Unai Emery has confirmed goalkeeper Petr Cech will keep his place in goal for Arsenal when they head to Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.
The 36-year-old appeared to struggle with Emery’s new approach of playing the ball out from defence in Sunday’s season opener, almost scoring an own goal in the 2-0 defeat as he looked uncomfortable in possession.
Goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva ruined Emery’s welcome party as his first game as head coach ended with a loss.
Cech received widespread criticism for his performance and hit out at Bayer Leverkusen after their Twitter account mocked his display.
With Cech preferred to former Leverkusen stopper Bernd Leno, who left the German club to join the Gunners in the summer, they replied to a clip of a mistake with “we know a guy…” before running a video of Leno playing out from the back.
Cech questioned the “professionalism” on display and later received an apology from Leverkusen – but it appears he has retained the backing of Emery ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge.
“Also, with Bernd Leno – they are two goalkeepers who are important for
“For Saturday, the decision for me is easy. Petr Cech can continue to start the match, I believe in him. But if (in future) Bernd starts, I believe in him also.”
“We are going to play away but we need to keep our personality, keep our mentality,” he said.
“I think on Sunday against Manchester City, the team kept their ideas, kept their spirit in the game for the full 90 minutes, even when we were losing, and didn’t let their heads go down.
“We want a good preparation before and a good response on the pitch to that preparation.”
Ainsley Maitland-Niles filled in but suffered a small fracture to his leg early on and now faces up to two months out.
Summer recruit Stephan Lichtsteiner – more adept at playing on the right – replaced Maitland-Niles and is now competing with Monreal for the berth against Chelsea.
“After this injury, I tried with Lichtsteiner, who is a player with experience. He can play at left-back but his position in the team is more at right-back.
“This week Nacho Monreal is working every day, training every day with us. The two options we have now are Nacho Monreal and Lichtsteiner to continue in this position.”
Danny Welbeck has also returned to full training and could be involved in west London.