Christophe Lollichon, who coached Petr Cech when the Arsenal goalkeeper was with Chelsea, says the Gunners number one was ‘crazy’ over being benched last season.
During the 2017/18 campaign Cech was Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper, even if he didn’t have the number one on his back at the time. He started the majority of the club’s Premier League games, only missing out through the occasional injury.
Nonetheless, David Ospina was the clear first choice in the Europa League. Even when the games became season defining, like the two legs against Atletico Madrid, the second choice keeper still kept his place.
Chelsea goalkeeping coach Lollichon says Cech was less than happy with the situation.
“The rotation among the goalies is ridiculous,” he said. “Ask Petr Cech if he enjoyed being number two with Arsenal in the Europa League last year. He was crazy.”
It’s no surprise to hear that the 36-year-old wanted to play those crucial European matches. Rotating goalkeepers helps you to keep your back up happy, but really you should try to play the best player for the job on every occasion.
Even goalkeepers sometimes need rests, and obviously they have dips in form. That’s when you should rotate them out. Dropping your first choice for your cup keeper regardless of form, injuries and ability is just asking for elimination, even if it does give the back-up a slight morale boost.
We’ll see which tactic Unai Emery chooses to utilise this season, when the Europa League matches start next week.