Odd stories are pretty common during the international break, mainly because everyone is just counting down the days until domestic football returns to our screens. From the Coleen Rooney scandal to whatever is happening in parliament these days, it’s hard to keep away from the downright bizarre at times like this. As such, this story about former Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech joining a lower league English ice hockey team kind of feels a bit normal.
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.
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.
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced his retirement from playing football professionally.
In a post on Twitter, the experienced Czech international revealed his intention and gave his reasons. He said:
“This is my 20th season as a professional and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of this season. Having played 15 years in the Premier League, and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve. I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”
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.
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.”
The battle to become Arsenal’s number one has been fascinating to watch over the course of the last few months, with Petr Cech and Bernd Leno trading appearances in an attempt to solidify themselves as the ‘heir to the throne’ so to speak. Leno currently occupies top spot but we all know that it only takes one or two mistakes at this level to cause a ripple effect, and someone who will be waiting to pounce on such an opportunity is Cech himself.
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.
Arsenal’s German international goalkeeper Bernd Leno will get a chance over the next few games to prove that he is good enough to be the Gunners first-choice number one on a permanent basis.
Leno came on as a first half substitute for the injured Petr Cech last time out in a 2-0 win over Watford at the Emirates Stadium. It was the Germans Premier League debut after joining from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.