Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech revealed his disappointment to have been dropped for the FA Cup final against former side Chelsea, being told just 24 hours before the game by manager Arsene Wenger.
Speaking to Ceskatelevize, the long-serving Premier League shot-stopper admitted he expected to feature in the final at Wembley after being recalled ahead of David Ospina for the semi-final victory over Manchester City.
But he found out in the build-up to the final that the Colombian would be given the nod, confining Cech to a place on the bench.
And while he embraced Ospina at the final whistle, the veteran ‘keeper, who was recently named Czech Player of the Year for an eleventh consecutive time, wasn’t pleased to be left out.
He said: “ In the beginning it was determined that I wouldn’t play in the FA Cup. But after playing in the semifinals and I thought I was going to be in the final.
“But the day before the match, the coach told us (Ospina would start instead). That was a big disappointment, but it is important that he (was open and honest before the game).”
Given Ospina has reportedly asked to leave the club this summer, many were surprised that Cech was dropped for the final. The Arsenal man also admitted he wasn’t pleased to be second choice in the Champions League, having been a regular in Europe in a Chelsea shirt.
“It was not a pleasure not to play in the Champions League. I instead had to concentrate on doing the best in the matches I played in. The Champions League is the most-highest, but one has to respect the decision of the coach.”
Despite some grievances over playing time, Cech is still content with how the season has gone and he feels he’s ended the campaign on a strong note. The 35-year-old also added how he expected Wenger to stay as manager this summer.
“We all knew that the coach would be our coach until the last match of the season, and only then he will agree on (a new deal). According to the hints during the season, we were rather expecting him to continue (as manager),” he admitted.