Petr Cech reveals best goalkeepers in Chelsea outfield squad

Fortunately we rely on them to excel with their feet and heads rather than with their hands but one of the training routines during this pre-season requires those players usually deployed further forward on the pitch to go in goal briefly and make a save.

It was an exercise highlighted in Ireland when it resulted hilariously in an impromptu VAR decision on which team had won by being the first to head five goals past opponents between the posts, who had raced there having just attempted to score themselves.

Watching on with expert interest was our technical and performance advisor Petr Cech who of course is also the most successful goalkeeper in Chelsea history.

Who better then to turn to for some analysis of each player’s attempt to be a goalie for a few minutes. Our club photographer captured the flying Blues so we sat down with Cech and went through the images one by one, and this is what he said…

‘With Marcos Alonso you can see the hand-eye coordination, the focus, two hands used, body forward. Marcos is an athlete, he can play a lot of different ball games and you can see the technique. Eyes on the ball and the quick feet, he didn’t even dive.'

‘This second one again by Marcos and clearly looks like a proper save - coordinated, the push, perfect!'

‘This save by Christian Pulisic is a good push with both hands so the technique is okay. He turns a bit during his landing and this is because it is not what they are used. Obviously he is worried about that so he changed his body. The landing is the hard part but the footwork and push are good.’

Tammy Abraham’s first one was an easy ball to save and as well he used his height to deflect it over the crossbar, so it was easy for him.'

‘With Tammy’s second one, again he is tall so it does not look like he is completely diving so maybe he is just reaching. You would probably not see a goalkeeper do this, you would see probably with both hands because the other one could go.’

‘This is a terrible pick up by Matt Miazga!’ You would not pick it up with feet wide apart to risk it, but the hands are there in the right position but you would scoop it with the leg barrier there behind. Maybe it was such an easy ball that he did not need to.’

‘This one for Callum Hudson-Odoi is a simple catch that everyone managed well. They can all catch.’

Hakim Ziyech had a good technique diving I have to say. He was a surprising one for me. We had done this exercise before and he dives and holds the ball if he can.

‘This one shows that Hakim is good, because he was running from this side to chase to cover the goal, and the ball went the other way, and he managed actually to stop, sweep and got there. So he has an interesting goalkeeping skill.’

‘It is interesting here with David Zappacosta. This looks like a desperation save because when you see where the feet are he is probably just running and chasing and he did not have any other option than to dive this way. It seems like he got caught halfway running and then he realised he has to dive. So it is difficult to judge this one because it really looks like he is in urgent need to try to save, and he got there.'

‘This second one is similar to Hakim Ziyech, he is chasing and the ball went the other way so he tries to reach it. It looks good! It might have been a good save, if he managed to stop and push the other way, like we said about Hakim.

‘Zappa also sung very well in the evening!’ (The losing team in the challenge had to sing in front of the others at dinner, and Davide led on that for his side)

‘I watched this one from Trevoh Chalobah from behind the goal and it was a really good save. You can even see the push. He doesn’t use the top hand. Sometimes a goalkeeper would maybe have the other hand to help, but if you look at this, the key is the push, he has a really good push forward there to attack the ball with the hand.

‘With a lot of people, the diving technique is not right but because they are athletes and because they have this foot coordination, if they are not afraid to dive, then they use their skill of pushing to get there which helps. Not everybody can coordinate it with the dive. This was a really good save, I remember that.’

Conor Gallagher had a good dive but this one is a goal. His technique was not great but he was brave, he was properly diving.’

‘This one too is where they worry about how they land. Again Conor does not have a good technique, you can see that, but he was brave again.’

‘This Lewis Baker one is a strange one. Whether he got there or not I do not know. It just looks like he was running, trying to reach it, so hard to judge.’

Malang Sarr here is another example of what I was saying about the landing being the hardest part for these guys. You would not see a goalkeeper in this position while landing, but it seems like he has already pushed the ball away and then the landing. So sometimes with the diving technique, a lot of them can go and push well but then the landing is the hardest skill as well so that is why you see people landing on their bellies, to try to protect themselves from breaking!’

Jake Clarke-Salter is another one who was late running to the goal but got two hands on the ball.’

‘This one is more like a cricket catch. A goalkeeper would have their hands over the ball, you would not let it go into a cup, but it seems like Ross Barkley has played a lot of cricket.’