Arsene Wenger has been lauded as a genius for bringing in Petr Cech. Finally, Arsenal had a world class goalkeeper since the days of David Season (and Jens Lehmann of the Invincibles season). The era of Almunia, Fabianski and Szczesny making mistakes which would cost us valuable points was over.
This was a new dawn, a new chapter in Arsenal’s history.
But then Petr Cech made his debut for Arsenal and it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t the messiah, the man to come and save us.
He was actually an ageing goalkeeper who was past it and nowhere near being at the world class standard we all thought he was.
I wrote way back in June that Chelsea only sold Petr Cech because he was past it, and yet again I have been proved right when all others thought otherwise.
I hate being right all the time.
Look, everyone makes mistakes. But yesterday was an utter shambles, a disgrace and if you’re not disgusted then you just have to laugh. After debating whether Szczesny or Ospina were the better option we brought in Cech and suddenly the problem was solved and those two goalkeepers were regarded as squad players.
The fact is Arsenal are now in a worse position than they were before they signed Cech! Szczesny has moved to Italy and is on loan at AS Roma for the 2015/2016 season. Ospina is still at the club and after his performances last season you would like to see him back in the team – while unspectacular, at least he didn’t make two glaring mistakes in a single game.
The performance from Petr Cech has been played down as simply a bad day at the office. But the mistakes aren’t just mistakes. The first mistake from Cech was simple decision making. There was no way in hell he was going to win that aerial battle and he was in no mans land.
The second was amateurish and you can cover it up however you like, it was a howler of epic proportions. A nothing shot managed to go in at the near post from 20 yards out. It wasn’t struck particularly well or had so much power that Cech didn’t have a chance to react – it was a poor shot that should have been saved.
Petr Cech is a goalkeeper lacking in confidence after being on Chelsea’s bench last season and I’ve already mentioned that Jose Mourinho wouldn’t let him leave unless he thought he was past it. Yes, publicly Mourinho is always going to “oppose” his departure – he’s hardly going to give him his blessing is he? Mourinho has played the media to his tune and all the watching crowd (Arsenal fans in particular) have lapped it all up.
If Petr Cech was that good, then they wouldn’t have brought in Thibaut Courtois last season. If Petr Cech was that good they would have kept him at Chelsea (remember, no-one leaves Chelsea unless they want them to).
Is it completely outrageous to think that Arsenal have been duped? Petr Cech wants more regular football and Chelsea want a direct rival to “weaken” so what’s the ideal solution? Jose Mourinho is many things but he’s not stupid – he’s seen Petr Cech in training God knows how many times and let’s for a moment consider that he believes Cech is past it.
Selling him to club like Arsenal would be perfect – Cech gets a big new contract and is financially secure for the next 3/4 seasons, Chelsea get £11 million for a goalkeeper they consider surplus to requirements and a direct rival is weakened in a position they have never really looked strong in.
Only time will tell but before the season started the “experts” said Petr Cech was worth an extra 10/15 points to Arsenal. Well I’m not sure how true that is going to turn out to be as he’s already cost us 3 points already.