Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann thinks Unai Emery’s decision to pick Petr Cech for the Gunners’ opening game of the season might reflect on Bernd Leno’s development since arriving this summer.
Former Arsenal legend Jens Lehmann believes the decision to start Petr Cech against Man City reflects on new arrival Bernd Leno’s development since joining the club
Lehmann who was part of of Arsenal’s invincible squad told The Debate on Sky Sports that Leno might need to do more in training to displace Cech.
“Arsenal is a big club. It’s a different style of game, a different expectation, and obviously a different competition. Sometimes these guys aren’t used to that competition.
“I don’t know how he’s doing in training, but it tells you something if a guy who cost £20m, and has been chosen by the new manager, is not playing.
“That’s the strength of the squad, a misjudgement probably, but no-one knows because we are not there in training.
“We don’t know who the coaches like. If he tries a new player out, if not the other guy is playing. Bernd is a good ‘keeper, no doubt about that. The question is: can he show more than he did in the past? He must take more risks and continue his development. If he does that – good!”
Lehmann also said that he was “surprised” that Cech tried to play out from the back so often against City.
“He is still a fantastic goalkeeper and apparently he had to change his style, but sometimes the game tells you what to do and not the other way round.
“I was a bit surprised that every time he tried to play out, which is not possible, nobody can dictate to you when to play out. He is very intelligent so he knows when to play out and when not to.
“Petr has played hundreds of games and I think sometimes he would have kicked it long before, now he is under pressure this year. The game dictates what to do and not a certain style you have to play.”
Lehmann believes Cech can adjust slighly to the demands of new manager Emery.
“Even at the age of 36 you can practice and improve, but it’s the amount of passes you have to do.
“Also, sometimes it is better to not to do what the coaches ask because at that moment you understand the game better than anybody else.”