Petr Cech swears that this is the first season his penalty-saving technique hasn’t been working.
The goalkeeper has been heavily criticised for his inability to save spot-kicks, particularly this season. However, the former Chelsea star insists he’s not changed anything and seems rather perplexed.
“There are probably goalkeepers who just decide prior to the kick, I go right,” he revealed to the Arsenal Weekly Podcast.
“I don’t know, because everybody can have a slightly different approach to it.
“But my approach has been working, until this season, quite well. But unfortunately the players keep their calm and manage to score against me this season. So hopefully there will be a moment when it reverses.”
This season, Arsenal have had seven penalties awarded against them and Cech has saved precisely zero of them. When you compare this to his previous seasons, it does appear that the 34-year-old’s ability to save spot-kicks is in decline.
Last season, the former Czech international failed to save two but only two were rewarded against the Gunners, so this data doesn’t really count.
However, the season before, when Cech was still with Chelsea, he saved 1/1.
The season before that, 1/1 again.
2012/13 – Saved 3; not saved 7
2011/12 – Saved 4; not saved 6
2010/11 – Saved 1; not saved 4
2009/10 – Saved 2; not saved 3
2008/09 – Saved 1; not saved 3
As you can see, at Chelsea, he was at least saving some.
What’s the problem?
If Cech insists he’s not doing anything differently, this suggests this isn’t a problem with Arsenal’s training methods.
Perhaps it’s just that his reflexes are getting slower or the penalty takers from other teams are getting more confident.
All I know is that Wojciech Szczesny has saved two (didn’t save two) penalties for Roma this season. That’s two more than Cech.
Stats via Transfermarkt.