Wednesday 17 July 2019

Cech will start against Chelsea, insists Emery

Arsenal’s Petr Cech. Photo: Reuters
Arsenal’s Petr Cech. Photo: Reuters Sportsdesk

Unai Emery, the Arsenal head coach, has backed Petr Cech and suggested he will keep his place in goal for tomorrow's match against Chelsea after his distribution was questioned following the 2-0 defeat against Manchester City.

Cech, himself, said that he was being challenged to perform differently from the majority of his career because of a desire for the team to play out from the back, but Emery stressed yesterday that this policy was "not compulsory".

Cech had his distribution mocked on social media by new signing Bernd Leno's former team Bayer Leverkusen. The Bundesliga club highlighted a miscued clearance with the message, "in case you were wondering how to play out of the back … we might know a guy".

Cech was clearly unhappy and said that it was "sad" to see other clubs not sharing values of "fair competition, professionalism and sportsmanship".

Leverkusen claimed it had been "a bit of banter" before praising Cech's save to deny Sergio Aguero. The 36-year-old former Chelsea No 1 did make important saves to limit the margin of City's victory but his place is under pressure after Arsenal signed Leno for £22 million.

"I am very happy with Cech's performance - he has experience, he has quality," said Emery. "Also, with Leno. They are goalkeepers who are important for us. They have different qualities but for us, in the way we want to play, they can [both] play. For Saturday, the decision for me is easy. Petr can continue to start the match. I believe in him. If Bernd starts, I believe in him also."

Irish Independent

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