If you can’t teach an old dog new tricks then Unai Emery must be considering if it’s time to put Bernd Leno into the Arsenal goal as Petr Cech continues to struggle with the ball at his feet.
Against Cardiff City on Sunday, the Arsenal shot-stopper showed once again that playing out from the back is going to be an issue if we rely on the 36-year-old.
It took just two minutes for Arsenal to get caught out as they tried this approach from the backline. Sokratis played the ball back to Cech, he didn’t seem to know exactly what he was going to do with it and it almost cost Arsenal.
Seven minutes later the same almost happened again, this time almost allowing Harry Arter to capitalise.
It’s not Cech’s fault. He’s being asked to do something new and that always takes a bit of time to get used to. We’re also asking him to be more of a footballer than just a goalkeeper, something all modern keepers are going to have to be moving forward.
“He’s progressing,” Emery told reporters after the game about Cech.
“He has experience and he is intelligent and he is doing what we want to do to win with our jobs and work on the pitch. It’s very important for me to continue doing this and improving. If you play every time long balls, you lose possession and momentum.
“We take risks in moments of the match, but when you break their pressing on the pitch you can find space for attacking the opposition. It is for that it’s clear you can maybe do one mistake like today and one action, but we need to continue with this personality.
“We need to continue also then to do the mix, to [play a] long ball with the space for the first action, and the second action to win possession on the pitch and then continue going forward to the opposition goal.”