By Declan Taylor
Wojciech Szczesny is targeting the Carling Cup after an impressive pre-season campaign.
The young Pole spent almost six months on the sidelines after breaking both arms in an unfortunate training ground incident last October. However, now fully recovered, the 19-year-old has continued making quite unerring progress.
Some eye-catching form for the Under-18s and Reserves last season earned Szczesny a place on the bench for Arsenal’s final game of last season – their 4-1 victory over Stoke.
More first-team experience was to follow with a place on the annual pre-season tour to Austria. There, the keeper featured in all three of Arsenal’s wins and did not concede a goal in his 135 minutes on the pitch.
Now buoyed by the faith shown in him by his manager, the goalkeeper is setting his sights on the ultimate prize – Arsenal's No 1 jersey.
“I want to convince the manager to give me a Carling Cup chance,” Szczesny told Arsenal.com. “Then my main target is to be No 1 at Arsenal.
“I want to jump into the starting XI every Saturday so I need to take all the steps. Personally I think my development has been very good so far so hopefully I will keep doing well and take my chances.
“I want to take every step: last year I stepped up from the Under-18s to the Reserves, this year I managed to get into the first-team squad.
“I got a few chances from the boss and I knew that was my chance to convince him to give me more chances. I think I have taken it well. I’ve kept a clean sheet throughout the whole of pre-season and now I want to prove to him that I am a good keeper and he can rely on me.
“It gives me a lot of confidence and it makes me believe that the boss really likes me and believes I can be a good keeper.
“Mentally I believe I am ready for the first team. I’m very confident. I have never played at the top level but mentally I am ready for that.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 19 Aug 2009