Petr Cech refuses to lift pre-season trophy and tells off Arsenal teammates for celebrating
Petr Cech refused to lift the pre-season trophy Arsenal were bizarrely awarded for beating Bayern Munich on penalties in a friendly in Shanghai, and told his teammates to aim a little higher.
The Gunners overcame the German champions on Wednesday thanks to a penalty shootout victory, with Cech already substituted by the time Alex Iwobi levelled the scores late on and forced a tie-breaking round of spot-kicks.
Backup keeper Emiliano Martinez made the crucial saves to win the shootout, and that meant Arsenal were presented with a small trophy during a rather awkward on-pitch ceremony.
While the rest of Arsenal’s predominantly young squad enjoyed the moment, Cech showed his winning mentality by refusing to join in with their over-the-top celebrations.
With the squad cheering almost as much as when they won the FA Cup last season, Cech refused to lift the trophy and instead wagged his finger in the direction of his teammates and challenged them to save the real celebrations for a proper trophy.
Admonishing the younger members of the team he said: ‘This is not the trophy we lift guys. This is not the trophy we lift. Let’s lift the big one at the end of the season. Not this one!’
Youngsters Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah looked a little sheepish after the veteran goalkeepers’ words, but then snatched the trophy off Cech and lifted it high into the sky regardless.
Cech did finally raise a smile as the Arsenal squad revelled in their win, though it is clear he is aiming much higher next season and will be hoping he can win the Premier League for a sixth time.
The Czech goalkeeper has picked up just one FA Cup winners’ medal in his time with the Gunners and remains a strong performer for the club even at the age of 35, but it is clear he wants a league title in the foreseeable future.