Ever since Arsenal’s early defeat to Manchester City when the Gunners were trying to follow Unai Emery’s ‘play out from the back’ tactics for the very first time, Petr Cech has been criticised for his passing out, and of course he came very close to scoring a comical own goal in that game as well.
Since then, Arsenal fans have been calling for Bernd Leno to replace Cech, but the fact is that Cech has saved Arsenal on a number of occasions already this season, saving more shots than any other Premier League keeper so far, and Cech himself feels like he has been treated unfairly. He said: ‘I had 166 passes in the first four games which is a huge amount and everybody picked up on only two,’
‘It’s obviously not a great thing to do when you pass the ball in a dangerous area, like I did at Cardiff when I gave it to Harry Arter but it’s part of the game that you can always make a mistake.’
‘If you look at the evolution of Barcelona and Man City, it didn’t happen overnight. As they got more familiar with that [style], the results came. ‘We’re now in that process of getting to know what advantage it gives us.’
It’s alright saying that Leno is a better passer of the ball, but where is the evidence for that exactly. Cech has vast experience of the Premier League and playing at the very top for the whole of his career, while Leno is still young enough to learn from the maestro.
I am looking forward to seeing Leno in the Europa League (although he shouldn’t have much to do!) and I hope he proves good enough to be Cech’s deputy, but I believe there is no way he should replace Petr in the Premier League this season….