Cech set to retire this summer

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Petr Cech has confirmed that he will call time on his playing career when his Arsenal contract runs out this summer.

The 36-year-old is one of the most decorated keepers in English football history, winning four league titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.

We’d love to say that was all achieved in Gunners colours, but he also had a spell at Chelsea before joining us three years ago.

In a statement released on social media, he wrote: “This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of the season,” wrote the 36-year-old in a statement.

“Having played 15 years in the Premier League, and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.

“I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”

Petr has been usurped by Bernd Leno as Unai Emery’s first choice stopper this season, but he’s still playing a fair bit across the cup competitions. We look forward to giving him a proper farewell at the end of the season.

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aberinkula
aberinkula

Petr Cechs out. Don’t @ me.

gooner1981
gooner1981

Model professional on and off the pitch, one of the few Chelsea players I could ever tolerate. Maybe the only one. Let’s hope he signs off with a UEL winner’s medal!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I tolerate him and Drogba. The latter by admiration for having what I don’t see in Arsenal players including even Henry. He was there at every single critical time. Finally we will see the handsome Cech without his helmet as a competent pundit on TV. One thing I loved about Lehman is when he expressed his anger about the way a player injured Cech putting his wellbeing and life in danger.

Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible

Nostalgia clearly getting the better of you if you prefer Drogba’s diving over Henry’s pace and finishing.

ArsenalTillIDie
ArsenalTillIDie

Drogba was there in critical times? You seem to forget he was injured 1/3 of the time he was at Chelsea. Yeah he was playing through critical times in crutches and scored from his cast-covered left foot bangers eh?

eddymc2
eddymc2

Pity we didn’t get him when we originally wanted him, and I wish it had gone better while he was actually here, but he certainly had his moments. His penalty save against Deeney (context and all that) will live long in my memory at least.

PS How’s he 35 and 36 years old in consecutive paragraphs?

aberinkula
aberinkula

He’s 35 until he’s 36, surely.

eddymc2
eddymc2

I believe that’s how it works 😉

Double98
Double98

He’s 37 now apparently

Ealing
Ealing

37 in May 2019

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

He’s 35 until he’s 36. But, he’s surely not 37 until he’s at least reached 36. This I know to be absolutely true.

Richie

He’ll turn 37 in the week between the FA Cup final and the Europa League final; let’s make it a triple celebration.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

It was a long paragraph.

Glocken
Glocken

Good luck to Cech, he was an excellent keeper in his day, unfortunately I think we signed him at a time when he was in decline. He seems like a decent man & I wish him well.

Looking forward It will also help with the wage bill in the summer, I would like us to go for an young English keeper like Pope, Butland or Johnstone at WBA.

Happy retirement Petr.

martin
martin

If he was in decline when we signed him than he must have been the greatest keeper in history. The first 2 years with us he was brilliant and even when the errors crept I n last season was still a top keeper. Pertinent feel far safer with him today than the error prone Leno

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

He had a good first season

Glocken
Glocken

I was at his first game against West Ham in 2015 when he let one slip under his body….although I was also there when he made that brilliant save against Benteke when we played Liverpool a few weeks later.

If you look at Cech in his pomp at Chelsea to what he has done at Arsenal it’s very clear he wasn’t nearly at the same level when he joined us,. I was at Leicester away (again in 2015) when Vardy run rings round him. He has been decent for us but I don’t think that a) he was still at the same level as he was at Chelsea and b) he wasn’t as good as we all hoped when we got him.

The fact we loaned and sold Scz to make way for Cech shows how short sided our transfer dealings have been for too long and what a bad decision that was, that’s nothing against Cech but it’s been proved to be a bad move. A 10 million fee plus wages for four seasons, one of those where he’s not first choice isn’t the greatest of deals, especially as sold a much younger Scz for 12 million.

Again, that’s not Cech’s fault, he’s been ok for us, but show’s how bad our transfer dealings have been for too long.

Richie

Pope or Butland won’t be sold for less than £20m and I doubt we have that amount of money to buy a second choice keeper. It would be cheaper to just keep Ospina or Martinez for another year, unless we can pick up an out of contract keeper.

Glocken
Glocken

Martinez & Ospina are not good enough. There is a possibility that Stoke or Burnley may go down (please) or in Stoke’s case stay at that level, if that’s the case then you could in theory get them fairly easily as no other top club needs them at the moment.

Personally I really like Johnstone, I was surprised no one bigger than WBA picked him up last summer.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Would not be surprised to see Ospina back.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

I would definitely have taken Pope…is he still injured though. Burnley haven’t looked the same without him.

Pat Rice and Beans
Pat Rice and Beans

Easily one of the best GKs of the 21st century.

Despite his past with Chelsea, always gave his best in Arsenal’s red and white.

Mootilated
Mootilated

All the best in your retirement, Chech!

Now you have more time to bless us with YouTube drum videos!

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I’d like to see him attempt B.Y.O.B.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Few days ago he was saying he would love to sign a new contract and now he is about to retire. I would be OK with that if Leno was better keeper but he isn’t. He never will be. We probably won’t sign a No.1 keeper and we will be stuck only with Leno who will struggle like this season and many before. Hopefully Martinez or Macey will step up.

I really don’t think this was solely his decision. He still wanted to play but in London. He should got a new contract. Next sentence will probably anger some people. The disrespect the club is showing to some player since the new management is classless (Ozil, Elneny, Cech, Cazorla, Welbeck, Lacazette?). Once we were a club with class.

Moaning on the side. I am thankful that he was playing for Arsenal in his last years of career and I would be very honoured if he stayed with us “off the pitch”. He is one of the best and smartest guys in football.

Runzac
Runzac

Not a drop of water in this glass – carry on mate

Rich
Rich

You can’t keep handing out contracts on the basis of sentiment, Cazorla is my favourite player of the Emirates era, but if we want a change in style? Then it was necessary and right for both parties that he moved on.
I’m not sure what disrespect any of these players have been shown?
I’d have liked us to offer Welbeck a new deal, but if there was no plan before his injury? Then I don’t see why that should change now? particularly if the club reportedly accepted bids for him in the summer? But apparently he chose to enter the final Yr of his deal, I think it’s called Freewill….

Ozil certainly hasn’t been disrespected, he was made one of our captains and he’s paid extremely well, and since he’s now out of the team, it’s for him to knuckle down, wait for another chance, and prove the manager and a significant amount of the fan base wrong with consistent performances on the pitch.

If you think Lacazzete being subbed is disrespectful? Then you’re seriously entering snowflake territory

Alex
Alex

I think that Özil has proved many times the asset he is for the club whether it is under Wenger or Emery. He is 30, a world class player, trophies winner… and someone we have missed lately. The latest words of Emery have been very disrespectful and Özil’s wages are no reason to be handled this way.

martin
martin

I am not sure why so many thumbs down. You are so right about Leno.

Rich
Rich

Martin you call me both stupid and toxic when I express my opinion on Ozil.
But then your happy to criticise Leno? Surely using your own logic, this now makes you stupid and toxic…

Welcome to the club 👍

Longfellow
Longfellow

Now now…

Matthinc
Matthinc

I think Leno is good!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Same people who were demanding that Leno play are now criticizing him only because the club is not winning. How many errors did Leno make that led to a goal? one?

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Mad Respect! This year he has shown signs of decrease in performances, not just due to the fact that Unai makes him play from the back. Still though, he did produce some brilliant saves this season. And I can’t help wonder if he should sign for a lower team. He still has it in him I think for at least another two years, perhaps in the lower league. Perhaps he wants more time with his family. Anyhow, I really hope he joins somewhere in a GK coaching role. I would generally say at Arsenal, but Unai does play from the back 😬

Hats off to him. Thank you for the service to Arsenal Football Club. When we first signed him, a certain someone, whose name I shall not name here, stated that Cech would save us at least ten or more points in the League (or something along those lines). I think he did more than that, and it was our woeful finishing that cost us in those seasons.

Anyways, best wishes to him. Thank you Cech, the most academically intelligent player to have ever played in the Premier League, and not to mention of course one of the best GKs in this League’s long history. 😊

aberinkula
aberinkula

Lord.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

I think the quote you refer to from JT was 15 points in a season which I thought was a bit optimistic and so it proved but he was a reasonable keeper to have in the team.
I am glad he is retiring whilst still a capable player and many more “mature” professionals should take note rather than drag out a longer career in lower leagues based on the reputation of what they used to be able to do.
Still up until recently we had about 7 Academy goalies on the books. Where have they all gone? Of course, it was also reported on this blog that there was interest in yet another Polish chap and I hear that there is a team in Germany somewhere that we plunder whenever we need a new player!

Jack
Jack

David Ospina my friend, it’s time to step up to the plate

Ealing
Ealing

Ospina has been on the bench in the last three serie A games

Hantal
Hantal

I think there’s an auto buy if he plays enough games, they could be managing the appearances to negotiate

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Their first choice keeper was injured for most of first half of the season which is why they loaned Ospina in the first place. Now that he is fit again, Ospina won’t play much for the rest of the season. It’s that simple really.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Nope there was a loan report and he played the other day and kept a clean sheet.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Coppa Italia. Meret has started the last 3 Serie A games since returning from injury.

Non-Flying dutchman
Non-Flying dutchman

Ospina is perfectly decent but not top class keeper. Was always happy with him as the man on the bench if needed.

Leno warrents more time… The one we should not have let get away was Szczesny

martin
martin

Yes it would be a great competition as to who made the most mistakes as not sure who is the worst keeper between Ospina and Leno. I suppose Leno is taller.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

I really wish there was a way to surgically combine Leno and Cech. At the start of the season both had good attributes and both bad. The whole idea of competition for the keepers feels as though it has gone out of the window and as much as I like Leno I would probably put Cech back in goal for a bit. Sigh.

henry
henry

Another world class player going out for free. O M G

Serpent
Serpent

Unfortunately, retirement never pays any fees…

Aaron
Aaron

Well, we call them annuities.

Gooneron
Gooneron

Should be considered as our goalkeeping coach given his vast experience. A premier league legend.

WellArsed
WellArsed

Not while Emery is the manager.

Deano

Champion player and personality, hopefully he will go out on a high.

Wonder if we are already eyeing up a replacement?

Hantal
Hantal

Plus side it’s a big chunk off the wage bill that won’t need to be spent on a direct replacement

Possession
Possession

Clearly not his decision as he was talking about sitting down to discuss a new contract recently.
Good luck Petr…top man.

Robin
Robin

Think people are very quick to say he was in decline when we signed him; he was excellent in his first season. I actually think poor goalkeeping coaching (Woj and Fab might testify) brought down his level over the last couple of years until we overhauled the coaching team this summer. People are quick to say he didn’t adapt to the passing style but also forget he was making outstanding saves and winning us points right up until his injury a couple of months ago.

He will be sorely missed, a top player and an absolute gent. Enjoy retirement Petr, hopefully you can sign off with a medal!

Hantal
Hantal

People remember that error he made in his first game for us so it’s easy to say he was in decline

martin
martin

I agree with you. He was brilliant for us in his first 2 years. Even last year when he regressed slightly he was still a more than able keeper and frankly even today I feel far safer with him than Leno. I will always maintain one of Wenger’s biggest mistakes was selling Szczesny.

Homer
Homer

Its easy to say he was in decline, which just also happens to be dead wrong. I think you mean.

Comedian
Comedian

I had this strange dream of a three man band of Petr on the drums, rosicky on guitar and arteta on the vocals. Would buy tickets for that. You know what you have to do Mr.Petr

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

One of the most dignified and classy people to have ever played for this club, and I’m not saying that lightly, many could (and should) take a leaf out of his book in terms of carrying themselves and communicating to others.

And to think he spent so many years in that cesspool the other side of town, character building I suppose.

Magneto
Magneto

I think that during his time in the Premier League, Cech demonstrated that he was one of the best goalkeepers of his generation.

He just had this aura of invincibility, and looked unbeatable.

However, to my eyes, he was never quite the same player once he returned from his head injury, although he remained a very good goalkeeper.

Anyway, thanks for your service, Petr Cech, and good luck in your post-Arsenal career.

Never Happen
Never Happen

Best of luck to him of course but when
he says “hopefully win one more trophy”
…….I was kind of hoping for 2 cups this season Petr.

Sheffield Goon
Sheffield Goon

You mean, we’re out the title race?

David C
David C

I love Cech and wish him well. I hope he goes into coaching.

In hindsight, we’d have been better off keeping Fabianski and Szcz. I don’t think Leno is better than either of them.

Savage
Savage

We got Cech from Chelsea, they got Giroud from us. Based on performances alone, we got the better deal.

Post January Blip
Post January Blip

Model professional and an all-round gent and wish him the best for the future!

On another note, I’m not really sure what’s happening with regards to a number of positions, but GK is potentially another area that we need to address with shrewdness.

Leno: Current no. 1 (jury’s out for now)

Ospina: On loan but into the final 18 months of his contract

Martinez: 26 years old and has mostly spent his career on loan

Macey: Currently on loan in League One. At 24 though, when do we make a decision on his long-term future? I’m not sure how good he’s been, but he has conceded 46 goals in 24 appearances so far.

That leaves unproven talent from the academy and I’m not sure if any of them can be reasonably be expected to make the grade in the first team. Keen to hear what the opinions are anyhow.

Trez
Trez

Get him a role in the coaching staff. Was obviously past his peak when we signed him and barely saw him in top form.
Made many costly errors but overall a great pro. Wish him all the best…

karl
karl

Our defence managed to cut Cech down to size pretty quickly. Good guy though and my favourite memory is the Arseblog picture of him in a Stetson as alternative headgear.

Absolut
Absolut

A proper professional. Best wishes to him. Loved it when he gave it to shit face Mike Dean, after that cheaty draw v wba.

Irrational Gunner

LOL! Yes, a yellow card for asking the totally credible question, “hey Mr. Dean, why are you such a f-up?”

Santori
Santori

I would extend him another season with us.

He’s on 100K wages

So freeing up the money is useful.

BUT if we cannot find a keeper of comparable stature and ability, we should just keep him.

BC we will have about 280K in wages (maybe more if we can off load Ospina and Lucas Perez…and Jenkinson) freed up by KOscielny, Lichsteiner and Welbeck.

But that money may have to go into a Cback, a mid and potentially salary improvements for younger players like Nelson and Iwobi.

Retaining and experience keeper like Cech as back up to Leno (who is OK but not great), will be very useful for us.

arseblog
Admin

He’s retiring. There’s no keeping him.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Yeah! Missed the point there. Arsenal are not “letting him go” the man himself has decided to stop playing.
No point keeping another on the staff who does not play we have enough of those already!

Gereoma
Gereoma

He is for now better than Leno.