Branislav Ivanovi has shared all his successes at Chelsea FC with Czech Republic international and Blues great Petr A?ech, but will be hoping to thwart him when his side take on fierce rivals Arsenal FC in the season’s annual curtain-raiser – the F.A. Community Shield.
The Serbian international has, however, urged the Blues’ faithful to show respect to their former no.1 goalkeeper whilst insisting that A?ech will have a difficult time mentally facing the team he spent a decade representing to an unwaveringly high standard.
“I’m sure they will give Petr respect”
The 31-year-old – who was recently made the club’s vice-captain following the departures of Didier Drogba and Petr A?ech himself – is confident that Chelsea FC fans will show their former hero the respect he deserves on Sunday.
Ivanovi is quoted by London’s Evening Standard newspaper as saying: “I hope they will give respect to him because he deserves it. For 90 minutes the fans will support us for sure, they will be on our side. Before and after the game, I hope and I’m sure, they will give Petr respect.
“Petr knows us very well and for him it will be much more difficult mentally to play against the club he loves. It will be a very interesting game for him and how he prepares to play against us. But we know how good he is and how difficult it will be to score against him. We will try to do everything.”
a Standard Sport (@standardsport) July 31, 2015
The Chelsea FC right-back also acknowledges that facing former team-mates is inevitable in football, having had the experience previously when facing Galatasaray and Manchester City and taking on Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard respectively.
“Facing a former team-mate happens in football all the time and will happen again,” observed Ivanovi . “This is something you have to adapt to. We have experienced before with Lampard at Manchester City last season and Didier with Galatasaray the season before.
“We knew how much they would give to their new sides and Petr will be the same. So we have to be ready and know how strong we have to be.”
Chelsea FC deserve credit for allowing A?ech Arsenal FC move
Although there is no doubt Jos Mourinho would rather have sold his one-time no.1 to any other club, the Portuguese has expressed pride at Roman Abramovich’s decision to allow the Czech international to join the club of his choice.
The Blues deserve immense credit for permitting the transfer to be as smooth as it was, as a sign of respect for A?ech’s eleven years of memorable service to the club. Although not every Chelsea FC fan will feel the same way about the move, it would be fair to say that a fair share of the Blues’ faithful will hold no grudges.
Nevertheless, when the London rivals meet at Wembley on Sunday, Chelsea FC fans might get the now-familiar feeling of watching a hero of Munich playing against their team.