Wenger faith in Szczesny paying off

first_img It was a move which incurred the wrath of Szczesny’s father Maciej, himself a former Poland international goalkeeper, who claimed his son was being made a scapegoat for the team’s shortcomings – and subsequently resulted in a public apology from the Arsenal player to Wenger and the club. Wenger, though, maintains he never lost sight of Szczesny’s long-term position, having seen the goalkeeper progress after joining the club’s academy from hometown side Legia Warsaw in 2006 and a loan spell at Brentford. “I was always convinced that Szczesny was to make it,” the Arsenal manager said. “I didn’t see the game on Tuesday because I watched the French game. I just saw (updates on my phone) every two minutes that Szczesny had made another save, so he was very good. “People forget that at 23, it is like being 18 for an outfield player. At 23, Szczesny had played two Premier League seasons, one where we finished third and last year where we made 73 points and finished fourth. You would think he can only go up.” Szczesny’s appearance at Wembley was only his second for Poland since being sent off in the opening match of Euro 2012, when he then lost his place to Przemyslaw Tyton. Wenger, though, feels the way the goalkeeper has recovered his form for both club and country is confirmation of his character, which was tested soon after his arrival at Arsenal following five months out after fracturing both his forearms when lifting weights. “I think he questioned himself, especially after the European Championships in Poland where it was a massive disappointment for him and I think it affected his belief. He matured through disappointments like we all do,” Wenger added. Szczesny produced an impressive display at Wembley on Tuesday night when he stood in for the injured Artur Boruc, despite being beaten twice as England secured a 2-0 victory which clinched their place at the 2014 World Cup. The 23-year-old has never been short on confidence, but went through a difficult spell last season which saw him dropped for the Champions League tie at Bayern Munich and benched in favour of compatriot Lukasz Fabianski before eventually being recalled over the run-in. “I believe every big player has to go through that in his career, and what may decide his career is how he comes out of that. “For me, he came out of it in the way I wanted, it took him a while, but he came back stronger. “I took him out of the team last year and when he came back in the team since he has been consistent.” Manager Arsene Wenger was always confident Wojciech Szczesny would prove to be Arsenal’s number one – even if he had to drop the Poland goalkeeper to help keep him moving in the right direction. Press Associationlast_img read more

Quinlan says trip to Glasgow won’t be easy for Munster

first_imgThe leaders travel to fifth-placed Glasgow Warriors – kick-off at Scotstoun is at 7.35pm.Former Munster and Ireland forward Tipperary’s Alan Quinlan says it won’t be easy for Munster.Meanwhile, Connacht have named former Springbok out half Marnitz Boshoff to start tomorrow’s Pro12 clash against Treviso at the Sportsground. Boshioff made his debut off the bench last week.Matt Healy returns on the wing following an injury lay-off.Having made his return from injury last week, Nepia Fox-Matamua is named to start at blindside flanker in an otherwise unchanged forward pack.Having played In Ireland’s win against Australia last week Joey Carberry has been included at out half for Leinster’s clash with the Dragons at the RDS.last_img

Dodgers excited to see Clayton Kershaw healthy after last spring’s sore shoulder

first_img“He wasn’t happy with the execution. But I will say he is very pleased with how his body feels prior, during and after the ’pen,” Roberts said of Kershaw’s latest throwing session. “You can watch him and see how much different his body is moving. That in itself is very exciting for all of us. I’m just thrilled with where he’s at. All the other fine-tuning, that will take care of itself. But to have him in a place where he can get back to what he was before as far as his body, that’s really exciting.”Last year’s shoulder problem forced Kershaw to miss the start of the season (ending his string of eight consecutive Opening Day starts). When he returned, though, he had his healthiest season in years, making 29 starts — his highest total since 2015, the season before the first of a series of recurring back injuries.Roberts said he could see Kershaw “laboring” through his delivery last spring. He is moving more freely this year.“What I see is when you’re not completely healthy – in any player – there’s a doubt, there’s a wondering when the shoe drops and you’re kind of holding on,” Roberts said. “Now, it seems with Clayton that’s in the past and he’s feeling so good. There’s more clarity and the confidence in the body and how it’s going to react to whatever workload is ahead of him.”Roberts has said the Dodgers have decided on an Opening Day starter but are not ready to announce it publicly. Kershaw’s Cactus League debut will be followed by Walker Buehler on Saturday. That order seems to be an indication that Kershaw will make his franchise-record ninth Opening Day start on March 26 against the San Francisco Giants. “Not really. That’s the way I’ve always been,” Seager said. “I’ve had success with it, so it’s not something … if you’re struggling, it’s something you think about. There are days when you’re not feeling good you might take more pitches. But for the most part, it’s worked for me.“I was always told these guys (pitchers) are prettty good at their job, obviously. So the best one (pitch to hit) might be the first one. You gotta be ready at all times. If the first one is a good one to hit, you’d better be ready.”During his career, Seager has a .405 batting average and 1.061 OPS when putting the first pitch of an at-bat in play. When he puts one of the first two pitches in play, Seager bats .391 with 63 doubles and 26 home runs.ALSOJoc Pederson stood in the batter’s box for Kershaw’s bullpen session, tracking pitches and also did some bunting. But he has not been cleared to swing a bat yet due to soreness in his right side. … Dodgers coach George Lombard is hobbling around with his left foot in a walking boot. Roberts said Lombard has been dealing with a heel problem. He received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection and will be spelled as first-base coach by others for the next week or so. … Catching prospect Keibert Ruiz has yet to appear in a game. Roberts said he has been giving Ruiz time to absorb some swing changes this spring. The changes are not drastic, Roberts said, just an attempt to “clean up” Ruiz’s path to the ball. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season “You can read into it whatever you want,” Roberts said to that, pointing out there are numerous off days between now and the season opener which would allow the Dodgers to juggle their rotation.SEAGER SWINGSLast year, shortstop Corey Seager saw an average of 3.53 pitches per plate appearance, the fewest among Dodgers regulars. Seager’s aggressive hitting approach is nothing new. But it seemed to stand out more last season in a lineup that features more players willing to extend at-bats and force pitchers to throw more pitches. As a team, the Dodgers saw an average of 3.98 pitches per plate appearance, tied for the fifth-highest rate in the majors (second in the National League).Seager said Dodgers coaches have never tried to counsel him on a more patient approach.Related Articles GLENDALE, Ariz. — Last spring was not a good time to be Clayton Kershaw.A year ago at this time, the Dodgers’ ace was shut down with a sore shoulder that he later admitted made him “nervous” about his immediate future.This spring, Kershaw has not missed a throwing session of any kind. He has already thrown live batting practice to hitters and will make his Cactus League debut on Friday.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he watched Kershaw’s bullpen session Tuesday and continues to be enthused by Kershaw’s renewed health at age 31. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more