Archive for November, 2011

Petr Cech is supposed to be getting better with age. At 29, he still has at least 10 more years to play at the highest level just like many top goalkeepers have done in the past. Cech can still take part in two more Fifa World Cups. As a Chelsea fan, I think he is probably having a bit of slump in form because I know his true worth and what he is capable of.

Saturday’s 5-3 thumping by rivals Arsenal exposed a few holes in our defense, but more so, the fact that our number one goalkeeper was getting a tad lazy. I rate Cech highly. We were all worried when he got injured early in the season and Hilario had to be our man between the sticks – that was nerve wrecking. But I can’t help but think the desperation to have him back also proved that Chelsea do not have a challenger to Cech’s position as our first choice goalkeeper.

More clean sheets please: Cech has now conceded 13 times in eight games this season. And to top if off, all three Chelsea defeats have come with him in goal. Not that Hilario is a better goalkeeper, although he let in two more goals during Cech’s absence, we just happened to win when he was playing. I still believe Cech adds more value in that department, but he needs to get a wake up call.

On Saturday, Cech made some pretty costly decisions. He can’t be blamed for some of the goals scored in the 5-3 loss, but his positioning can surely be questioned. Like, how does a goalkeeper of such top quality get beaten at near post? And how did Robin van Persie’s third and fifth goal for Arsenal go in, when it was most probably a routine save? Chelsea have let in more goals than the other teams that make up the top four in the Premier League this season. That is worrying.

Cech needs competition: Signing another top goalkeeper to sit on the bench just isn’t going to work. But our number one needs to regain form because he is the last line of defence. While Hilario is a good enough stand-in, he is sometimes erratic. And Ross Turnbull , 26, just doesn’t look ready to displace Cech this season.

Our central defence isn’t helping matters either. John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Alex are all fantastic defenders, but a bit of pace wouldn’t hurt. It is all part of Andre Villas-Boas’ learning curve, but lets hope it doesn’t become a learning cliff and he jumps over it when we are 25 games in and have conceded the most goals in the league at that point. Chelsea have only managed one clean sheet this season – the 0-0 draw against Stoke City in our opening match.

David Luiz would play more if he wasn’t so clumsy and prone to mistakes at the back – typical example being giving away a penalty away to QPR when he could have just protected goal side. But, with that said, we still have a good team and can only improve. With Fernando Torres back from suspension, we are good and ready to go. Go Chelsea!

(This was written prior to Chelsea’s game against Blackburn)