When comparing the beginning of this summer to last year, many Chelsea fans will be disappointed in the comparison. Last year at this time, Chelsea had all but completed a deal for Diego Costa, and we’re almost done signing Cesc Fabregas.
This year however, Chelsea seem to have almost completed a deal to sign Radamel Falcao, and are chasing the likes of Alex Song, and Moussa Dembele. Furthermore, Chelsea appear to have all but parted ways with longtime stalwart Petr Cech. So far, this summer is shaping up to be very different than last year.
Some frustration has come from Chelsea fans, not just from the departure of Cech, but to whom he seems to be leaving for. It seems that a deal sending the Czech International to Arsenal is all but completed. And to be quite frank, it’s pissing off Chelsea fans.
The abuse that Cech is taking from Chelsea fans on social media is quite cruel. I think that it is important to look back at Cech’s Chelsea career. There are so many reasons that he has afforded us to forgive his move to a title rival.
Putting aside the fact that it makes life easier for his family and kids, and that he wants to remain competitive, there are several reasons based on his history at Chelsea for us to forgive the Czech International. If anything, we should be celebrating his legacy at a time like this. And that’s exactly what we’ll do.
Petr Cech took over the reigns from previous stalwart Carlo Cudicini. While the lad was brilliant in his time at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho felt that it was time for a change, in the form of Petr Cech. And the Czech International didn’t fail to impress. The goalkeeper would continue to patrol the Chelsea backline for the next decade. Many would rate him the best goalkeeper of that era, with his closest competition being Manchester United’s Van Der Sar.
There are so many moments in Cech’s Chelsea career that define his place in history. In his first game with the club, Cech faced Manchester United, having been picked ahead of Cudicini. The Czech shot stopper managed a clean sheet in his first match, and never looked back. In 2005, Cech broke Peter Schmeichel’s record of 694 minutes without conceding. He would set the record of 1,025 minutes, which wouldn’t be broke until Van Der Sar.
Petr Cech was instrumental in his first two seasons as Chelsea’s number one. The club won the Premier League twice in those two years, and the Czech International was a major aspect of their triumphs. He even had a shutout in both clinching games for the Blues.
In 2006, a moment occurred that would have ended most goalies careers. The lad collided with Stephen Hunt of Reading, and suffered major head injuries. Cech remained on the sidelines for three months. However, Cech adopted playing with a helmet, which has become his trademark. The lad has been brilliant and unaffected by his headgear. He has since returned as one of the best shot stoppers in the world.
Cech went on to win several honours with Chelsea, often being at the heart of many of the victories. Whether it was making major saves, denying a penalty kick, or performing above and beyond expectations, the Czech International is one of the major pieces in Chelsea’s successful decade.
One of the more notable performances from Cech has to be Chelsea’s Champions League run in 2012, where the club dispatched Barcelona and Bayern Munich, with Cech making save after save during all the matches. This includes his brilliant performance in penalty kicks against Munich.
To me, the biggest testament to Cech as a player and as a person, is how he acted this season. After being replaced with Courtois, the 33-year-old kept his nose to the grindstone, working hard, performing admirably when called upon, but most importantly being a mentor for the young Belgian. This was above and beyond the call of duty, and he acted as if it was to be expected. This was true class from a true professional.
And that is why he should be afforded a move to any team, including Arsenal, without any backlash. He had been a fantastic servant for the club and will go down as one of the best goalkeepers to grace the touchlines at Stamford Bridge. I don’t care if he wins three Premier Leagues with Arsenal; he is still a Chelsea legend. No one can take that from him. Not even bitter fans with Twitter accounts.