Lukasz Fabianski interview: West Ham goalkeeper targets successful swansong before heading home

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jack Rosser
·4-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (London Football Awards)
(London Football Awards)

Lukasz Fabianski has no appetite to stay in football after he retires, so before the goalkeeper hangs up his gloves he is determined to achieve something special with West Ham.

The Pole has enjoyed another fine season for the Hammers and been a key part of the team that is making an improbable push for the Champions League under David Moyes.

Now a Premier League veteran, Fabianski was named Goalkeeper of the Year at the London Football Awards on Tuesday night and has come a long way since leaving Arsenal in 2007 with his “Flappyhandski” reputation.

He has since established himself as one of the most reliable shot-stoppers in the country.

Aged 36, Fabianski now has his sights set on seeing out his career on a high.

"In all honesty at this present moment, the way I feel about myself after I retire, I wouldn't want to stay in football on the professional level," says Fabianski

"I've been away from home for almost 15 years, 16 years, something like that, away from my country. And I would want to give back a little bit to my family.

"When I left Arsenal, I just wanted to develop as a goalkeeper. Obviously the main target for me was to play as a No1 and then just see what happens more or less, see where it will take me.

"I'm in this moment right now, playing for, in my opinion, a really big club and I'm so happy that we are in this position that we can challenge ourselves and me personally. I can challenge myself to see if we can, who knows, maybe reach something special this year."

Not that Fabianski is ready to call time on his career just yet. He recently extended his contract at West Ham until the end of next season and still feels he has good years left in him.

"I think I'm very demanding of myself," he says. "I have very demanding coaches around me with a manager and especially with the goalkeeping coach. I feel physically good as well. I will keep pushing, see what's going to happen. In my mind I think I've still hopefully got a few years left."

It has not always been easy for Fabianski since first moving to England in 2007 and he admits he used to struggle after making mistakes in games.

Those errors are now few and far between. He was at fault during West Ham's 3-2 defeat at Newcastle recently but bounced back with a fantastic performance against Chelsea, something he puts down to being able to shut out what have now become rare blips.

"I remember the early years, I struggled with that, I'd struggle with coping with my reaction after making a mistake in the game," he admits.

"Sometimes you have to go through it, sometimes you have to learn and gain that experience.

"On the other hand, I think what is important as well that you still have the trust of the coaches, of the managers or even of the players. Because if you have that then it's kind of easier to go through things like that.

"Then when you get older, what I try to do is basically focus on the next thing. It's something that you can't change, it happened so your focus should be on what's happening now in front of you, rather than what just happened."

Moyes, who was named Manager of the Year on Tuesday night, has been the driving force behind West Ham this season but the Scot is often quick to praise his coaching staff.

Xavi Valero, West Ham's goalkeeping coach who has worked at Liverpool, Inter Milan and Real Madrid among other clubs, is considered as one of the Premier League's best and Fabianski says the Spaniard has helped take his game up a level.

London Football Awards
London Football Awards

"He is very demanding, he's barely satisfied with your performances," Fabianski says. "He always looks at the little things in a game that you could do better, that you could maybe develop in future games.

"Then again the way he looks at the game of a goalkeeper is very specific. And then the way he puts it into training really relates to what happens in a game, he is very detailed and specific on your positioning, on your decision making or just reading what's happening in front of you.

"I'm not going to say it's been eye-opening, but I think he maybe took my game on a little bit more even since I started working with him."

It is not just Valero's expertise that Fabianski can call on. He has a warm relationship with Arsenal legend Bob Wilson, whose charity Willow benefit from the London Football Awards, while he has kept in contact with David Seaman.

"You always felt this warmth coming from him when you were chatting with him," Fabianski says of Wilson.

"I had more chats about goalkeeping with David Seaman, who is basically his protege. David was the one who was having a proper chat with me about goalkeeping when I was still at Arsenal and we are still in contact."

Read More

Harry Kane: Tottenham star wins Player of the Year at London Football Awards 2021

London Football Awards 2021 winners and nominees in full

West Ham boss David Moyes named Manager of the Year at London Football Awards 2021

Bukayo Saka: Arsenal star named Young Player of the Year at London Football Awards 2021