When Petr Cech decided to leave Chelsea towards the end of last season, he could have chosen pretty much any club in the world. Much to Jose Mourinho's regret, he set his heart on London rivals Arsenal.
The rhetoric is that the goalkeeper was settled in London and did not want to uproot his family by moving abroad, but one factor that would have been firmly on his mind is the Premier League clean sheet record.
He was just seven short of David James's record of 169 and the thought of leaving England after coming so close would have been unbearable. Once he sealed a £10million move to the Gunners, it was only a matter of time before he fulfilled his destiny.
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The moment came against Aston Villa on Sunday as another commanding performance aided Arsenal to a 2-0 win and, at least until Monday night, to the top of the Premier League. He now stands aside James on 169 clean sheets and will have the perfect platform to surpass him when Arsenal play Manchester City next week.
Needless to say, the Internet was quick to react to Cech's achievements with both Arsenal and Chelsea fans waxing lyrical. One man who could not resist having his say was former Blues stopper Carlo Cudicini.
The Italian tweeted: "My friend @PetrCech , many congratulations for such a great achievement. Many more to come for the best GK ever in PL. #Topclass."
It is hard to argue with that. One feels that James's record is one born out of longevity rather than genuine class. Indeed, the former England international took 572 appearances to reach that total while Cech has managed it in just 349.
Cudicini has only reminded Chelsea fans that they may have made a grave mistake in letting Cech leave for Arsenal in the summer. After all, they themselves have experienced a dramatic comedown from their title-winning campaign and Cech's absence in the dressing room may have had a serious impact.
Presence in the dressing room
When heads dropped last season, Cech would have surely been the man to pull them back up. He spent 11-years at Chelsea and would have undoubtedly been the man many turned to in times of need.
Of course, Chelsea have a terrific replacement in Thibaut Courtois, who has just returned from a long injury, but while he has the ability to match Cech, he has none of the experience.
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