Did Cech make an impact in his first Premier League season at Arsenal?

Petr Cech is undoubtedly one of the finest goalkeepers to grace the game. The Czech Republic international already boasts the record for all-time Premier League clean sheets and has just swooped the golden glove for the 2015/16 season. Lewis Addley investigates how much of an impact the former Chelsea man has made at Arsenal…

Arsenal fans were filled with euphoria when the news broke that they had signed Petr Cech from London rivals Chelsea ahead of the 2015/16 Premier League season. Cech kept 162 clean sheets in 333 games in his 11 Premier League seasons at Chelsea – an average of 0.48 per game, almost one clean sheet every two games.

Now first choice at Arsenal, Cech kept 16 clean sheets in his 34 appearances in his league debut season, enough to win him the golden glove and record an average of 0.47 per game, again very close to one clean sheet in every two appearances. With these stats in mind it is evident of the presence and consistency Cech brings to a side regardless of the defence in front of him.

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Arsenal finished the 2015/16 Premier League runners-up, one place better off than their 2014/15 finish of 3rd. So lets have a look at how their league performances differ between the two seasons.

Arsenal season comparison

Arsenal’s 14/15 and 15/16 Premier League seasons compared

Arsenal won more games, drew less, scored more goals, had a better goal difference and tallied more points in the 14/15 Premier League season but finished third. It is worth mentioning that a direct comparison won’t give completely accurate readings on position in the table as no two Premier League campaigns are the same.

In the 15/16 season Arsenal drew more games, lost the same amount, scored less, conceded the same number, had a worse goal difference and tallied less points. But with all these statistics compared, the one factor which matters most is the final position of the club come the end of the season. So in Cech’s first season at the club, Arsenal finished higher in the table.

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Here’s how Cech shapes up against Arsenal’s goalkeepers from 14/15 and his teammate David Ospina who featured four times in 15/16 in his absence.

Arsenal 'keepers compared

Arsenal Premier League ‘keepers stats 14/15 and 15/16 compared 

In the 2014/15 campaign Arsenal used three goalkeepers, David Ospina, Wojciech Szczesny and Emiliano Martinez. The three made 39 appearances between them (*note one game more than regulation due to substitution meaning two ‘keepers featuring in one game).

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The key statistic to look at in the comparison is clean sheets. In the 15/16 campaign Cech made more clean sheets alone than the ‘keepers in 14/15, more saves, more saves-per-goal and more punches, all of which came in four appearances less.

Now it does have to be mentioned if Cech had played all 38 games he could have conceded four more goals at his rate of 1.09 goals conceded per game – but by this rule of average he would have conceded 35, still one less than the Arsenal ‘keepers of 14/15.

Cech and Ospina combined in 15/16 bettered the three ‘keepers of 14/15 in every department apart from catches. This arguably shows the positive impact Cech made on his teammates and provides further statistics of the impact he made in his first Premier League season with the Gunners.

While Cech and his teammates were unsuccessful in delivering silverware this campaign compared to Arsenal’s previous two seasons, he looks set to be part of the squad in the long-term and his experience of consistently winning trophies can surely only have a positive impact on the club.

Has Cech made a positive impact for Arsenal? Could he be key to Arsenal winning the Premier League?

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TRANSFER ROUNDUP: United £45m DONE DEAL, Liverpool star exit looming?

Daily transfer roundup (Friday, July 10)

MLS Rumours

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba is still hoping for a move to Major League Soccer after turning down the chance to stay in Europe with FC Porto. (REPORT)

Premier League Rumours

Manchester United‘s Angel Di Maria has reportedly agreed a deal in principle to leave the club for Paris Saint Germain in a £45 million deal. (REPORT)

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Manchester City are set to make a third bid for Liverpool‘s Raheem Sterling. City have already had two offers for the Englishman declined. (REPORT)

Arsenal‘s David Ospina is considering a move to Everton. The Colombian is uncertain of his future at the club since the arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea. (REPORT)

Done Deals

Crystal Palace have announced the signing of former Newcastle United star Yohan Cabaye. The Paris Saint Germain man will join for a club record fee of £10 million. (REPORT)

United and Liverpool legends reveal what Arsenal need to win title

Manchester United legend Gary Neville revealed Arsenal need a goalkeeper to stand any chance of winning the Premier League title next season, while speaking on Sky Sports.

Neville’s views were shared by fellow Sky Sports pundit and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher. The pair blamed Arsenal keeper, David Ospina, for their 1-0 defeat to Swansea on Monday night and feel it is an area the club need to look at.

Carragher has urged Arsene Wenger to sign a world-class goalkeeper in the summer as he doesn’t think Ospina isn’t good enough.

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“I think Arsenal need to go out in the summer and just buy a proper number one,” Carragher said.

“His record is good because the team are playing well and are defending well so they’re not having that much to do, but he was bought as a number two.

“Very rarely do you see a number two goalkeeper become a number one. If he was that good, why was he bought as a number two? Why wasn’t he coming and being the number one?”

Arsenal have been linked with Chelsea’s Petr Cech as he has struggled for first team action this season, playing second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois. But Neville doesn’t see Chelsea selling Cech to their rivals.

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“If I was Jose Mourinho, with Arsenal potentially being one of my biggest rivals next season, I would not sell them Cech at all.

“It’s a struggle to win a title without a great goalkeeper, a massive struggle. Ospina is obviously a good goalkeeper and he has done well, but he is not a No 1 and they need a top goalkeeper.

“They need someone who is going to make saves and save his team points.”

Arsenal have continually been regarded as being ‘one or two’ top signings away from finally regaining the Premier League title and signing a world-class goalkeeper this summer could certainly be a step in the right direction.

Wojciech Szczesny is expected to depart the club after falling behind Ospina in the pecking order, and so Wenger may be in the market for a new man between the sticks.

Do Arsenal need a new goalkeeper or is David Ospina good enough to play as the number one?

Arsenal star boasts best record in Premier League history as Gunners win again

Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina has a higher win rate than any player in Premier League history from those who have played a minimum of ten games.

The Gunners won their eighth Premier League game on the bounce in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Burnley and Ospina has now won 11 of the 12 league games he has played in since taking the starting role from Wojciech Szczesny in early January.

The Colombian shot-stopper has only lost three times in an Arsenal shirt in 17 appearances in all competitions and is benefiting from a much improved Gunners team since the turn of the year.

Arsene Wenger has watched his team climb to second in the league and Arsenal fans will hope Ospina can continue to extend his fine win ratio.

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If he played in goal for all 38 games in a league season with his win ratio of 92%, the Gunners would be on course for a record 35 wins and would cruise towards a first Premier League title since the 2003/04 campaign, when they went unbeaten.

Many feel that Arsenal side was the best to ever play in the top flight as they still remain the only invincible team to have won the title in the Premier League era.

But another encouraging statistic for Gunners fans is that the team’s current win rate in all competitions this year (64.6%) is better than it was during the 2003/04 campaign (64.4%).

While no one is suggesting Ospina is the best player in Premier League history or that the current Arsenal side are better than ‘The Invincibles’, 2015 has clearly been a good year for the Gunners so far.

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They are seven points behind leaders Chelsea with six games to play and take on the Blues in their next league game.

Before that, Wenger will watch his side face Reading in their FA Cup semifinal this weekend as they look to move one step closer to retaining their title again this year.

What have you made of David Ospina since he took the starting job at Arsenal? How does the current team compare to The Invincibles?

Liverpool great claims Wojciech Szczesny NEEDS to leave Arsenal

Liverpool legend Jerzy Dudek believes Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny must leave the North London club in order to save his career.

The former Reds and Real Madrid star doesn’t think Szczesny’s current situation at Arsenal is likely to improve as he is playing second fiddle to David Ospina, making just three appearances since the turn of the year, all of which have come in the FA Cup.

The 24-year-old Polish ‘keeper’s last Premier League appearance for Arsenal came in the 2-0 loss to Southampton on New Year’s Day. He was at fault for both goals that day and was fined £20,000 by the club for smoking in the showers after the game.

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Ospina has been Arsene Wenger’s first-choice since then and that is something Dudek believes Szczesny must look at as a reason to leave sooner rather than later.

“If I were in his place, I would wonder whether there are still opportunities to arise at Arsenal and wouldn’t wait as long as Fabianski, because you can see that Arsene Wenger is firmly set on David Ospina,” Dudek told Poland’s TVP Sport.

“A club like Arsenal needs two class goalkeepers, but Szczesny should think about his future. The current situation at the club is damaging for him.”

The former Liverpool goalkeeper, who won the Champions League with the Reds in 2005, also believes that Szczesny will have to settle for a place on the bench in Poland’s upcoming European Qualifier against Ireland on Sunday.

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“It’s a serious matter. Fortunately, we [Poland] have two other goalkeepers who are able to provide an adequate level in our goal.

“Lukasz Fabianski is in excellent form and, on the other hand, Artur Boruc is very experienced. I think [Adam] Nawalka [Poland manager] will wait to make the decision until the very end.

“Wojciech is the least likely to play in the match with Ireland.”

Does Wojciech Szczesny have a future at Arsenal? Does he need to leave to save his career?