The battle for Arsenal's number one spot: Can Petr Cech be trusted?

The battle for Arsenal's number one spot: Can Petr Cech be trusted?

Petr Cech has had a shaky start to the season attempting to adapt to Emery's new system.

Andy Preston

Going into the new season, Arsenal’s number one spot was seemingly up for grabs with Unai Emery bringing in German international Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen for £19million.

However, Leno has yet to make an appearance for the Gunners with Emery entrusting the experienced Petr Cech with the number one jersey having started him in all four of Arsenal’s games.

Can Cech adapt to Emery's system?

It’s clear after just four games that Emery wants his Arsenal side to be comfortable playing out from the back, starting their transition in to attack with the goalkeeper.

While Cech’s goalkeeping abilities have not come in to question with the 36-year-old making several crucial saves in all of Arsenal’s games so far this season, there have been concerns when he's had the ball at his feet. It's something which has been a worrying sight for Arsenal fans with a number of suspect moments.

Although it will take time for the players to adapt to Emery’s philosophy and become more comfortable with playing out of defence, it is essential that they adapt as quickly as possible to eliminate mistakes.

However, we have already seen Cech at the heart of a few near scares, almost scoring an own goal on the opening weekend against Manchester City while his poor distribution could have led to a Cardiff City goal on a couple of occasions last weekend had it not been for their poor finishing.

At 36, it's reasonable to question whether Cech is able to improve his footwork and distribution to adapt to a playing style which demands much more from him in a completely different system than he’s been used to throughout his career.










Is Leno the ideal fit?

Many fans have been calling for summer signing Leno to start ahead of Cech having seen Arsenal’s current number one struggle with Emery’s new philosophy of building from the back.

Despite only being 26-years-old, Leno has a wealth of experience having made over 300 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen and six caps for Germany whilst having to compete with two of the best keepers in the world in Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Leno has built a good reputation during his time in Germany and now has an opportunity to force a way into the Arsenal first team amid uncertainty over Cech’s ability with his feet.

Although often being susceptible to errors throughout his seven year stay at Leverkusen, the German international has been praised for his one-on-one reflex abilities and his suitability of playing with the ball at his feet, a key requirement to make Emery’s system a successful one.

The German international will have to be patient in his debut season with Emery unlikely to favour rotation in the Premier League, however, the Europa League may present an opportunity for Leno to show that he has the quality to become Arsenal’s number one keeper.

It should become more apparent as the season progresses who will be the ideal fit as number one goalkeeper in Emery’s system, but while Cech continues to falter with his feet, the calls for Leno to be given a chance are likely to surge.