Frank Lampard has been explaining the decision to add Petr Cech to the Premier League squad submitted for the rest of the season, insisting it is not done for ‘the romance’ of an all-time Chelsea great potentially lining up between the posts in a game again, a scenario he thinks unlikely, but that it makes total sense in the current climate.
Tuesday was the deadline for the list which is now final until the next transfer window, and there were certainly some eyebrows raised when our technical and performance advisor’s name was on it. The now 38-year-old had retired from playing when taking his current job after leaving Arsenal in 2019.
He has been included in the squad as emergency goalkeeper cover. This is a precautionary step due to the unprecedented conditions currently caused by the Covid-19 crisis. He takes up a position as a non-contract player.
‘Pete’s been training with the goalkeepers for a little while now,’ Lampard explained. ‘I think that was pretty much common knowledge, and he is training a lot of days with them which is invaluable for their experience.
‘It helps with their training and it helps me to know that he is passing on that quality and experience to the goalkeepers. We had a space in the squad, we know this year looks like no other because of Covid and what it might do to selection and isolation through the year, so it was a very easy decision. Pete still does his day job but he is there if we need him.
‘He is very fit, he is still relatively young, he probably could have carried on playing,’ Lampard continued.
‘He has taken on his role at Chelsea which he does very well, he is very helpful to me and we work very closely. Whether we will see him [playing] much this season I am not sure. It depends on how the season goes and on Covid and isolation, but I certainly felt it was a no-brainer to have Pete in the squad for that reason. It can only help the goalkeepers we have to see one of the world’s best in the modern era amongst us.’
Cech of course won a huge number of honours during his Chelsea playing career spanning 2004 to 2015, including Premier League titles and the Champions League.
‘It is definitely not done for the romance,’ Lampard said of his former team-mate being down as a player once more.
‘Pete certainly enjoys the training because that is how he is. I would enjoy training more if my calves didn’t go tight every time I try to sprint these days. With Pete it [playing] is something I wouldn’t expect to happen this year, but I do know with the way he is and how fit he is that if we were in crisis times then of course we couldn’t ask for something much better than having Petr Cech around. I don’t expect it but nobody expected what we have seen in the last six or seven months around the world.’