The former England international keeper David James has gone against the grain of the football media and suggested that Arsenal have not done the right thing by completing the transfer of Petr Cech from Chelsea.
While most have seen it as a real coup for the Gunners and a big step towards making us a club capable of winning the Premier League title again, including Jose Mourinho and John Terry of course, James seems to think that Chelsea have the better of the deal.
He also thinks that the player they signed to replace the keeper, Asmir Begovic from Stoke, would have been a better move for Arsene Wenger, mainly because of their respective ages but also because James seems to think that Cech is not the player he once was, as revealed in a Daily Mail report.
The 44-year old said, “Petr Cech is a very good goalkeeper but he’s not at his best. At 33 years of age, there’s nothing to say he can’t get back to his best form though.
“If he does then Arsenal still have one hell of a goalkeeper, but Chelsea have still got a very large sum of money for a 33-year-old with one year left on his deal.
“They have gone out and bought (Asmir) Begovic, who was sought after by many big clubs in the last two or three years, and been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.
“He’s got age on his side and, alongside Thibaut Courtois, you’ve got two of the best keepers in the Premier League with 15-plus years ahead of them. If I was an Arsenal fan I would have been happier to have signed Begovic.”
Okay now let me tell you why he is wrong, assuming that he is not just fulfilling his contractual obligations as a BT sport presenter to slag Arsenal off. This notion that Cech has lost form as he had become second choice at Chelsea is rubbish. The truth is that they had to start playing Courtois or risk losing him. Cech shared the Golden Glove award with Szczesny when he was playing the previous season.
And James should know better than to write a keeper off at 33. He was almost 39-years old himself when he broke the Premier League appearance record in 2009 and Cech is a lot better than he ever was, and could even break that record at Arsenal.
Finally, while Begovic is a very good player he is not as good as Cech. And by accepting the move to Chelsea which will see him sitting on the bench for most games, he does not have the same winning mentality as the Czech Republic number one.
Throw in the trophy winning attitude and experience of Cech and you can see why most people are right and James is WRONG about this Arsenal transfer.