Arsenal News
Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


October 2016
« Sep    

A tale of 3 keepers: will Cech actually be an improvement? You might be surprised.

By Walter Broeckx

More and more it is looking very likely that Cech will become an Arsenal player one of these days. Now of course the sky may fall on our heads and it all could go wrong in the last minute but I think even Mourinho has decided that he cannot stop the Cech to Arsenal transfer. Even though he seems the hate the thought of it when I saw him on a short clip today, when he talked about it.

So let us take a look at Cech and our two current goalkeepers who played the major part of the season.

And I did this based on the stats from the website And the numbers are about the league stats from 2009-2010 till the end of last season.

*= best score Cech Szczesny Ospina
Appearances 182(1) 132 182
Clean sheets 76 * 48 62
Clean sheets % 41,75% * 36,36% 34.06%
Save successful 73% * 69.5% 72.6%
Saves per game 2.6 2.7 3.1 *
Goals Per game 0.9 * 1.2 1.1
Crosses claimes 296 167 351 *
Crosses claim/match 1.6 1.26 1.9 *
Punches clear 106 79 142 *
Punches clear/match 0.58 0.59 0.78 *
Pass accuracy 58.3% 63.4% * 56.6%
Rating 6.81 6.73 6.83 *


It is interesting to see that both Cech and Ospina had the same number of appearances so their numbers can be very well compared.  Szczesny played fewer matches so we need to have a good luck at his percentage score to make some comparisons.

When we look at clean sheets we see that Cech had the most of them. Followed by Ospina and then Szczesny. But if we look at a clean sheet % Szczesny has a better rate than Ospina. But we have to keep in mind that Ospina was playing in a midtable team in France for the biggest part of these numbers. One season even fighting against relegation. So one could expect that he was more exposed than keepers from top teams.

If we go further and look at the number of saves we see that Cech had the most in percentage terms. He has 73% and Ospina is just behind him with 72.6%. So not that much in it and remember Ospina played for a lower placed team and so can be expected to have been under more pressure than top team keepers. But keep in mind that Szczesny is not far behind the two other keepers with a save success of 69.5%.

If we look at the numbers of saves a keeper has made in those matches we see that Ospina had to make the most on average. And this could be because he played for a lesser team than the other two keepers. Szczesny also had to make a bit more saves in general than Cech. Playing behind a team that knows very well how to defend usually reduces the number of saves you have to make as a keeper and this shows in the stats.

Looking at the numbers of goals conceded on average we see that again Cech has the best score. With just under one goal per match he is in first place. Ospina is just at the other side of the one goal per match score with 1.1 goals per match conceded. The difference with Szczesny is very small as it is only a 0.1 difference.

Now I have seen people claim that Ospina is too small to be a good keeper. What better way to judge this than to see how they do on crosses? And to my amazement I see that Ospina has a very high number of claimed crosses.  And if we calculate this on a match basis we see that Ospina has a score of 1.9 crosses claimed and Cech comes second with 1.6. So he came for more crossed and won more of them than Cech in all those years.  I must say I am a bit amazed.

So I was no longer amazed when I looked at the punches clear each keeper has made.  Again Ospina has made not only most punches but he was the best on a 90 minutes score also. When it comes to punches we see that Szczesny even does slightly better than Cech.

One thing that got thrown in is not really that important but for the sake of it I kept it in. The passing accuracy for keepers is not their most important stat but as this was something that Szczesny was having the best score in I kept it in the survey.

Only looking at the stats we see that when it comes to pure goalkeeping matters Ospina and Cech are very close to each other. Something that I felt without the stats (that Ospina is actually a very good keeper) gets confirmed by the stats.

In the last line you see a rating from the website over these 3 keepers. Szczesny ends in third place. But the most surprising thing is that Ospina is rated higher than Cech. And that is something I didn’t expect to see to be honest.

The website also gives a few points of interest in which they are good. And so they say about Cech that he is VERY STRONG in shot stopping. And STRONG in saving long shots and saving close range shots and concentration.

Of Szczesny they say that he is STRONG in shot stopping and concentration. The last one a bit of a surprise as this is what people blame him for from time to time.

Of Ospina they say that is strong at long passing and shot stopping.

If it would be up for me we should keep the 3 of them (supposing Cech is coming) but looking at the home grown status I think one of the non-home grown keepers will have to go. Sadly that looks to be Ospina.

Would I be heartbroken if the deal fell through? Well not really as the stats and my own eyes have made me realise that Ospina is a good if not great keeper.  Would I be sad to see Oooooooospina go? Yes,  as it was great fun to shout out his name whenever he got the ball. I sure will miss that.  And he looked a very calm person and a friendly one. In fact I feel gutted for the fact that he played some excellent matches for Arsenal, didn’t do much wrong and then seems to be forced out of Arsenal because of the 25 squad rules and home grown rules. Live can be unkind at times.

46 comments to A tale of 3 keepers: will Cech actually be an improvement? You might be surprised.

  • para

    The last paragraph says it all for me. I do not want Cech.

    I just hope Arsenal is aware that you do not trust the enemy, especially when it comes bearing gifts(a long forgotten myth of a trojan horse comes to mind 🙂 ).


  • I think we need Cech not that he will win us the title, but because he has the feel of winning it. Having said that, I think we would have been very close to the title if Ospina was in goal all through the season.

  • Micheal Ram

    If truly AW is in charge of transfers, Cech won’t be coming. I just can’t see it happening. There’s no way AW gonna chuck aside a GK he bought just a year ago for a has-been who is around 8 years older. Especially, when Ospina did really well and gained the trust of the defenders in front of him. This death-end rumours taking shape because the media want Arsenal to explode financially and as a club. Chelsea will be laughing to the bank if this transfer happens. Courtois is actually a slower pace considering of all his talents, can u imagine how slow second choice Cech is? I still vividly remember the goal by Cisse against him. Essentially when he is second field for two years and gonna be 34 soon. Ospina and Szech is way younger and already better than him. Him coming will ultimately cost the future of our GK duo. It’s like a old bird in the bush is worth more than two young birds in hand. Come on, guys. We should protest it.

  • Chrissie

    I also would like Ospina to stay, I think he is a better keeper than Szczesny.

    Why is Chelsea selling Cech to us, after all they didn’t want to sell Mata to us?

  • Prayerz

    I don’t think we really need Cech at the moment. I love the 2 we have already.Cover for Le Coq, a few more goals upfront and we are good to go. We will have him if he comes yea, but he is not a necessity. We have not been bad defensively for the past couple of years bar the odd games hear and there which happens even to the best of teams.

  • Sav from Australia

    I believe stories of his demise have been greatly exaggerated. If the deal pans out then it means Arsene rates his ability and that is good enough for me, if it pans out.

  • Jerry

    Good write up Walter, I also feel Ospina is being hard done due to the home grown rules if Cech is brought p.m. and the media perception of what a gk is supposed to look like – tall, strong but skinny, calm, commanding, etc…

    The media tried saying the same things about Oezil because of the way he looks on the field, but they never actually saw how he and Ospina actually performed. These players might not have the appearance of others that play the same position, but they play brilliant when given the chance.

  • Gary

    Great article thanks Walter. I rate Ospina and do not want to see him go. My heart says the stories are bull, but they seem very convincing.

  • Damilare

    Eye opening stats there Walter. Thank you.

    I don’t know exactly how to feel. AW will only buy Cech because he thinks he is an upgrade on the GKs we have. On that I trust his judgement. But on who to release? I’d rather let Szczesny go and keep Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooospina!

    Can’t we make up for our home grown quota from other outfield players?

    If Cech comes, I still won’t know how to feel but I will support any player in Arsenal shirt.

  • Stan The Man

    Excellent write-up Walter. Quite enlightening. Cruel hand dealt to Ooooooooooooospina. Grown to love the guy in such a short time he’s been at Arsenal. Sad if he truly has to go. Very sad. He looks like the kind of keeper that will win a lot of things for us. Dont want to think of it too much….
    Hope this deal with Chelsea doesn’t turn out like a certain transfer involving William Gallas. That was one that didn’t end well for me as a fan.

  • Arvind

    There’s 2 sides to this Walter.

    a) If Cech comes do we get a high quality player? Yes. I’ll put my neck on the line now…right now… and say that if he comes and starts, and we don’t have horrendous injury luck – we’ll either win the league or finish 4-5 points off the top. He’s that good.

    b) Do I want Cech to come? NO. Flat out NO. What has Ospina done wrong to be dumped? Nothing. Its just very very sad.

    People are praising the new “ruthless” Wenger. For me… it just sucks. And sure, we might win the league now – but to me honestly, it won’t feel the same, than if we’d won it with any of the kid teams up until now.

    It’ll still be an achievement – don’t get me wrong – but this is…this is natural progression, with a great manager at the helm. Maybe the next 2-3 years. Anyway, I hope it falls through and both keepers stay and surprise Wenger. Doubt it though – too much smoke 🙁

  • Josif

    Ospina – in my book – is the best goalkeeper Arsene has ever signed for Arsenal. His positioning made his saves look easy last season so he didn’t receive enough praise for his work. He had two poor moments last season – his handling of Gomis’ header and the last goal of the season we conceded.

    Čech is still a world-class goalkeeper and one of the best of all times. If he signs and Ospina leaves, we would have two goalkeepers that shared The Golden Glove in 2013-14.

    I would be said if we lose Ospina but let’s not forget Arsene’s only big signing before 2003-04 was 33-year-old international goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.

  • Tom

    Comparing players’ stats across different leagues is a dicey proposition , especially when one league is considered stronger than the other.

    For example keepers in League 1 face less shots on goal per game than their counterparts in the PL.
    Also there’s a difference of total goals scored of about 10 to 13% less in League 1 than in the PL.

  • Finlay Hunter

    Its difficult to draw any real conclusions from those stats; each keeper was playing behind a different defence for the majority of the games (even Ospina’s games in the Arsenal team coincided with the return from injury for a few key players compared to Szczesny’s games last season).

    The crosses claimed and punched are going to be heavily influenced by the number of crosses the defence allows. If the defence doesn’t allow any crosses, then the keeper can’t claim or punch any of them. Clean sheets are as much down to the defence as they are the goalkeeper. Even the save percentage depends on the quality of the shots that the defence allows (long range shots are going to be easier to save than something in the 6 yard box). The passing accuracy is probably a decent comparison, but even that can be dictated by touchline instructions – playing a short pass instead of hitting it long will boost those numbers.

    My personal opinion is that Cech is level above Ospina and Szczesny and will be a great keeper for Arsenal for at least 2-3 years if he comes. And I think Szczesny will be a better keeper by the end of that by trying to compete with Cech than he will by competing with Ospina, especially if Cech brings his goalkeeper coach as rumoured. It might be tough on Ospina, but if you can buy a player to improve the team, you should do it.

  • Nonny

    As much a I rate Cech, I still feel Ooooooospina is a top GK and should be given a chance. All these £10.9m for Cech could still be just a smoke screen. Remember the story of a World Class striker who was rumoured to have signed for Arsenal and was sighted at the airport and there after it turns out to be a ruse.

    If AW decides to replace Ooooooospina with Cech, I wouldn’t mind but I’m hoping for a pleasant surprise from AW and I think I won’t be disappointed and it’s not Cech.

  • nicky

    The most worrying aspect for me is that for years, Cech has been used to playing behind a parked bus.
    This is simply not the Arsenal way and one wonders how he would fit in….if indeed we are going to sign him. 😉

  • Jambug

    I don’t know what to think.

    One thing I do know is he certainly isn’t worth 15 points to us.

    I said that to a guy at work today. My reasoning was, that what that means is our keepers cost us 15 points, or 5 defeats, and there is no way that happened.

    I said Most of our points where dropped at the start of the season, when we had injuries and when the German lads where suffering a severe WC hang over.

    I explained that since Ospina came in we only lost one league game.

    I said his stats are a match for anyones.

    He wouldn’t have. He’s read it in the Sun so it must be true.

    No proof. No logic. No stats. No sense.

  • Arvind

    I think its more subjective Jambug…having seen Cech make a ton of key key saves at key times in seasons, than what Ospina has done. IMO we don’t need Cech… but there’s no denying he comes with greater pedigree than any of our keepers – that’s just the rational side of me talking.

    Again, do I want him? NO. But if Ospina wanted to move (hypothetically) then its a fantastic signing. Technically. Then the ‘from chelsea’ thing comes in… just as it was with Mr Gallas. I don’t like it – it’s just the way the world is these days.

    Pretty sad, but its true.

  • Arvind

    The other thing Jambug, is that in my own opinion – any keeper who played our second half season would have great stats. Its just because everything clicked that time. Its why Santi looked good, Coquelin looks like the world’s greatest DM and Ozil is gliding around doing what he does best…and Alexis well keeps er doing what he has always been doing 🙂

    It never is as simple as ‘buy this 50 million player and that ONE player fixed Arsenal’ .. never… it just appears that way. If say the much maligned Almunia had played in goal, I’m willing to bet he’d have looked pretty good too.

    Again, I hope this is a vapour transfer. I doubt we need anyone, honestly. Unless Arteta and Flamini both leave in which case we need a backup for Coq as Byelik (spelling wrong) is probably too young. Or we might see Chambers fill that slot, who knows 🙂

    Anyway exciting times to be an Arsenal fan. For any new fan reading – cherish these next 5-6 years – they’ll be hard to better. There, I said it 🙂

  • rich

    Only keepers i’m confident about as being ahead of the pack- of good or very good keepers- are De Gea and Courtois.

    Cech at his best would be up there with them, but I’ve no idea how close to his best he remains.

    One thing I’m sure of- he won’t be as good as Ospina in sweeper type situations.

    Lehmann’s sending off in the final left pretty deep psychic wounds for me which haven’t been helped by it being one of the weaker parts of Szczesny’s game, and so Ospina’s excellence at that aspect of goalkeeping has been incredibly welcome (a couple more seasons of it and I may have been on the road to recovery and able to stop thinking, a few times a year, ‘what if Lehmann had just stayed on his feet?’ Ok, maybe not. That won’t end till we win the thing)

    If we have signed Cech (and I’m currently 50:50, and dropping with each Mail article) Wenger must have a much stronger sense than me of where the player is at these days, and it could well be that character and personality figure strongly in it.

    We know confidence in football is a strange and important variable, and maybe it really is true that people who have been there and done it can be a big psychological help to those who haven’t. Literally, a confidence trick. I’ve always been doubtful of that, but Wenger no doubt knows whether it’s true or not.

    My own amateur days don’t help one bit : we never got close to a bloody title.

  • Jambug


    You make some valid points but playing devils advocate:

    “– any keeper who played our second half season would have great stats.”

    Couldn’t you equally say ‘any keeper playing behind a Mourinho bus’ would have great stats?

    Personally, as has been suggested by a few posters on here, I think that is a really important factor.

    It is obvious Arsenal play a much more offensive type of game than Chelsea, and that alone can expose our keepers to much more pressure than would be the case at Chelsea.

    This, some would say, over zealous approach, with an occasional criminal dereliction of defensive duties, has up until recently, lead to us taking a few sever beatings, ’13’ ’14 season being a prime example.

    But despite that, and despite the cautious Mourinho approach, Szczesny kept as many clean sheets as Cech.

    I’m not dissing Cech at all, all I am saying is to claim putting Cech in, in place of either, would turn 5 defeats into victories, is to me, ludicrous.

    This from ‘Pro soccer talk’ in may 2014

    Top 10 Keepers

    10. Joe Hart, Manchester City
    England’s No. 1 backstopped his club to a Premier League title, but not without some mid-season questions as to whether his backup should get the No. 1 seat. Not many players on this list had their job status questioned this year.

    9. Hugo Lloris, Tottenham
    The Frenchman is very, very good. Appears poised to make the move to a great keeper soon, but needs to eliminate the baffling performances

    8. Vito Mannone, Sunderland
    Of all the “great keeper on a bad team” arguments, Mannone’s leaps above David Marshall of Cardiff and John Ruddy of Norwich. Much like his Northeast counterpart, Tim Krul, there have been so many matches where Sunderland could’ve conceded many more goals with an inferior keeper.

    7. Petr Cech, Chelsea
    Classic game orchestrator. Not taking slots away from the team in front of him, but his reputation would place him higher than his game at this point. Still a fantastic netminder.

    source: Getty Images6. David De Gea, Manchester United
    Once he eliminated the excessive taco eating — this was a story, folks — De Gea found his place as perhaps the most effective player on his underachieving team. Making the Spain roster is sign enough he’s announced his arrival.

    5. Tim Krul, Newcastle United
    Watch this team for more than 10 minutes and you might think Krul deserves to be No. 1. His early season was incredible, but his form dipped with his team’s late in the year. Krul rarely gives up a bad goal, and that happened a few times in the final couple months.

    4. Simon Mignolet, Liverpool
    Left out to dry on many occasions, Mignolet can play with the best of them. Get him an average defense and you might just see that next year.

    3. Tim Howard, Everton
    Tied with our No. 1 for clean sheets, the American backstop was phenomenal in completing Everton’s rise. Under-appreciated for distribution, especially lengthy kicks.

    2. Asmir Begovic, Stoke City
    He’s very, very good… a complete keeper already at the age of just 26.

    1. Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal
    He’s brilliant in all aspects of the game, from shot-stopping to positioning a defense to distribution. And despite what his almost impossibly-awkward lack of sideburns (read: dad haircut) might tell you, he’s only 24. And in our book, already the best.

    And this from Premier regarding last season

    So, Lloris and De Gea are the masters so far this season at keeping goals out, which, thankfully for them, is quite literally the job of a goalkeeper. As discussed above, this figure is derived from looking at the shots that they have faced and by doing this you can get output a figure for average save difficulty. Both the Spurs and Man Utd men still feature in this list but it throws up some other names, with Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny the goalkeeper who has faced the trickiest efforts in the division this season; an interesting point given that he is currently being kept out of the starting XI by David Ospina (who has an average save-difficulty rating of 0.285).

    In one of the Statistic web sites I found for 2014/15 it had a table for the keeper that made most mistakes leading to a goal.

    Joe Hart was second worst with 4. Neither of our keepers where mentioned. Also trawling around these sites you’ll find both Szczesney and Ospina rate pretty well and almost always BETTER than Hart, but I’d bet you a pound to a pinch everyone would be wetting there knickers if it was Hart we may be getting.

    Again, I’m not saying our lads are better, or worse, than either Cech or Hart, but the stats, and what I see with my own eyes, tell me that our keepers are, if not a match, then very close to them.

    15 points?

    Sorry, absolute tosh.

  • Al

    Ospina for me, all day every day. I can’t see Wenger letting a player he signed less than 12 months ago leave.

    As I was reading through the article I was thinking to myself surely someone will try and dismiss Ospina’s stats as they’ll claim he wad playing in the weaker French league. And I wasn’t disappointed 🙂 We hear everyday how the premiership is supposed to be the best league in the world. Yet the teams from other leagues always seem to di better than those from the premiership in the CL,Europa League, etc. I don’t know where that belief comes from, as the evidence does not suggest that.

  • apo Armani

    June 24, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Bang on AGAIN mate!!

  • apo Armani

    June 24, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    “I don’t know where that belief comes from, as the evidence does not suggest that.”

    The belief comes from IMHO from people who get confused by the seemingly close or tightly fought EPL where lower [in table] teams cause regular upsets to the teams at the upper part of the table. What is forgotten is that in the EPL kicking and leg breaking of opponents from lower team is allowed hence the tightness of the league!!! this does not stand a chance in other European leagues and certainly not in the CL!

  • Mandy Dodd

    If reports are true, we are getting Cechs coach as well, who is also rated highly. IF Ospina goes, he has had a very good season, I hope he uses this to have a lot of success and make a shed load wherever he goes. IF the Cech thing happens, and IF his coach comes, maybe the powers that be think the highly talented Pole in goal may benefit in the long term…..but you will notice a lot of IFs in there.
    Going purely on Bob Wilson s tweet, looks to me like Cech is on his way, but we know not to underestimate Jose , a manipulative man who clearly does not like Arsenal, and especially our manager very much at all. If he put a spanner in the works, he would in one fell swoop destabilise our team, especially the keepers, safe in the knowledge the AAA/media would blame Wenger for this not going through, surely a tantalising prospect for a man like Jose.
    If Cech does arrive, I will welcome him , and his coach but still rate the keepers who we do have right now

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ nicky – June 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm – When I read the stories about Cech joining us along with a coach , I was under the impression that it was the very same coach (or bus ) that was always parked in front of him at Chelski !

  • ARSENAL 13

    Well, Checked..

    People forget some odd goals (Almuniaesque) Cech had conceded. Last 2 years or so. But then all keepers go through that. He comes with a big reputation, no doubt. But, is it enough to put Ospina out. Not. Ospina and Szczesny have age. Cech doesnt.

    BUT the main question here remains. Are we really interested. Or is it a vapour. Are we going to give Chelsea (our rivals) the finance (good money) they need for other purchases. I have my doubts.

    Szczesny and Ospina I vote. (As if Mr Wenger will listen to me. Durham effect….sic)

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The difference .

    A London lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by an Irish Police .

    He thinks that he is smarter than the cop because he is a lawyer, from London , and is certain that he has a better education than any Paddy cop.

    He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the Police’s expense!

    Irish Police says,’ License and registration, please.’

    London Lawyer says, ‘What for?’

    Irish Police replies, ‘You didn’t come to a complete stop at the Stop sign.’

    London Lawyer says, ‘I slowed down, and no one was coming.’

    Irish Police says, ‘You still didn’t come to a complete stop.

    License And registration, please.’

    London Lawyer says, ‘What’s the difference?’

    Irish Police says, ‘The difference is, you have to come to complete stop, that’s the law. License and registration, please!’

    London Lawyer says, ‘If you can show me the legal difference between ‘slow down’ and ‘stop’, I’ll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don’t give me the ticket.’

    Irish Police says, ‘Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir.’

    The London lawyer exits his vehicle. The Irish Police takes out his baton and starts beating the living daylights out of the lawyer with it and says, ‘Do you want me to stop, or just slow down?’

  • Arvind

    @Jambug: I don’t think our keepers are crap. I think they’re very good. I think Szcz has it in him to be a great, if he toned down the cockiness just a wee wee bit at times. Its good to be confident, and maybe a bit thick skinned, but its a fine line between being confident and over-confident. If Szcz figures out when to do what.. he’ll be a great, I’m convinced.

    I haven’t watched much football last 3 years so am not in a great position to rate Ospina. But stats while they don’t say all of it – don’t lie. And if Ospina’s up there, it means , that at the very very least – he’s a good keeper.

    On the everyone looks good behind a parked bus comment Jambug, there’s merit in it. However, I’m basing what I am saying purely on the few saves I’ve seen Petr Cech make at crucial moments in the past. And those weren’t saves every keeper would make. Don’t ask me for stats – I don’t have them :). It is a purely subjective argument.

    I just wish we didn’t have to buy from rival teams. Just shows you how few ‘world-class’ keepers are left out there. Again, I hope its a vapour transfer. Its mostly not though. If it is and AFC get someone else in under the radar, I will be laughing so much at everyone 😀

  • Menace

    There are several blocks on goal bound shots that do not appear in GK stats. The most critical are where the ‘second string GK aka Chelsea full backs’ save with their hands. These do not get called foul nor penalty but praised for being brilliant blocks!!!

    If stats were correctly including ‘foul blocks’ & deliberate handballs, then there would be a lot in them.

    My view is that Ospina is a great GK for Arsenal & Szcz is brilliant but needs to mature. Szcz will be the best in the world within the next season if he gives up the smoking & focuses on his football.

  • nicky

    The cosseting of professional footballers gets more ludicrous by the day.
    They already have to have leeches called agents and now Cech, if he signs for Arsenal, will be accompanied by his personal coach.
    As Brickfields G says, it is probably the one Chelsea used to park game after game…to bore the opposition to death. 😉

  • Jambug


    An old cliché, ‘It is all about opinions’ and there are many and varied on here.

    The overriding feeling I get on here is that our keepers, especial Ospina, have done very little wrong and it would be very harsh on either of them to be ditched for Cech.

    Apart from the odd rush of blood to the head, Szcz was extremely reliable, and the stats, some of which I have shown, and or referred to, and that are out there for everyone to see, show that.

    We all know, that for whatever reason, he had a dip this year and Ospina stepped in. And did he step up to the plate.

    Ospina has basically done nothing wrong, and one hell of a lot right.

    The problem is people are so caught up in this ‘Cech is World Class’, ‘Arsenals keepers are crap’ mentality, that they don’t evaluate it at all.

    There is no room for analysis or debate, it is a fact because that’s the way it is. They say it in the SUN, They say it on SKY and most of all they say it on Talksport so it MUST be true. But is it?

    As has been shown here, it is NOT that simple, and if nothing else, it is definately worth much closer scrutiny than that.

    As I keep saying, it is certainly not as simple as saying ‘get Cech and he’ll be worth 15 points to you’ !

  • ARSENAL 13

    And for the point that Jambug makes, “not worth 15 points”. I agree.

    Can we just look back this season and analyse how many points were lost due to goal keeping errors. In ARSENALs case ie. Other than Southamptom brainfart I dont remember any. So 3 points was it? Only?. Is that 3 points worth 11 million + 5 million per year(as reported)? I doubt that.

    And then this talk about winning mentality he will bring to the squad. If 2 FA cups back to back cant instill this, what can one Cech do.

  • arse_or_brain

    The “playing behind a parked bus” point is a good one Ithink we all remember wright being hailed as the next brilliant keeper but then couldnt concentrate when doing nothing for long periods of time. Of course Cech is a much more experienced keeper but playing with a team who push on and attack is very different.

  • Damilare

    This is about the time I wish one of the AAAs who ‘know’ better could step out and tell us what Wenger is doing about GKs. They seems to always speak with certain finality.

    Anyone out there? Is Cech coming? If yes, explain to us AW’s rationale behind such decision.

  • Jambug


    Now come on, give ’em some credit. You know they’re not stupid enough to have an opinion BEFORE the event. That’s far too risky.

    Nope, they’ll wait patiently behind there key boards, waiting, waiting, for the moment to strike. Well, I mean to start typing furious. And I mean FURIOUSLY !!!

    Because whatever happens that’s what they’ll be, furious.

    If Wenger doesn’t buy him it will be how pathetic Wenger is to miss out, yet again.

    If Wenger does buy him it will be how pathetic Wenger is to waste £11 Million plus on a Chelsea reject.

    Which ever way it goes they’re just keeping there powder dry before they go into there usual full blown Summer melt down.

  • Paulie099

    I didn’t think that a new goalkeeper was the most pressing problem this summer and that may turn out to be the case if a new defensive midfielder comes in. Some will argue that we don’t need another defensive midfielder when we have Le Coq.

    That misses the point, we don’t have anyone in the squad who can play in that position for a sustained period if injury strikes. Short-term cover, yes; Wilshere could play there for a game, Flamini or Arteta at a push but they are not the same player, they don’t give the same protection to the back four as Coquelin. Age has dimmed the latter two whilst the former’s attacking instincts are too difficult to quell.

    There is an instinctive defence mechanism amongst some sections of the support, the squad is fine and doesn’t need anyone else. I must admit I struggle with that mentality; we’ve seen what injuries did to the defence last year, how can you argue that we don’t need depth. Two players for every position with versatility offering three or four for some. If Arsenal want to make a title challenge this season, the squad needs to be ready and able to meet most situations they will face. How they deal with them is a different argument but at least be prepared, unlike previous summers.

    June has flown by, there’s not much time before pre-season training starts. It would be nice to see a couple of new faces in the squad by then, beginning to gel with their teammates. I’m not holding my breath for that to happen though.

  • ob1977

    I love this article and the comments, I partook in a whatsapp chat with a few of my arsenal mates a couple of weeks ago about the possible signing if Cech, I made the apparent disgraceful and unforgivable point that for me due to the defensive nature of Chelsea, with the 2 CB’s, the 2 DM’s , and the deep back line, that I don’t know just how suited he would be to our high back line, how he would beat charging out of his area like the newly phrased “sweeper keeper”, and generally just how good he is anymore… This was met with all sorts, and everyone was up in arms, basically I was told he is world class and that was that, “end of”… And is still being referenced by some of them.
    I would just like again to say thank you to Untold and it’s readers / commenters for keeping me sane…

  • ob1977

    Oh and after doing a comparison on Szcezney season 13/14, Ospina 14/15, and Cech 12/13 and 13/14, I am convinced that the only thing Cech will bring to the table is an old head, but if that rubs off on Szcezney then by season 16/17 we will have a truly top class/world class keeper on our hands…

  • ob1977

    @Paulie I think this is the defence mechanism you were referring to:
    Szcezney, Debuchey, BFG, Kos, Nacho, Le Coq, Jack, Theo, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.
    Ooooospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Ox, Santi, Gnaby, Wellbeck.
    The sought after 2 for every position, and being that it’s all about opinions I’d have no problems with Jack being asked to play as the DM, not forever no but as a stop gap due to injuries why not, as good as Le Coq’s stats are he doesn’t do it all on his own and I believe the team would look to compensate for the loss of him.

  • Mike T

    Evening All

    Some very interesting and dare I say very honest assessments regarding the potential move of Cech to your good selves

    I am staggered that the normally very prudent Arsenal are prepared to spend what will be a world record fee for an over 30 year old keeper on a player that isn’t first choice at another club

    Ok I know that in part that’s down to us having Courtois but be under no illusion if the powers that be thought Cech was the answer in the short to medium term then it would have been Courtois being sold and not Cech.

    I would doubt any Chelsea supporter has anything other than admiration for a true legend but there is no doubt that there has been a slight decline in his performance levels, as you would expect due to his age but also you do wonder if the injury he suffered at Reading is playing slightly on his mind.
    I can’t help but feel that someone at Arsenal has pointed to the age that Seaman and Leham played on to but that was in the past when you played with a far more rigid back four
    I do think that he at this point in time may, on balance, is just better than what you already have but as has been said by quite a few he isn’t used to advancing off his line as a sweeper.
    At his age is he going to improve ? I think we all know the answer to that question.
    Having paid quite a big fee for him he almost is guaranteed a starting berth and I doubt that whichever of the two keepers remain at Arsenal, bearing in mind both had spells as number 1 at Arsenal ,will be happy playing second fiddle knowing that there is little or no chance in the foreseeable future of them regaling the number one slot .
    Everything about the transfer, the reported fee, the reported wages, the age of the player, the supposed length of the contract leaves me scratching my head .

  • Arvind

    Mike T: I think part of it is because Szcz and Ospina are the same age and one of them was going to go next year at most, if they didn’t get game time. So I think that’s made AW’s mind up for him. I don’t know how good Cech will be – if he comes at all that is :). If Szcz is staying – I think AW is hoping Cech’s calmness will rub off on him and he’ll learn from the big guy. Maybe.

  • Gord

    I’ve been out of town (at the farm), no phone, no water, sleeping in a tent. And it is getting warm, tomorrow and Sunday we should be setting record high’s at 30C. Down sleeping bags with daytime that warm, is not a good choice.

    Some people may become acclimated to park the bus, and then never be able to change back. I have no idea how adaptable Cech is. But, in ice hockey when the Edmonton Oilers were a force, all the players (3 forwards and 2 defence) were basically forwards. They got the puck and headed off to the other end to score goals. The goaltender was meant to fend for himeself.

    I see there is still no news at about Cech.

    One of my worries in this, is what happens to Martinez and the other youth goalkeepers in the system. There are comments about good goaltenders (and maybe you were purposely restricting to EPL or England), but no mention of Buffon or Casillas. Could Martinez benefit by going on loan to either of those teams?

  • goonergerry

    Anyone see Argentina vs Colombia- gives weight to the Ospina supporters- of which I am one. Basically he kept Colombia in the game- and if he was a crap keeper he would not be capable of such a performance- -I like the idea of signing Cech but would be great to have 2 really good keepers- and no I don’t think Szcz was professional enough in his attitude last season after he was dropped after a poor performance at Southampton and possibly more?- He needs to grow up and demonstrate that he can overcome mistakes and disappointments. A year on loan or going elsewhere would be OK by me for the pole who will still be a young keeper in a years time.

  • Sammy The Snake

    while trusting AW completely…
    I don’t want to see Ospina leave.
    My guess is that Sir Scz will be leaving due to his smoking habits. Then we will have two world class GK.
    Arsenal are a long term club. AW didn’t buy Ospina for just a single season.