David Ospina has admitted to the Guardian that he has had to work ‘twice as hard’ to become a key part of the Arsenal squad.
Arriving to the Emirates in the summer, Colombian international Ospina started the campaign as second-choice ‘keeper to Wojciech Szczesny, despite his brilliant World Cup.
Szczesny was undoubted number one stopper at the Emirates, and, in the early parts of the season, it looked as if he would be able to better his own fantastic form from last term.
However, the Polish international’s campaign has not progressed in that manner, and after a horror show in the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat to Southampton on New Year’s Day, Ospina has claimed the starting jersey to great effect.
The 26-year-old has proven himself in the Premier League with ease, and it does not appear as if Szczesny will be reclaiming his starting role in the near future; although he does remain the Gunners cup goalkeeper.
Ospina certainly proved himself when given the chance, and his signing from French club Nice has made much more sense since making his debut. With the Colombian in goal the Gunners have enjoyed their best period of the season, and are the form team in the Premier League.
He has conceded just 11 goals in 14 games across all competitions and has admitted to the Guardian that he has had to work ‘twice as hard’ as usual to claim the starting role from Szczesny - and then keep that role.
“When you get used to playing all the time and being on stage, you always want to do that [play],” the ‘keeper said. “And so, when it’s not like that, it is a difficult time. But I think that when you are going through difficult times, you have to ensure you are working twice as hard and you are always prepared.
“You have to hold your head up, too. You can’t be moping and all downtrodden. You need to be prepared in training during these difficult moments and just be ready to grasp any opportunity when it comes.”
Szczesny would do well to heed Ospina’s advice if he intends to snatch the starting berth back from the Colombian, as he will need to take every chance offered to him if he wants to keep his club career with Arsenal progressing in a positive manner.