Arsenal STILL won't beat Chelsea to the title - even with Petr Cech - research shows

Points tally will improve from last season, but not as much as the 12 to 15 John Terry suggested

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The Independent Online

The signing of Petr Cech will see Arsenal improve on the points tally they achieved last season, but it still won't be enough to beat Chelsea to the title, research shows.

The Czech Republic goalkeeper is on the verge of a move across London in what many are touting as the potential deal of the summer.

Snatching arguably the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the Premier League from a title rival will be a huge coup for Arsenal. Chelsea captain John Terry suggested that the presence of Cech in goal could improve a side by 12 to 15 points over the course of the season.

But is Terry right? And should Chelsea fans fear Arsenal stealing their Premier League crown come May next year?

The Independent teamed up with the makers of Football Manager to run simulations of the upcoming season to try and find out. The 2015/16 Premier League was played through three times, with the only variable the Arsenal goalkeeper.

It found that the presence of Cech between the sticks rather than current options David Ospina or Wojciech Szczesny saw Arsenal perform the best.

However, rather than the improvement of 12 to 15 points that Terry suggested, the Gunners finished the campaign on 79 points - four more than last term. According to the simulation, it was enough for Arsenal to rise up a position, but not to the top. Arsene Wenger's side instead ended the campaign in second place, six points behind Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.

 

In comparison, when Ospina was in goal for the entire campaign, Arsenal finished in fourth on 70 points. Szczesny did marginally better, helping Arsenal to third place on 73 points.

The research by Sports Interactive, the makers of Football Manager, uses a vast database compiled by approximately 1,000 researchers across the world (including real-life scouts) to blend reality and fiction. It shows Cech out-performing the current Arsenal stoppers in every respect.

ospina-Szczesny.jpg
Ospina and Szczesny

 

Across the season, Cech conceded 31 times - five less than the Gunners conceded last season. In comparison, Ospina conceded 48 times and Szczesny 43. When it came to clean sheets, Cech collected eleven over the season, better than the six from Ospina and seven from Szczesny.

The simulation, based on painstaking detail and used by real life managers, suggests Cech will also make less mistakes than his rivals as well. Over the 38 game campaign he made three, causing the loss of one goal. Ospina made four mistakes, leading to two goals. Meanwhile Szczesny made nine defined mistakes across the course of the campaign although it only led to two goals being conceded.

Cech is expected to make the move to the Emirates imminently and whilst research suggests his acquisition alone won't deliver a first title since 2004, it does get them much closer.

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Football Manager allows players to control every aspect of a manager's role, from scouting new player to tactics and training, has sold millions of copies worldwide.

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