Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has expressed his joy after matching the Premier League record of 169 clean sheets during last weekend’s game against Aston Villa (via Arsenal.com). The Czech international, who joined Arsenal this summer from rivals Chelsea, is tied with David James at the top of the charts, but can claim the top spot for himself with another clean sheet in the upcoming game against Manchester City.
Cech is by far the fastest player to the landmark, taking only 349 games to do so. Most of his clean sheets have come from his time with Chelsea, but he has also picked up seven more this season with the Gunners. Speaking to Arsenal Player, the veteran revealed that he was happy with the recognition for his achievement, “I’m not really into the records and the individual trophies. But some achievements you cannot ignore and to be in a position where I can break the all-time clean sheet record is something that I never thought I would be able to do.
“When I came over, people started talking about the clean sheets and the records, and I thought 169 was impossible. I would have to be here a long time, play every game and you don’t get a clean sheet in every game. The fact that I managed to come to that point is a great achievement.
“I’m glad that people are noticing what I try to achieve. As a player you try to achieve something that people remember you for. Not only that you score one goal or make one good save, you want to set the example that this is not the one-season or one-game wonder.
“You want to make sure you compete and perform every single game, that you prepare and show the example that you can stay consistent and at the top level as long as possible. I’m really happy that these things I’ve achieved, people realise that I’ve worked to achieve it, so the recognition is great.”
Since arriving at the club, Cech has had a massive impact on our defence. The presence of the talented keeper provides the back line with much more confidence, and when the opposition break through, Cech himself is on hand to pull off some hugely important saves. His value was proven in the big games against Liverpool and Bayern Munich, and in almost every other game Cech has managed to make a noteworthy save. While David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny are not bad keepers by any standard, Petr Cech shows what Arsenal are capable of with some reliable top-quality performers.
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Judging by current form, the Czech international has at least a couple more seasons left in him, and he has expressed his desire to stay in London (via Sky Sports). In him, Arsenal have found a quality of keeper that we have lacked since the days of David Seaman, and hopefully the experience he brings to the side will help us end our barren spell in the Premier League.