Wojciech Szczesny has admitted that he has sought the help of a sports psychologist after undergoing personal problems in the past year.
In an in-depth interview with a Polish newspaper, the 22-year-old says he now knows how to keep his private matters ‘off the pitch’ when playing for Arsenal.
With thanks to Matt from Gunners.com.pl, we can bring you the most interesting parts of the interview directly below.
“I think that in Europe there’s no more than a few better right back than Piszczek. Maybe Alves from Barcelona collectively with Bacary from Arsenal.”
On Polish team-mate Lewandowski:
“Currently, Robert Lewandowski could deal in every club and in every league of the world, even in Barcelona. I’d like to see him in Arsenal, but I’m just a keeper, not the manager.”
On personal problems:
“Since a year, I’m working with psychologist. Dozen months ago I was surviving hard times. Personal problems were matched with problems in club and then I thought about the psychologist. Now I know how to not transfer problems on the pitch. I can totally put off my thoughts during the match.”
“Maybe the fans won’t understand, but I really try to be humble and I treat praises as a motivation. I’d like to judge my whole career, not the single matches. If in 10-15 years, Olivier Kahn will say “Szczesny is the best keeper in the world” than I’ll be really satisfied.”
On advice and misconceptions:
“Now I try to listen wiser people and do what they say to me. I realise what others think about me. Many people thinks that I have got big conviction about myself and I think Wojciech Szczesny is the best player in the world. However, I know that in football are people who have bigger knowledge and saw more than me. I listen to their advice, because this is what other call football education.
“Being a keeper from the top is hardly associated with playing several hundreds matches on a really big level. I’ve played less than 80 in Arsenal, but it’s still a big number for me as a 22 years old. I commit mistakes, sometimes I make big saves, but basically, I’m focusing on my bad sides and I try to fix these. I don’t treat myself like a best keeper in the world, but I’m motivated to become the one.
“This season I’ve played all the games. Physically I’m not tired. I would like to play as many games next season, and next, and next… I regret that we didn’t win any silverware, which was our target. But I love my job and I wouldn’t change it for any other.”
On being a ‘certain starter’ for club and country:
“I don’t feel to be a cert in the club, or in the national team neither. A few bad games will see Lukasz [Fabianski] will replace me. When he played this season, he wasn’t making any mistakes. This is why I’m trying to be 100 per cent focused in every training session”.
on Arsenal’s medical staff:
“I don’t complain about anything [with Arsenal’s medical stuff]. I had one serious injury and they cured me perfectly. I don’t have any objections about their work.”
On club and country:
“Both in the Poland national team and in the Arsenal, I feel like I’m on a emotional rollercoaster: one is fine, once is bad, but you have to love both teams just the way they are. This can be compared to a wife.”
on Fabianski’s injury (which ruled him out of Euro 2012):
“It is unfortunate that Łukasz has to go home. Although we compete for a place in the line-up, I’d like this competition to take place only on the pitch, not aside from it.”
On facing fellow teammates in the Euros:
“We are going to play against Tomas Rosicky, but this fight will not be the only one duel. Robin van Persie will play against Per Mertesacker, Andrey Arshavin will play against us too. I hope that after the Euros I will be one of those coming to the club in a good mood.”
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