Petr Cech: Best Keeper In The World??

...Senior Writer IJuly 21, 2008

Chelsea's keeper Petr Cech has signed a new five-year deal to keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2013.

The Czech international joined Chelsea from French club Rennes for £7m in 2004 and has made 166 appearances for the club, keeping a remarkable 90 clean sheets.

In his first season, Cech was awarded the Barclays Premiership Golden Gloves as he set a new record in top-flight football for not conceding a goal in 1,024 minutes and for the most clean sheets (21) in a single Premier League season.

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari added: "I am delighted that Petr has signed a new contract.

Now the question begs—Is he really the best keeper in the world as some sections in media seem to suggest?

Well, in my opinion, based on his first two seasons at Chelsea, he has shown himself to be the best Goalkeeper in the world, when we won the FA English Premier League title back to back in 2005 and 2006. 

Cech is only 25 years of age and he is just going to get better as goalkeepers generally reach their peak in their 30's and they don't retire until they turn 40 years old.

He was massively influential in Chelsea's recent back to back Premiership titles when only a record breaking 15 goals were conceded during an entire League season in 2005

Cech was voted into the all-star team of Euro 2004 after helping his country reach the semi-finals. Cech also received the individual award of Best Goalkeeper in the 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 seasons of the UEFA Champions League. In addition, he was named in the FIFPro and UEFA Champions League teams of the season in 2006.

Cech currently holds three records: a Czech professional league record of not conceding a goal in 855 competitive minutes, an English Premiership record of not conceding a goal in 1,025 minutes, and the most clean sheets accomplished in a single Premier League season (25), set during Chelsea’s 2004-05 title-winning campaign.

He also has a club record at his former team Sparta Praha, having gone 928 minutes unbeaten in all competitions in 2001-2002, when his unbeaten run in Czech league competition was combined with his performances in the UEFA Champions League.

Then came "the incident."

I always thought Cech was THE undisputed top keeper in the world before the head incident. Still an excellent keeper but not the best for me since then.

Strangely he never won the vote during a world cup or European Championship season. This could be because he feels the pressure playing for his country, or that Chelsea have such a good defense and he never needed to do much so he looked good.

One thing is for sure, Cech is one of the most consistent goal keepers around.

There are many great keepers around and Cech is surely among them. However, since the serious head injury he's simply not the same as he was. Before the injury I can't remember him making any mistakes ever, since then he's made as many clangers as many others in the Premier League. As I said though he's still one of the best, just now is more error prone.

Some sections of the media claim Cech still has eye-sight problems and his error that lead to Gallas scoring the winner in the 1-0 loss to Arsenal was a direct result of those problems.

These claims have no foundation and will be disregarded untill proof is provided.

One of the ways to judge a keeper is in the example, where an attacker has beaten the defence and only has the goalkeeper to beat.

For many keepers, you just give up and assume a goal is coming. With Cech, you still think there is a greater than 50 percent chance that a goal will not come. I don't think many other keepers are capable of this.

So having said all that, I conclude that Cech is not the best keeper in the world but definitely ONE of the best.

Here are my top five keepers in the world:

1. Gianluca Buffon

2. Petr Cech

3. Edwin Van Der Sar

4. Iker Casillias

5. Pepe Reina...


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