‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.’ –Amelia Earhart

In recent days Wenger and the Arsenal made, what in my humble opinion, will be a momentous decision for the future of the club and its members. The arrival of one of the world’s best keepers and a proven winner is both a statement of intent and a challenge to the current squad. Here’s why:

  • Walter spoke about his mixed feelings vis a vis a third keeper’s arrival. I agree that it may be the signal that either Szceszny or Ospina won’t want to hear but it is one that was needed. Szceszny absolutely needs a role model and mentor and Cech is the best one available. Ospina is now in a 3 way battle for top spot and that cannot be a bad thing.
  • I am not sure that Wenger will get rid of either Szceszny or Ospina. If he uses Ospina as backup and loans out Szceszny, then we’re in excellent shape.
  • We needed Cech because clearly Woijech is too immature and too cocky at the same time. His best years are ahead of him. Being benched this year seemed to do wonders for his concentration and overall commitment. He was very impressive in the FA Cup, imagine what competing with Cech will do for him!
  • Cech brings the following to AFC – vast experience and expertise in the EPL, world class skills, a positive role model, the ‘winning’ attitude Arsene likes, at 33 he is mature and has the best years of his career ahead of him, is a team player and a classy person, a calm and pragmatic approach to goalkeeping, a desire to be a team player,etc.
  • His attitude and personality seem to be a near-perfect fit to the AFC/Arsene style,
  • He was a soft-spoken leader at Chelsea and everyone seemed to respect him, except of course their acc (anti-Chelsea Chelsea) plastic fanboys, who he has reprimanded for their stupidity publicly,
  • If it is true that he wanted to play for AFC 10 years ago but due to visa issues was unable to sign, then that means he respects Wenger and the team and that is a great start,
  • Cech has won more trophies in his 10 years at Chelsea than all our recent keepers combined. He has stated publicly that he believes the Arsenal can accomplish greater things in the coming seasons, and that he wants to help make that happen,
  • He has had 333 appearances with Chelsea since 2004 and despite a serious head injury, has shown rock-hard resolution and excellent staying power, just what we need in a squad so injury prone,
  • At 10m sterling, he is a steal…….once again Arsene knows best and once he decides to make a move, it is going to get done and done very, very well!

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  1. Totally agree.
    Petr Cech has been the classiest thing about Chelsea for the last decade.
    He is without a world class keeper and has a huge contribution to make over the next decade. Brilliant that he will be making it for Arsenal. This could be the turbo version of the Pat Jennings capture all those years ago.
    I think all of us will/would be sad to say goodbye to either Szczesny or Ooooospina, but that’s part of the game and both of them will have good careers wherever it may be.
    We just need to get Alexis back safe after next weekend and the look forward to August.

  2. I have to admit wasn’t too excited about the Cech story as it evolved, more because of a feeling a keeper wasn’t an urgent need (I know, not a majority view perhaps).

    Now he is here I can fully see the benefit of having him in the squad — we are strong enough that our buys now are likely going to be more incremental improvements rather than filling holes. His experience is worth more to us than his fee on its own.

    That said, I think its wishful thinking that we could keep all three keepers. Both Szczesny and Ospina have international as well as club ambitions, and being third choice — even at a club like Arsenal, will not give them the game time they need.

    The only viable compromise, that of loaning out one of them doesn’t hold water. Loaning out Ospina sends a message that he isn’t seen as the future, as we keep the younger and less experienced option instead. Selling him may be the natural outcome in that situation.

    Loaning Szczesny seems to work at first glance, but one of the major selling points of your piece (and something I agree completely with) is Cech will make a great mentor for the young Pole. Any kind of loan would make that impossible.

    How it will pan out is hard to judge, perhaps a one year ‘wait and see’ solution before making a final decision. That is the only way I could see a loan for either keeper working, with the clear option to make it permanent if all parties agree.

  3. Ospina won with us, if he is loaned out for two years, it would be the best move. I like that our czczcz stays

  4. We’ve gotten Cech for some days now. The reason why we have kept on Cech…Cech…Cech as if that is the only good signing the Boss has ever made, is because no more signings have been done by the Boss to sift our focus away from Cech. Whose continuous discussing and hailing of him has become stereotype and boring. Let the Boss help us to do a 2nd top quality signing soon. Probably for strengthening his LB or RW or as he deemed necessary, to let us have a new subject matter to discuss and comment on. Less I forget to restate my signing demands for Arsenal next season. A top quality LB & a top quality RW are most required in the current Gunners first team. The DM signing is controversial. Thus it’s better the Boss should leave it and concentrate on signing my prefer LB & RW. Coquelin, Flamini, Arteta, Cazorla and Ramsey are DMs and later 2 can be deployed to play as one. Wilshere may be told to play in the wide right front as Ramsey has objected to being stationed there. Inevitably, a top quality right winger has to be signed by the Boss to inforce his right wing position with 2 tops. I believe the Boss will play Walcott and Welbeck centrally alongside Olivier Giroud in a rotation striker plan. Szczesny shouldn’t be loaned out by the Boss but retained as our FA cup and League Cup games keeper. While Ospina should be the Backup keeper for Cech. But the Boss must give him League games and non crucial Ucl games to play.

  5. Arsenal loan out Maitland-Niles to Ipswich

    Apparently some newspaper has seen the contract, and notes that it contains no ability for Arsenal to recall the player during the season.

    Apparently Arsenal have a team in the Persian Gulf at a tournament. They will play in a semi-final tomorrow, with the final set for July 6.


    Apparently our Spanish contingent of Arsenal Ladies are back in town after the World Cup, as they are to make an appearance at a community event (Monk’s Walk School).

    Abou Diaby may be making a move to Dallas, Texas (MLS team).

  6. I was one of those who was sitting on the fence in term’s of Cech’s signing. I still think Szcecsny has great potential once he matures a bit and I had also come to like Ooooospina (the stats marking him as one of the best keeper in the league further strenthening his case) and would be gutted to see either of them go. So I didn’t really think that Cech was needed. But clearly Cech is a very experienced keeper and Wenger has decided that he can add something to the team. However, there wasn’t a gaping hole in the goalkeeping department that needed to be filled. So the fact that Wenger spent £10mn in a department where we weren’t particularly doing too bad shows me two things:

    1)That Wenger / the club is so focused on winning that they’re willing to spend £10mn even on marginal improvements. As we all know, at the highest level, its the very smallest of things that matter and every inch/ounce of advantage over the opposition counts!

    2) It shows the financial might of Arsenal that we’re now able to spend £10mn on, as I pointed out earlier, a department where we aren’t particularly weak. Contrast this to the situation few years ago where we had gaping holes in the squad, e.g goal-keeping, defensive midfield and even strikers (where the dimunitive Arshavin was asked to lead the line) but didn’t have the funds to sign someone. We’re still not on a level that we would spend 60-70mn on a player, and iit doesnt work out, sell him for a heavy discount and sign another one the next year! But if the Boss finds someone who can really make a difference and improve the team (only if marginally), the club will find the money to sign.

    Both of which are a great thing in my eye!

    Which makes me come to my other controversial point….

    I love Giroud. I absolutely do. I think he is a great player with a big heart. I love the way he absolutely gives his all for the team, takes knocks, and fights for every inch. I love the technical ability he has for a player of his size. His finish has improved a lot too, and as Tony pointed out, he is more successfuly than Thierry Henry was in his first two years!

    However, I think his lack of pace does holds the team back a little and his finishing can still improve. I know we have Walcott with pace but he doesn’t have those other attributes that Giroud has. I don’t know how many other players are out there who can combine the attributes of the two – I can only think of Benzema. But I do hope that Wenger finds someone as I think that is one are where we can and need to (more than goalkeeping anyway) still improve.

    Not to say that we should get rid of Giroud. I hope we can keep him (and also Szceszny and Ospina, are able to field a might strong team for all four competitions (League cup, FA cup, CL and EPL) and win a quadruple! AMEN! or am I asking for too much?

  7. @Sam Sayed,
    I too dithered a bit about the fee for Cech….until I read your well-reasoned comment above.
    You rightly draw attention to Arsenal’s burgeoning financial might, together with the fact that the Club is now prepared to spend considerable funds on even marginal improvements.
    Well said. 😉

  8. Feel for our other keepers but this seems more and more like a very positive signing. A,signing, like a few recent buys that will lift the whole team. This keeper will also play a big role in organising and improving the defensive side of the game, an aspect essential in modern day football where we will be up against brilliant counter attacking teams. Plus Cech knows this league…..and some of its secrets. A knowledge at least of some of the darker arts will do us no harm at all.

  9. Ok GOD forbid,Cech gets injured oooooooospina is sold,Szczesny gets a knock so who plays then??? We keep them keepers on all fronts ,though i was not pleased when Cech was announced but he is an Arsenal Player i will go with that now but we need a striker/DM and a CB the rest will be history.

  10. Completely agree and I have a feeling we will keep all three…had made a similar comment is a previous article here on UA prior to Cech signing!

    I think the internal competition for this position can only benefit the side!

  11. Sam Sayyed

    I echo nickys observation.

    Good, well thought out post.

    It made me think anyway. Although I must concede that’s not always a good thing 🙂

  12. I’ve been watching all the sport I can & still haven’t made any decision on how I feel about the signing of Cech. AKB!!! We have a good set of Keepers (in every way) & only need a good set of officials to make the difference this season.

    As for all the bollocks about another LB, DM etc., I am surprised that some of the comments aren’t asking for 15 players a side!!! Arsenal are used to competing against biased odds but in spite of this I think our squad & player cohesion is ready to go for all four.

    Alexis is not playing as well as he can in the Copa. He seems to be a little less defensive & only plays for the team. He is probably keeping it all for the final. I just hop he comes away victorious & fit. He will probably want to play at Wembley in the Community Shield, though Wenger will want him to rest.

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