Petr’s Checking Out
One of the greats from our era of football announced his retirement earlier this week. After twenty years in professional football and thirteen of them spent in the Premiership, it is safe to say we can make our final judgment on Czechslovakian, Petr Cech.
He joined Chelsea in 2004 and went onto win four Premiership titles, four FA cups and his most prized possession being his Champions League winners medal. His sides success definitely has a direct link to their shot-stopper who won the golden glove a total of four times. For any opposition facing Cech, they knew they would have to create something special in order to beat the 6’5 giant. A stat to back this up is the number of clean sheets Cech recorded for Chelsea in one season. In the thirty-five Premiership matches Petr appeared in during the 04/05 season, he didn’t concede in twenty-four of them. Believe it or not, this was also the season when Chelsea won their first title sine 1955.
An unexpected turning point in the Goalkeepers career was moving from Stamford Bridge to rivals, Arsenal. In 2015 the signing of Thibaut Courtois pushed an ageing Cech to the Chelsea bench and before he wasted the end of his career on the sidelines, he signed to Arsenal for a measly £10m fee. For Arsene Wenger, this opportunity was one he couldn’t miss and it was apparent straight away what a great signing Cech was proving to be. That same season Cech was made captain and Arsenal finished as Runners-up in the Premier which was the closest they came to the title in a decade.
Cech is not only praised on the pitch, anyone who has worked with the 36-year-old can’t stress enough how much of a decent guy he is. Often associated with his shielding hat which he must wear to protect his skull which got fractured in 2006. Many don’t know about the severity of this injury and Cech himself stated if he wasn’t as close to a hospital as he was, he might not have made it. On the pitch, he was stretched off but in the tunnel, he lost consciousness which was worrying as it wasn’t from the initial blow. Fortunately, he pulled through and asserted his legend status in the division and he will be truly missed in the Premier League.