Monday April 27 2020
Szczesny: 'Why I left Arsenal...'

Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny admits his Arsenal career ended when someone reported him to Arsene Wenger for smoking in the dressing room.

Szczesny was Arsenal’s No 1 until New Year’s Day in 2015, after he had lined up between the sticks during a 2-0 defeat to Southampton.

The Pole would never play another Premier League match for the Gunners and he concedes it was due to his smoking habit.

“Back at that time I was smoking regularly, and the boss knew it very well,” he told the Arsenal Nation podcast.

“He just didn’t want anybody smoking in the dressing rooms, and I knew that also. Because of the emotion of the game, I had a cigarette after the game when the team was still in.

“I went in the corner of the showers, so it was at the other end of the dressing room, and nobody could see me, and I lit one up.

“Somebody saw me, it wasn't even the boss himself, and just reported it back to the boss.

“I saw him a couple of days later; he asked me if that was true and I said, ‘yes’. He fined me, and that was the end of it.

“He then said, ‘look, you’re going to be out of the team for a little bit’ but there was no big bust-ups or big confrontations. I was very professional about it.

“I was fully expecting to be back in the team a few weeks later, but we had a good run of form and David Ospina, who came in goal, played really well for those few games. He stayed in.

“That meant I was waiting and trying to win my place back in the team, or trying to convince him that I was still the best goalkeeper at the club by going out on loan. That sounds strange, but sometimes it's the best way of doing it.”

The 30-year-old has gone on to make Italy his home, first with Roma and now with Juve.

“I will look to keep giving my best in the next few years for Juve. I want to win more titles, I am here until 2024, and I want to win everything.

“This is the objective of the club and the players, we need to sweat, to run and sacrifice to achieve the objectives, which is more titles and trophies.”

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