Cech: We’re on the verge of making history

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Petr Cech says Arsenal are ‘on the verge of making history’ after they beat Valencia 7-3 on aggregate to secure a place in the Europa League final.

The Gunners will face Chelsea in Baku on 29 May as we try to win a first European trophy since George Graham brought home the Cup Winners’ Cup from Copenhagen in 1994.

We’ve lost our last three UEFA finals, going down to Barcelona in the Champions League in 2006, Galatasaray (on penalties) in the 2000 UEFA Cup and Real Zaragoza in the 1995 edition of the Cup Winners’ Cup.

For Cech, who will likely start in goal, the occasion will be extra special. Not only is he facing the club with whom he won both the Champions League and Europa League, he’ll also be playing his final game before hanging up his gloves and helmet.

After last night’s win in Spain, the 36-year-old was in buoyant mood. “You have to believe in your dream and that’s the only way,” he told Arsenal.com.

“To work hard is one thing, but you really have to believe dreams can come true otherwise it might not.

“I’ve always been doing it in my life and my career believing that it might come true.

“Throughout my career I actually did some of those dreams and my last dream as a professional footballer is to win the last final.

“I’m very happy we went through this difficult test today and we really deserve to go through.”

Cech went on to highlight how important the occasion will be for the supporters, who’ve had to wait a long time to taste UEFA success.

“I think we are on the verge of making history for Arsenal Football Club.

“It’s such a fantastic football club and I feel like our supporters and everybody connected to the club deserve the joy from winning a European final so hopefully, we can do the last step and win it for them.

“They’ve been supporting this club with all their energy and they’ve been waiting long, so hopefully we can end this wait.”

The Gunners now face a long wait – 19 days – before their date with destiny. There’s going to be a lot of pressure on the team to get the win, especially as it would secure us a place in next season’s Champions League. Cech hopes his two decades at the top will come in useful when calming the nerves of his teammates.

“I think this is where real experience can play a part because you can speak to people and guide people through,” he said.

“When you reach a European final there’s a lot of pressure on everybody so you have to make sure as a senior player that everybody goes to the game prepared.”

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HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Love you with all my heart Petr. But still hope Leno starts.

Sorry.

Scwibble
Scwibble

I agree with you 100%, feel free to downvote me too guys 🙂

Martin
Martin

I can’t think why. Cech has kept superbly in every round and Leno has also looked a bit shaky in recent matches. Cech also has a big match temperament having been in a Champions League final

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

If Cech was so superb he’d be our number one. Leno has been exceptional this year apart from Wolves. Cech booted it long so often last night. I can’t see the Chelsea defence allowing Laca to win as many headers as he did last night. And he can’t save penalties. We give away more penalties than any other club.

You play your best XI. If Leno is good enough to replace Cech and keep him out, he should be playing the biggest game we’ve had since 2006.

dcgooner
dcgooner

and we got a goal from one of those long boots.

kaius
kaius

So your plan in the Final is for Cech to kick long to Laca & Auba up against Azpi & David Luiz?

Our best team means Leno. He can also kick long when needed – but unlike Cech, he can also help us retain possession with shorter passes against a Chelsea team that averaged 60% possession both times we played them this season.

It’s a no-brainer.

Scwibble
Scwibble

Lol you’d be the first to complain if we’d lost the game because we didn’t play our best XI, same as that time everyone jumped on ospina when he cost us the game in group stage in CL. All of his admirable performances before his mistake wasn’t considered by fans because they argued the best GK should be played against the best opposition.

Like I said before, there’s a reason he’s retiring.

Pat Rice and Beans
Pat Rice and Beans

I could agree with you, but it would be two saying shit.

Hantal
Hantal

Leno should play. We won’t be playing jenkjnskn at right back just because he’s been with a long time and supports the club.
The best eleven available should play a final

D.J.
D.J.

I think Cech will start since he got us here. However late in the match if it looks like it’s going to penalties is it too harsh to make a change?

The Far Post
The Far Post

This is somewhat tongue in cheek, but… you know it’s a funny old game, when you go 5-0, let in three, with three clean sheets in your last five matches, and people still ask for you to be replaced by a fellow who slipped in 13 goals and lost four, drew one. 😉

The Far Post
The Far Post

Hmm.. Looks like I messed up my numbers a bit, but you get my drift… Should have been lost three, drew one, with one clean sheet for Leno.

Scwibble
Scwibble

I can’t speak for those numbers, but I can for the games I’ve been watching this season. Is Leno to blame for our shitty defence? I’ve heard 0 arsenal fans complain about leno after losing a game this campaign.

I can’t even recall a howler hat he has made this season. Without him we would have been embarrassed this season.

kaius
kaius

He’s also making the implicit argument that Cech would’ve conceded fewer goals in that run of games. Absolute rubbish.

Leno has made errors, but it’s clear who the better keeper has been over the course of the season. Everyone’s been hammering Emery for not playing his best team whenever possible – but now we’re in our first Euro Final for 20-odd years they want our 2nd choice goalkeeper to start? Absolutely the fuck not

Scwibble
Scwibble

Leno has been superb, saved us from some hammerings this season on too many occasions. You can’t argue a case for cech being better than Leno this season, you can’t.

Gunner142
Gunner142

Like he said experience is as much important as performance to win finals. As far as I remember we only have sokratis and cech who have played european final. Cech has the capacity to help the defenders in maintaining position. The only thing he lacks is pass with his feet. If emery plays with the strategy he played against valencia then this incapability will not effect much.

And again in recent matches leno’s form has diped a bit. He gave away the ball to brighton in last match. Anyway I will trust emery’s decision no matter what lineup he chooses. Who knows his experience might become the deciding factor in this final..

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

I wish they could just cancel this years champions league. Basically a European war needs to break out?

Chiza
Chiza

My dream line up for next season

Leno

Bellerin Holding Koulibaly Tierney

Ziyech Doucoure Ndidi Zaha

Aubameyang Lacazette

Please I’m allowed to dream!!!… But anyway come on KROENKE!!!!!!!!

Scwibble
Scwibble

You sound like a dear santa kinda child.

Usmanov
Usmanov

Ziyech and Zaha would be really great. That and a star defender would almost be like a Man City style rebuild in my opinion. 🙂

Martin
Martin

We don’t need the diving cheat Zaha who is also inconsistent

Santori
Santori

I don’t think we need to add an expensive quantity for striker (to replace Welbeck)

We need to spend on CB, CM and winger.

Keeper we can be economical, assess Martinez or get a decent enough option from market.

Striker we can risk with a young player on account Auba is already 30+

And we have Nketiah so we have an added back up. What I feel is we need someone with a bit of height. Again dribbling ability will help.

UP and coming 21-22yr old will be great, not too green and close to full product.

Usmanov
Usmanov

. Ziyech
Auba Laca

Or

. Ziyech
Zaha Laca Auba

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

More like come on you greedy?

Where the heck do you find a huge budget to buy all those players?

Remember, Rams is building a new stadium and Kroenke is gonna leech all the money from Arsenal for “his project”.

Richie

Umtiti is rumoured to be leaving Barca and I think he would be a fantastic addition to our team and a more realistic signing than Koulibali.

Santori
Santori

I think we can get a relative unknown but good defender to come in. We don’t have to go for a known quantity and the price that comes along with it as we have to spread our money in 3 important areas (minimal)

CM, I like Kongdogbia. We could do with the power and strength not to mention height. We lack someone with quick feet who can carry the ball from deep like Viera, Diaby and Santi use to. It will transition us quicker.

Torreira apart from short stature to Santi isn’t it.

On the wing, Ziyech would be just grand but he won’t be cheap. We need that creative/invention the Mahgreb players can bring. Ziyech reminds me of a younger Mahrez…plus he’s actually left footed playing inverted which pairs well with Iwobi who is right footed playing inverted on other flank.

Nelson can come in as well as a third option for us.

Santori
Santori

We lack dribblers in this team.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

“We lack dribblers in this team.”

No lack of them among our fans though.

Santori
Santori

Ridiculous.

We won’t have that much money.

Santori
Santori

At least have a more realistic dream.

We barely mint money on player sales. It will be hard to find buyers for likes of Jenkinson and Elneny let alone Mustafi and Ozil.

Most of Welbeck, Cech, Ramsey, Lichsteiner going out won’t fetch anything. Nor Koscielny.

Maybe Mhkitaryan will fetch something or Chambers but the rest of the money will either have to come from europa win and/or sponsorship renewal.

We will have enough for 3 priority positions (of which if lucky we may only see two fulfilled fully)

Prices won’t be cheap with 10 clubs able to spend more than us.

Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, City, United, PSG, Bayern, Juve, RM, Barca.

Gunner142
Gunner142

As much as I would like to have ziyech, I think we should buy a van der beek. He seems to be in the right position at the right time to finish the ball on the box. Sounds like a good replacement of ramsey. We really need to replace ramsey with someone who has genuine eye for goal from central midfield. You cant always depend on strikers to win you matches.

The problem with us is that we never buy a proper replacement of our best players. We never bought a replacement for Fabregas or Van persie.
We bought mikhi to play on wing to replace sanchez who was one of the best players of europe and compared with hazard. We can really do a lot buying a goal scoring winger rather than someone having eye for assist.

Buying CB was always a must and I know emery will get someone not highly known but trustworthy on that position.

charles
charles

Can Petr Cech paly for both teams in the Final? i’s basically his testimonial

C.B.
C.B.

Could we give him to Chelsea for the penalty shootout?

Richie

Are testimonials still a thing? In which case, Ramsey should get one in the future….

Scwibble
Scwibble

I think it’s Mustafi’s testimonial too, correct me if I’m wrong.

Sam
Sam

I think if we can get a Player like Ndidi as our holding midfielder it wl be great

Santori
Santori

I prefer we get someone like Kongdogbia at Valencia.

height and strength but also quick feet able to carry the ball from deep like Viera, Diaby and Santi use to.

Torreira isn’t it for me even if he is tenacious. He isn’t the entire answer and has shortcomings.

Richie

It’s a strange situation; Cech the Chelsea legend playing against the club he loves in a European final, the club where he will rejoin as a coach in the summer, even his boy is on the books in the Chelsea youth system. Imagine if the match goes to penalties and the final spot kick is Giroud v Cech, how bizarre would that be.

onenil
onenil

That scenario just made me sick with anxiety

rpsport
rpsport

Hazard and Willian will tear Emery’s boys long before the penalty stage, don’t worry about that 🙂

Richie

I’d prefer Lacazette and Aubameyang up front than those two

Santori
Santori

I mean, they struggled to get by Frankfurt.

Santori
Santori

BTW Jovic (21yrs) for Frankfurt more than worth a look into this summer (if not already on the top of many teams’ shopping lists)

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

None of this hyperbole please, Cech. You’ll only curse it.

I’m happy we won yesterday but spuds in the CL final still makes me feel sick!

Mark
Mark

What a great way for Cech to go out winning a European Cup in his last match.

Angry Arsenal Nerd
Angry Arsenal Nerd

Cech to save a last minute peno!! You heard it here first!..now let me get these pencils out my nose, and these pants off my head..bwibble.

Santori
Santori

Don’t drop the ball at the last hurdle. Lets win it.

Hope Cech has a MOTM performance and we knock CHelsea out courtesy of a Ramsey goal (hope he gets a surprise fitness pass for the finals)

Santori
Santori

On to the weekend though.

Hope we can replicate the same tactical approach against Burnley and ratchet up a strong finish.

Maybe a 6 goal win with no reply, we haven’t had this in quite a while.

PLUS then we have to hope Everton can win by 3.

Improbably of course but at least we should do our part and get ourselves a big win.

Its been so deflating not to have won at least 2 of the last 4 which had we done so would have put us past Chelsea let alone Spurs, considering the charity.

Again I think Emery has been torn to find the solution against teams like Palace, Wolves, Leicester away who tend to sit deep and tight and are adept at the counter.

The attempt was to add the extra creative mind to pick through the lines

(we lack players like Alexis who can engage and dribble past players on their own, pull defenses out of position so we try to pick passes but when channels are tighten we struggle)

BUT I think the approach may be flawed.

a) We should stay with back 3 rather than go to back 4 again to add the extra man up top in congestion. Aside from being more secure for our backline, it allows us to press more compact with the strikers in conjunction.

BUT it also plays to our wingbacks’ strengths and gives us more width.

b) We need to develop a faster transition. Auba showed for the ball better yesterday (particularly second goal where he made the service happen by running to the cross near post)

Our players up top must be alive to the counter everytime we win back possession as much as our out ball from the back needs to be efficient.

In that Granit plays a key role with his passing range in finding the players up front quicker particularly in absence as mention of true dribblers beyond Iwobi at the moment and our lob sided nature.

c) Addition to above, players who receive the ball for the counter need to hold and retain the ball much better.

Auba again guilty of not being competitive with high balls but also very lose in control.

Ozil yesterday did very well protecting the ball for us and making better use of it. We need the frontline to improve this.

d) Every set piece we defend should be seen as an opportunity to spring forward into attack when we win back possession.

If we can do this, we will find better solution to catching teams before they can set up stall and restrict our passing lanes. Until we find players better able to take on opponents with skill, we need to exploit space BEFORE they get shut down.

Ealing
Ealing

Why oh why?!

Niran
Niran

Just go start your own blog FFS

jamur

Please don’t make silly mistakes