We’ve all heard of the ‘curse of the ex’, haven’t we? This works very simply: your former player usually does a number on you because invariably he has something to prove.
In this case, it’s Petr Cech, who must have been shocked when Chelsea let him go. He’s a consummate pro’, whose footwork let him down against Man City. Although age may be catching up with him, you don’t turn from world-beater to dross overnight. Therefore, I can see why Arsenal boss Unai Emery is saying he may stick with Cech.
Although I’ve noted down that Cech should be dropped, it could be the timing is not right. If you drop players too quickly, it sends out the wrong message, which is: the coach is panicky.
Emery needs to keep his head when the fans all around are losing theirs. Where have we heard that before?
Cech’s performance against Chelsea in the ICC provides a recent reminder of what he’s still capable of. If he plays like that against his old team, the Blues will struggle to score.
However, moving forward, Bernd Leno’s superior footwork makes him a ‘shoo-in’ (pun intended) for an Emery team, which partly relies on playing out from the back.
In contrast to Leno’s preseason footwork, Cech’s distribution was shocking against City. However, there’s life in the old dog yet and I can see him pulling a rabbit out of the hat against Chelsea. That’s partly why I don’t think Arsenal will return from Stamford Bridge empty-handed.
It’s more important that Emery disposes of Granit Xhaka. I’ve said more of less all along that he shouldn’t be in the team. He’s had every chance to prove himself and he hasn’t taken it: on a good day he’s average and on a bad day a liability.
If Lucas Torreira starts instead of Xhaka I can see Arsenal getting a result. If not, it’s going to be another pointless exercise (or lack of exercise in Xhaka’s case,as he doesn’t run enough).