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Will Cech Be Ready For Barca?

We have our concerns ahead of the Barcelona game, namely the likes of Messi, Eto’o and Henry – or more to the point, how we might contain them – and a makeshift defence is probably the last thing we need. Add to that the apparent fragility of our keeper, and it’s bound to have a few nerves frayed.

Like it or not, Petr Cech just isn’t the same man who was once regarded the best keeper in the world. Would that Cech have let 7 goals past him in two games? I hardly think so. Would the pre-injury Cech have had us biting our nails every time the ball was in the area? Again, it didn’t happen because that Petr Cech, the one who helped us to back-to-back titles was just about invincible.

Ever since his return from the head injury he sustained against Reading’s Stephen Hunt, his confidence has dipped. I think I’ve mentioned before it’s more pronounced when John Terry isn’t in front of him but even then, he can appear every bit as nervous as the rest of us when he’s put under pressure.

Before the injury, Cech had conceded just 54 goals in 107 games – or 0.51 goals a game. Since the injury however, it’s 74 goals in 112 games – or 0.66 a game. So whilst we still have the tightest defence in the Premier League, it doesn’t change the fact that Cech’s goal isn’t as impenetrable as it used to be – and with Barca up next that has to be a worry.

In the last 14 months, the mistakes have crept into his game and whilst he might’ve kept clean sheets in his last two games, not to mention saving a penalty against West Ham at the weekend, my concern is it won’t be the confident shot-stopper of a couple of years ago we’ll see once Barca put him under pressure.

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