Feature

Petr Cech signs

Defining Moments - Cech signs

As another year draws to a close, Arsenal can look back with pride on a year that offers genuine cause for optimism.

There have been plenty of highlights during the last 12 months and here we look at some of the Gunners’ defining moments from 2015.

SUMMARY

Having defended their FA Cup crown and, in doing so, lifted the trophy for a record 12th time, Arsene Wenger announced that he would only be recruiting players who could “certainly strengthen the squad”.

So who better to sign than one of the Premier League’s greatest goalkeepers? Petr Cech, boasting four league trophies, four FA Cups and a Champions League winners’ medal, moved to north London, ending an 11-year affiliation with Chelsea.

01:11

Cech's masterclass

After swapping blue for red in June, the Czech Republic goalkeeper lifted the Barclays Asia Trophy and the Emirates Cup before helping Arsenal beat Chelsea to win the Community Shield in his first three appearances for the club.

Aside from a rare blip against West Ham United, Cech’s form hasn’t dipped for a moment since. Excelling in the Premier League with the second-most number of clean sheets, the goalkeeper has already made a huge contribution between the posts this season, with arguably his best save coming when he denied Christian Benteke from four yards to secure a point against Liverpool.

Cech has replicated his performances in the Champions League too, keeping Robert Lewandowski and Co at bay in Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Bayern Munich before back-to-back clean sheets against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos to help the Gunners qualify from the group stage for a 16th successive season.

The goalkeeper may have only been at the club for a matter of months but his impact has been huge and, if he and his team-mates continue to build momentum in 2016, Cech can feel confident of adding even more silverware to his trophy cabinet.

WHAT THEY SAID

“Petr Cech has done it all, so he is someone who gives you an aura, a charisma that is always important in the big games for the players. I met him before I signed him and we had a long discussion about the game and the job and his position, and I was deeply impressed by his knowledge, by his professionalism, by his detailed knowledge. So since I have not been surprised, because I got the whole package in one go.”

Arsene Wenger on their first meeting

"I was deeply impressed by his knowledge, by his professionalism, by his detailed knowledge. I got the whole package in one go"

Arsene Wenger

“Petr is a great addition, not only for his qualities as a goalkeeper but also his character and the way he has settled in, how natural he is with everybody - I think this is a big part of this team. The advice he gives and the way he treats himself is great. When he talks, he says something that is relevant to the other players and not just himself. He is just an example - if he is doing it the rest will have to do it because we have not been as successful as him.”

Mikel Arteta on what Petr adds to the dressing room

"He has won the lot, especially the Champions League and the Premier League, which not a lot us have done yet. That is something he gives us and that extra belief can help us be consistent through out the season which is something we have failed to do over the last couple of years.”

Per Mertesacker on how Cech can inspire Arsenal

HIGHLIGHTS

08:08

The Breakdown: Ozil and Cech

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