Anybody who has hit that magical age of 30 can attest that as we get older, our bodies start to let us down. Those weekend rec-league aches and pains last longer into the week, you wake up in the morning sore for no apparent reason, and things like lifting one too many grocery bags can mean a thrown-out back.
In case you didn’t know, Petr Čech is 36, and unfortunately, he had one of those post-30 moments today. As added time in the first half ticked down, he played a goal kick up the pitch, grabbed the back of his left leg, and waved frantically to the bench.
Clearly a pulled hamstring.
He was replaced by summer signing Bernd Leno, who acquitted himself quite well, making some key saves to keep Watford off the scoreboard.
In his post-match comments, Unai Emery said he is hopeful Čech will only miss 2-3 weeks. He’ll surely be evaluated further tomorrow / later this week, and the club will get a better idea of how long he’ll be out.
Obviously, Leno becomes the #1 for the time being and Emi Martinez his backup. With Matt Macey on loan at Plymouth Argyle, it looks as if academy keeper Deyan Iliev is next on the depth chart.
Look for Martinez to get the start in Arsenal’s Europa League tilt with Qarabag in Azerbaijan on Thursday. I doubt Emery will want to risk Leno’s health in a cup match with his first choice keeper on the shelf.