Now on 172 Premier League clean sheets, Petr Čech is making history with Arsenal just months after joining the club.
In December the 33-year-old matched and then broke David James’ previous record of 169 Premier League clean sheets, and did so in double quick time. Unlike James, Čech has kept his clean sheets for just two clubs – Chelsea for a decade, and now Arsenal.
The former West Ham United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Watford and England goalkeeper (there are more but that’s all at the highest level) doesn’t begrudge Čech the record, though, and actually seems happy for him.
“I spoke to him a few weeks ago and realised once more what a wonderful bloke he is,” James told the London Evening Standard. “He’s not someone who comes out, does a bit of training and gets a few clean sheets. He thinks about every aspect of his game, how he can improve as an individual and how his improvement can help the team.
“He is a determined winner.”
Arsenal have seen the benefit of having Čech between the posts this season as his saves have kept us in a number of games. Crucial stops in matches which ended 0-0, as well as some victories, have kept us in the Champions League and alive in the Premier League title race.
What happens between now and May remains to be seen but we know we can rely on the guy at the back.
“For 11 years he’s been in one of the top teams in the country and you don’t last that long if you’re not good enough. I can’t think of any goalkeepers that demand that kind of respect, if anyone was going to beat me, you can’t have anyone better than him.”
It’s a great compliment from James, and speaks volumes about Čech as a man as well as a goalkeeper. Just last week Arsène Wenger was speaking about how the Czech has seamlessly fit into the dressing room dynamic.
Arsenal have one hell of a goalkeeper.