Arsenal keeper Petr Cech will return to his former club Chelsea as sporting director after the Europa League final at the end of this month according to reports in the British media today.
It was hardly a surprise but the timing of the appointment does raise a very significant question.
Should Cech be selected by Unai Emery in the final?
Now, I covered this exact topic just a few days ago here and concluded that Emery should start Bernd Leno, however, that was based on ability and before this announcement was made.
If Cech was to start I would still trust him to be professional and play to his best ability but the situation is now very different than what it was just yesterday and creates a whole new set of distractions and complications that we do not need in the build up.
There is already a reaction on social media with some fans convincing themselves he will play below par and favour his former club as well as questioning how he will perform if the game goes to penalties and so on.
And imagine if he was to make a mistake in the final or be at fault for a goal, you just know how some fans will react to that.
Of course, we will not know the team until an hour before kick-off but Emery could easily come out in advance and clarify the situation one way or another.
It is bad enough that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be part of the squad due to the utter incompetence of UEFA and now we have to contend with the fact that our potential starting keeper will be joining our opponents after the final, I mean, you could not make this up.
In fairness to Cech, he has since come out and tweeted that he will make a decision after the final but to me, that just seems a bit of cover your ass and was absolutely void of any denial. You can take it to the bank he is joining them and his tweet was simply an exercise in distraction, which is the point I am making.
Despite the news today as I had already said to everybody before , I’ll make decision about my future after the last game . Now my sole focus is to win the EL with @Arsenal .
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) May 21, 2019
So, in my opinion, Cech is now a distraction that we do not need and while I agree he should be named in the squad, he should not be selected as the starter by the manager, he is not our number one keeper, he is not as good as Leno and is a complication we can do without.
Unai Emery must do the right thing and do what is in the best interests of Arsenal football club and not Petr Cech.