by Lewis Ambrose
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield clash, Mathieu Flamini told the Telegraph that Arsenal have been lucky to sign Petr Čech.
The Czech goalkeeper is preparing to face his former club for the first time following an £11M move across London and Flamini has praised Chelsea for allowing the experienced goalkeeper to join a rival.
José Mourinho tried to prevent the deal but was unsuccessful, with Roman Abramovich sanctioning the sale at Čech’s request. Possibly taunting the Chelsea manager, Flamini has thanked Mourinho for allowing the move to happen.
“He’s a competitor and usually doesn’t like to sell any players to his rivals,” Flamini said. “But it’s a good favour for us and now we have to take advantage. It’s a top signing. That’s why we have been lucky on this one.”
Čech’s credentials are unquestionable and in a position that Arsenal have needed to improve in for a while now. During 11 years at Chelsea he won everything and Flamini thinks it’s a massive deal.
“It’s very important. Not only for his quality but also for his character. When you play at the top level, the leaders on the pitch make the difference.”
For a number of years Arsenal have been criticised for not having enough leaders on the pitch but the new goalkeeper will certainly be one of those in good times and, more crucially, bad.
“Not only when things go well but especially when things go bad. So, for us, Petr Cech is a top signing. He is someone with character, someone with a winning mentality.”
Arsenal certainly have been lucky to get this deal done but that doesn’t mean the hard work that has earned it should go unmentioned. Sunday offers Čech his first chance to start repaying the faith and show Chelsea just how wrong they were to let him go.