Petr Cech has revealed how he was unhappy with losing his place as Chelsea’s number one, which prompted him to quit the club and join Arsenal.
The former Czech international moved to the Blues from Rennes back in 2004, and went onto earn and keep a number of records to this day. Cech holds the record for least amount of games needed to keep 100 clean sheets (180 appearances), most clean sheets in a campaign (24), as well as being the only Premier League keeper to have won the divisional Golden Glove with more than one team (Arsenal and Chelsea).
The now-goalkeeping coach at Chelsea has revealed how he was surprised to find that he was to be usurped by Thibaut Courtois as number one, before making the tough decision to quit his long-time club and move to Arsenal.
“I was not happy at all,” Cech stated.
“I could see in pre-season how hard I was working. There was nothing obvious suggesting I wouldn’t be ready to keep my spot.
“But in a football team you can only have one goalkeeper playing every week, and unfortunately that was the way it went.
“Thibaut was regarded as the future of the club with all his potential and quality. I understood the choice was made, even if I didn’t think it was my time.
“Leaving Chelsea was the hardest decision I had to make.
“Having played for this club for such a long time, and becoming a big part of the history of the club, I always thought I was going to finish my career at Chelsea, or maybe leave for the last couple of years.
“At that moment I didn’t feel like it was like the last couple of years. That was not what I pictured in my head. But it was clear my journey had come to an end, and I decided I was going to go and try something else.”
I forget that Cech won the Golden Glove for our side, as my memory of him at Arsenal was never that outstanding in my eyes, but he must have had at least one good season. Knowing that his arrival most likely played a key role in the departure of Wojciech Szczesny, who is now earning plaudits as Juventus number one, dampens the former Blue’s time in North London in my eyes.
Was the club hasty in replacing the Polish shot-stopper with Cech? Do Arsenal fans have any fond memories with the Chelsea coach in goal?