Wojciech Szczesny has finally revealed what Arsene Wenger said to him when the former Gunners keeper was caught smoking in the dressing room on new year’s day, 2015.
Fans have long wondered the details of what exactly happened when Arsenal’s Polish international sparked one up after a dispiriting 2-0 defeat at Southampton after goals from Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic either side of half-time saw Wenger’s side slip to their fifth loss of the season.
The failure meant Arsenal had gone seven matches without a clean sheet, leaving the highly-rated keeper hugely disappointed.
"Back at that time I was smoking regularly and the boss knew it very well," Szczesny said to Arsenal’s new ‘Lockdown’ podcast series, adding: "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.
"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 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."
The beginning of the end for Szczesny at Arsenal
Arsenal were to end the season in third place, four points behind runners-up Manchester City and 12 points behind champions Chelsea.
Szczesny added: "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."