Petr Cech has come under heavy pressure recently; Chelsea’s goalkeeper has been making a lot of errors and looks to be a shadow of the player he once was. Chelsea have conceded too many goals from set-pieces this season and their defence is no longer their strength, they have already conceded 12 goals this month. The goalkeeper’s form has been affecting the rest of the team; they no longer have faith in his aerial ability and this is leading to more and more errors as they drop deeper to compensate. His decision making has been poor of late and is not getting the basics right, he neglects to communicate clearly when it is his responsibility to do so.
At one point Cech could have claimed to be the best goalkeeper in the world and there would have been few dissenters, his first two seasons with Chelsea were truly outstanding. In the 2004-05 season he kept a record 25 clean sheets in the league and in the 2005-06 season Chelsea only conceded 15 league goals with Cech playing in all but two games. Many observers have blamed the head injury he suffered at the hands of Stephen Hunt in October 2006 for his loss of form but this may be too simplistic of an observation. For one thing, soon after his return from the injury, he went 810 minutes without conceding in the Premier League and was awarded the Player of the Month award for March 2007.
Cech’s decline has been gradual, over the last few seasons he has become increasingly erratic in his play and though he is still capable of great saves, the tall Czech international is becoming a liability. Key errors in big games have cost his side goals and valuable points. The three that they conceded against Everton were all avoidable and a commanding presence in the penalty area was needed. It seems to give up on Cech given that he is only 27 and is more than capable of reaching the top again. But Chelsea do need to purchase a new goalkeeper. Cech is struggling badly and Chelsea do not really have the option of taking him out of the firing line as both Hilario and Ross Turnbull are not really good enough to play in the first-team on a regular basis.
If a top goalkeeper was purchased, the pressure would be eased on Cech and he could take his time analysing his game and working out what he his doing wrong. With the transfer window approaching and a transfer ban on the horizon, Chelsea may need to start looking for a new custodian; at the moment their goalkeeper’s shaky form could turn out to be their undoing.