When Arsene Wenger made Petr Cech an Arsenal player with a surprise transfer from Premier League rivals Chelsea early in the summer, the fans were over the moon. Little did we know that was to be the only addition to the Gunners first team squad but at least we thought it would be an important one.
So did Jose Mourinho and the Chelsea manager´s reluctance to let Cech come to the Emirates has proved well grounded. I think it was his former team mate John Terry who said that Cech would be worth something like 10 extra Premier League points over the season and although it is impossible to quantify something like that, we have certainly seen the veteran stopper’s worth many times already.
Of course it was not just the performances of Cech that rescued our Champions League campaign but after losing the first two games without him and with an Ospina error a large reason for our predicament, Cech was a massive factor in the great escape.
Not only did he make a number of key saves but he brings a presence that seems to improve the whole team, especially the defence. And the confidence he brings to the party was in clear evidence again this week with that brilliant response reported by Metro after the game in Greece to a reporter who asked who would have thought it possible.
Cech replied, “We did!”
You just know that he meant it too, and that he was not just saying the right thing. Even after his nightmare debut cost the Gunners the first game of the season he never let it bother him but just came back stronger. So Cech has brought an unshakable belief across London along with some serious goalkeeping skills. Maybe Wenger knew what he was doing after all.