Tuesday 25 September 2018

Petr Cech hits out at Bayer Leverkusen for 'sad' tweet that questioned his inability to play out from back

Arsenal's Petr Cech applauds fans after the match
Arsenal's Petr Cech applauds fans after the match
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech hit out at Bayer Leverkusen last night after the Bundesliga club's Twitter account mocked his performance in Sunday's defeat to Manchester City.

With new head coach Unai Emery encouraging Arsenal to play out from the back, Cech looked uncomfortable on occasion when trying short passes to his team-mates.

Cech was preferred in goal to summer arrival Bernd Leno, who joined from Leverkusen for a reported fee of £19.2 million.

A video of Cech almost scoring an own goal as he attempted a pass across the face of his own goal started circulating on Twitter - with Leverkusen's English account getting involved.

"We might know a guy..." they replied to one Tweet highlighting Cech's error, seemingly suggesting their former number one Leno would be more adept at implementing Emery's vision.

That was followed by a 29-second video of Leno playing out from the back in a game for the German side, with the caption: "In case you were all wondering how to play out from the back..."

Retweeted over 1,750 times, plenty of supporters of both clubs found the reply humorous, but Cech took to Twitter to post a reply on Monday evening, criticising the "professionalism" of the post.

Cech spoke after the game, in which Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva struck in each half as reigning Premier League champions Manchester City ruined Emery's welcome party.

The 36-year-old urged fans to give the team time to adapt to the new approach and said he feels adept at helping the team to build attacks from the back.

Asked if he is comfortable playing out from the back, Cech replied: "Yes, you play the best way for the team.

"I think that in a way if you want to dominate the game through possession you need to use every player.

"You can see at this level that one-v-one is difficult to play so you need to use the goalkeeper as a spare man every time you can - that is the role of the goalkeeper.

"If you play for a team who is happy to play a long-ball and a completely different way then the keeper plays a different way - but for what we want to do I think it is going to be important."

It remains to be seen whether Cech, who was named captain against City, will retain his place in goal when Arsenal visit his former club Chelsea on Saturday or if Leno will be handed his competitive debut.

Leverkusen's account replied to Cech's tweet soon after - saying their original "joke" had been taken more personally than it should have been.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport