Martin Keown delivers verdict on Petr Cech’s performance in Arsenal’s 2-0 loss
The Arsenal legend rates Petr Cech's performance in Sunday's 2-0 loss to Manchester City
Martin Keown felt that Petr Cech was overworked in Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to defending Premier League champions Manchester City in their Premier League opener at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners opted to make a change of management at the end of the 2017-18 season after Arsene Wenger led Arsenal to a disappointing sixth-placed finish.
Former Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery took over the reins of the north London side from Wenger, with his remit to guide Arsenal back into the top four.
The Spanish head coach opted start Cech in goal ahead of summer signing Bernd Leno, who moved to Arsenal in a £22m deal from Bundesliga giants Bayer Leverkusen.
Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock for the visitors in the ninth minute before Portugal international Bernardo Silva doubled Manchester City’s advantage in the second half.
Cech struggled with his distrubution and the Czech Republic international looked distinctively uncomfortable with an increased workload with the ball at his feet.
Former Arsenal star Keown believes Cech wasn’t particularly suited to building the Gunners’ play from the back.
“Cech made 42 touches – many more than he normally does, because the ball kept on being played back to him, rather than being passed up the pitch,” Keown told BBC Sport.
“It meant he seemed to be overworked and it felt like I was watching him with the ball at his feet for far too long.
“The ball needed to go forward quicker and the Arsenal fans obviously thought that too, because they cheered when Cech did launch it.
“I was a bit surprised that he did not do that more often, because there were times when Arsenal kept on losing the ball in dangerous positions and Cech’s experience should have told him to miss them out and go long.”
Arsenal will make the short trip across the English capital to take on FA Cup winners Chelsea in their next Premier League game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.