After a relatively tough start to the season, it’s still unsure how Arsenal will fare this season under Unai Emery.
Arsenal were handed an incredibly tough start to the season as they had to face Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening two games.
Against Manchester City, Arsenal were pressed and pressured while trying to play out from the back and at times, almost handed City a goal. Against Chelsea, it was a similar story, so when it came to their games against West Ham and Cardiff City, Arsenal’s build up from the back should’ve been much better.
One of the reasons Arsenal have struggled to adapt to Emery’s style of building up from the back is the fact that Petr Cech has never been a goalie who’s been comfortable with the ball at his feet.
With Arsenal bringing Bernd Leno over the summer, time could well be ticking on Cech’s time in the first XI.
After becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the world during his time at Chelsea, Cech made the move to Arsenal three years ago and overall has been a welcome addition to the north London club.
In his first two seasons at the club, Cech finally gave Arsenal a reliable presence in goal. A great shot-stopper and a goalkeeper that makes his defender’s lives a lot easier with his keenness for coming to get the ball, Cech was an instant upgrade for the Gunners. In those aspects, Cech has once again performed for the Gunners and has made some crucial saves to keep his team in games.
However, over his whole career, the former Chelsea man has never been able asked to play out from the back and this year it’s shown. At times, Cech’s passing from the back has looked extremely risky and has invited team’s to press Arsenal up high. In fairness, his defenders and midfielders have given Cech options to pass to but with Leno waiting in the wings, it remains to be seen how much longer Cech will keep his spot.
At 36, Cech still has the ability to play close to another four years in the league but probably not as a starter. An elite goalkeeper at his best, Cech should now be aware that his years of playing as a first-choice ‘keeper are over but he could still provide a great option as a number two.
Leno will more than likely take over in the next few months and although he’ll then be relegated to the bench, playing in Europe and in the domestic cup competitions is an option Cech should be happy with.
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