Arsene Wenger chose to give Petr Cech a rest in Arsenal’s match against Dinamo Zagreb because he believed the player needed a mental rest after barely featuring for Chelsea last season.
When the team news was announced and it emerged that Cech would be dropped for our opening Champions League fixture, many Gooners, especially on Twitter, were perplexed by the decision. After just five Premier League matches, how could the 33-year-old possibly need a rest?
Following our defeat to Zagreb, the boss shed some light on his decision, explaining that the goalkeeper featured very little for Chelsea last season and therefore needed a mental rest.
“Ospina is a very, very good goalkeeper and he has shown that again tonight,” Wenger said. “Cech has not played a full season so I am trying to give him some rest mentally because for goalkeepers it’s the same as outfield players.”
Cech only played 16 times for the Blues last season due to Jose Mourinho favouring the younger Thibaut Courtois. The 33-year-old Czech Republic international went from being number one for the best part of his time at the club, to sitting on the bench for the majority of the year.
Whether the goalkeeper genuinely needed a mental rest, we don’t know, but I hope he’s feeling ‘fit’ again to face his former club on Saturday.