Wojciech Szczesny reveals conversation with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after he was caught smoking

Wojciech Szczesny with Arsene Wenger in discussion before Arsenal training
Wojciech Szczesny was dropped by Arsene Wenger after he was caught smoking (Picture: Getty)

Wojciech Szczesny has lifted the lid on the conversation he had with Arsene Wenger when he was caught smoking in the dressing room after Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat away to Southampton back in 2015.

Emotions were high in the away changing room at St Mary’s after goals from Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic either side of half-time consigned the Gunners to their fifth loss of the Premier League campaign.

The New Year’s Day disappointment also meant Wenger’s men had gone seven matches without recording a single clean sheet and it badly affected Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny, who openly admits he was smoking ‘regularly’ at the time.

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Dusan Tadic scored Southampton's second goal against Arsenal in 2015
Tadic and Mane beat Szczesny either side of the break at St Mary’s (Picture: Getty)

The north London club would go on to finish third in the table, four points adrift of second-placed Manchester City and a massive 12 points behind champions Chelsea.

‘Back at that time I was smoking regularly and the boss knew it very well,’ the Polish shot-stopper explained to 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.’

Szczesny was fined for his behaviour and lost his place to David Ospina in the first-team after a frank discussion with Wenger.

‘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 added.

‘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.’

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