Last week Arsenal secured victories against Olympiakos in the Champions League and Aston Villa in the Premier League. Both of these wins were massive not just because of the 3 crucial points earned but that each of these wins were achieved by maintaining a clean sheet. This clearly suggests major improvement in defence, but Theo Walcott believes, Cech has a huge role in this positive change.
Walcott spoke in high praise while speaking to Arsenal Player about Cech. He recalled Arsenal’s signing him this summer and how wise a decision it was. “From when we signed him, we all knew how good he was [after] what he achieved at Chelsea,” he said. “On a personal level, for him it’s great.”
Gunners have maintained 7 clean sheets in the 16 Premier League fixtures played so far. Arsenal had a total of 13 clean sheets last season, 97 saves were made and 36 goals were conceded. The current season is three games away from halfway mark and Arsenal has an impressive 51 saves with only 13 goals conceded so far.
Cech’s influence is not limited to goalkeeping but the entire defensive line-up looks more organised and coordinated this season. The communication between the back four has tremendously improved and less and less of defensive errors are witnessed as the season progresses.
On Cech’s positive influence Walcott said, “He’s changed us completely in that back four. He’s a talker, he believes in us all. That’s why he wanted to join us and having with that presence behind you is always nice to have. He’s very commanding, he’s a leader in the dressing room as well, he always likes to talk.”
Cech achieved his 169th clean sheet at Villa Park, equalling James record of most clean sheets in Premier League. He would hope to achieve a third consecutive clean sheet for Arsenal against City in the upcoming league fixture setting a new record, becoming the only goalkeeper with 170 clean sheets and counting.