Although his time at Chelsea has long since concluded, former goalkeeper, Petr Cech, has laid the blame for his departure from the club squarely at the feet of one individual.
A transfer to Arsenal was the result, but had Jose Mourinho not taken such decisive action when picking Thibaut Courtois ahead of him, then Cech might well have stayed at Stamford Bridge for longer than the time he was afforded.
“I was not happy at all,” Cech recalled to the Chelsea website and cited by the Daily Mirror, relating to when Mourinho demoted him to No.2.
“I could see in pre-season how hard I was working. There was nothing obvious suggesting I wouldn’t be ready to keep my spot. But in a football team you can only have one goalkeeper playing every week, and unfortunately that was the way it went.
“Thibaut was regarded as the future of the club with all his potential and quality. I understood the choice was made, even if I didn’t think it was my time.
“Leaving Chelsea was the hardest decision I had to make.”
Cech, as much as any other player during the first Mourinho era in west London, was responsible for those glory days. Given that goalkeepers can generally go on playing for a few years more than their outfield counterparts, the Portuguese’s decision to put in the Belgian ahead of Cech was a real game changer.
He would go on to give of his best at London rivals Arsenal of course, but it’s clear from his words that the custodian would’ve been more than happy to see out his days at the Bridge.