Arsène Wenger says that Petr Cech is like a “camera behind the team” during matches and can help coach the side.

The Czech Republic international joined Arsenal from Chelsea last summer and has gone on to break the Premier League’s all-time record for clean sheets during a fine debut season in north London.

Cech has also made a number of crucial saves, but it is his authority and coolness under pressure which has drawn the highest praise from Wenger.

The best position to be a coach is the goalkeeper because he doesn’t move, and he sees everything. He is the camera behind the team

Arsène Wenger

“He has a calming presence, he communicates well, anticipates well, sees what is coming,” the manager said. “He is a kind of coach. The best position to be a coach is the goalkeeper because he doesn’t move, and he sees everything. He is the camera behind the team.

“[When he signed] I didn’t know what kind of shape he was in physically because he hadn’t played. When I met him I was quickly reassured of his desire to do well and his motivation. I didn’t know how much he could still produce physically.

“He hadn’t played and was battling a drop in physical aptitude but I knew the potential was exceptional having played against him for 11 years in the Premier League. It was a question of physically, can he still do it?

“It was a very, very difficult decision for me because I rate Ospina highly. He is a keeper who is underrated, especially in England. But signing Cech was maybe one of the few opportunities to say, ‘Okay, this is an obvious transfer’. It was more to say, ‘If I don’t do this, it would be a mistake’.”

Petr Cech
Petr Cech

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Max Jones 22 Jan 2016