Much has been made about Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's preference for keeping Petr Cech away from Arsenal, but after the move was made official, Mourinho had nothing but good things to say about the Chelsea legend, who spent the last eleven years helping the Blues win more matches than the Gunners. Here's what Jose had to say about the transfer:
‘Petr has been a great servant for Chelsea for 11 years and helped this club to win almost everything there is to win. I always said I wanted him to stay but I understand Petr needed to move on to play first team football every week. Sometimes you have to respect the wishes of someone who has earned so much respect with his service and actions for your club. I support the owner’s decision to honor the player in this way.'
‘It is very rare in football to make a decision like this and for that reason I am proud of my club for making it. There are not many clubs in the world big enough to be able to make that decision. Petr’s success at this club will always to be remembered and we thank him for everything he did.’
The boss sounds fine with the decision to let Cech leave for a rival, even if it was pretty clear he'd have preferred to see the player land elsewhere. Cech had some comments of his own on Mourinho, and his respect for the Portuguese manager:
‘He had to make his decision at the start of last season, I had to make my decision at the start of this season but I will always keep the best regards for him because I believe that we had so much success and so much respect for each other.'
‘He is one of the best managers in the world. Now, we will be opponents but it will not change our relationship, I believe. I learned a lot from him and one of those things was that if you have to make a hard decision, you need to make sure that you do it if you believe it is the right choice.’
I doubt many fans feel that joining Arsenal was the right choice for Petr, but it was his choice to make. Hopefully, he has an enjoyable time there, albeit one without much club success.