Ramsdale Interview: More Turmoil on the Goalkeeping Front
It was only a matter of time before Aaron Ramsdale was asked for his take of the goalkeeping situation at Arsenal, and his honest opinion on his current predicament at the club. Ramsdale ousted Bernd Leno out of the club and solidified his status as the No. 1 at Arsenal. He was instrumental to the club’s title charge and was rightly rewarded with a contract extension which was a show of trust from Mikel Arteta and the Arsenal hierarchy.
This season saw a shuffle in the goalkeeping department with Matt Turner moving to Nottingham Forest, which paved the way for Arsenal to sign a long-term target in David Raya. Raya had to bide his time on the bench as Ramsdale started the first four Premier League games, before Raya got the nod in the Everton game. In the first four games, Ramsdale got his solitary clean sheet in the narrow win over Crystal Palace, while he conceded in the visits of Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Fulham at the Emirates.
Raya showed up in the away fixture against Everton and notched up a clean sheet, then followed it up with another clean sheet in the Champions League thrashing of PSV Eindhoven. He conceded his first set of goals in the North London Derby before racking up two back to back clean sheets against Brentford and Manchester City.
Mikel Arteta remains in charge and he can decide which goalie he intends to use on a game by game basis, as Ramsdale returned between the sticks against Brentford in the EFL Cup Third Round, but in the grand scale of things, one can assume that Ramsdale is well behind Raya in the pecking order, which has become a concern for the English goalie.
In a recent interview, Ramsdale has stated that he’s suffering and hurting after losing his status as Arsenal’s No. 1,
“It has been difficult. There are times where you’re doing the right thing but it’s the wrong thing and if you don’t do it, it’s the wrong thing. So it’s a double-edged sword.
Whether it is me or David who plays we just need to focus and play but at the same time, it’s a strange, big headline. It’s one that we’re working through as a club and it’s one that the manager puts in front of us and we have to deal with it. That is what we are doing.”
However, he confirmed that he has a good relationship with David Raya and they push each other to get better.
“We are with each other for three or four hours a day – there are four or five of us in that group so if we don’t get on it wouldn’t work. We work professionally really well together. We push each other in training and there’s days where I come in and I’m down because of the situation and he picks me up.
And for whatever reason there might be a day where he’s down and even though I’m suffering and hurting for not playing I have to stand up and be able to push him.”
This is a sentiment confirmed by Raya in another interview, stating that he has a good relationship with Ramsdale and they push each other.
“We push each other every day in training: when he’s a little bit down, I push him, and when I’m a little bit down he does the same.
We train three goalkeepers, four at the most, for hours a week, and you need that kind of relationship because otherwise, the training is not going to go well.”
While we understand Arteta’s desire for two quality players in each position, this doesn’t look sustainable in the goalkeeping department and if we continue with Raya getting consistent minutes over Ramsdale, he would start to think about his England future, with the Euros on the horizon, and might itch away for a move this January. This is just an assumption but we have to see how this progresses, but the spotlight on Ramsdale vs. Raya is not helpful.
Thankfully, Arsenal is winning matches, which is the most important thing, whether it’s Ramsdale in goal, or Raya.
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