Although there is little question that Petr Cech should be Arsene Wenger’s first choice goalkeeper next season, there have been several questions regarding the reasons for deciding on which shirt number he will wear for his first year at the Emirates.
The Daily Star report that the former Chelsea stopper will wear the no.33 for the north London side, following his £10m move from Stamford Bridge earlier this summer. The choice has left plenty of people wondering why he has chosen a number that in Arsenal’s squad list, is predominantly surrounded by fringe players – although Francis Coquelin wears the no.34.
With Wojciech Szczesny currently occupying the no.1 jersey, and David Ospina taking the traditional backup number of 13 – although he remains likely to leave after falling down the pecking order (via Daily Mail) – as well as the rest of the squad taking many of the lower numbers, it was always going to be an interesting choice, unless Wenger decided to make a clear statement by giving him Szczesny’s jersey.
However, he revealed that he was more than happy to chose his new number for three reasons: firstly, his age, secondly, the fact that he has played 333 Premier league games, and finally – and most bizarrely – because the spine has 33 vertebrae (via Daily Star).
“Hope to be a part of the spine of the team – spine has 33 vertebrae,” he explained.
It is the consistency and solidity that Cech is set to provide that has made Gunners fans so optimistic ahead of the new season. While his two rivals for the role have done a decent job in the past, both have been guilty of mistakes, and doubts persist over whether they are capable of guiding the side to the Premier League title.
Meanwhile, Cech has won everything with the Blues, and is now heading into a stage which many stoppers tend to enjoy their prime. If he can deliver as much as he did when he was with their London rivals, by the time he has played his 371th top flight game in England, he could be enjoying his fifth Premier League title.