Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Petr Cech targets title glory after completing Arsenal move from Chelsea

By Robert Jones

Published 30/06/2015

New Gunner Petr Cech
New Gunner Petr Cech

Petr Cech's overwhelming desire to remain in the Premier League and Arsene Wenger's persuasiveness were the motivating factors in the Czech goalkeeper's move to Arsenal.

Cech ended a trophy-laden 11-year association with Chelsea yesterday after finally completing a long anticipated move to their London neighbours Arsenal.

While the Gunners have not disclosed the length of the contract or fee, it is understood Cech has been signed for £10million and has penned a four-year deal.

That in itself highlights the regard in which Arsenal boss Wenger holds the 33-year-old, who found himself behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge last season.

Cech made just 16 of his 494 total appearances in all competitions in the Blues' 2014/15 campaign, so the offer of first-team football at a successful Premier League club proved too strong to reject.

And even though he won 13 trophies at Stamford Bridge, including four Premier League titles and the 2012/13 Champions League, Cech insisted his ambition had not been blunted.

He said: "It is exciting. I first came to the Premier League a long time ago and I still love playing in the Premier League and the challenges it poses with the great players and great teams you have to face every week.

"Arsenal are a team that challenge for the top and definitely match my ambitions.

"I spoke to the manager Arsene Wenger and it was a big difference as I am hungry as ever and I have the same commitment and motivation to win trophies as I did 10 years ago or as a kid."

Wenger himself revealed his delight at his latest acquisition, Arsenal's first signing of the summer, who will face competition from Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina for the No 1 jersey.

"Petr Cech is a player that I have admired for a long time and I am very pleased that he has decided to join us," said Wenger.

"He has proven over many seasons that he is one of the outstanding keepers in the world."

Chelsea described the departing custodian as an "icon" on their official website, with Cech himself posting a letter to fans.

"I thought this would never happen but it is time for me to say goodbye to Chelsea Football Club," he wrote. "The club I have lived every single minute for since joining July 2004, the club in which I thought I'd hang my gloves and boots one day and finish my career. But life doesn't always turn out the way you think it will.

"Last summer, things changed and I understood I was no longer first choice keeper but I felt it was not the right time for me to go.

"During the season it became clear that my situation would not improve and as I am not at the stage of my career where I want to be on the bench, I made my decision to look for new challenges."

Guus Hiddink is to leave his post as Holland coach.

The 68-year-old only took over from Louis van Gaal after the 2014 World Cup, but the Dutch Football Association said in a statement on their official website that Hiddink would leave his role on July 1.

Holland only lie third in their Euro 2016 qualifying group, behind Iceland and Czech Republic.

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph