Wojciech Szczesny has revealed what Arsène Wenger said to him after he was caught smoking in the showers following Arsenal’s defeat to Southampton in 2015.
Szczesny made two errors that led to Southampton’s two goals, as the Saints ran out 2-0 winners during the New Years’ Day fixture.
The Arsenal goalkeeper came charging out of his goal and was lobbed by then-Saints man Sadio Mané for the first, before clearing straight to Dusan Tadic in the area, who doubled Southampton’s lead in the second half.
Following an emotionally draining 90 minutes, Szczesny had a cigarette in the changing room, and was consequently fined and dropped for his actions.
Speaking about the incident to the Arsenal Nation podcast, the 30-year-old said: “Back at that time I was smoking regularly and the boss knew it very well. 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: “I had one [situation] when he [Wenger] wasn’t happy. It was the famous selfie at White Hart Lane. He wasn’t exactly happy at that one. I’d never do it again. It was probably childish. [He said] ‘you never see Iker Casillas doing that, do you?'” pic.twitter.com/qsiokApnK0
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Szczesny revealed it was not Arsène Wenger who caught him, but someone else who then reported back to the Arsenal manager.
“I saw him [Wenger] a couple of days later,” the Poland international added. “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.”
Szczesny was in fact dropped to the bench for the remainder of the season following the good form of replacement David Ospina.
He did start the 2015 FA Cup final against Aston Villa, keeping a clean sheet as the Gunners recorded an emphatic 4-0 victory.
However, Szczesny was loaned out to Roma that summer, before being sold to Juventus in 2017. The Southampton match was the final time he played for Arsenal in the Premier League.