Saturday 19 October 2019

Cech ponders Bridge return after retiring

Petr Cech
Petr Cech

Petr Cech will take time to consider what to do next when he sets aside his goalkeeping gloves and protective head wear this summer.

The 36-year-old, who joined Arsenal from Chelsea in June 2015, announced on Tuesday that he will retire from playing at the end of the season.

Cech has his A licence coaching qualification and, should he choose to pursue a coaching career, would be welcomed back by Chelsea.

Joe Cole recently returned to Chelsea's Surrey training base as an academy coach and Chelsea have repeatedly stated their willingness to employ members of their most successful team once their playing careers end.

Cech has a record 202 Premier League cleansheets - 24 of those came in the 2004-05 season, when Chelsea won the championship for the first time in 50 years. That was Cech's first of four Premier League titles with the Blues, with successes following in 2005-06, 2009-10 and 2014-15, all under Jose Mourinho. His most treasured success was the 2012 Champions League win.

He was displaced as first choice by Thibaut Courtois in 2014-15, prompting his move to Arsenal.

While the Blues were prepared to allow Cech to join the Gunners, they do not wish him, or other players of his generation, to stay away.

The situation which saw Patrick Vieira start his coaching career at Manchester City, rather than with the Gunners, is not one Chelsea wish to experience.

John Terry, Chelsea captain during Cech's career at Stamford Bridge, has begun his coaching career at Aston Villa, and Frank Lampard has started his managerial career at Derby.

But both men would likely covet a return to Chelsea at some point in the future, if the opportunity arose.

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