John Ruddy hails Petr Cech as Norwich City look to spring Arsenal upset
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City number one John Ruddy believes Petr Cech could be the difference between another near miss and Premier League glory for Arsenal this season.
Ruddy is in no doubt the Canaries must find a way past one of the best in the game at Carrow Road this weekend. The 33-year-old has already proved his worth to the Gunners since a £10m cross-London switch from Chelsea, where he won numerous domestic honours and the Champions League.
'He is one of the best ever. Absolutely,' said Ruddy, who rejected the chance to become Cech's team-mate when Chelsea expressed an interest back in 2013. 'What he did over a number of years and his consistency levels are phenomenal.
'For Arsenal to add a player of that calibre to their group it is no surprise they are doing as well. That is not disrespectful to the other keepers but I think John Terry said it when he left that he is worth 10 to 12 points a season and he has proved that already this season. Over the years he has been one of the best. It is great to come up against someone like him.
'Obviously there was a chance in the past to work with him and if you had said when I first joined Norwich I would have a substantial bid from a club who went on to become the champions I doubt anyone would have believed you.'
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Ruddy knows what it feels like to beat the Gunners at Carrow Road after a clean sheet in a 1-0 win in October 2012, but the City keeper believes Arsenal's current crop is even better.
'They are a different animal to when we beat them that day but if the crowd are behind us and we play to our capabilities there is no reason we can't do it again,' he said. 'They have high quality players, challenging for the league. We have said that in the past and they fall short but that squad looks more than capable of challenging. It is up to us to do what West Brom did. If you go harrying them, as we have found out before, they will pop it around you as if you are not there. If you sit back you risk them picking you off. We showed at Manchester City and Chelsea we can be hard to beat but when we have the ball we have to try and affect them in their penalty area. It is not like the Championship last season when you are going to get five or six chances a game, it might be a couple at most and making sure you take them.'
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