Chelsea FC: Why I’m Okay With Petr Cech Joining Arsenal

Aug 4, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech (1) directs traffic against AC Milan during the second half at Metlife Stadium. Chelsea won the game 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 4, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech (1) directs traffic against AC Milan during the second half at Metlife Stadium. Chelsea won the game 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Even though our very own Andrew Martin wrote a plea to keep Cech at Chelsea, I feel as though his time at the Bridge has been well served. After more than 10 years as a starting keeper and being part of Chelsea’s first Premier League Championship in 50 years, his individual haul in West London has been nothing short of spectacular.

Last season saw the club legend relegated to a backup role behind Thibaut Courtois, and rightly so as the Belgian excelled in his first season in the Premier League. Despite Cech getting playing time in the domestic cups, his frustration showed having been on the bench so often. He’s still got a few more years left in his career at 33 and the fact remains that he’s still better than most keepers in the Premier League. Since it’s clear that he won’t get another chance at Chelsea, moving to another club’s the most logical decision at this point.

RELATED: Petr Cech – Chelsea FC’s Greatest

In a report by Goal, Petr Cech’s goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon stated that Arsenal are in the lead to sign the Chelsea keeper, it seems as though the endless rumours linking him to the North London club have finally come to fruition. Cech won’t join the MLS since he’s insisted that he wants him and his family to stay in London, and so between Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Tottenham, and West Ham, the Gunners are clearly the outfit that makes the most sense.

Outside of Chelsea, Arsenal is the only London club that can finish within the top 4 and provide him Champions League minutes next season. The only other club worth considering is Tottenham, and Lloris is already a top keeper. He’s not the reason they concede a lot of goals, his porous back line is.

Let me make it clear that I know the politics behind advocating a Chelsea player to join a direct rival. By stating that I’m okay with Cech joining Arsenal, I’m stating that  I want what’s best for him and not for the club. Even though Cech is an upgrade over both Ospina and Szczesny, they’ll need to upgrade more than just their goalkeeping to compete against Chelsea next year.

View image |

As for Cech, after being relegated to the bench, joining Arsenal would represent a rebirth of sorts. He’ll be more motivated than ever to play well and to prove Chelsea wrong for letting him go. He’ll also want to break his record of 21 clean sheets in a season, and next season may very well be the last chance for him. And while I would most certainly be disgusted at the sight of Arsenal lifting the Premier League trophy, a part of me will feel content with seeing Cech make a title-winning contribution at this point in his career.

More from Chelsea FC News

As Chelsea fans, it doesn’t matter who it is, any player who is clearly unsatisfied should be let go – even if it ends up being Terry next season (though God forbid he ends up joining Man U as a result). We can’t afford to have a distraction in the locker room if we are to ensure success. While last season ended in a Premier League and domestic cup double, it also ended in a Round of 16 exit in the Champions League, which still leaves much to be desired.

Even though having two great goalies is a good problem to have depth-wise, it’s still a problem in the grand scheme of things. A player of Cech’s stature should not be left on the bench. In the last season Cech started, his backup was Mark Schwarzer. Therefore, a more fitting backup for Courtois, who will be rewarded domestic cup starts, should be someone from the reserves such as Mitchell Beeney.

We should celebrate what Cech has provided us in his decade at Chelsea, and if Courtois’ first season as a Blue is any indication, he’s well on his way to becoming a club legend just like Petr. Taking his club and international success into account, I believe Courtois is currently only behind Neuer as the best goalkeeper in the world.

Of course it’ll be weird to see Big Pete in an Arsenal shirt, however we as fans should still give him a warm reception. After all, we did the same when Lampard came back in a City jersey. It’s different in the sense that Cech would play an important role whereas Lampard mostly came off the bench, but seeing Cech win a trophy next season wouldn’t be something I’d hate to see – especially if it’s another FA Cup, the best trophy Arsenal seem to be able to win.

Next: Chelsea FC Transfer Rumors: Patrick Bamford to Everton FC on Loan?