SEASON PREVIEW: Cech finally has some competition!

Goalkeepers. Finally, the big man has some realistic competition for his place in the Chelsea team. Petr Cech has been the nailed on st...


Finally, the big man has some realistic competition for his place in the Chelsea team. Petr Cech has been the nailed on starter at Chelsea ever since he arrived nine seasons ago. Apart from Carlo Cudicini, we haven't seen anyone at the club pose him a realistic problem, providing genuine competition for his place. This has all changed with the arrival of Mark Schwarzer.

Petr Cech will start the season as our number one and rightly so for the time being but in saying that, he will need to buck his ideas up to ensure he performs throughout the season to keep his role as the main man in goal this term.

Cech is consistent enough but still prone in making the odd mistake or conceding a soft goal here and there and I am looking for him to eradicate those errors, those soft goals and take his performance to another level if we are to pose a genuine title threat this season.

Let's be honest here, whenever he wasn't in the side in previous recent seasons, all of us have had MAJOR doubts about his replacements. Whether it has been Ross Turnbull or Hilario, it has never sat right and made us feel at ease and it's always been a concern.

The signing of Mark Schwarzer is huge this season as far as I am concerned. An established first team player in the Premier League for a number of seasons, consistent performances in teams (meaning no disrespect) of a lower level to Chelsea, defying his age.

Schwarzer comes to Chelsea with a promise of enough first team football to ensure he remains part of the Australian World Cup squad next year.

Now that's a pretty big statement from Mourinho to Schwarzer and you get the impression that despite being in the same club and fighting for the same goals, Schwarzer will not just hang around and accept being on the substitutes bench this term.

This can only be good for Chelsea and our season and it's always important to have competition for places throughout the squad. We finally have that and it's a battle I am more than interested in seeing develop as the season moves forward.

We all know Hilario has been re-signed as cover for the season and he will remain as our third choice which was an interesting decision by Mourinho and Chelsea. Don't get me wrong, when he has been called upon for the odd game here and there in the past, he has been OK. If you ask me if I think he has provided competition to Cech for his first team place and pushed him to ensure he kept it, then I disagree.

As his contract had expired at the end of last season, I feel that it was a perfect opportunity for Jamal Blackman to have been promoted into the first team squad as our number three and not Hilario.

I predict that to continue his development, Blackman will go out on loan to a Championship club this season for a seasons loan or maybe a six month loan deal in January as it's clear the club do not feel he is ready for the first team squad at the moment.

It's going to be a long hard season and finally Petr Cech has some competition for his place in the side and as I have said, that can only be a good thing!

Carefree & KTBFFH!


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