Cech v Courtois – Proof that Arsenal have the better player

Sunday’s Community Shield is all about one player. We’ve taken a look at whether Mourinho made the right choice and how much Arsenal will truly benefit from their new man, Petr Cech. by RC

The Community Shield focuses on two teams. The Premier League Champions and the FA Cup winners. However, this Sunday’s encounter between Arsenal and Chelsea will undoubtedly be about one man, Petr Cech.

The 33-year-old swapped west London for north London this summer in a £10 million deal at the end of June after playing second fiddle to 23-year-old Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea last season.

Petr Cech is set to come face-to-face with with his ex-teammates and former manager, Jose Mourinho, in this weekend’s Premier League curtain raiser. The Czech international lifted the Community Shield twice during his eleven years at Chelsea in 2005 and 2009.

Mourinho was clearly focused on the future when he recalled Thibaut Courtois from his loan at Atletico Madrid in 2014, putting him straight into the Chelsea first team despite Cech’s excellent 2013/14 campaign. In-turn, this left Cech watching from the bench for the majority of last season.

Of his ex-colleague, Chelsea captain John Terry said “Petr Cech was a model professional last year and that is why he got the move he wanted, because of how well he reacted around the place.”

As the season drew to a close, Cech had to make a choice. Stay at Stamford Bridge as Courtois’ number two or move on, in search of first-team football.

Arsenal have undoubtedly landed themselves a world class goalkeeper in Cech, But how does he compare to the man that Mourinho preferred as his number one?

Opta-powered fantasy football game www.oulala.com have taken a look at Cech’s last full season at Chelsea and compared it to Courtois’ debut season.

Of the seven key areas analysed, Cech led for five.

In his 34 Premier League appearances during the 2013/14 season, Cech kept a total of 16 clean sheets, an impressive 47.1%. In comparison, Courtois managed 12 from his 32 games in his debut campaign, a clean sheet rate of 38%.

Cech conceded a total of 24 Premier League goals in the 2013/14 campaign, a rate of a goal conceded every 128 minutes. In contrast, Courtois’ 30 goals in 32 appearances last season equated to a goal conceded every 94 minutes.

The Czech made more saves per goal than the Belgian (2.3 to 2.1), while the former made more saves per game (1.9 to 1.5). Arguably, Courtois’ finest quality is his dominance aerially, therefore it is no surprise that Courtois led Cech for catches per game (3.2 to 1.9).

Interestingly, the 23-year-old was more error prone, possibly down to his lack of experience in the Premier League. The Belgian made a total of 4 defensive errors last season to 2 from Cech in the previous campaign. The 33-year-old was also more successful when it came to distribution accuracy, narrowly edging Courtois 60% to 57%.

Cech  better than Courtois
Do the numbers support the claims that Arsene Wenger has finally landed himself a player good enough to help Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge next season?

Will Mourinho come to regret the choice he made in August 2014 when he promoted the younger Courtois at the expense of the experienced Petr Cech?

Sunday’s showdown could well answer a few questions.


Tags Cech Courtois Mourinho


  1. Chec is a better keeper…
    Courtois’ has more catches, cause is is always quick of his line and trys to catch very areal cross into the box before any attempt on goal can be made…that’s how Charlie Adam caught him off his line with his long range goal last season.
    The way for arsenal to beat Courtois with crosses is NOT to go the areal route,rather roll the ball in..

    1. I agree Courtois looks a little bit flappy when a ball is drilled low across his box, but that is one of Terry’s mains strengths, wrestling in front of players.

      Pace will be key, get behind their slower CBs or in the channels with more than one body.


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  2. Both are top class … Chelsea aren’t stupid to let the better player go … I think they are in the same level but let’s wait and the season will tell …

  3. They are both great keepers. Cech is great with lots of experience. Courtois will even improve as He is still young. Remember, keeper come good with age.

    I wouldn’t hate on Courtois because he is a chelsea keeper now. I remember many saves He made when He was on loan to Athletico Madrid. He caught my fancy several times.

    Having said that, For mi’ I prefer Cech. We almost got Him in 2003/2004 if not for work permit or so…

    Hopefully, our attackers will be clinical on Sunday. The goalies on both end will do their job but the attackers need to be clinical and I hope our attackers will be the clinical ones.. COYG!

  4. While I understand the logic of the article any coach would have done what Mourinho did. Courtois is already one of the top 3 goalkeepers on the planet and he’s only 23. It was either keep Cech and watch Courtois go elsewhere or bench Cech.

    The only thing I have a problem with in this analysis is the dynamic of each Chelsea team. The 2013/2014 Chelsea team was far more defensive minded than the current version. Due to the fact they had a much weaker offensive unit. Cech won the golden glove that year and Chelsea had a ridiculously low amount of goals conceded.

    The current version is more versatile as they have a better offensive unit and for the first half of the season it showed as Chelsea blew away most teams. It was only when Costa, Remy and Drogba got injured they shut up shop. I think 14 or 15 of their last 18 games were won by 1 goal margins.

    One thing that cannot be understated is the steal of a bargain we got for Cech. As it stands there are probably 2, maybe 3 keepers better than he in world football and we got him for a steal. Bar Chelsea, United and Bayern does anyone realize we have a better GK than almost every other club?

    Massively underrated signing.

    1. thank you! good point. cech is simply WC.
      ofc maureen had to go with courtois. he isn’t as experienced, but can be there for the next 10 summers. cech still has some seasons, but not as long as TC.

      We also have 3 keepers, one loaned to Roma who have potential for when Cech steps donw. upwards n onwards

    2. This is literally what I was about to say. Thank you for wording it for me.

      I would add that I think Courtois is possibly a better GK already than Cech in many situations. Ever since his head injury Cech has been shy of intimidating attackers. If players get in and around him and are strong, he has been known to make a few mistakes. Courtois, to my knowledge, has no weakness to openly exploit, so in some situations will be better suited than Cech. I think they’re both in the same league though and really, you’d take either to be in your team. It was a cracking signing for the price we got him for.

  5. Both top goalies.
    Not convinced yet
    Wenger will play Cech.
    Might play that card
    in the EPL clashes.

  6. Off topic.
    Really gonna miss Alexis in that match (com shield)…i don’t know how the hell Wenger thinks, even Messi (Genius of all footballers) is back in training with Barcelona.

      1. PL is the most physically demanding and we get no rest over holidays whereas the others do.

      1. Last season i pointed this out and no one paid attention…ARSENAL playrs are the last to report at the club compared to other teams we tend to gv our playrs extended holidays and they r the first to get injured…am sure sanchez wil mis the first 4 games of the season while we’ll see the likes of vidal messi mascherano di maria bak to their respectiv clubs!

        1. Germany get the largest extended winter break throughout Europe, England gets games thick and fast during that time.

      2. He’s coming back Friday. Chill. He had 52 games last season while Vidal only 45. He deserves the two extra days.

        1. Budd lol

          let me know if you ever hiring ill give up what i’m doing and come work for you 🙂

          they have all the time to recover when they retire at the grand old age of 34

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