Thomas Tuchel insists he has no issue with Petr Cech training with Chelsea’s senior goalkeepers and believes it enables the club’s technical director to gain an appreciation of the atmosphere within the first-team squad.
The Czech Republic international played 494 games for the Blues, won the Premier League and FA Cup on four occasions, lifted the League Cup three times, the Europa League once and played an integral role in Chelsea clinching the 2012 Champions League.
When Cech retired, he rejoined Chelsea as the club’s technical director and it’s a role he still undertakes day to day.
However, after the transfer window closed in October, it was revealed that the 38-year-old had been named in the Blues’ Premier League squad for the remainder of the campaign. It was a decision taken due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We had a space in the squad and we know this year looks like no other because of Covid,” former Blues head coach Frank Lampard explained.
“We don’t know 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.”
Cech has been training with the first-team goalkeepers throughout the campaign. He even played in a development squad game against Tottenham Hotspur in December to give him a taste of match action.
The departure of Lampard at the end of January hasn’t changed anything regarding Cech.
He still works alongside Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero and Karlo Žiger when possible and Tuchel says he is happy with the arrangement.
“It works perfectly,” the German coach said today. “I’m very comfortable. When Petr is free, he is on the pitch.
“Sometimes he is not like today when he had other things to do. But he is part of the training group.
“I think goalkeepers enjoy this situation and combination as he is not a rival for their position but is there with a very nice, competitive spirit and very positive aura and experience that is unique in European football.
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“I have absolutely no problem. Petr is a competitive guy and it is nice to have him close. It is even nice for him to feel the group life and the atmosphere, and not only from outside.
“As long as he trains at that kind of level and our goalkeeper coach is happy with it, I’m absolutely fine.”