Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has admitted he deserved to be dropped by manager Arsene Wenger at the back end of last season.
• Mangan: Szczesny has to stay switched on
And the 23-year-old claimed the shock of his omission has inspired him to change the way he goes about his work in a bid to reclaim his confidence.
Szczesny has been back as Wenger’s No.1 in the opening month of this Premier League campaign, but he admits team-mate Lukasz Fabianski deserved to replace him as his performances wilted in the final weeks of last season.
“Obviously I had mixed feelings about my form last season, I had my ups and downs,” Szczesny told the Arsenal website.
“It wasn’t nice [to be left out] - you want to be playing every week. But then again, the most important thing is the team and that is what the team needed.
“Lukasz was in better shape at that moment in time, he came in and did really well. I worked really hard to get back into the team and when I did I thought I did pretty well. It was good decision by the manager.
“I worked on my fitness and sharpness and came in much earlier every day to work in the gym with the fitness coaches and the physios. There was a lot of stuff to be done. I realised I wasn’t in the best shape, but it all worked out pretty well. Hopefully I can be the club’s No 1 this season.”
Szczesny has suggested that this is a decisive season in his Arsenal career as he looks to end his long wait for some major silverware in Gunners colours.
“I want to win a trophy for this club because that is what is missing in my career and I’m sure it is what the fans have been missing. It’s a big season,” he added.
Wenger’s signing of Emiliano Viviano in the transfer window stiffened up the competition for places among Arsenal’s keepers, with the man currently in possession of the gloves clearly eager to cling onto them.