Beesotted’s Condorman looks back at a modern day loan legend… “Chesney” joined The Bees on loan from Arsenal back in November 2009 and replaced Lewis Price as custodian of the Brentford goal for the rest of that season.
Despite his young age, it was clear almost immediately that the massive 19 year old Polish keeper was a bit special and that Andy Scott – ever keen on signing loanees of varying ability – had unearthed a gem.
Chesney’s sheer presence bolstered the entire backline and Brentford started a march up the League One table, moving from a relegation haunted side to end the season in 9th place. At the infamous “tippy tap” fans forum at the start of the following season, Scotty credited Wojciech with earning Brentford a full 15 points that a mere mortal keeper would not have provided. Praise indeed.
Scott had earlier gone on record in April 2010 saying “His (Szczesny’s) performances suggest that he would not be out of place in the Championship or even the Premier League. It has reached the stage where when he lets in a goal we wonder why he hasn’t saved it.” This was true. I remember chatting to mates as the oppostion ran clean through on goal, knowing that they wouldn’t score.
One of the best things about Wojciech though was that he was clearly a bit mental. His celebrations when we won rivalled that of even the most passionate Brentford supporter and he had a great rapport with the Griffin Park faithful.
His desire to win shone through time after time, after he made save after save that the rest of the defence had already given up on. I can recall putting my head in my hands as an opponent ran in to tap the ball home from a foot out only to emerge seconds later to see the ball in Szczesny’s hands. A modern day miracle worker.
A game in April 2010 best sums up Wojciech for me. The Bees had stunned promotion hopefuls Hudddersfield at Griffin Park and were in a healthy lead. With seconds remaining on the clock, Chesney was adjudged to have brought down an opposition striker in the box. He went mental, protesting his innocence to the referee who duly booked him for the foul. TV replays afterwards tended to suggest that he had pretty well maimed the striker involved.
The penalty didnt really matter to be honest. We were coasting to a win after a fine performance and safe from relegation – but when Gary Roberts duly blazed the spot kick over the bar Chesney started a celebratory dance that led him all the way around his penalty area and then in front of the referee, where he jumped up and down repeatedly, clenching his fists. We expected a red card which fortunately didnt come. I doubt Wojciech would have noticed anyway.
His success after Brentford continues – he’s already played 60 odd games for Arsenal and has 12 full international caps – but despite his fairly short spell in TW8 he will always be a Brentford legend to me.