He was known as one of the Worlds finest goalkeepers, a shot stopper and a safe pair of hands between the sticks but cracks are emerging in his armoury.
Mistakes that are normally made by much lesser players in the position are starting to stack up and so are the questions about his ability to perform at the highest level.
Kicking the ball to the opposition, looking unsure on crosses and seemingly heavy legged, Petr Čech is having a crisis that makes his career in North London look uncertain. It may be that he doesn’t have the confidence in the defence which is clearly suspect or that he is having a crisis of confidence.
Maybe it’s a decline in his judgement and ability which unfortunately comes to all great players when Father Time whispers in their ear. Whichever it is, Wenger has an issue that he must solve if Arsenal are to challenge for major honours.
Back in 2015, The Telegraph sport asked if Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho had seen a decline and as a result, agreed to sell. It went on to examine the details and noted that ‘Cech’s performances and statistics were in decline.’
Here are few paragraphs from that Telegraph article:
There has been a rise in the number of goals Cech concedes per game, with his best five seasons (in years he was first choice) coming in his first five campaigns at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2009.
His best in this regard was his first – when Chelsea set a Premier League record low 15 goals conceded in a season – and his numbers have gradually worsened over the years, rising over one goal shipped per game for the first time in 2011/12 and continuing at a poor rate for the following campaign.
The 0.29 he conceded per game last season is little more than an anomaly given he managed only seven appearances.
So, concerns were developing in 2015 and those concerns seem to be deepening as each season passes. Mourinho obviously sensed that his keeper was loosing his edge and although he didn’t want to sell him to Arsenal, he did want to sell.
Statistics obviously don’t tell the whole story, fans are the first to notice the diminishing abilities of a player long before many coaches but fans don’t make those key decisions.
At first glance his career record doesn’t appear that bad but having witnessed the performances this season, it’s fair to dismiss the numbers.
Here are the statistics from Premier League‘s official website:
Appearances – 429, Clean Sheets – 199, Wins – 272, Losses – 70, Goals Conceded – 312, Errors Leading To Goal – 22, Own Goals – 2
Saves – 951, Penalties Saved – 3, Punches – 213, High Claims – 569, Catches – 257, Sweeper Clearances – 202, Throw Outs – 1,924, Goal Kicks – 2,719
He has been remarkable for football, more so at Chelsea than Arsenal but perhaps it’s time to go before his reputation is tainted further. Wenger may have to buy in the summer but he knows only too well that talented goalkeepers are hard to come by.
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