By Walter Broeckx
Welcome Petr and goodbye…. whoever will leave us this summer from our goalkeepers. Let us start with the latter. I don’t think having 3 top quality keepers hanging around will be the ideal scenario so I think one of Szczesny and Ospina will leave us. Either one leaving us will be a sad moment for me.
I love Szczesny because he feels very much like one of ours and his comments on social media have always shown him to love the club as a fan would do. And OOooooooossspina… well what can you say about him. Apart from his first match in the league cup he looked a great keeper.
He has one of the highest shot stops numbers from keepers in the PL and he also had the same (highest shot stop %) in the current copa America. I loved his calmness and the way he played very much. So if one of them will have to go, I will feel sad about it and whish him the best in the rest of his career.
But the boss has decided that he wanted Cech and so Cech came. The story is that Wenger wanted Cech already when he was still playing in Sparta Prague but that it went wrong in those days. Cech then went to Rennes and in 2004 joined Chelsea.
Well he won all that could be won when the oil or should I say gaz money came in to Chelsea. He is a great keeper and has always been a great keeper in the PL till last season when he lost his place to Courtois. A player that I would have wanted at Arsenal when he came above water in Belgium and where he was amazing in winning the title for Genk in his first season. Well who knows in a few years time we might see him also make the cross over to the red part of London…
But Cech it is for now. 33 years old and that is not too old for a keeper but still most of the time you might think he will lose the sharpest reflexes. But on the other hand Van Der Sar was even older when he joined United and was a wonderful keeper for them all these years. Will we be as lucky as United with him on board?
He won the CL, a few league titles, the FA cup a few times, the league cup and he also won a few personal titles. Three times the golden glove and one of them he had to share with Szczesny. He was voted Czech player of the year seven times and he played 114 times for the Czech national team. He will probably break the record of Poborsky in the next season.
Tomas Rosciky will now have a compatriot at Arsenal with Cech. One can wonder what the influence of Tomas was in this transfer of course.
I think over the last 10 years Cech has been one if not the best and most consistent performer in goal in the PL. Of course playing in front of a team that has been built on strong defensive tactics all these years will have been helfpul to get good stats. We now have to see how he will cope with playing for a team that is going to attack more and defend less or in fewer numbers.
I do admit that for the first time I am not overwhelmed with joy about a new player signing for us because of the reason mentioned at the start of this article. But that he was a keeper that would have cemented a place if he had joined us some 10 years ago, of that I am sure.
His style is the somewhat sobre style of goalkeeping. Not a flashy one but he looks, just like Ospina, usually in control and calm. I hope he can transform that on the defenders so that they feel sure with him behind their back. Something that you have to work out and see how it will go in the future.
One of the really interesting things is that in just over one month his new club (Arsenal) and his old club (Chelsea) stand at Wembley to dispute the community shield. And it will be interesting to see if Wenger plays Cech against his former team and how he performs. A dream scenario would be that he plays and we win of course. That would be the ultimate Mourinho nightmare I think. Mmmm, come to think of it, I would love that scenario very much.
So Arsenal has brought another top class player to North London just as we did the last 2 seasons. Will we get more top class players coming in? Only one man knows and I feel fine to know that Wenger is that man. The squad surely is stronger with Cech and I can imagine that whoever is staying from our current goalkeepers will have to perform at the top level to even stand a chance of making the team. Because I don’t think Wenger will have spent that much money on a goalkeeper and then don’t play him a lot.
We have a new Arsenal player now, and I wish him a very successful career at Arsenal.
Welcome Petr and show the world that you still are the best! Arsenal can only benefit from this.