What has happened to Arsenal’s clean sheets?

Petr Cech justarsenal.comWhat’s more concerning, giving away penalties or the fact Cech can’t save them?

Arsenal faced defeat in the Premier League this evening, losing 2-1 to Everton at Goodison Park. The Gunners led the game 1-0 for most of the first half, only before an Everton equaliser right before half time and then a sucker punch winner for Everton in the last minutes of the game.

It was an awful performance from the Gunners and it means that Arsenal have now lost twice in the league this season and on both occasions it’s been against Merseyside opposition. One thing that is a big concern is our poor defence run in recent weeks. The Gunners have been unable to keep a clean sheet since the 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough in Game Week Nine. The match against Everton was game week sixteen.

It’s brings me onto the main topic of conversation, Arsenal’s inability to stop penalties against us. It’s not just poor defending at hand, but when the Gunners do give away a spot kick, Cech seems unable to save them. Arsenal have already had five penalties given against us this season, which is more than we’ve given away in the past two seasons combined. It’s a worrying statistic for the Gunners, with still half the season to go. A penalty against you can put a side on the backfoot not just in terms of the score line, but it can also make a side feel depleted, especially if the team has lost a man to a red card.

Cech has never stopped a penalty in the Premier League in an Arsenal shirt and although you could argue he’s only had to face seven during his stint at the club, it is a worry that the former Chelsea man hasn’t saved a penalty in the league since 2011.

Now Cech must surely do his homework on penalties before Arsenal face the opposition each week, so why is it so often he fails to guess the right way?

Going back to shocking statistics, Arsenal have in fact given away four penalties since our last clean sheet. The Gunners may be amongst the top scorers this season and outscoring your opponents means you win the match, but it is a big concern that our defensive duties seem to be lacking a lot in recent weeks.

Cech is known to be a world class shot stopper, perhaps amongst the very best goalkeepers to have played professional football. But I can’t help but feel that his form and ability does seem to have fallen slightly since his Chelsea days and it leaves many wondering just how the Gunners and Cech can improve their defensive record in the latter half of this season.



  1. I was thinking of the cech case, I think he is relaxing a bit. Ospina would be dying to play a game or two an even keep clean sheets. Opinion divided.

    Top gunner agree or disagree.

    1. Kostafi says:

      Perhaps you are right. ESPN did an expose on Cech and he hasn’t saved a single penalty since joining Arsenal. His last penalty save I think was the 2012 CL final- worrying. More worrying is that we have conceded 5 penalties this season (1 a month) and 6 in 2016! Cant really keep clean sheets if we keep conceding penalties or our keeper cant save any of them.
      It might be down to a more attacking style which has seen us score 8 more goals than at this stage last season, (although for only a point better off and one less defeat but still 2nd in the table) conceding 4 more in the process.

  2. Budd says:

    Cech was never a penalty saver for Arsenal. You can check his stats. All penalties were scored (I think there were 7 in total with him in the goal). He is probably relaxing a bit, you may be right. This usually happens when you tell certain players when will they actually play. They are sure about the spot in the team and put less effort.
    I was (and still am) reserved about the fact that we turned things around this season. It is easy to see the signs from previous seasons are there, still. You will see now a different game at City where we will probably get a point. We could have got that point at Everton if Wenger would rotate wisely (don’t tell me you have seen Ox or Walcott having two good games in a row ever). Also, I don’t understand why is he afraid in bringing Ozil later in these type of games and only if the game dictates such move.
    The biggest revelation I had after this game is that Gabriel does not have any understanding with the other CB. As a RB his mess was easily covered by Mustafi but as a CB he is to panicked when having the ball. I am tempted to put Holding next to Koscielny just because they can speak together. It is absolutely clear that Gabriel have confidence and communication issue as a CB. We would have never lost this game if Mertesacker or Mustafi would have played. It is simply down to communication.

    1. Justsoccerfan says:

      Well said!

  3. Pablo Picaso says:

    I think our key challenge like most seasons is our failure to defend as a team and leave this responsibility to a few individuals leading to the GK being exposed.

    We have too many players strolling down the park, like in yesterdays game Ozil, Theo, Ox, just to mention a few. At this level you cant have 3 players in one game playing as though they are Phillipo Inzagi waiting for the final ball to feet but without his golden eye for goal.

    The modern game requires all players to put in 100%. Its the reason teams that play Pep, Klopp, Tuchel, Enrique kind of football will dominate going forward because it requires fit athletes competing from box to box for 90 minutes. I know others may say but those teams concede a lot too and I agree, their is no system that is perfect but with our current GK and defence if the entire team turned up for 90 minutes we would keep more clean sheets and close out games.

    I think the Bayern draw got to our players heads because they looked for un prepared for yesterdays game. We can only hope the manager and the players learnt their lesson that when you score you don’t have to drop your level until the final whistle or else you wont win any championships.

  4. Godswill says:

    If I were to be in charge, I will drop Cech for few games and try Ospina.
    Every position should be competed for. Discard any agreement.
    I now confirm that Holding is our no. 3 CB until BFG proves otherwise. But Gabriel, he comes last.
    Why is it that Wenger doesn’t know when a player is off day and substitute on time? Ozil and Walcott should have been brought out at 60 mins.

  5. sidofski says:

    Bore off. Our defense should not be giving away as many penalties in the first place. Cech is solid as a rock – completely controls his area, knows when to come, knows when not and is a class keeper.
    Finally we have two very, very decent keepers and you’re asking for rotations…please

  6. AndersS says:

    It is a mistake to focus on the defense and the goalkeeper. For years our problem has been, that we don’t have the whole team organized and defending. Wenger has never been able to do that, and personally, I was hoping this year would be different, but I am loosing that hope. Time and time again, we see the likes of Walcott an the Ox play one or two matches, were they work hard also defensively, but then they have matches, were they don’t. Yesterday this was again our problem. Everton could very easily attack us and put crosses in. We were lucky the crosses were mostly really bad, but in the long run, it couldn’t last. We simply need better organisation of the whole team, so defending isn’t only left to the goalkeeper, the four at the back and 2 midfielders.

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