Arsenal supporters in the Transfer Tavern have been in fine voice this week after seeing their side finally record their first Premier League win of the season on Saturday.
Unai Emery’s men went into their clash with London rivals West Ham at the Emirates Stadium off the back of losing to Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening two league games, thus meaning the Gunners were pointless heading into the encounter with the Hammers, who had also lost their first two games. And despite falling behind to Marko Arnautovic’s opener, the North London giants hit back to pick up their first win of the season as goals from Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck, either side of an Issa Diop own goal, sealed a 3-1 success for the Gunners.
Thus, there have been many delighted Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have taken to Twitter to suggest that goalkeeper Bernd Leno should replace Petr Cech between the sticks against Cardiff this weekend.
And while £100,000-a-week Cech (as per Spotrac) could have perhaps done better to prevent Arnautovic giving West Ham the lead on Saturday, he has otherwise made a solid start to the season to suggest that he deserves to keep his place in Emery’s side.
Ultimately, the arrival of Leno over the summer may have come as something of a concern to the former Chelsea goalkeeper, what with the 26-year-old Germany international very highly-rated after an impressive time at Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.
Yet the Premier League experience and nous of Cech seemingly earned him the nod in their opening weekend defeat to Manchester City, and while the goalkeeper looked somewhat nervy with the ball at his feet, his shot-stopping was pretty impressive to restrict Pep Guardiola’s men to just the two goals.
He also performed well in the 3-2 defeat at ex-employers Chelsea the weekend after, and while questions have been asked about his role in Arnautovic’s opener last time out, he again made other key saves to keep the hosts in the match – overall, he hasn’t made a bad start to the season.
In fact, the former Czech Republic international has made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season with 18 in his opening three matches, which suggests that, even behind a somewhat shaky backline, he can still produce the goods.
And while Leno is clearly the long-term replacement for Cech, one wonders just how he’ll get on in the Premier League given that some goalkeepers that have made the move from the continent haven’t always adapted well to the rigours of English football – yet Cech is as experienced as anybody when it comes to goalkeeping in the top-flight.
Ultimately, the 36-year-old has done little wrong to suggest that he deserves to lose his place in the starting eleven, and while Leno appears to be the ideal replacement for the Czech star, some Arsenal fans are wrong to call for that to happen at Cardiff this weekend.
Arsenal fans… what do you think? Let us know!