Szczesny eager to take his chance
Wojciech Szczesny emerged from the rubble of Arsenal's damaging defeat at Manchester United to declare his intention to seize the unexpected chance handed to him by Arsene Wenger.
The 20-year-old leapt to the head of Wenger's goalkeeping queue at Old Trafford on Monday when he was handed the starting spot against Manchester United because of concern over Lukasz Fabianski's hip problem.
Szczesny said: "I am a reserve goalkeeper at the moment so I need to take every chance I get and this was a massive chance for me. I felt that for my debut I did well enough. Unfortunately it wasn't enough for us to get any points but this is my big chance and I need to take it."
In any normal season, five defeats before Christmas would be enough to end any hope of a championship challenge, particularly when the leaders remain unbeaten.
But this is no normal campaign. And if the Gunners can overcome Stoke at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, they will return to top spot, as United visit Chelsea on Sunday.
"It was a disappointing result, but we won't get too down. We are still very confident," insisted Szczesny.
"We believe if we recover on Saturday and put in the right performance against Stoke we could easily get three points and be back in the title race straight away.
"That is what the manager told us afterwards; he just tried to get us to focus on the match on Saturday.
"This game is gone. The team performance was quite good, but we just didn't get as much luck as United."