Arsenal should, and we should stress the word should, be one of the busiest teams in Europe during the upcoming summer transfer window. Their season fell apart during the last few months, and as such, they need to re-group and really think about who they want to come in and who they want to go out at the club. It’s not going to be easy to pick and choose what’s going to happen, but these are the kind of tasks that managers like Unai Emery need to make.
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.
According to Sky Sports, veteran Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is returning to former club Chelsea this summer after he brings down the curtain on his trophy-laden career. The former Czech Republic international will become the Blues new sporting director.
Cech enjoyed his best years at Chelsea
Petr Cech enjoyed the best years of his football career at Chelsea, winning every trophy there was to win with the Blues in the club game. The 37-year-old was regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world while at Stamford Bridge.
Highly-rated Bayern Munich and Austria star David Alaba has been talking about his childhood love of Arsenal. An interview given to German publication Bild has led to speculation linking the 26-year-old with a switch to the Emirates Stadium.
Talked about Spain and England
In his interview with Bild, Alaba said: “I can imagine trying something else but I really feel very comfortable at Bayern.
“Every year there a new challenges and new objectives and the pressure will always be there. I’m happy in Munich but of course, I can imagine seeing something else. Spain, England. In Spain it would be the two big clubs, I guess? Real or Barcelona. Also the big clubs [in England].”
When German goalkeeper Bernd Leno first arrived at Arsenal from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, there were question marks over whether he was good enough to be the Gunners long-term number one. The person that seemed to question his ability most was Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who seemed reluctant to start him ahead of veteran Petr Cech.
However, the summer signing now seems to have won over his boss and the majority of Arsenal fans too. Leno has started the last 21 Premier League games after replacing Cech at Watford as a substitute. He has not looked back since.
“I am proud to be No.1 of Arsenal in the Premier League.
“I am happy here, of course I needed a little bit of time to get used to new team-mates, a new league, new country, new football. Football here is different to Germany. Physically it is strong and the referees don’t whistle for ever contact, I like this way, but it needed a little bit of time because in Germany you are always protected by the referee, but here nobody protects you and you have to get used to it.
“It needed time but now I am better than before but I can still improve.”
Arsenal’s veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced that he will retire from playing at the end of the season. The Czech goalkeeper has been in and out of favour this season at Arsenal after the summer arrival of German international Bernd Leno. Cech has played in the Premier League for 15 years in spells at Arsenal and previously Chelsea.
A top goalkeeper in his Chelsea days
When he was at Chelsea Cech was considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He played a crucial part in some of the most historic moments, including winning the Premier League title four times and also the Champions League.
I am afraid to say my fears from my article prior to the Southampton-Arsenal game came to pass. I stated that I believed that the Saints could enjoy a new boss bounce, which happened.
I also wrote about the Gunners having to field a makeshift central defensive partnership. In truth, both of these issues were not hard to spot, but I thought that the Gunners newfound toughness might have got them through. Unfortunately, it did not and the team from north London suffered a 3-2 defeat at St Marys.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has claimed that the Gunners lost the balance between defence and attack in the latter years of Arsene Wenger’s reign as boss of the north London side. That theory may have some weight to it, as Arsenal finished last season with their lowest ever points tally under Wenger.
Emery told Spanish newspaper Marca: “With time, only technical quality and offensive freedom were taken care of while losing defensive structure,”
“What I want is to combine both and become more competitive. Arsenal was in a decline. We had to stop this, and begin climbing.”
It’s never a bad thing to have two goalkeepers on the books that are playing well. Of course, if they’re both considered to be world class in one way or another then that can make things a little bit more complicated because both will want to play consistent first team football and that just can’t happen. It’s not quite as severe as something like the NFL whereby there are only 16 regular season games to play in, because at least in this instance you’ve got the League & FA Cup, international football and European competition.