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Who’s Chelsea’s better number one: Cech or Courtois?

Sometimes the vulnerability of a top club is the man between the sticks, but in Chelsea’s case, they’ve got two of the very best. But who’s better?

The two men in question are current Chelsea and Czech Republic number one Petr Cech and current Atletico Madrid and Belgium number one Thibaut Courtois.

Cech, 32, joined Chelsea from Rennes in 2004 for an estimated £13m. The Czech number one played a pivotal role in Mourinho’s first reign at the Blues and was described on one occasion as a ‘£50m man’. Cech has since gone on to win a whole host of trophies for the club, including the Premier League title three times, four FA Cups, two League Cups and of course the Champions League in 2012.

Courtois, 11 years Cech’s junior at just 21, was signed by Chelsea in the summer of 2011 for an estimated £8m from Belgian side Genk. The young Belgian international was signed for the long term and was immediately loaned out to Atletico Madrid for valuable experience.

Since Diego Simeone’s arrival, Atletico Madrid went from a big club in midtable to a huge club challenging on all fronts. The experience for Courtois therefore became even more valuable as he started to play in the most nerve-wrecking matches.

So impressed were Atletico in his services, the Madrid-based side extended his stay in the summer of 2012, and then again in 2013. During the past 2 and half years, the Atletico number one has gone on to win the Europa League, the Uefa Super Cup and the Copa Del Rey.

So the question remains, who is better currently? The stats reveal all:

Petr Cech:

Games played: 16

Minutes played: 1440

Clean sheets: 4

Shots faced: 168

Goals conceded: 18

Shots per goal: 9.3

Thibaut Courtois:

Games played: 16

Minutes played: 1440

Clean sheets: 8

Shots faced: 127

Goals conceded: 9

Shots per goal: 14.1


As neither goalkeeper faced any penalties, statistically speaking despite facing less shots, Thibaut Courtois has been the better goalkeeper. A higher shots per goal average suggests that he is more difficult to score past or perhaps makes less errors.

However, whilst statistically favoring the Belgian, Cech still has monumental experience to fall back on and this is arguably one of the most important features Mourinho looks for in a goalkeeper.

The Special one’s father was once a professional goalkeeper, so the likelihood is that Mourinho has learned a thing or two since getting involved in the coaching side of football.

Mourinho’s past sides have always had experienced goalkeepers, with the likes of Julio Cesar, Carlo Cudicini, Vitor Baia, Iker Casillas, Diego Lopez and now Petr Cech amongst others all being a part of the 30+ club that has represented him over the years. Therefore, whilst Mou is in charge, Cech is likely to remain Chelsea’s number one.

images: © Ben Sutherland

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