Petr Cech says Arsenal have paid for being too ’emotional’ in the Champions League and urged his team-mates to play in a more ‘practical’ way.
The Gunners have won their last five in the Premier League to climb to second in the table after an opening day defeat West Ham, but Arsene Wenger’s side have lost both of their European matches, leaving them with an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout stages.
Cech watched from the sidelines as Arsenal were beaten by Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia before a calamitous home defeat to Olympiacos, when they trailed three times before being beaten 3-2, left them bottom of Group F.
The goalkeeper admits Arsenal got carried away after twice equalising against the Greek side.
“You need to get away from the emotions and make sure you play the game in a practical way,” Cech told Sport magazine. “We went with the emotion after coming back to 2-2, and we lost because of that.
“Sometimes you need to be more practical. You have to make sure you don’t give your opponent any easy options and that you are focused and concentrated every minute of the game. This is where we need to control the emotions better.”
Cech acknowledges he was guilty of letting his focus slip when Arsenal lost their Premier League opener against West Ham.
Making his Premier League debut for the Gunners, Cech misjudged Dimitri Payet’s free-kick to allow Cheikhou Kouyate to head in the Hammers’ first before he was wrongfooted for Mauro Zarate’s second-half strike.
The goalkeeper accepts he lost his discipline in trying to do “something extra” to inspire his new side.
“It was just a coincidence, in a way. We were all raring to go and then the first half was really slow. There was a bit of a lack of rhythm and you think: ‘Let’s put a bit of energy in here.’
“So when that ball came, I was thinking: ‘Let’s go and get the ball and make something happen.’ A fast counter-attack, or whatever. And this was where the mistake came, because there was no way I could have got this ball.
“I wanted to do something extra, but this usually goes wrong. You shouldn’t do things that are extra; you should do things the precise way and not try to do something you don’t have to.
“You learn in every moment, even at 33. And, in a way, you surprise yourself because this has never happened to me before. I’m always good at keeping myself focused on doing what I need to do.”