We’ve heard a lot about Arsenal needing a new keeper, but don’t they already have one?
1. It can be hard to tell a great goalkeeper from a good one.
Part of that is because the career trajectory for a top level stopper tends to be very different from their outfield counterparts. For example, it’s widely accepted that a regular player will hit peak form somewhere in their mid-to-late twenties. For a ‘keeper, however, many don’t produce their best until they’re past the big three-oh.
Often, that means that the best goalkeepers at an early age don’t always end up being the best options once they mature, and vice versa. Historically, anyway.
Petr Cech has been – undoubtedly – a world class ‘keeper, but the operative part there is “has been”. It struck me on a recent podcast that when we signed him from Chelsea, our joy was almost as much around having deprived a rival as it was around having gained a great player.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for enjoying getting one over the West London upstarts. I just thought it was telling that Cech – a man idolised by the Stamford Bridge faithful – was allowed to go to clear the way for Thibaut Courtois. And by Jose Mourinho no less.