Arsenal’s Cech set to retire at end of the season
Goalkeeper who joined the Gunners in 2015 from London rivals Chelsea, watched from the bench as Unai Emery's side lost at West Ham
15 January, 2019 — By Steve Barnett
Petr Cech: ‘I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch’
WEST HAM 1 (Rice 48)
ARSENAL shot-stopper Petr Cech has announced that he is hanging up his gloves at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old joined the Gunners in 2015 from London rivals Chelsea, where he spent 11 years, winning four Premier League titles and the Champions League.
“This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of this season,” Cech posted on Twitter. “Having played 15 years in the Premier League and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.
“I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”
Cech had to watch from the bench yet again on Saturday as Arsenal’s erratic Premier League form continued with a 1-0 defeat against West Ham at the London Stadium.
Declan Rice was the unlikely match-winner as he scored his first goal for the Hammers, powering the ball beyond Cech’s successor, Bernd Leno, from 12 yards three minutes in the second half. To rub salt into the wounds, it was former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri who got the assist.
In a highly competitive London derby, Alexandre Lacazette was denied by a good save from former Gunners goalie Lukasz Fabianski as Arsenal failed to score in the league for the first time since the opening day of the season.
In truth, however, West Ham were good value for the win, with the visitors managing just two shots on target across the whole 90 minutes as their wretched away form continued, leaving them with one win on their travels in their last seven Premier League games.
After the game, Gunners boss Unai Emery admitted that Arsenal are currently too inconsistent to finish in the Premier League top four.
“I think the most important thing for us is to recover our confidence and be more competitive. We need consistency over 38 matches,” he said. “Now it isn’t enough.
“The big opportunity for us against West Ham was that we can take in our hands the possibility to be closer to Chelsea. This result makes that more difficult.”
WEST HAM: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Diop, Cresswell, Noble, Rice, Antonio (Obiang, 82), Nasri (Snodgrass, 71), Anderson, Arnautovic (Carroll, 71).
Substitutes not used: Adrián, Masuaku, Diangana, Pérez.
ARSENAL: Leno, Mustafi (Ramsey, 59), Sokratis, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles (Bellerin, 69), Xhaka (Torreira, 59), Guendouzi, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Substitutes not used: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Monreal, Nketiah.