by Lewis Ambrose
Spurs legend and former Chelsea man Glenn Hoddle has praised Arsenal’s signing of Petr Čech but insists the club must do more to win big things next season.
Hoddle, who played almost 500 times for our north London rivals, said that Čech is a fantastic addition but not enough to take us to the next level.
“Is Cech the player to go in there and say ‘we can now challenge for the title’? No, but Arsenal now have the opportunity to become more solid and it’s a fresh challenge for him, he’ll be excited about keeping clean sheets,” said the former England player and manager in an exclusive interview with Zapsportz.
“There are a lot of positives for Arsenal,” Hoddle said.
“I do believe he is a very good goalkeeper, a world-class goalkeeper, and he’s probably got another couple of years left in him at that level.
“Arsenal have got themselves the start of the spine, they’ve still got a couple of others they need to buy but I think – if I were an Arsenal fan, and I’m not – I’d be very happy at this moment about that acquisition.”
I’m not sure we need a couple more, just some slight adjustments, but we certainly are very close. All Arsenal fans are thrilled to have signed Čech. Not just a top level goalkeeper but also an experienced an intelligent man who surely has plenty of wisdom to pass on.
Two criticisms that have been thrown at Arsenal for years now are that we haven’t had a good enough goalkeeper and we have lacked depth, but not any longer.
Huddle seems to mistakenly think David Ospina will remain as Čech’s understudy, but Wojciech Szczesny – a goalkeeper with even more potential – is actually the man expected to assume that role.
“Petr Cech, age wise, is getting on and is going to need a rest – and if he gets injured it’s going to take longer to get back because of his age, depending on the type of injury.
“So Arsenal are secure in that they’ve got a very good number two, so let’s start there, Ospina’s proved himself at the back end of last season and he had to do that.”
Ospina most likely won’t be number two. Instead it will be Szczesny, who actually shared the Premier League Golden Glove with Čech for the 2013/14 season.
“Arsenal will be hoping to go as far as they can in every trophy and use their squad. The depth they’ve got, particularly in that [goalkeeper] position is immense, it really is.”
Hoddle says we can’t compete for the league just yet, but I think we can. As he said himself we are adding quality and have depth now. Maybe we are one more signing away, but we are very very close to competing.