Chelsea fans go wild over who was spotted together at Blues’ pre-season training camp | Football | Sport
The Blues are currently across the Irish Sea for a two-game tour, having drawn with Bohemians in Frank Lampard’s first game as manager on Wednesday night.
Ahead of that clash, Lampard’s Chelsea squad trained at Carton House in Maynooth on Tuesday.
And Cech – who has been installed as a technical and performance adviser at Stamford Bridge – was photographed out on the training pitches.
The ex-goalkeeper, who played 494 times in 11 years at Chelsea and won 13 major trophies, took time to have a quick one-to-one chat with the club’s current No 1 keeper Arrizabalaga.
The most expensive shot-stopper in world football after signing from Athletic Bilbao for £71million last summer, the 24-year-old Spaniard kept 14 clean sheets in 36 Premier League matches in his first season at the club.
Arrizabalaga’s first 12 months in west London was somewhat pockmarked by an incident with former manager Maurizio Sarri during the Carabao Cup final in which he refused to be substituted for back-up keeper Willy Caballero ahead of a penalty shoot-out despite having gone down for cramp twice in extra time.
But the Basque-born ace enjoyed a largely positive first campaign as Chelsea finished third in the Premier League and won the Europa League, with Arrizabalaga saving two penalties in a semi-final shoot-out against Eintracht Frankfurt to send his club to the final.
And Chelsea fans are excited to see what he can learn from club legend Cech, who kept 202 shut-outs in the Premier League for Chelsea including a single-season record 24 under Jose Mourinho in 2004-05, despite missing three games that year.
“Makes me feel very safe. Really love this,” said the original Reddit poster, adding an image of Cech and Arrizabalaga in conversation.
“To become the best, you must learn from the best,” wrote one fan in response.
“This. F***ing. Image. I been waiting for this,” reacted another, while one fan added: “Happy to see them together”.
“Let’s put them both in goal and watch the clean sheet records tumble!” joked one supporter.
One other posted: “I can’t believe him [Cech] and Frank are both back. It still feels so surreal.”
“All my anxiety went away after looking at this,” said another.
Another fan declared: “I think its interesting how Lampard is getting Cech into the training sessions. This is good. They really can push that crazy-thirsty mentality, that led to them winning lots of titles, into them. This is very good.”
“Kepa will be the best keeper next season,” predicted another.
Chelsea said in a statement after announcing his return that Cech’s role will be “to provide advice on all football and performance matters throughout the club as well as embed and facilitate strong links between our men’s and academy teams, ensuring that the various support departments are working together effectively.”
And that therefore suggests Cech could well take Arrizabalaga under his wing having only retired this summer after a four-year spell with Arsenal, where he won two FA Cups.
Chelsea are back in pre-season action tomorrow when they face St Patrick’s Athletic in a friendly at Richmond Park (2pm).
The Irish Premier Division outfit were only in Europa League qualifying action on Thursday night, losing 2-0 in the first leg at home to Swedish outfit Norrkoping, and now face the reigning champions of that very competition.