Former Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny has revealed the truth about what happened after he was caught smoking in what proved to be the final Premier League game of his Arsenal career.
Szczesny lit up in the showers after a 2-0 loss against Southampton on New Year’s Day and he was fined and dropped by then-head coach Arsene Wenger as a result.
The Polish goalie says there was no major row with Arsene Wenger about the incident, but Szczesny’s only further appearances that canpaign came in the FA Cup.
The 30-year-old then spent two years on loan at Roma before signing for Juventus in a permanent deal in the summer of 2017, and Szczesny has explained the incident which led to him going from Arsenal’s first-choice to leaving the Emirates.
“Back at that time I was smoking regularly and the boss knew it very well,” Szczesny 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.
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“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.”