Unai Emery has paid tribute to Petr Cech after the veteran keeper announced his decision to retire at the end of the season.
Having left an indelible mark on the European game, tributes to the 36-year-old have poured in from across the football world in the last 48 hours.
Like his peers, Emery agrees the veteran deserves respect for a career that has seen him win 18 major honours since making his first team debut in Czech football 20 years ago.
“I think he’s a very big person,” Emery told press ahead of Arsenal’s game with Cech’s former club Chelsea.
“As a person I’ve only known him six months. After that, I know him like a player.
“A great player with a lot of titles in his career and I think the respect to him is very big for me and for all the football world.”
It’s unclear whether Arsenal would have offered Cech a contract extension when his current deal ends in the summer, either way, the boss says he firmly respects the player’s to walk away while at the top.
“His decision is a very, very personal decision and I respect him,” said Emery.
“He said to us at the beginning of this week and when he said to us I wasn’t surprised but I respect him because he was thinking with his family for this decision and we can only say to him after, every player in the team, we want to do this way and at the end of your career find good moments with you.”
There have been reports that Chelsea are eager to offer Cech a role at Stamford Bridge. Asked if the Gunners might consider adding him to the coaching roster, Emery added:
“Now it’s very difficult to speak about that. I want to enjoy the last four months with him and to finish in a good way together, to find our objective with him. I want to enjoy it with him.”
Having fallen behind Bernd Leno in the keeper pecking order at the Emirates, Cech looks likely to spend his final months playing the cup competitions. How great it would be for him to sign off with another cup, possibly even a European title.
A bit like Jens, I’d like to see Cech move into a non-goalkeeping coaching role one day. I get the impression he has a lot to give and hope he doesn’t get pigeon holed into a goalkeeping coach role just because he was a keeper.
Unfortunately it seems Chelsea are offering him a coaching position, with total radio silence from our side (at least in the media). So I guess he’ll end up going there – possibly to work with his old coach Lollichon, one of the best in the business.
Can’t blame him – although of course I wish we’d retain his services rather than those cunts in blue.
Instead of a testimonial, how about a triple threat match between Cech, Mad Jen’s and Gerry Peyton? Anyone?
Cech has always been a pro at Arsenal, even if he wasn’t quite as his top level, which is a very high standard indeed. I’ll miss seeing him at the back.
P.S. Emery loves his ‘moments’ doesn’t he?
We will have to find the keeper of good quality to come in to compete with Leno.
Clearly Ospina isn’t it. Whether Emery feels Martinez can step up is also a good question.
Otherwise it may have to be from market adding another player to the list we need to free up money for.
An alternative I would have thought would be to keep Cech for another season being he is still only 36yrs.
We need a new keeper to replace Leno not to compete with him
We will free up some money in the summer. Koscielny (100K), Cech (100K), Lichsteiner(90K), Welbeck (90K) not to mention Elneny (55k), and of course dead wood like Jenkinson, Lucas Perez and Ospina. Ramsey will also be off (110K) and potentially Ozil (300K+) So that’s a substantial amount of wages freed up. But if we don’t do anything now we will need to add a new keeper, a Cback, CM, and RW, potentially a young striker. if there are still question marks on Nketiah. What we can do this window will be helpful. Ramsey looks like he will leave on a… Read more »
Bit harsh on Jenks there. Life long servant of the club and a real Arsenal lad.
Will be sad to see him go, and frankly we could have done with him sticking around so we didn’t need to replace him. Maybe Matt Macey it’s doing enough in Plymouth to be considered as back up next year.
Chavski reject. Never good enough. How many penalty saves in how many seasons?
He was a world class keeper when he joined us but has definitely slowed down. Still a far better keeper than Leno. You can’t judge a keeper solely on the number of penalties he saves but on his overall performances which for the first two years was brilliant
Nowhere near the level of lehman or seaman. We got him when he was past best. Not his fault he was never the same after head injury.