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Chelsea's current dilemma: Petr Cech showing age at the worst time

by Fake Eric Cantona
Apr 02, 2014 11:54 PM EDT



"Valar Morghulis" or "All Men Must Die", while a proverb of the Free City of Braavos (for you Game of Thrones fans), applies perfectly well to the world of footballers. All players grow old, and become past prime. Aging is painful to witness. It's is painful for fans to witness of their favorite players. For most of the past decade, Petr Cech has been one of the best keepers in the world. His helmet has become his trademark. But he too is getting old. He may be in the twilight of his career.

Fans of Petr Cech must have felt pain in seeing him at fault for 2 of the goals yesterday against Paris Saint-Germain, in the first leg of the CL match up. He was hesitant. Indecisive. Too cautious at times, and reckless at others. To be fair, he was facing some of the best offensive players in Europe, away from Stamford Bridge, in Paris.

Cech is 31. In Goaltending years, he could peaking now. The role of goaltender is unique. The position requires the utmost of physical skill. Unlike schoolyard days when the worst players were left in goal, or as a defender, the professional game is much much different. There are no positions for poor players. And the goaltender position is the most critical of the XI.

If allowed to remain the Chelsea #1, Cech will shatter David James's record of clean sheets during next season. This achievement would be a great source of pride for the club, the fans, Mourinho, and Cech himself. However, one must also remember that there is one waiting in the wings, who has voiced his displeasure with the team.

Thibaut Courtois, at 21 years of age, stands as one of the best young goaltenders in Europe. Chelsea own his rights. Yet, Courtois has expressed zero interest in remaining Chelsea chattel. Promising him the #1 spot would keep him happy. Refusing that position will increase his resolve to leave. De Bruyne has left. Lukaku was been asking for a release for some time. Coutois has asked to be sold permanently to Atletico. (apparently Belgians just don't like Chelsea anymore...)

So for Mourinho the problem grows larger by the match week. As Cech shows more and more signs of wear and tear, and as their youth prospect shows more and more potential to be everything that Cech used to be, right now, Mourinho must decide: stay loyal to the past, or invest in the future.

And that is a very painful decision.