Why you should feel sorry for Petr Cech, and any other top goalkeeper

I’m starting to feel old ……. by Dan Smith

When I was growing up a goalkeeper was judged on purely what they did with their hands, if their out ball happened to be good then that was a bonus. If that’s how I feel then spare a thought for Petr Cech, a man judged most of his career as the beast in his role now being judged every game on what he can/cannot do with the ball at his feet. It might make him speed up his decision of when to retire.

In 4 games so far this season, more has been mentioned about how the veteran is making mistakes when kicking the ball out, the decent saves he’s made in the same matches an afterthought. This is not a problem exclusive to Arsenal. Building attacks from the back seems to be the latest faze, how long it stays is anyone guess.

With the Europa League and Carabao cup due to begin, it’s likely we will see the debut of Leno who is apparently learning off the current captain. Yet the large reason we spent such a fee on the young German was his apparent natural ability with the ball at his feet. In other words he’s the one who who could be teaching the 36 year old a few things.
Emery’s decision to stick with experience could be that he views one better with his hands, the other better with his feet.

For decades the rules used to be that as long as you were keeping the ball out of your net you were earning your money. I said countless times a good manager should not change his principles. Emery has his beliefs in how the game should be played and should not second guess himself no matter opinions of others. He’s inherited a defense already not confident in doing the simple things, asking them to also worry about passing the ball around seems asking too much. It’s not like Stan Kroenke has the ambition to recruit individuals specified in this role. Instead the Spaniard will hope with the right coaching and time he can teach new habits, which is a refreshing approach. But Arsenal’s problem has never been offensive, even in Arsene Wenger’s last few months the issues were not keeping possession or making chances.

I’m yet to see the benefit in insisting our keeper builds from the back, it’s not like it’s dramatically changed our goal/game ratio. I much rather our center backs learn how to do the fundamentals right, then maybe the man behind them will have more confidence.

It’s not just us. We have now seen mistakes in Champions League and World Cup Finals based on men thinking they will be told off if they didn’t show they were comfortable when the ball was passed back to them. How many fans would have wished they smashed into into the stands instead? Just because Pep Guardiola does it does not mean every manager should make it their tactic. It’s like when his Barcelona teams were the best in the universe at pressing and winning back the ball. That became the template everyone tried to replicate before they realized you needed the personel to make that work. Arsenal were already one of the best at keeping the ball and making chances. What we lack is game management and the right mentality. Work on that first.

Cech learning to kick the ball? The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

Dan Smith


  1. benlux says:

    The problem with peter czech is not his feet its his age, He no longer has quicker responses, he no longer dives or reacts fast enough to stop shots, 4 of the goals his conceded this season could be saved by any of Degea, Courtois, Hugo Loris.
    If czech was a better keeper we would have been good enough for champions league last season.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Make you right benlux.

  2. LENOhappy says:

    Even Alison of Liverpool makes an error that leads to goal,and believe me that will not be the last,and as far as am concerned everyone saying cech should be dropped should look at how many saves he’s had this season,Elderson of man city made 2 mistakes against us but we could not make him pay for it,if arsenal have a better defense I believe we will be okay with cech,he still a very good goalie

    1. ozziegunner says:

      LENOhappy, I agree that Petr Cech has made some great saves this season. The damming statistic is how many shots he has had to save. Even the greatest goalkeepers can be worn down and have misses.
      Opposition attackers are getting too many opportunities to shoot at the Arsenal goal. Tighten up the defense and the goalkeeping will improve; Cech doesn’t have the old Chelsea back four in front of him now.

  3. LENOhappy says:

    @benlux,am curious can you be more specific,I mean can you mention any of the goal that cech should have saved

    1. GunnerJack says:

      Hi Len – I for one believe that if Cech had simply STOOD UP instead of throwing himself on the ground then Camarasa’s shot could have been blocked. You can easily see this if you check it out on YouTube. It’s not the first time either and Ospina was often guilty of the same. DeGea is a good example of how it should be done (unfortunately!).
      To all keepers: The idea is to make yourself as LARGE as possible, not to try getting out of the way of that nasty hard ball which might hit you and cause you a little discomfort.
      We didn’t get these gutless displays in the old days! Or maybe my senility is kicking in 🙂

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Jack Kelsey and Bob Wilson, two of the bravest keepers not only for Arsenal but in the history of the game.

        1. GunnerJack says:

          You got that right Kenny!

          1. Andrew E says:

            And Pat Jennings!!!

      2. enda says:

        gunner jack
        The goal that your talking about was hit at pace from close range.From a young age keppers are trained to do exactly what cech done (spread your legs and make yourself big) If he stood up as you suggest and the ball went low he would be slated as incompetent by most.
        Im not a die hard cech fan i think leno should have had a chance by now as cech has lost some of what he once had.But to take that goal as an example i think is a little unjust.

        1. GunnerJack says:

          But he didn’t make himself big did he Enda? He made himself small. I honestly think an old time keeper would have smothered it – De Gea also. Apart from this now regular failing I think Cech has made some good saves.

  4. John Ibrahim says:

    the gk in real life are not the gk of Fifa19…

    they are humans after all and prone to errors

  5. Chiza says:

    Hi everybody…Chiza is back..and like always I have alot of important points to bring to you guys.. And here they are…….

    1.i have told you guys to forget about seeing lichstenier replace bellerin in important first team games because bellerin’s pace is important to Emery’s style of play since we have no natural winger to provide width. .. So unless Bellerin scores an own goal, causes a penalty and gets a red card all in one match then Emery might be forced to bring in lichstenier due to fans pressure

    2…i watched one of Emery’s interview and I saw him talking about our midfielders and then he made a statement which was… “Xhaka is important to us”…that’s enough to confirm to us that Xhaka is going to remain in the starting eleven

    3…we need more special bonds in the team…envident of auba and laca……we need more bonds in the starting eleven to create a strong first eleven…..e.g cb pairing sokratis and mavrapanos(greek brothers)…full backs bellerin and monreal(spanish brothers)……..midfielde combo torriera and Ramsey need to create a natural understanding since they are pivotal at the base of midfield……….Ozil and mikhitaryan has to create a natural understanding and love on and off the pitch since they are the creator in chiefs………then we all know about laca and Auba….so my team will be like this with these effective bonds…


    Bellerin Sokratis Mavrapanos Monreal

    Torriera Ramsey

    Mikhitaryan Ozil

    Lacazette Aubameyang

    This formation will serve us well as long as Ramsey can stay disciplined in his position and know when to defend and help out torriera……. These are my points ?
    Anyway still your sweet Chiza ??????

  6. Kenny Rolfe says:

    Sorry, but Petr Cech was finished when he was Chelsea. Why do you think they got rid of him. Lost his confidence when he started wearing the head guard. Arsene Wenger never was any good at spotting goalkeepers. Think about it , Almunia, Fabianski, Richard Wright and then an over the hill Petr Cech, amongst others. Ever since David Seamen, who he inherited, did he buy a decent goalkeeper, apart from Jens, who he got lucky with. Remember the media’s initial reaction to Jens, they thought he was a clown, he would do crazy things but turned out an excellent keeper. The sooner we replace Cech with Leno the better

  7. JJPawn says:

    Good analysis Dan Smith. Czezh and the team just needs to focus on defense and not leaking goals. That by itself would bring us to the top four. Wenger re-built the attack, and he was trying rebuild the defense when he left.

    1. John Ibrahim says:


      every department needs time to rebuild not unless its city or psg where they can pump millions and transformed in 1 or 2 transfer window….

  8. Namo says:

    People keep shouting for Leno as if he’s a magician. A goalkeeper is as good as his defense, with only a few exceptions. I wonder what would have happened to Leno’s confidence if he had been the one who faced all these many shots from opponents and conceded these 8goals so far. Emery has a reason for starting Cech, he takes the key decisions, that’s why he’s the coach and we’re all observers. Allow him to do his job.

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