Wojciech Szczesny says that the prospect of Arsène Wenger signing a new goalkeeper this summer would only increase his desire to succeed at Arsenal. Wenger has been linked with a move for one of several players in the position but Szczesny, who started and finished last season as the club's No1, albeit with a blip in March and April, has shrugged off the threat to his place and confidence.
"Even if the boss was to make a big signing in goal, I would do my very best to compete for the No1 spot," Szczesny said. "I'd do my best for the club whatever my position. The club is in my heart and I wouldn't be thinking about going elsewhere. My head is pretty clear when it comes to that. You have to deal with the competition. I think that the competition from Lukasz [Fabianski] when he was fit [last season] was pretty tough and I enjoyed it. It can only bring the best out of me.
"My confidence never gets crushed. Whatever happens, my attitude doesn't change. I still try my very best in training. I want to make sure I'm in the best shape possible. Whether someone comes in, it's not my decision and it won't affect me in any way. There is the same talk every year and no one has been brought in. I think the manager has shown enough faith in me to make me feel confident in my own abilities. So it doesn't affect me at all."
Much like the team, Szczesny is focused on taking the form he showed at the end of last season into the new campaign. The 23-year-old Poland international was dropped for five matches from mid-March but, when Fabianski was injured, he returned to keep four clean sheets in the final six Premier League matches.
"I'm still a young goalkeeper so I'm going to have my ups and downs," Szczesny said. "There's not a single keeper in the world that goes through a season without a little dip. You wish that any dip is not long and big but you have to learn how to deal with disappointments and it never really affected my attitude.
"You'd hope that I could go through the whole season the way I finished last season. But you cannot go through a season without any mistakes so it's how you deal with it and I think I've learned how to deal with mistakes. I'm hoping there will be less and less with each season.
"You can play for a smaller club, make a mistake and no one will really highlight it but when you play for a big club, whatever you do is going to be in the papers. People are going to question you but it's not really a problem for me. The manager has shown faith in me so that's what helps me keep my head clear."
Szczesny is consumed by the quest to end the club's eight-year trophy drought and he believes that "as a squad, we are good enough to compete for the title". He is determined to see greater consistency and he feels that the team "can defend better" but he believes the group are stronger going into this season.
"You try not to think about those sagas with Cesc [Fábregas] and Robin [van Persie] but it's always in the back of your head that you've lost one of your top players, whereas this season the only thing that everyone is talking about is 'Who is Arsenal going to bring in?'" Szczesny said. "It's not 'Who is Arsenal going to lose?' It makes us feel stronger and more united as a team because we know that everyone is focused on doing the same thing, which is staying here and doing our best."