the FA Cup Final”

  1. Absolutely, Mr. Attwood, the Arsenal way, the honourable way……

  2. After his excellent performances in the FA cup this season Fabianski deserves to be on the pitch in the final.

    I know it is rarely done but if we would be firm in control in the last minutes of the match and well in front I would take Fabianski off and let him have a last standing ovation from the fans. So far this FA cup run he has been one of the hero’s if not the hero.

    The benefit would be that Szczesny also will be able to count it as a real trophy for him that way.

  3. Well I don’t want to believe that wenger will open his two eye to bench fabianski. Szczesny was meant to kept EPL we re still struggling with 4th place position.FAB kept the FA and now we are in final. so why can’t we allow the young man to finish what he started, after all the guy was not given a first team opportunity. NOTE THIS: DON’T SAY I DID NOT WARN U (WENGER AND CO.)using Szczesny on final will yield bad result. mark this,you can change nature.szczesny lack wisdom and too proud and this has cause him alot of mistake. his pull out are poor, resulting into throw ball or cheaply giving the ball to opponet. he does not have the skill of creating counter attack when necessary. i still prefer FABIANSKI TO SZCZESNY.

  4. While I agree that Fabianski deserves to play due to his performances, players only get a medal if they play in the competition. This means that due to the fact that Szczesny hasn’t played in the F.A. cup he will not receive a medal, while even Zelalem will receive a medal. Fabianski is leaving. If you pick Szczesny over him, it will be a major boost to Szczesny’s confidence if we win and it is Szczesny who will be representing us next year, not Fabianski. I don’t mind who Arsene chooses, because I trust both of them to guard the net, but there are arguments for both sides.

  5. Fabianski is a class goalkeeper. Remember that the away win at Bayern last year was the start of his run as first choice, a run of games in which he proved that he fully deserved to be in the team, with a series of good performances. Had he not been injured his run in the first team would have probably been extended, even into the current season.

    He was unfortunate in that previous injuries prevented him establishing first choice status at times when he had been playing well in the first team. (I remember a 2-0 away win at Wolves, in which ha made a number of crucial saves, before creating the second goal for Chamack with quick and accurate distribution after a smart reflex save in the very last minute of the game.). Bad fortune has also cost him international caps, — he had to withdraw from the Polish squad for 2012, in which he would have definitely played, as Szczesny got suspended again.

    He was a more than capable deputy again this year against Bayern.

    He should play at Wembley. I would love him to extend his stay with us, but I appreciate that he deserves regular first team football and that he may leave with our blessing and appreciation for his loyal service to Arsenal.

    Also, whenever he has been interviewed he comes across as a truly nice man. I wish him future success.

  6. @Walter,

    Agreed about taking him off if the opportunity arises. He’s been Fabulous in the cup and deserves a good send-off. I’ll be sad to see him go as he’s a great keeper.

  7. If we all believe that Lucas is that good…..why is he not our no1? Lucas’s form in the cup proves he is worthy of the no1 position. Why does not Arsene see that? And because of that we are going to lose him in the summer? Bollocks to that. I’d drop that big egomaniac Sczeny….who is another fabulous goalie…but I’d much rather have them both.
    So Arsene…..give a Fab a full run till the end of the season…he might even sign a new contract?

  8. egbe joseph,

    Why turn this into an anti-Szczesney campaign? Arsene Wenger will NOT play Szczeney in the final but not the for the reasons that you have enumerated, even if they were not misguided and wrong. Arsene Wenger will play Fabianski because he is an honourable man who always keeps his word even when he would be easily forgiven for breaking them.


    I have no concerns about Fabianski not being played in the final. I know that unless he is injured, he is DEFINITELY playing. Recall the league cup final of 2007? The senior players sat and watch, smartly dressed in suits, as the youngsters slugged it out with a full strength Chelsea team! Arsene Wenger promised to play the young players throughout and he did, even when the whole world (including the young players who would have been benched) would have forgiven him for using the senior team.

    That is the Arsene Wenger that I know, admire and love. If he wouldn’t break his word against a full strength Chelsea team, why would he do so when the player in question is at par if not better than our current no.1?

  9. Whoever starts the ball is in our hand! Either we throw it(which I can’t fathom) or hug it! They’re both equal to the task. Hope Fabs finish the job(or both play if we be comfortable by halftime)

  10. Walter has come up with an ideal solution. To bring on Czszesny in the last minute or so, provided we are winning, in order to gain him a medal.
    The Polish goal-stopper might accept that scenario but I would prefer him to decline on the grounds that he had not really contributed towards the team’s success in the competition.

  11. Been trying to comment the whole day – success !
    While I would love Fabianski to stay and fight for his place next season , I guess I would not begrudge him if he left ,as he has served us well .
    To leave with a cup winners medal would not only be a wonderful way for him to crown his career at the club, but also to kick start our revolution .

  12. Yes let’s please not turn this into a anti Szczesny thread. He’s had a really good season – a few mishaps but no more than any other goalie his age.

    Fab does get the nod for me though and not worried in the slightest.

    Who’d have thought Arsenal supporters would be arguing about which quality keeper should start the final, 2 keepers I might add who have a good 10 years at the top.

    And also makes a mockery of those supporters that still claim Wenger’s success is all down to the blood and thunder of GG’s back 4, conveniently forgetting 2004

  13. ‘Course Fabianski should play the whole game if he is fit.

    Any other choice would be totally ludicrous.

    Thankfully Arsenal have two excellent keepers.

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