Cech Inching Closer to Arsenal
Petr Cech is reportedly inching ever-closer towards signing for Arsenal.
If Roman Abramovich allows the Blues' legendary goalkeeper to move cross-town to a direct title rival, it would prove to be the first time in his managerial career that Arsene Wenger has pulled one over on Jose Mourinho.
The Special One has delighted in his emasculation of the Professor over the years, throughly dominating him with tactics (albeit ugly ones), signings, and mind-jarring psychological intimidation and warfare that the Central Intelligence Agency would be proud of including in their manual.
Mourinho has made Wenger his female dog.
It's hard for any Arsenal supporter to admit, but the fact remains, Chelsea have eviscerated the Gunners in the era of Mourinho versus Wenger, and it's well and truly time to flip the script.
That rewrite will begin in full if Cech's signature is secured.
It's time to pull the rug out from under the Portuguese's feet, it's time to restore the cosmic balance of the universe that was disrupted the day Cesc Fabregas put on that ugly blue jersey. Securing the first true heir to David Seaman's throne would be a landmark move by Arsene Wenger. Nurturing world-class talent in goal, and/or scouting and buying it, has never been the manager's strong suit; even the team that went unbeaten in the Premier League had the often-inconsistent Jens Lehman between the sticks. For a man widely recognized as the most qualified evaluator of talent on planet earth, Wenger clearly hasn't had much success unearthing top-quality keepers.
Petr Cech would bring instant quality, experience, and respect to the position.
Perhaps just as importantly, it would be a major mindfrack of Mourinho.
There is only one area of concern relating to this deal. By no means, whatsoever, may Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain be part of a deal for Cech. The Ox must be integral to future plans at the Emirates. For all the passion and desire to see Arsenal's champagne football, the tiki-taka of North London, the Gunners need to retain the directness of Oxlade-Chamberlian. Few players at the Club are willing to drive at the heart of opposition defenses, take players on 1v1 with scintillating pace, strike the ball at goal from distance, or track back in the midfield like the Ox. At just 21 years of age, the young Englishman has the potential to become an all-time great Arsenal legend. Oxlade-Chamberlain is a true prototype of the modern day footballer; technical, strong, athletic, fast, and insightful.
Cech is not worth the bother if it means letting the Ox run free.
But undoubtedly, Abromovich will be looking to lessen the blow of losing Cech to Arsenal by requesting a cash plus player deal. There are players on the wage bill at Arsenal that could be let go and would benefit both Clubs.
Carl Jenkinson is the most obvious.
The right back acquitted himself well last season for West Ham United, but doesn't have the qualities to be Arsenal's long term first-choice at right-back, especially with the emergence of Hector Bellerin. Jenkinson would help Chelsea meet their Home Grown Player quota and could be seen as a potential replacement for the aging Branislov Ivanovic.
Lukas Podolski would be another good option to unload on the Blues. Mourinho needs a back-up for Diego Costa after Didier Drogba's retirement, and the German fits the bill nicely. On paper, Poldi would contribute with aplomb, providing 4-8 goals when the Brazillian-turned-Spainiard pulls his hamstring, stomps on someone, or decides to go sit in the crowd at Stamford Bridge and enjoy some chips.
Reluctantly, Calum Chambers could also be a player to sacrifice to secure the signing of Cech. At just 20 years old, the former Southampton academy product has a chance to become a fine player. The promise of his talents might help soften the blow for Jose Mourinho, and despite not wanting to pass verdict so early on, it's hard to imagine Chambers succeeding long-term at Arsenal. He doesn't have the lateral movement to play as an outside back against the trickery of top wingers, nor does he seem imposing enough to play as a first-choice center-back, or technical enough to develop into a holding-midfielder. Chambers' is another Home Grown Player that could be used as bait for Cech...
It is impossible to fathom that Mourinho won't do everything in his power to hurt Wenger in some way, he'll want to dig the metaphorical knife in as much as possible if he let's his legend go.
Cech may not come easy, or cheap, for a 33 year old signing, but the importance of his signature, early in the summer, would signal to the world that Arsenal are just one additional player away from being considered genuine title contenders, and the dark horse of the UEFA Champions League.