It’s the International break so we’re condemned to watching various national sides jostle for the various qualifying matches or exhibition matches.
So nothing’s happening on club football presently except for the usual gossips here and there. With all the boredom associated with International football, I have decided to talk about the very issue of Petr Cech & Bernd Leno, who should be earning the starting berth.Comparing these two goalkeepers is somewhat exhausting but interesting as their performance could in a way determine Arsenal’s season as far as goalkeeping is concerned.
Arsenal has two top-notch goalkeepers on their books,Petr Cech & Bernd Leno.The major question is who should start in-goal between those two.Cech is a veteran at 36 years of age while his direct rival is 26 years of age with loads of Bundesliga experience and needs to be playing regularly at this stage of his career but since he joined Arsenal he has been relegated to the bench as Unai Emery prefers experience in the mould of Petr Cech.
Arsenal has conceded 8 goals this season from 4 matches with Cech in goal,while Cech might not be blamed directly for Arsenal conceding that number of goals, most people are quick to point out that Cech is “finished ” and needs to be benched.
They also want to say that he has lost his agility or reflex and can’t save a penalty to save his team!But Emery still sticks out his neck for him. Cech has huge wealth of experience in the Premier league, experience spanning over a decade.So he becomes a big push over.Berd Leno on the other hand has “a huge plate” coming from the Bundesliga, he missed just 4 games out 237 games over 7 seasons under 6 different managers, which underlines his capability and reliability.
Bernd Leno’s main strengths are one on one situations, a reputation for saving penalties, good ball distribution from the back as he is comfortable with both feet (something Cech is not good at) but just as Cech recently, is also prone to commiting high profile errors/howlers which are sometimes major just like the game against Augsburg in October 2015 when he allowed a routine back pass roll into his goal after losing concentration.
He was also responsible for Mexico’s two goals at the Confederation’s Cup and Australia in that same competition.He also made a mistake against Brentford which led to their goal during Pre-season (incidentally Arsenal will be playing Brentford in the EFL this season and Leno might be in goal).Despite those outlined errors above, the only problem with Leno is his lack of concentration at times.
From the above comparison, it’s evident that the two keepers have something in common which is the unacceptable ability to be error prone.So it bores down to comparative advantage between the two keepers.
Cech is not comfortable playing the ball out from the back.Against Manchester City he almost scored an own goal trying to deal with a back pass.Leno has an advantage here because he was brought up on that kind of play right from his days at Vfb Stuttgart which is the modern way of playing nowadays for most coaches including the newArsenal Coach.Cech on the other hand, was brought up on the classical way of distribution.
Cech is pretty poor when it comes to penalties but Leno has built a reputation for himself when it comes to saving penalties.So Leno has an advantage over Cech in this regard.
When it comes to one on one situations ,Cech is somewhat brilliant at this same as Leno.
For crosses, Cech sometimes misjudges crosses but Leno betters him in this regard
For shot-stopping situations, Cech edges Leno as he has a +1.6% while Leno has a -16.7% shot stopping accuracy according to stats as provided by Whoscored.com
While it is rather evident that Cech committed more errors leading to goals,6 goals to be precise than any goalkeeper in Europe’s top 5 leagues during the 2017/2018 season, he is still considered Arsenal’s number one due to his experience in the the Premier League by Unai Emery.Only time will tell if his experience would be sufficient enough to help his team this season.