Arsene Wenger Vows to Punish Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny for Obsene Gesture

Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2014

Arsenal's goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny leaves the pitch after a red card during a Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich at the Emirates stadium in London, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 .(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Arsene Wenger revealed on Friday he will take internal action against Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for his rude gesture during Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.

Szczesny was sent off for a professional foul during the last-16 tie which saw Bayern triumph thanks to goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller.

As the Polish goalkeeper headed toward the tunnel, he then produced an obscene gesture with his hand which did not impress Wenger, according to The Express’ Charles Perrin:

We will discipline him. We don't agree with what he did.

It was a case of frustration spilling over. We are professionals. We have to master our reactions.

The Daily Telegraph’s Matt Law predicted that a two-game ban could be handed down to Szczesny by UEFA:

However, the Mail Online’s David Kent claims Szczesny will evade additional punishment due to the leniency of the referee:

The Polish international has escaped the prospect of a two-game Champions League ban by UEFA for unsporting behaviour after referee Nicola Rizzoli didn't include the incident in his report and will instead just serve a one-match suspension.

The whole episode should act as a learning curve for Szczesny, who was arguably rash to rush from his line, leading to his foul on Arjen Robben that earned the red card.

Robben had to control a difficult ball coming over his shoulder, so Szczesny had time to take a second before pouncing on the Bayern star.

His consequential gesture was an act of petulance and immaturity, which could easily have ruled him out of the opening game of next year's tournament, assuming Arsenal exit at the last-16 stage.

Szczesny is undoubtedly one of English football’s characters which is why he is a fan favourite at Arsenal.

He once famously taunted Tottenham, via a video of him playing a piano, following a victory for Arsenal over their North London rivals:

More recently, Szczesny did not mince his words when summing up Arsenal’s 5-1 humiliation at Liverpool as a "f-----g embarrassment," per Metro's Jamie Sanderson, once again showing a human side in the public eye.

That type of behaviour, aligned to success, may yet see him go down as an Arsenal legend in the future, but he must curb his erratic moments when on the pitch, where suspensions can be incurred.