Cech: Chelsea return rumours added to pressure of my final game
Petr Cech felt under additional pressure to perform well in Arsenal's 4-1 Europa League final defeat to Chelsea given speculation that he will soon be appointed as the Blues' new sporting director.
The Czech played in each of Arsenal's knockout games from the turn of the year and Unai Emery opted to stick with him for the final despite rumours of an imminent return to the club he joined the Gunners from in 2015.
Despite the heavy defeat, Cech pulled off a string of impressive saves and admits he felt the pressure of needing to put in a solid performance on what was his final game as a professional.
"I'm proud of the way I played," he told BT Sport. "When you play your last career game in the final, there's a lot of pressure.
"Obviously there's a lot of speculation about Chelsea. I had to perform. I have to say I've done everything and can look back and have no regrets."
When pressed if he would indeed be joining Chelsea, Cech responded: "I keep saying to everybody that I wanted to lift the trophy and then sit down and think. Until June 30 I'm still an Arsenal player and until that point I won't decide anything."
Cech believes that despite the humbling nature of the defeat Emery is taking the club in the right direction.
"We worked so hard all year and in the end we have nothing," he added. "I think it's something this group of players probably don't deserve.
"We lost this final 4-1 but I can assure everyone who supports Arsenal that the work we have done this season, it will come [to fruition] next season and this team will be much stronger."Published 30 May 2019, 04:54 IST