Petr Cech says his future at Arsenal will entirely depend on his performances between the sticks this season.
The keeper is out of contract at the end of the season and knows that he must prove to head coach Unai Emery that he’s a long-term viable option in goal if he’s to earn a new deal.
So far this season the new head coach has kept faith with the 36-year-old even though the veteran, who recently turned down the chance to sign for Napoli on loan, has had a couple of scares honing the art of playing out from the back.
It’s anticipated that Cech will get his first breather of the season tomorrow with £26 million summer signing Bernd Leno set to start against Vorskla in the Europa League, but he knows he’ll have to be on his toes if he’s to keep the club’s number one shirt in the long-term.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, he said: “I’m in the last year of the contract so I guess it depends on my performances, the way I play and the way I stay fit throughout the season. Then we’ll see what happens next.
“When you bring players in you do that to improve the squad and to make it competitive and Bernd is here, trains every day and tries to get his spot which keeps everyone in the goalkeeping group on their toes including me, obviously,
“I have to work hard not only to make sure the manager picks me for the weekend but as well that he sticks with me.”
He added: “The goalkeeper situation is complicated as only one can play so the competition is bigger and at the moment I’ve been playing and I try to do my best and hope the manager is happy with my performances.
“I’ve always had great goalkeepers — David Ospina was great as was Carlo Cudicini and Hilario — behind me who pushed me all my career so I have to make sure I’m ready.
“In sport this is the way it goes — you always have someone waiting for your failure so they can jump in and you have to find a way to keep your spot.”
Cech retired from international football just over two years ago having become the Czech Republic’s most capped player. He’s not sure if that decision is helping him to prolong his career.
“It is a question I don’t know the answer to because I always say the motivation will be the key to how long I’m going to play,” he noted.
“I don’t like doing things at 95 per cent — I always want to do things at 100 per cent and you have to be fit enough to do that.
“So, it’ll be a question of whether my body is fit enough to allow me to do that and if my head is fit, too, if the motivation stays the same, I’d like to carry on.”