When Chelsea signed 41 year old goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in the summer on a free transfer, he was seen as a cheap way to help Chelsea meet the homegrown player rule and to give the Blues an experienced backup. That is pretty much exactly how it has worked out for Schwarzer so far as for most of the season he has only featured in the early stages of the domestic cup competitions for the Blues. This week has been far from the usual plan for Chelsea and Schwarzer as the keeper was forced to start the Premier League match against Sunderland last weekend due to a Petr Cech illness. The keeper did not cover himself in glory as he was partially responsible for Sunderland’s equalizer and was unable to save Fabio Borini’s late penalty.
Mark Schwarzer on coming on against Atletico Madrid:
“It happened very quickly, but I’m getting used to it. I just tried to do my job but like all the others I was up for it. We knew if we could match their determination our quality would shine through.”
Yesterday was a different story altogether as Mark Schwarzer showed the value of having an experienced goalkeeper on your bench. He came on for Petr Cech after he suffered a shoulder injury and put on a masterful performance. He was strong and decisive in the air and made a pair of fantastic saves to keep the clean sheet. After Jose Mourinho confirmed that Petr Cech will miss the rest of the season, the onus was placed on Schwarzer as the club chases its second Champions League title and a possible but not likely Premier League title. Schwarzer has gone from afterthought and backup to number one goalkeeper but he has the talent and certainly the experience to handle whatever is thrown at him.
Check out this highlights video that Youtube user HDGoalie put together from Mark Schwarzer’s days at Fulham:
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