Vladimir Darida won the 2017 Czech Footballer of the Year award ahead of Petr Čech on Monday evening, preventing the Arsenal goalkeeper from his tenth victory.
Čech received the honour in 2015 and 2016, so he was on course for his third in a row. This time Kicker report that Darida edged in ahead, with the 35-year-old finishing in second place.
A panel of coaches, experienced players, officials and journalists decide the award.
The former Chelsea goalkeeper has been fairly dominant in this category in the past. From 2008 to 2013 he won it every single year.
Things are starting to change now though.
For a start, the goalkeeper hasn’t been his usual solid self in the Premier League. He’s made more errors leading to goals than anyone in Europe’s top five league this season.
Petr Cech: Has committed more errors leading to an opposition goal (6) than any other player in Europe's top 5 leagues this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 5, 2018
Another contributing factor is probably the goalkeeper’s international retirement. It’s always going to be more difficult to win football of the year in your country if you don’t play for – or in – that country.
Hopefully finishing second will inspire Čech to reclaim the top spot in 2018, and pick up that tenth award. Finally saving a penalty with Arsenal against Watford was a step in the right direction, he just needs to keep it going.