Sunday, August 14, 2022

Cech: We had two options after sending off

Petr Cech says Arsenal had two choices after they were reduced to ten men against Leicester; back their attacking quality and go for it, or sit back and hope to nab a goal.

After Konstantinos Mavropanos’ 15th minute dismissal, just 60 seconds after Kelechi Iheanacho had opened the scoring for the hosts, the Gunners opted for the former, found an equaliser but then got run ragged on the break and lost 3-1. 

A seventh consecutive league defeat away from home is the club’s worst run on the road since 1966. Ouch. That said, given our league position is already confirmed, it’s not something worth losing sleep over.

“We had nothing to wait for because we were down to 10 men,” said Cech of the Gunners’ kamikaze football.

“We had to make sure that we played and couldn’t just wait and give them the ball and wait for their chances.

“They had chances from counter-attacking in the first half, but as I said, when you go down to 10 men you have two options.

“You can defend your box and wait for one chance, but obviously with our quality of football we believe that if you have more of the ball, even down to 10 men, then we will create more to score the goal.

“In the end, we did so, but the second goal killed the game.”

For all the disappointment, Cech still felt the team played with the right spirit.

“We obviously gave them an advantage to play quite a long time against 10 men but I felt that we dug really deep and we obviously needed to defend at times and be compact and wait for our opportunities to counter-attack.

“I thought that we had two or three very good opportunities. In the second half we scored a goal and we were right back in the game but unfortunately, the second goal, the penalty, gave them back the lead and then they waited for a counter-attack and confirmed their win.”

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Shame we don’t have an Atletico type defence that would have allowed PEA to score the winner late on.

For me that is the priority of the next manager, to make sure we can defend well when needed as well as attack. We need a Gilberto/Vieira type on CM ideally to help with that.

Spanish Gooner

Honestly the number of times I see people say we need a Vieira type player for our defence makes me wonder if anybody actually watched the invincibles. Vieira was a world class box to box midfielder. His role was most like that of Ramsey, Pogba, Paulinho etc (though better than any of them) and he always played in front of a”true” defensive midfielder – Petit or Gilberto for Arsenal, and Petit or Makelele for France.


Vieira’s career average 1 goal in 10 approx. (Pogba is one in 5) and the sense of security I felt when he was on the pitch makes me think he was more DM.

David Hillier's luggage

You felt a sense of security because he could defend, not because he was a ‘defensive midfield’.

Also goals aren’t really a stat by which a central midfielder is defined by. Wilshere averages a goal every 20 games in the league, Ramsey (considered a ‘goal scoring midfielder’) every 6.5, and Fabregas approx every 7.

A Different George

I think a lot of people remember Patrick’s size and strength and don’t realize his stye was much closer to Ramsey (yes, of course, he was better) than to someone like Khedira. I think Pogba is by far the closest contemporary approximation in physical attributes, style, and quality.


Yes correct. And back in those days we were playing a lopsided 442. But with Bergkamp and a right midfielder who could tuck in, playing their natural positions we basically had a 4321

Make Arsenal Great Again

Diaby was the closest to Vieria. I actually think Diaby was better than any of these players mentioned above in terms of style and quality. It’s a shame we never got to see him develop to his full potential.

People say Wenger never tried to replace Vieira but it’s not true. He tried with Diaby who I thought could have been better than Vieria if not of his career being destroyed by a reckless tackle


This – Petit and Gilberto made Vieira shine.


Our defensive displays away from home are largely down to lack of character and lack of tactics/game management. I heard or read someone say that scoring goals wins games which of course is true, but not conceding goals is the thing that ultimately will help you win titles. If the board don’t bring in a “defensively-minded” coach then things will get a lot worse for us.


If scoring goals can win games, how can scoring goals not win the title?

You can concede, just score more than you concede. It is that simple. No need for any pseudo psycho babble.


I thought that Mavropanos was unlucky to be sent off. The ref should have given him the benefit of the doubt considering that there was an almost covering player. We would have probably lost anyway: our defending was awful. As we get to the end of the PL season it’s worth taking a good look at the table: everything that’s right and wrong is there. The most startling facts are about our defensive record. We have let in 51 goals in just 37 games. We have conceded almost TWICE as many goals as Man City. We have conceded more goals… Read more »

Billy Bob

Wow I was glad I was sitting down reading a POSITIVE comment from fats lol I do agree with the constructive comments too

Tony Hall

What is crazy is the huge difference between home and away form. How can we be at the top of the home form league with Abu Dhabi United yet down in 16th in away form ? It makes no sense !
If we can play that good at home why are the same players so awful on the road when traditionally our away form was better than our home form. Someone qualified really needs to get inside the players heads and work it what it is before next season.

A Different George

“Had it not been for our good goal-scoring record we would be fighting to avoid the drop.”

But of course, you can turn that around: if we had played as well away as at home, we would have challenged for the title. We have let in a lot of goals at home too (far more than the other top six) and yet have the second best home record. So maybe, that’s the key–score more away, win most away matches 4-2 with an occasional 3-3 draw, and lift the trophy.


Once we have a balance of players then we can sort out some structure to our offensive/defensive balance. We signed Xhaka as a DM but he wasn’t, we sold Ox and Gabriel and didn’t replace them. The table doesn’t lie.


I think we made the right decision to go for it. We took risk no doubt but we were better second half and in the end I think considering we were a man short, we chalked up 60% possession and close to similar shots on target. So the effort was there. However, wasn’t sure why we did not have Chambers and Lacazette on the bench as well. A look at our youthful options is emblematic of Wenger’s achille’s heel over the years. That said, it was in the end a dead rubber of a game. I think we were OK… Read more »

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