By Andrew Dowdeswell
Petr Cech has stated that Arsenal must be consistent if they want to catch Chelsea and win the league. His experience is the crucial missing ingredient.
History has a depressing – obviously depressing is depending on your viewpoint – talent of repeating itself.
Winning is a culture, a pattern, a lifestyle, it is one that can be learnt, developed and cultivated, continued and sustained over long periods. It is something that Wenger himself was able to replicate early in his tenure in North London.
However, there is a prevalent narrative this season that this is a different Arsenal team, a tougher, more hardened, more experienced Arsenal team that can overcome the historical issues that have plagued them for so long. One such player who instigated the change is goalkeeper Petr Cech who, when asked about the Gunners’ title credentials this season, stated that they must be far more consistent throughout the whole year:
"Overall you need to be consistent to get to 87 or 88 points and it doesn’t really matter how you get to that. Then you can catch up. It’s a long-term competition so if you have a period where you’ve not been particularly great, you can still make up for it.
"There are still enough games to make up for our blip. I also think it’s impossible for our opponents to not drop points. There’s still a big opportunity for us to close the gap now."
Cech is a serial winner. He is the most capped player in Czech Republic history, he ranks sixth in all-time appearances for Chelsea with 486 and has won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one Europa League title and one Champions League title with the club. That is a sensational resume.
Now in his second season in North London, Cech is making his experience known. He may not be the physically gifted goalkeeper that made him so successful, both on an individual and a collective basis, but he does bring great knowledge and understanding to what has been a young and naive team as history details.
In their attempts to win the Premier League, Arsenal are in need of a spectacular second half of the year.
They must be resilient amid criticism, calm and composed under pressure and reel off a string of results that hauls them back up towards Cech’s former club.
The experience of winning that Cech brings is a crucial ingredient in fulfilling the club’s title aspirations.