The Gunners had to battle hard for a point at Stoke City last night, and the 0-0 draw was a fair result after great performances by Jack Butland and Arsenal’s very own Petr Cech. There are very few fans that would not have chosen Cech as their man of the match, but the great man himself says that very few outsiders expected Arsenal to win the game.
Cech said after the game: “[We came here and] everyone [outside the club] thought we were going to lose again. We showed everybody that we can compete. In the circumstances we will take a point and move on. We were unlucky in midweek to concede a late goal and today we will take a point. We are in the position we want to be and we now go to the home game and we are ready to compete again.
“I was pleased with my contribution because sometimes it can be a tricky game. You try to keep your composure in such conditions. Every pass you make you try to do it perfectly and the players in front of you feel confident and that they can relax. It helps and in the second half I did my best to keep everything out.”
Tricky is not the word, and to be fair Jack Butland was brilliant to keep Stoke in the game in the first half until Cech took his turn in the second. The Stoke keeper also had nothing but praise for Petr as well. “His record speaks for itself. What stood out for me, in the first half he had no saves to make but in the second half when we did turn on the pressure he was there when they needed him. That is what [being] a good ‘keeper is all about. It is not just the save but it is about relieving the pressure and making them feel comfortable in front of you.”
I have no doubt that the only reason Arsenal are still on top of the League is down to the arrival of Cech in the summer. It doesn’t matter how many great outfield players and strikers you have in the team, if you don’t have a solid keeper you will lose games that you shouldn’t. Petr is that keeper….