By Chris Harris

Wojciech Szczesny is entering his second season as Arsenal's No 1 - and his shirt now matches his status.

The summer departure of Manuel Almunia allowed the Poland international to claim the coveted No 1 jersey and, all being well, he will wear it in a competitive game for the first time when Arsenal kick off the campaign against Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on August 18.

Szczesny was the only Arsenal player to start every Premier League fixture last season but he knows he cannot rest on his laurels, despite inheriting the shirt he has wanted for a while.

“It’s a big privilege for me to wear that shirt at such a big club," said Szczesny. "I just hope I can prove I am worthy of wearing it.

“I played my first full season last season and managed to play every single game. The manager has a lot of faith in me and I appreciate that. I’m just trying to do my best and show everyone I’m worthy of it.

"I’m looking forward to a very successful season but the competition is very tough. It’s easy to say I’m the established No 1 because I played every single game last season but Lukasz [Fabianski] and Vito [Mannone] are doing their very best to challenge me and I feel the competition.

“There’s no danger of being complacent. I’ve got the No 1 shirt and I want to prove to everyone I capable of wearing it."

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31 Jul 2012