Report: Petr Cech to rejoin Chelsea in backroom role this summer

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In news that isn’t particularly surprising but which isn’t especially well-timed, Petr Cech is apparently set to rejoin Chelsea this summer.

The 37 year old spent 11 years at Stamford Bridge before joining Arsenal in 2015, and according to Sky Sports he’ll be handed a ‘sporting director’ role with the blues after his retirement.

His retirement, of course, comes directly after the Europa League final in Baku when Arsenal face Chelsea.

It’s adds yet another layer of intrigue/weirdness/banterosity to this game which is dominating the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The location is a nightmare for fans to get to; some fans aren’t being allowed into Azerbaijan because of their Armenian heritage; Henrikh Mkhitaryan won’t be making the trip; and now our likely starter in goal will be joining the opposition once his contract expires at the end of June.

What you would say is that however unfortunate the timing, Cech is a true professional, and will be 100% focused on winning the trophy for Arsenal and calling time on a storied career with another medal.

Whether it changes anything for Unai Emery remains to be seen, but he spoke in glowing terms about the Cech earlier today at his pre-Baku press conference.

“I cannot sit here talking about Petr Cech, as we could be here one day, two days, three days speaking about him – and it would all be positive,” he said.

“I only know him this year but he is amazing. An amazing person and an amazing goalkeeper.

“He played the last matches perfectly, with a big performance, and I want to enjoy this final with his career. I am privileged to coach him and we are going to do all our effort to win and to be together in this final.”

Emery wouldn’t be drawn on whether Cech would definitely start though, continuing, “At the moment I trust and believe in him.

“He played with a big performance and I could use him or I could use Leno, but above all I want to enjoy with all our players and a special moment with some players.

“I spoke with Aaron Ramsey, but he is injured, but it’s the same with Petr Cech; I want to deliver for him in his last match, playing or not.”

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Red-Sky

Start Leno in Baku.
It only makes sense to play our best keeper in the biggest game we had in 13 years.

AmericanGooner

I do agree with this. Now isn’t the time for sentiment. Go with our best option and that is Bernd.

Not to mention, starting Bernd will give him even more confidence. Cech has been the go to starter in the Europa. Starting Bernd will let him k ow that we need to win this game, and that means you are our man. Just the vote of confidence one needs for such a huge match.

Heavenly Chapecoense

All fans talking here about starting Leno our best Keeper are actually thinking Cech has too much connections with Chelsea. I am going to openly say this. Cech is a top top top professional but football performance has lot to do with emotions even more so for goalkeepers. Plus, Hazard and perhaps UEFA-cup-lethal Giroud know all the details about his weaknesses.

HelderHughes

Got absolutely destroyed for saying that on here about a week and a half ago.

Scwibble

I can’t remember if it was you that I agreed with where you took a lot of downvotes for absolutely no reason.

Goonerink

same

Runcorn Gooner

What if Cech drops a clanger during the match. I am sure it would not be anything other than a mistake any keeper can make BUT it would not do anybody any good knowing he is joining Chelsea again almost immediately after the match.

Should Cech go to Emery and volunteer to stand down ?
Should Emery choose his No 1 keeper anyway for a final ?
Do we really need all this aggro just before such a crucial match?

Charlie George Again

This is precisely why Chelsea have announced this.

Yankee Gooner

And what a crass thing to do to Cech on their behalf, too–leak information to potentially get him dropped from his last competitive match.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

You’d expect nothing less from that bunch.

Martin

Cech has not let us down in any match he has played this season and is still better than Leno at dealing crosses. Also has the big match temperament having played in a winning Champions League Final.

Drogheda Gunner

Yeah that’s when he was top goalkeeper. I really like the guy seems like a gent but think Leno is better now and he hasn’t got massive Chelsea alliances. And a europa league wud do fuck all for cech medal count as he has already won everything else and europa league already. Just think what it wud do for lenos confidence going into next season?

Martin

On current form Cech is better than Leno who has looked very shaky in recent weeks. His inability to deal with crosses is very worrying. Cech has been superb in all the matches he has played in the Europa League and having played in a winning Champions League Final he has a big match temperament

Kwame Ampadu Down

Martin, you spent months after we signed Leno telling everyone he wasn’t good enough. When his form was brilliant you said nothing. Now after a mistake or two, you’re back banging the drum again. ‘Shaky’? Not at all. As I said before when you slated people for their ‘unfair’ criticism of Ozil, you are as just as ‘unfair’ on Leno.

Rich

Martin would you please stop being so toxic, and practise what you usually preach to the rest of us……

And just for the record…. Ozil is way over the hill and years past his sell by date.

Drogheda Gunner

Yeah I 100 percent agree. Leno should start. I like cech but let’s be honest we got a raw deal when we got him.,he went from top 3 in world to average Everton standard goalkeeper and his heart has always being with Chelsea.

AmericanGooner

Screw politics.

Everything

Leno should start irrespective of this news, but this should certainly seal the deal. I know Cech is professional and all that, but this is conflict of interest. Perfect timing to annoy a fanbase as well, very much an air of Götze to Bayern announcement before the Champs League final in 2013.

Fatgooner

Leno must start the final now.

You can say what you want about Cech’s integrity, but for the sake of both Arsenal and Cech he can’t now begin in Baku – in fact he shouldn’t even be in the squad. What would happen if he made a massive clanger in the final? Not everybody would think that it was an innocent mistake. This is exactly the same position as an on-loan player playing against his parent club. There cannot be a question as to the player’s loyalty. It’s sad for Cech but he mustn’t play.

Futsboller

There isn’t a question as to the player’s loyalty – the coach just said so, and I imagine every one of his current teammates would square up to confirm it.

This will be Cech’s final professional match. I have a feeling he’s going to want to win it, and his teammates, along with a Micki in the back pocket, are going to ensure he goes out in Arsenal colours with matching silverware.

Cech is one of the good guys in the world of sports – lets not cast any shade upon that now.

AmericanGooner

That may all very well be true, but let me ask you something:

If you were the manager, would you choose Petr in such a critical match (not just for silverware, but for next season) if there was even a chance of foul play – especially when you have a superior keeper in the wings?

I know I wouldn’t.

Futsboller

I think Emery, based on his words above, trusts Cech completely, and I’m sure his teammates do as well. I think professionals like them, with enduring reputations, are very different than us.

Won’t it be that much sweeter when Cech robs Giroud of the equalizer, and we go on to win the EL? Methinks it will.

Martin

Except on current form Leno is not superior to Cech

Sean

Yep, we’ve got to start Leno in goal and that was my opinion even prior to this news being made public. We’re in trophy territory now and more to the point, we’re in money territory. Cold, hard cash and we know how the board feel about that. Everybody knows are transfer plans are effed without the “comforting” bosom of CL football. Wenger would have started Cech, hoping Emery shows he’s more Pep than Wenger when it comes to making the big decisions, and this is an almighty big decision This is a final now, you play your best 11. No… Read more »

Flash

No time for sentiment?
What is football -in it’s finest form- about if not about sentiment, passion and honesty?
It will be Cech’s final game in his carreer. He fought for us to reach one of our biggest hights in 15 years. We would be such a classless herd if we would deny it from him.

CharlieGeorgeAgain

He’s kind of denied it to himself. He is party to this..this is not only Chelsea’s doing – it’s Cech’s too. He should never have negotiated this until this game was well over with. Chelsea must be be delighted with the mess theyve caused and Cech is very naive if he thought this would go down well with Arsenal or the fans.

Hantal

It will jenkinsons last opportunity to get play for the club he’s supported all his life. Should he start the game too?
Sentiment is not an option in a cup final

Flash

Really? If there is no sentiment, no feelings in football – What will remain? Mercenaries.

Koscielny:
Confidence is the most important thing in football, more than the quality. It’s about working together and giving that commitment to the team. Alone, we can do nothing. Together, we can achieve our targets.

And yes. If our best RB would be (let’s say) only 5% better than Jenko but otherwise a demotivated, covetous asshole – just on his way to an oilers team in Russia or Kuvait – I would play Jenko without a question.

Red-Sky

Remember how Wenger never played our all-time greatest player, in his final game of his career, in one of the biggest finals in the club history?

C.B.

I know, Clichy just sat on the bench.

I was devastated, I’m sure you were too.

Vonnie

And look how that ended up.

Geefive

Ugh….great. Even more controversy for this match. This final is becoming a complete shitshow and there’s still over a week to go before it’s even played.

aberinkula

Could he not have announced this after the final? And yes, start Leno. No excuses now.

Also, am I alone in being disappointed at Emery’s comments on Mhki’s “personal decision”? It’s not a personal decision, it’s a fucking scandal.

Martin

He didn’t announce it. It obviously came from Chelsea

yura910721

Emery probably said what he was supposed to say. UEFA decided to screw us up and complaining publicly wouldn’t help. We all know what really happened, but I don’t expect Arsenal to jab at UEFA. I think Arsene and Arsenal got a lot of crap from UEFA, for being too honest.

yura910721

Let’s just beat the crap out of Chelsea and none this political crap won’t matter.

JB1

Massive conflict of interest. Say professional all you want, he is a Chelsea guy and going back there.
No Fckn way should he be playing after this announcement. Fuck sentiment.

Leemillion

The timing of this is a joke, it really is. Nothing should have been even remotely talked about until after his contract ended officially. The exact second he was not one of our players, he can do what the fuck he wants but to have this all pre-arranged while still being on our books is a disgrace.

Chippys chip

Exactly he is chavski through and through. Must not play. Show him the door now. Martinez is very adequate back up. Fuck chavski

Richie

Martinez isn’t in the squad, Iliev is our third choice.

Arsenalista

No one is perfect, deep down we are all bias in some way and it is quite obvious that Cech loves Chelsea. He has ruled himself out of the final, honestly he should have just waited till after the game to announce this. The club should not have let him announce this at this time, they seem clueless. If he had of come out with this after the game it would have been more or less a none story but now it is huge especially if he starts and then makes an error. Leno has to start now. This club… Read more »

Pookins

He hasn’t announced it. In fact he has stated he hasnt made any decision yet “despite today’s reports”

Nope

We all knew this would be the case. Leno is our best keeper. He should be playing regardless. I was uneasy when Cech started in the semi. I’ll be pulling hair out if he starts the final. He’s a liability.

Martin

He hasn’t once been a liability in any of the matches he’s played in the Europa League and will certainly not be in the final. Cech must play

Charlie George Again

Absolutely no way should Cech take part in this game on the pitch. Professional or not professional. No fucking way.

Harish P

Ah damn. Chelsea got a great guy in their staff, not surprised, yet I’m still gutted. Hope he does well and somehow finds his way back to Arsenal, it’s the sort of character and talent you need behind the scenes at the club to improve.

SB Still

He would have been a great addition to our backroom staff. However, I’m not hoping for him to return in the future after a stint with Chelsea.

Olivije Žirod

Cech is a professional goalkeeper and of course he will want to win it. He is also not any worse than Leno. They were both great this season. Through the season it is evident that Cech got more comfortable with his feet. That he was willing to learn in his last season just shows what a class person he is. I strongly disagree with fans who say that we are a joke club if we start him. We will show that we are still the club who respect values. There is no sentiment in starting Cech because he earned it.… Read more »

Pookins

Its the “fans” on here tonight caning him who are showing a lack of class. He deserves a hell of a lot more respect

Spanish Gooner

Why? He’s not our legend. He’s a player who joined us when we were a top 4 club then never qualified for the CL, who negotiated a move to our biggest rivals behind our backs while knowing we’d probably have to play them in the cup final. If he cared so much about playing in this game, he’d have waited until after it to talk to Chelsea.

yura910721

I think he played fairly well for us in overall. Legend or not doesn’t matter, I think final will be decided by how well our midfield and attack will function on the day, goalkeeper isn’t the biggest worry in this team.

Naked Cygan

First the Mkhi shit and now this….FFS, what next? We have to play with blindfolds on!!

Hantal

If Cech plays id expect him to give 100%

However, I’ve been saying Leno should play for weeks now (and getting downvoted for it).

Leno has nothing to gain sitting on the bench but an appearance in our biggest game of the the season will be huge for him.
Plus the biggest game of the season should see our best possible team on the pitch

Dave

I’m really feeling uneasy about the final…I don’t know, so many stuff going on that can sh.t us over in that game. The whole Micki issue, the thing that, just for having an Armenian in our team (even if he doesn’t play), could mean very well that the “fans” will be in Chelsea’s favor, the Referee being Italian, now this with Cech (I do think he is a professional, but even then something in his subconscious could play a part). I’m not holding my hopes too high, which is a sad thing to say because I really want us to… Read more »

Spanish Gooner

Even if this wasn’t against Chelsea, I don’t see any reason why Cech should start. He’s not an Arsenal legend. He came to us at the end of a glittering career with our rivals, and has been professional and probably fine since he played for us, but I think it’s fair to say he never convinced the Arsenal fans in the time he was number 1, which is why we bought Leno, who is better than him and therefore should play in the most important game of the season

Lord Bendnter

Okay, firstly, Cech to play or not to play just because he was at Chelsea and going back to Chelsea after retirement? This is not an argument. It should have ZERO leverage on whether he starts or not. We should pick our best goalkeeper. Now… Leno has been making a few errors in past few games, very few I know. And Cech has been doing quite good in all the recent Europa games. I would start Cech and here’s why. He is so experienced. Sometimes u need a good level head in goal for a final. This is Leno’s first… Read more »

Jon

With Ramsey injuried, we cannot play our second best midfilder Mkhitarian for political reasons. And our goalkeeper Cech has made a covert deal with the opponents. What’s next? The refree on holiday on Abrahamovich’ yacht?

Chippys chip

Wearing a chavski shirt !

Merlin's Panini

Given this situation, if Cech played and we were to lose the final, it might reflect badly on the manager. Although I would love to see Cech leaving us on a high (because of us winning it) I think the safe option and best option is probably to play Leno.

BuckNasty

Similar to Goetze to Bayern and Lopetegui to Madrid during WC announcements – it causes disarray and maybe reacting to it makes things even worse? Either way, always wanted Leno to start but this is tricky.