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Szczesny: Arsenal axing was making of me

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny says he's a better player for last season's axing.

Szczesny, 23, believes being taken out of the firing line by the Arsenal manager for the Champions League last 16 second-leg tie away to Bayern Munich in March helped him regain some focus to return to top form heading into 2014.

"It is hard to tell (because) I don't know what it would have been like if I wasn't dropped, but looking at my own performances now it must have been a good decision from the manager because I feel better, I feel sharper and more confident in myself," Szczesny said in the January edition of the official Arsenal magazine.

"That little break away from the pressure meant that I could focus on my training to come back sharper, and so far it has worked out pretty well.

"I think I am very consistent now, I am a little bit more mature and the back four are helping me out as well, so I would say it is the most consistent run of my career - but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

"The experience I have had of playing 130-odd games for one of the biggest clubs in the world gives you that maturity and calmness.

"It probably makes a big difference in my performances as well.

"Maybe it comes with maturity but I do feel more focused during games."

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