A man who went by the name of Muhammad Ali once said “don’t count the days; make the days count”. Words that are undoubtedly epitomised by Chelsea’s legendary goalkeeper, Petr Cech.
Even after transferring to our bitter — in every sense of the word — rivals Arsenal, Cech still holds a special place in our hearts. As he should.
In an interview with Gabby Logan for The Premier League Show on BBC Two, Cech recounted his time at Chelsea, from arriving as a young goalkeeper and an understudy to our handsome Cudicini to leaving as a behemoth legendary figure who has made an everlasting mark on Chelsea’s history.
“I joined Chelsea in January, 2004. Claudio Ranieri was in charge, Carlo Cudicini was voted the Player of the Year and then he won the Golden Glove. You know the fact that Jose Mourinho came and everybody started from the same starting line probably helped me as well. “
“So, the moment when he told me that if you’re going to start this season as No. 1 [starting goalkeeper] is up to you and the moment it happened, I knew this moment was mine, it’s nobody else, just me. “
Of course, Petr Cech went on to not only make that starting spot his own for years to come but also win four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one Community Shield, one Europa League and One Champions League in his time with the Blues.
To put into perspective how great Big Pete really was, here are some of the individual records held by him:
- Record for most clean sheets kept in a single season - 24 clean sheets
- 2nd longest run of consecutive clean sheets in Premier League era - 10 clean sheets
- Chelsea’s club record for clean sheets across all competitions - 227 (+1 earned as a substitute)
- Premier League record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets - 180 appearances
- Only goalkeeper to have won the Golden Glove with two separate clubs - Chelsea and Arsenal
- Most Premier League Golden Glove awards: 4 (2004-05, 2009-10, 2013-14, 2015-16; joint record with Joe Hart)
Cech goes on to talk about José Mourinho’s second stint at Stamford Bridge and the lofty expectations that followed. Of course, in the 2015-16 season he proceeded to leave Chelsea for Arsenal in a bid to get more minutes after getting displaced by Thibaut Courtois as the starting goalkeeper. Then, the Blues went on to implode and finish 10th in the Premier League table while Cech went on to win the Golden Glove in that season.
Well, we should let bygones be bygones.
Cech also describes Chelsea as a “cold, winning machine” in the interview and how it’s different from the environment at Arsenal. Thank god for that!
And let’s not forget that Cech himself was one of the biggest factors in Chelsea’s establishment of that winning machine and for that, we’re forever grateful to him.
Cech will always be a Chelsea legend, and perhaps one day, before his retirement, he’ll even return for one last hurrah (as a backup goalkeeper) in a Chelsea shirt.