by Lewis Ambrose
Arsenal legend Pat Jennings rates new signing Petr Čech above his former Chelsea teammate Thibaut Courtois.
Arsenal won the FA Cup in 1979 with Jennings in goal, as Spurs had allowed one of the great Arsenal goalkeepers to leave for Highbury as they though the was past his best. In a few years time Chelsea may end up regretting the decision to allow Arsenal to sign Čech just as much.
Čech was relegated to the bench at Stamford Bridge last season as Courtois took his place in goal, but the Northern Irish former goalkeeper has shared his perspective and thinks there are a number of ways that Čech’s experience makes him the better goalkeeper.
Jennings gave the goalkeepers ratings out of 10 for different aspects of goalkeeping and says that experience in big games and the ability to organise his defence makes Čech the superior stopper right now.
“Čech knew that Chelsea lineup inside out and it will take time to adapt to a new team but his experience at the age of 33 makes him a calming presence,” Jennings said of our new goalkeeper.
“He’s got more big-game experience than Courtois because he’s been playing for so much longer.
“He’s excelled in big games, particularly that Champions League Final against Bayern Munich in 2012.”
Courtois is already experienced but there is no doubt he hasn’t had as many big tests to deal with as Čech, who is 10 years his junior, so far in his career.
Jennings rated the goalkeepers the same for shot-stopping, aerial ability, coming off their line and distribution but clearly feels that Čech’s experience is invaluable, just giving him the edge over the Belgian.
The Arsenal goalkeeper came out on top in his first game against former club Chelsea on Sunday, keeping a clean sheet as Arsenal went on to win the FA Community Shield.