Bernd Leno arrived at Arsenal with a big reputation and a big price tag in the summer, and everyone expected to him to e the new Number One for the new Gunners team under Unai Emery this season, but Petr Cech, despite having offers to move away for guaranteed first team football, just became even more determined fight for his place and to show the new manager that he was just as good as ever.
He quickly showed in pre-season that he has not lost any of his qualities as a shot stopper, and has carried on showing that in the Premier League up to now and kept his younger rival on the bench, just as he has done with David Ospina over the last few years. But the fact is that Cech is in the final year of his contract and if he istill playing this well at 36 then why can’t he carry on playing like this when he is 37, or 38 or even 40, ike Peter Schmeichel did?
It certainly sounds like he has no intention of retiring and is keen to win another contract with Arsenal. When asked he said: “I’m in the last year of the contract so I guess it depends on my performances, the way I play and the way I stay fit throughout the season. Then we’ll see what happens next.”
“When you bring players in you do that to improve the squad and to make it competitive and Bernd is here, trains every day and tries to get his spot which keeps everyone in the goalkeeping group on their toes including me, obviously,”
“I have to work hard not only to make sure the manager picks me for the weekend but as well that he sticks with me.
“The goalkeeper situation is complicated as only one can play so the competition is bigger and at the moment I’ve been playing and I try to do my best and hope the manager is happy with my performances. I’ve always had great goalkeepers — David Ospina was great as was Carlo Cudicini and Hilario — behind me who pushed me all my career so I have to make sure I’m ready.
“In sport this is the way it goes — you always have someone waiting for your failure so they can jump in and you have to find a way to keep your spot.”
He has kept his spot so far by proving that he is better than any of his competitors on a continuous basis, so why shouldn’t Arsenal give him another two year extension so he can keep proving he is the best man for the job?