As I wrote yesterday’s article about Petr Cech’s return to former club Chelsea this summer as sporting director, I realised the gravity of the situation ahead of the Europa League final next Wednesday between Arsenal and the Blues.
Petr Cech is only human
It seems almost certain that Petr Cech is returning to his former club. There is nothing wrong with that, he enjoyed the best years of his football career at Chelsea. He obviously has a great affinity with the club from south west London.
It would be ridiculous to believe that should Cech start the game he would deliberately do anything to sabotage his current team, therefore helping his new employers. By all accounts, Cech is a supreme professional.
I highly doubt he would do anything to consciously help Chelsea to the detriment of the Gunners. However, he is only human and you have to wonder what is going on his sub-conscious.
Leno should in the final
The veteran goalkeeper has played ten times in the Europa League this season, that is three more appearances than he has made in the Premier League. No doubt he is the clubs second choice ‘keeper, so as is the custom he plays in the cup competitions.
First-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno has enjoyed a solid debut campaign in-between the sticks for the Gunners. However, the German only came into the team when Cech suffered an injury early in the season.
However, he has not left the starting line-up in the Premier League since. In fact, his performances and Cech’s lack of game time could have been a factor in Cech’s decision to retire from playing this summer.
I do believe that for everybody’s sake it is best for the German goalkeeper to start rather than Cech. If the Czech started and made an error, then questions would be asked about his state of mind. For his own sake its probably better he sits the match out.
Big stakes for Arsenal
The Europa League has big stakes riding on it for Arsenal. It represents the chance for the Gunners to seal a Champions League spot for next season, and win just their second major European trophy.
The Gunners may have played weakened teams in the early rounds of the competition, but now is the time for boss Unai Emery to name his strongest team. For me, that means that Cech starts the game on the substitute bench.
Will Petr Cech start for Arsenal in the Europa League final?