– Should Arsenal fans expect more of such
Petr Cech’s £10m arrival from Chelsea ticked every box for Wenger. He solved a goalkeeping problem by luring a world-class goalkeeper
away from a clearly reluctant Jose Mourinho as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich showed his softer side by rewarding Cech for his
service, and loyalty when replaced by Thibaut Courtois last season, by allowing him to join a rival.
It seemed the perfect signing for Arsenal – and then West Ham United happened.
Cech was at fault for both goals in Arsenal’s shock home defeat in their opening game,
misjudging a free-kick as Cheikhou scored, then going down too slowly when
Mauro Zarate added a second.
The rush to suggest Arsenal may have erred in signing Cech was as unedifying as it was
hasty – and this high-quality keeper and model professional put matters right in a game that
contained 34 shots and no goals.
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech on Sky Sports
“When you start with a new club and everything goes wrong, you need to bounce back and this is what I tried to do.
“Today was one those games where I was in the right place at the right times and helped the team overcome a difficult
moment in the first half.”
From the opening seconds the old command was on show and it needed to be, making a
stunning save from Liverpool striker Christian Benteke when he seemed certain to score, then showing great elasticity at 33 to turn Philippe Coutinho’s shot on to the post.
Cech’s handling was sure and he gave an air of reassurance to a vulnerable defence robbed
of first-choice central pairing Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny through illness and
This was exactly what Wenger brought Cech to do – give reassurance, experience and
quality when Arsenal are under the cosh, make the big saves when needed.
The errors of West Ham seemed an age away. Cech made eight saves in all, only the fourth time he has made eight or more stops in his Premier League career.
It was said he would save Arsenal 10 points a season with his mere presence alone when he signed. It is fair to say he delivered the first two of that tally on Monday.
How many more of such points will he get the Emirates side as the question on the lips of all fans now is that will such performance be a regular thing.