I’ve got mixed feelings over the departure of Szczesny. In my opinion, he was potentially an Arsenal great. He had many of the attributes that you want want in a keeper: presence, handling ability, agility and confidence.
However, his confidence often turned into over-confidence and, after the alleged revelation (which obviously was some time ago) that he was smoking in the showers hit the headlines, I really thought that was the end for the Pole. This indicated to me that he was not as serious about his football as he should be.
I really don’t see how in this day and age, footballer can smoke. I’ve heard rumours about other players at Arsenal, who indulge in the same or similar habits. To be honest, I would bomb all of those players out of the club. You cannot get the best out of yourself if you’re inhaling tobacco. Your lung power will be reduced and even keepers need a certain amount of physical fitness, so the habit is not compatible with professional sport.
Despite this, Szczesny still managed to get an FA Cup winners medal before he left and the club cashed in to the tune of £10m for a keeper, who had he realised his full potential would be worth about triple that.