There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to fans. It is a dimension as vast as Roman Abramovich’s wallet and as bottomless as Sheikh Mansour’s warchest. It is the ground between agent and club, between May and September, and it lies between the pit of Twitter and the summit of unveiling day. This is the dimension of fantasy. It is an area which we call the Transfer Zone.
Today we bring you a story of desire, of faith, and of trust. Is it desire requited? Is it a faith well founded? Is it a trust misplaced? We shall see when we enter, The Transfer Zone.
The Petr Cech to Arsenal story is an age old tale: Arsenal wants Cech, Cech wants Arsenal, Chelsea doesn’t want Cech to go to Arsenal. The facts in the case are pretty clear. Tomas Rosicky dropped hints that Cech and Arsenal have made contact:
“I know about some things from both sides but I will not interfere,” he said. “It could even turn against me. Both sides know what they are doing. Arsenal is a top world team.
“Players want to be transferred there, that is nothing new, it is a fantastic club.”
Jose Mourinho also revealed that Cech would like to go to Arsenal but that if it were up to him he would block the move, for football reasons: (Warning, this passage contains illeism and may not be suitable for small children)
“One thing is José Mourinho and another is Mr Abramovich, and another thing is the board, because the board is a little bit of me and a little bit of other people,” Mourinho said. “If it was me, if it was my decision, the decision is Petr to stay. That’s it. It would be my decision for Petr to stay. Even against his will? Yes.
“I think that the club is more important than the player and, as was true this season, the club needs two very good goalkeepers. Without Petr this season, I don’t think the club would be champions because he played six important matches in the Premier League. Without these points, we probably wouldn’t be champions.
“For me, decision number one, Petr will stay. After that, second point, to go but not in England. The option I don’t want is for him to go to an English club. But, I repeat, I am just the manager and he means so much for this club and what he did in this club, I think he deserves everything from this club. If the club decision is different to mine I will accept it.”
We knew that the 2014-15 situation could not go on forever. It’s magnificent to have two goalkeepers of that standard, but it can’t continue. It’s tough for a guy like Cech to be on the bench. He has at least three or four excellent years ahead of him. Given his lifestyle and his desire, and given he loves football and is a perfectionist, the club he goes to will have a great chance to win trophies.
The advantage is that Arsenal is a top club, with a philosophy that pleases him and is based in London. I do not think (Tottenham) have the same ambitions as Arsenal.
It looks like there is a lot of smoke in this rumor and it would be very difficult to say that Arsenal aren’t interested in Cech or that Cech isn’t interested in Arsenal.
This would be a great transfer for Arsenal. Cech is a proven winner and solid all around goalkeeper. He is better than Ospina, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and arguably better than Szczesny. He is also the exact kind of player someone like Szczesny has needed in front of him for years.
Wenger tried to buy an older ‘keeper a few years ago when Arsenal went after Mark Schwarzer. At the time, many suspected that Wenger wanted to bring Schwarzer in to not only compete with Szczesny for the #1 jersey but also to be a mentor to the younger man. It looks like Wenger is still searching for that type of player and has convinced Cech to play the role.
In the last six months, Arsenal proved that they are ready for a title challenge. In fact, even without buying anyone I think Arsenal are deep enough to challenge Chelsea and City for the title¹. But the one component that Arsenal have been missing since Lehmann, is a world class goalkeeper. Someone experienced, who can organize the defense, can distribute the ball in a variety of ways, and most importantly, consistently good. Basically, Arsenal need a ‘keeper who won’t run off like a headless chicken, go Morris Dancing, or make crazy mistakes. That’s Cech. Now imagine that, with the same defense that played in front of Ospina.
So, the problem with this deal isn’t on the Arsenal side. The problem with this deal is that Chelsea would be strengthening a title rival. And they’d be strengthening Arsenal in probably their most needed area.
And so, in true Transfer Zone style, Arsenal fans are sitting around begging on the generosity of Chelsea. Hoping that Roman Abramovich will “respect” Cech’s service enough to let him go play for a title rival. I can’t see it happening. Mourinho has already stated that he would let Cech rot on the bench or force Cech to be apart from his family. This is the Jose Mourinho who supposedly engenders great love from his players, publicly stating that he would rather hurt the player than sell them to Arsenal. Which leaves us one hope… A Russian Oligarch.
HA HA HA HA… welcome to the transfer zone!
¹This doesn’t mean I don’t welcome new signings. I’d love Griezmann, Kondogbia, and Cech (or whatever fancy names you come up with today) to come play for Arsenal. I’m just suggesting that if Arsenal were only a 10 goal a season striker away from winning the League last year, then Walcott returning is that man. And if you want to talk about depth, Arsenal’s midfield is so deep that the starting center mid for the English national team is Arsenal’s 4th choice midfielder. I understand that United and City and Chelsea are all going to strengthen through transfers, but Arsenal could simply strengthen within. If Walcott and Welbeck make a breakthrough and if Ox, Wilshere and Ramsey can stay healthy for a whole season, Arsenal have a very strong team. I don’t see any reason why they can’t win the title. After all, they are back-to-back FA Cup winners.