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Arsenal Goalkeeper Petr Cech announces he will retire at the end of the season

Arsenal's Petr Cech will retire Credit: PA

In a statement published on Twitter, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech announced his plans to retire from professional football at the end of the 2018/19 season, saying:

"This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of this season.

Having played 15 years in the Premier League, and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.

I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch."

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Arsenal keeper Cech out for up to a month

Credit: PA

Goalkeeper Petr Cech will be sidelined for up to a month with a hamstring injury, Arsenal have announced.

Cech was replaced early in the second half of Saturday's Premier League match against Watford, with Bernd Leno coming on to keep a clean sheet as the Gunners won 2-0.

Arsenal said in an injury update on their official website ahead of the Europa League tie away to Qarabag in Baku on Thursday that Cech had a "left hamstring injury" and was "expected to return to full training in three to four weeks".

Arsenal boss Emery surprised by Cech criticism

Petr Cech put in a man of the match performance for Arsenal against Everton. Credit: PA

Unai Emery admits he has been surprised by the criticism aimed at Petr Cech in recent weeks as the Arsenal goalkeeper put in a man of the match performance in Sunday's Premier League win over Everton.

Cech, 36, has captained Arsenal in all of their Premier League games since Emery took charge but has not been without his critics as he adapts to playing the ball out from the back.

He has kept summer signing Bernd Leno on the bench - except for Thursday's Europa League win over Vorskla Poltava - and Emery is pleased with his goalkeeping options.

"I'm a little surprised because there have been a lot of questions over Cech," Emery said after the win.

"In pre-season and also in the first (league) matches with us, he's played with good performances. Bernd Leno will also improve with us and learn about this competition here.

"Petr has big experience and big quality. He's started the season very well and we think he's giving us the performance we want. Today he showed us that he's very good and continuing to work hard with this spirit every day."

Arsenal boss Emery defends under-fire keeper Cech

Cech has looked uncomfortable when executing Emery's tactics of playing out from the back. Credit: PA

Unai Emery insists Arsenal will continue "showing their personality" by asking Petr Cech to play out from the back.

Arsenal claimed only their second Premier League away win of 2018 - and their first under Emery - by edging a five-goal thriller at Cardiff.

Newly-promoted Cardiff scored their first league goals of the season as Arsenal demonstrated defensive vulnerability, and the Bluebirds might have taken an early lead when Cech was put under pressure and kicked the ball straight to Harry Arter.

But Emery defended Cech after the 3-2 win, saying: "He has experience and he is intelligent.

"He is doing what we want, to build up our job on the pitch. If you are playing long balls all the time, you are not showing your personality.

"It is clear you can do one mistake in one action, but we need to continue doing this.

"When you take a little risk it helps to create space and to attack."

Arsenal twice led through Shkodran Mustafi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Victor Camarasa and Danny Ward equalised for Cardiff.

However, France striker Alexandre Lacazette, starting for the first time under Emery, came up with a rasping winner nine minutes from time.

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Cech dismisses claims Arsenal lack leadership

'You need to see behind the scenes,' says Cech Credit: PA

Petr Cech believes Arsenal have disproved accusations they lack leaders by beating Manchester City and reaching the FA Cup final.

However, Cech has warned his team-mates winning the FA Cup for a third time in four years would still not excuse them failing to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Arsenal will face Chelsea in the final at Wembley on May 27 after goals from Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez sealed a 2-1 win in extra-time against City, who had earlier led through Sergio Aguero.

I think it's easy to hide behind 'oh they lack leaders but they have leaders'. You need to see behind the scenes how well the team works and how we operate.

Sometimes you have periods of games where you prepare and do the right things but the game starts and it goes completely wrong.

We had a difficult period where the team was losing games it should have not lost and obviously you come to the situation where you play under pressure and need to find a way out.

Sometimes you find a way out quickly and sometimes it takes a bit of time.

There is no other option than we need to keep getting three points in every game to hope we can get automatic qualification for the Champions League for next season.

– Petr Cech

Cech: Arsenal handled pressure of must-win game at West Ham

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech. Credit: PA

Petr Cech says Arsenal's thumping 5-1 win at West Ham proved they can handle the pressure in the title race.

"It became a kind of must-win game for us when Chelsea won and obviously the gap opened to six points," goalkeeper Cech told the club website.

"We knew what we had to do and we did it in a very professional way, so we are happy.

"We a lot of opportunities in the first half but it wouldn't go in. In the second half at 1-0 their keeper made some fantastic saves and you think it could still be a dangerous scoreline.

"I know a lot of people would have been a bit anxious, but we showed the maturity not to panic and we kept going. We thoroughly deserved the goals for our performance."

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