Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech had himself an adventure on Sunday, playing the ball out of the back far more than his usual routine at club level.
But that’s how new Gunners boss Unai Emery wanted to attack Manchester City in what became a 2-0 loss to the reigning champions.
[ RECAP: Arsenal 0-2 Man City ]
The philosophy made sense to Cech, who spoke with NBCSN’s broadcast team of Arlo White, Robbie Earle, and Robbie Mustoe on the Emirates Stadium pitch after the final whistle.
“When you play a long ball you don’t always win the second ball,” Cech said. “We didn’t want them to have the comfort of them always starting with the ball. … They are used to pressing really high. They do it really well so at times we put ourselves under pressure but it’s a work in progress. Although we lost today, it’s going to give us a lot of positive thinking for the next game.”
Naturally, Cech was also quizzed about playing for Emery after three seasons under longtime Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
“Arsene is more about leaving the freedom to the players to decide how they want to do the actions, how they feel in that moment,” Cech said. “With Unai, we work specifically we want to do and how we want to do it. Obviously we had a big task today to do the same thing we worked on since the beginning of preseason. I thought we did it pretty well.”
Arsenal’s text match comes Saturday at Chelsea, Cech’s old team. Another performance like this, and Cech may have to give way to Bernd Leno when West Ham visits on Aug. 25.