I’d Love to Have Petr Cech at Arsenal, Wouldn’t You?
Picture yourself being Petr Cech, arriving at Chelsea as a young lad from French outfit, Stade Rennais, to understudy Carlo Cudicini.
As fate would have it, Cudicini would suffer an elbow injury in preseason, which allowed Jose Mourinho to promote you to become the first choice goalie at such a young age. You repay his faith with 21 clean sheets, as well as conceding only 15 goals all season in the Premier League (six in Stamford Bridge, nine away). And yeah, the defensive record plays a vital role in your team’s Premier League triumph in 50 years. The next season, you retain the Premier League, win the Czech Footballer of the Year award as well as the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper for that year.
The world is at your feet, you’re well recognized in the beautiful game then on that fateful day in October 2006, Stephen Hunt inadvertently cracks your skull and you’re out injured for a couple of months. You come back strong and keep eight consecutive clean sheets, winning the Player of the Month award for the first time in your career.
As the years go by, the trophies continue to pile up. Four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League and one Europa League. The individual awards for your performances are endless; Premier League Golden Gloves (three times), Czech Footballer of the Year (seven times), Czech Golden Ball (eight times), UEFA Best Goalkeeper (three times), PFA Team of the Year (twice) and even the Chelsea Player of the Year (once).
While basking in the euphoria of being Chelsea’s undisputed No. 1 with the likes of Hilario, Mark Schwarzer and co. playing second fiddle, Chelsea sign a promising young goalkeeper from Genk. At 17, he won the accolades of being the Belgian League’s Goalkeeper of the Year award as well as the Genk Player of the Year award. ‘He’s still a kid’, you thought. ‘Maybe I should mentor him’. You were not afforded the chance to mentor the lad because he was farmed out on loan to Atletico Madrid that needed a replacement goalie after the departure of David de Gea to Manchester United.
After 154 appearances in three seasons for Atletico, as well as winning the La Liga, Copa del Rey, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup coupled with some individual accolades such as the La Liga Zamora Trophy (twice), La Liga Goalkeeper of the Year (once), Best Belgian Player Abroad (twice) and Belgian Sportsman of the Year (once), Thibaut Courtois was returning to Chelsea and you, Petr Cech, your place was under threat.
Your fears were realized when Courtois made his debut while you sat on the bench, something you weren’t used to in your illustrious career. Little did you know that you were going to see a whole lot of that as the campaign progressed. Your first game in the season came in Capital One clash against Bolton. After several games on the bench, you managed to get a start against Maribor and resumed your bench duties as the Premier League campaign continued. Your first League appearance came in December when Courtois got injured and you did well to keep a clean sheet.
The winter transfer window was open and the third-choice goalie, Mark Schwarzer, joined Leicester City. You were disgruntled due to lack of playing timer and was heavily linked with a move to AS Roma but your cuntbag of a manager told you that you’re going nowhere and you’d have to wait to the summer to decide your future.
You managed to get a start in the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham and you didn’t play any game till April, in the 3-1 win over Leicester. Last night, you sat on the bench as West Brom took your teammates to the cleaners but it’s evident that you’re officially the back up goalie to the new kid on the block. He has made 38 appearances in his debut season with Chelsea, you’ve been reduced to just 15.
Now your agent has dropped the bombshell that would make this summer quite interesting.
*leaving Petr Cech first-person mode*
With Manchester United set to lose de Gea to Real Madrid, the media has tipped Hugo Lloris as his successor but Cech will be a good option for them. Cech is a world-class goalkeeper that has been downright consistent over the years and signing him from Chelsea will be a great step going forward because in my honest opinion, he’s a better goalie than Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina. At 32, he is a vastly experienced individual and he can offer the club three to four years of his career before deciding to retire in Sparta Prague or something.
In terms of cost, Cech is an aging goalie that is bent on leaving the club and he’d be available for a cut-down price but the only stumbling block I’d see is Jose Mourinho. With PSG, Man United and other clubs interested, I feel that he’d rather sell to them than Arsenal.
Let’s see how things go this summer.
I’d love to have Petr Cech at Arsenal, wouldn’t you?
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