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Saturday 21 July 2018

Cech eyes 200th Premier shut-out at Swans

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech

Petr Cech is hoping Arsenal find their rhythm at the Liberty Stadium tonight as the part-time drummer goes in search of his 200th Premier League clean sheet.

The Gunners head to bottom side Swansea looking to build on their impressive wins over Crystal Palace and Chelsea last week.

Beating the Eagles 4-1 saw Arsenal bounce back from defeat at Bournemouth before victory over their London rivals saw them secure a place in the League Cup final.

Now they travel to south Wales to face a Swansea outfit buoyed by a surprise win against Liverpool, with Cech looking to reach a major milestone.

The 35-year-old already holds the record for the number of Premier League clean sheets but has been stuck on 199 for six games.

"I am proud because when I came to the Premier League in 2004 obviously I was 22 years old and you think: 'Oh wow, this is everything I dreamt about and I am here'," he said.

"So it was up to me to show I am capable of playing in this league and obviously since I started it all went the direction I wanted and I always wished for.

"I have to say, sometimes when you look back and you speak about coming to 200 clean sheets in the Premier League and you see how many games everybody else needed to get there and nobody ever got that far, you think 'it is something amazing' and I hope it is going to go way longer than 200."

Cech insists he has no plans to consider retirement as the ex-Czech Republic international closes in on his latest landmark. He will head to Swansea with a pair of drumsticks tucked away in his kit-bag having discovered a passion for playing the drums in recent years.

After forming an impromtu band with former Chelsea goalkeeping colleagues Carlo Cudicini and Hilario, Cech now posts his drumming videos on YouTube - where he has amassed over 2.5million views.

"I have to confess that in my bag, I always carry a pair of drumsticks because you never know where you find the time to do a little bit," he said.

"Usually, when we go to an away game, I have a little practice pad and drumsticks with me. If you sit three hours in your hotel room somewhere before you have another activity, you can use it in plenty of different ways.

"I started playing when I was almost 30 years old. Actually, I bought a drum kit in March 2011. That was when I started.

"I have to say it happened by accident because I enjoyed music and always listened to it but Carlo Cudicini plays piano.

"Once, we went out for dinner and we ended up back at his flat with Hilario.

"He had this Guitar Hero, Playstation setup with a little drum and two guitars. We ended up playing the game just for fun."

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