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21st Jul 2017

Petr Cech gave a stern reality check to Arsenal youngsters hoping to celebrate preseason trophy

It's divided opinion among supporters

Darragh Murphy

Petr Cech has divided opinion with his refusal to hoist Arsenal’s preseason trophy into the air this week.

Arsenal had just beaten Bayern Munich on penalties in the International Champions Cup – whatever that is – and the Gunners’ skipper on the day wasn’t prepared to get carried away with the victory.

During the trophy presentation ceremony, Cech was handed the cup which must have been up there with the most meaningless of his decorated career.

His teammates began an anticipatory shout, expecting their goalkeeper to lift the prize above his shoulders and a shower of champagne to soak them.

But instead, Cech turned to the players and brought them back down to earth by telling them that they should not celebrate a preseason victory but, rather, set their sights on a legitimate title challenge next season.

“This is not the trophy we lift, guys,” he said, with a wag of his finger.

“This is not the trophy we lift! Let’s lift the big one at the end of the season. Not this one!”

The motivation tactic was clear for all to see but the way Cech went about it has split supporters down the middle because, on the one hand, he’s lifted the Champions League and Premier League trophies before so should instil a desire to aim higher in his teammates but, on the other, he perhaps should not have scolded the younger members of the squad who were excited by the fact that they’d just defeated Bayern Munich.