When Arsenal became the only team in Europe to not sign a single outfield player in the summer, many eyebrows were raised. With the only signing being ex-Chelsea man Petr Cech, Arsene Wenger was roundly criticized for his lack of ambition by pundits and fans alike. The Czech international has more than paid off his transfer fee already this season, and Wenger has now explained why Cech was important enough to be Arsenal’s only signing.
The Arsenal keeper has been immense this season and has vindicated Wenger’s faith in him. The fact he was signed from arch enemies Chelsea threatened to cause some friction with the fans initially, but his performances have made sure he has quickly becomes a fan favorite. Following on from a long line of experienced goalkeepers to do well at Arsenal, Cech is beginning to turn into the sort of figure David Seaman and Jens Lehmann were at the club.
He has the best saves per goal ratio in the league (via the Metro), saving 4.6 shots for every goal he lets in. This is the level of consistency and performance at the top level that Arsenal had arguably been missing in the seasons prior to Cech’s arrival, and it’s a truly refreshing change.
Arsene Wenger has lauded Cech’s consistency and ability, but adds that he wasn’t surprised by either.
“I met him before I signed him and we had a long discussion about the game and the job and his position,” said Wenger, as quoted by Arsenal.com.
“And I was deeply impressed by his knowledge, by his professionalism, by his detailed knowledge. So since I have not been surprised, because I got the whole package in one go.
“You always look around you in the dressing room before a big game and you think, ‘Are we strong enough?’ And these kind of faces help you to believe it. Also in the big games, the number of shots on target shrinks. But then the one save can be the difference in the end result.”
Arsenal transfer news
Petr Cech has a major part to play in Arsenal’s hunt for their first Premier League Title in 12 years, and with such glowing words of praise from Arsene Wenger, fans can rest assured he’s playing it well.