Petr Cech seems to believe he’s performing well this season but is he?
The former Chelsea goalkeeper has often been criticised since joining Arsenal, especially this season. Although he has pulled off some brilliant saves, often keeping us out of trouble, his shortcomings are becoming more apparent as time goes on. For example, his inability to save anything at his near post, which is goalkeeping 101, and the fact that he can’t seem to even dive in the right direction to save penalties.
The 34-year-old, however, doesn’t seem to think he’s doing too badly.
“So far it’s a kind of a different campaign because I think I have been doing well but if you take clean sheets, we had a run of games where we conceded at least one goal,” Cech told Arsenal.com. “The most important thing is obviously that the team wins but it is good sometimes to have a clean sheet and that solid base at the back.
“We have conceded a number of penalties in games where the penalty was the only goal [we conceded], so sometimes you have these runs which are a bit unlucky against you but you would like to do something extra and find one extra save.
“Overall it is a season in which I am playing at the level I need to be at. You want to improve every game and keep the standard up the whole time – you don’t want to have a period where you are not doing so well or you are not where you should be, which hasn’t happened yet so hopefully I can keep like that.”
The thing is, if you look at his stats, the big guy’s season doesn’t appear to be quite as terrible as many assumed.
For example, comparing him to Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, one of the best keepers in the world.
In 16 appearances, Neuer has kept eight clean sheets and in 20, Cech hass kept six, which makes sense. So far, so underwhelming. When it comes to average goals conceded, the German international is also head and shoulders above Cech, only conceding 0.56 goals per game. Cech concedes 1.1. Plus, I probably don’t need to tell you that the former Czech international needs to work on his distribution since only 61% of it is successful (85% for Neuer).
However, Cech’s claim success is at 98% – incredibly high – while the 30-year-old’s 94%.
Of course, there are lots of other factors to take into consideration, such as defensive errors or the men in front of him simply not doing their jobs properly.
However, from what I can tell, Cech’s not necessarily at his best anymore but he’s not quite past it.
Not yet, anyway.