Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is thrilled to have inherited the club’s undisputed number one shirt this summer but is aware that the competition will be very challenging both internally and externally in the 2012-13 campaign.
Szczesny, who managed to remain the Gunners’ starting goalkeeper for the entirety of last season, was unable to wear the number one shirt due to the presence of veteran Manuel Almunia in the squad.
Following Almunia’s transfer to Watford, the jersey was handed over to him and it was at that point that the Poland international truly realized that the coveted starting spot was his to lose.
“It’s a big privilege for me to wear that shirt at such a big club. I just hope I can prove I am worthy of wearing it,” Szczesny told Arsenal’s official website.
The 22-year old added: “I played my first full season last season and managed to play every single game. The manager has a lot of faith in me and I appreciate that. I’m just trying to do my best and show everyone I’m worthy of it.”
Vito Mannone and compatriot Lukasz Fabianski are next in line to claim the starting role, and given the club’s ambitions to improve on last season’s defensive statistics, Szczesny acknowledges that his hands will be full.
“I’m looking forward to a very successful season but the competition is very tough. It’s easy to say I’m the established No. 1 because I played every single game last season but Lukasz [Fabianski] and Vito [Mannone] are doing their very best to challenge me and I feel the competition.
“There’s no danger of being complacent. I’ve got the No 1 shirt and I want to prove to everyone I capable of wearing it,” he concluded.