Cech: Arsenal are too nice after 22 years under ‘gentleman’ Wenger

The veteran goalkeeper, who is heading into retirement, says the Gunners could be tougher but does not see pressure being an issue for the club

Petr Cech feels Arsenal are too nice, with there “not enough pressure” at the club following 22 years working under the guidance of “gentleman” Arsene Wenger.

With an iconic coach at the helm, the Gunners became famed for their ball-playing philosophy.

They did, however, face plenty of accusations regarding a supposed soft centre and lack of stomach for a fight – particularly towards the end of Wenger’s reign.

Unai Emery has been drafted in to guide the club in a different direction and has delivered a Europa League final berth in his debut campaign.

Cech feels the Spaniard can make Arsenal more dogged, with the veteran goalkeeper telling the Evening Standard: “It will sound strange but I think generally at Arsenal there is not enough pressure.

“Arsene is a real gentleman. As much as he hates losing, he stays a gentleman. If you lose, you win, you lose, you win, he kind of carries on. That’s something I’ve never experienced before.

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“At Chelsea, at the times when we drew, it felt like a funeral in the dressing room. It was so bad.

“If we drew against a big team at home, it was like, ‘Oh no, it is impossible we didn’t win at home’. It came from everywhere: the players, the coach. Since the start when I was there, the pressure was there every game.”

While acknowledging that Arsenal could be a little tougher, he does not consider pressure to be a problem for the club.

He feels a run through to a European final this season is proof of that, with Emery’s side having cleared several notable hurdles.

The 37-year-old goalkeeper is preparing to head into retirement after a meeting with his former club on Wednesday and is confident that the Gunners can deliver on expectation.

Cech added: “I feel that when Arsenal need to win, we win.

“You go to Athens in the last Champions League group game [of 2015] needing to win 2-0 and you win 3-0. No matter where, we win, because that fire was right behind us as we had to really win. The pressure was what was pushing us.

“I completely disagree with people who say, ‘When the pressure comes, [you don’t win]’. No. I think we lose points when there is not enough pressure.

“So, we went to Everton [on April 7]. You know you win, you go third… you lose, you stay fourth. We lost. That week with Wolves [losing at Molineux, either side of defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester], it was the same situation.

“There was always a cushion, there was always, ‘It is not such a disaster’. We should probably create more pressure on everybody because that would give people more to think about.

“We went to Napoli [in the quarter-finals] and everybody says, ‘Oh, you are rubbish away, they are brilliant at home’. We win 2-0, and then you go, ‘How do you explain that?’

“If you are under pressure and you can’t perform, you lose that game. But we didn’t because the pressure was so high. You know you lose, you are out. You lose 3-1 at Rennes [in the last 16, first leg], you have to win at home: you win. The semi-final? We win. So, the examples are there.”

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