A few eyebrows were raised when Unai Emery selected Petr Cech ahead of Bernd Leno on the first day of the season. After all, it’s not often a club splurges so much money on a keeper and then sticks him on the bench.
When you consider the Spaniard is looking to implement a ‘play from the back’ policy, the decision to plump for a 36-year-old over a keeper who is known to be adept with the ball at his feet, well…it’s even more of a head-scratcher.
As it turns out, Cech – one hair-raising moment in that City defeat aside – has done pretty well between the sticks so far, certainly from a shot-stopping perspective.
Sitting on the bench for three consecutive games, you might forgive Leno some soul-searching, but he’s optimistic that he’ll get opportunities to prove his worth soon.
“I am convinced that my change was the right decision,” he told homeland publication Bild about his move from Bayer Leverkusen to London.
He added: “I’m not crazy. It may take a few weeks or months, but my time here will come.”
On the attraction of the Premier League, he went on: “Although I have not played yet, I feel very comfortable. Every matchday you feel there’s a highlight, a real cracker [of a game].
“The Premier League has more to offer than the Bundesliga, which certainly has to do with the amount of money that is circulating here.”
We were used to Arsene Wenger rotating his keepers for the cup competitions. We’re expecting something similar from Unai Emery although it’s hard to second guess our head coach right now.
If he does switch things up, Leno can look forward to game time in the Carabao Cup and Europa League before the end of next month. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares with the cut and thrust of English football.