COMMENTPetr Cech is undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers in the world. This past Champions League season, he single-handedly repelled the relentless Barcelona in the semi-finals before inspiring Chelsea to glory in the Munich showpiece by saving three penalties against Bayern.
However, the 30-year-old shot-stopper from Plzen is in danger of losing his nickname of 'Mr Perfect' after yet another high profile howler.
Ever since the near fatal injury he sustained in 2006, when Cech clashed with Reading’s Stephen Hunt, the 6ft 5in custodian has committed a string of errors that would make even the most calamitous goalkeeper wince.
You only have to cast your mind back four years to Euro 2008 - when Cech spilled a cross at the feet of Turkish striker Nihat in the dying embers of the game – that saw the Czech Republic dumped out at the group stages.
|CECH'S GREEK TRAGEDY
|FROM OUR LIVE COMMENTARY|
|53'||GOAL!!! What a howler from Cech! Samaras plays an aimless ball into the box, and the Chelsea keeper lets it through his hands, straight into Gekas' path, who scores. Awful, awful mistake!|
Cech has also been guilty of suspect goalkeeping when pulling on the Chelsea shirt. None more so than when Arsenal crushed Chelsea 5-3 last season when Cech was at fault for at least three of the goals conceded.
This evening, Czech Republic were seemingly coasting to victory against Greece before Cech made an inexplicable error, letting the ball slip through his grasp after colliding with team-mate Tomas Sivok.
Fanis Gekas was on hand to roll the ball into Cech’s empty net as the keeper looked on and realized the severity of yet another blunder.
"I saw that Tomas tried to stick his leg out so I was uncertain for a second, and he was standing quite close to me," Cech said of the incident at full time.
"I wasn't complaining to him after, it was just pure frustration at giving the ball away.
"I must admit that I'm happy and felt relief that we had won."
It’s hard to criticize the Euro 2004 semi-finalist for being apprehensive when there is a coming together of bodies in the penalty box, but it’s clearly visible that Cech is not the same infallible goalkeeper that he once was.
With a do-or-die final group game coming up against co-hosts Poland on Saturday, Cech cannot afford any more catastrophes.