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Jack Lang: Arsenal vs Everton: Is Petr Cech the man to take the Gunners to the next level?

17 Jul | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Jack Lang:  Arsenal vs Everton: Is Petr Cech the man to take the Gunners to the next level?

Arsene Wenger pulled off a major coup to sign the experienced goalkeeper from Chelsea. Will he be the difference next season?

Say what you will about Arsene Wenger; he is not a man who appears easily swayed by public opinion.

From the moment he arrived on these shores, it was obvious that this was a football manager prepared to do things a little differently. In the early days, that was most visible in his signings (but hang on… they’re all… French…) and in his insistence on dragging Arsenal – and, by extension, the whole of English football – into the modern era with a series of behind-the-scenes tweaks.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Arsenal players lurched from match to match fuelled only by beer and cigarettes (this may be an exaggeration). Wenger came in, sighed in that Gallic fashion and started a scientific revolution with carefully planned training sessions and – gasp! – actual dietary guidance.

There was reticence from the Gunners players at the time (sample quote from Tony Adams: “What does this Frenchman know about football? Does he even speak English properly?”) but hindsight comes down firmly in Wenger’s corner.

In more recent times, however, Wenger’s single-mindedness has started to come across as truculence. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the transfer market, where the Frenchman has repeatedly refused to bow to the desires of Arsenal’s fans.

Much of that, granted, was down to financial necessity: the Emirates stadium cost an arm and three legs, so Wenger was forced to operate on a shoestring budget, selling assets to balance the books and bringing in players with potential rather than superstar status. That coincided with a fallow period on the pitch, of course, angering many.

But the money is flowing more readily now. Arsenal splashed the cash on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, and have now secured perhaps what could be their most important signing of the last decade: Petr Cech.

Wenger has long been loyal to Wojciech Szczesny, who has huge potential. David Ospina did well upon breaking into the first team last season. But here was the chance to sign a genuinely world-class player who has experience of winning trophies. He is an upgrade in almost every respect.

In the past, Wenger may have baulked at the prospect. But not this summer. Wenger has opted to give the fans what they wanted – and could reap the benefits.

Now, about that defensive midfielder…