Piers Morgan has questioned Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for David Raya in Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Everton.
Arteta opted to hand Raya a debut against the Toffees despite Ramsdale being his first-choice shot-stopper this season. The England international had played in all five of the Gunners’ games across competitions prior, keeping one clean sheet.
Raya, 27, impressed against Everton, keeping a clean sheet and making one vital save. Many are pondering whether the Spaniard will replace his teammate on a regular basis.
Morgan has criticized Arteta for his decision to drop Ramsdale by suggesting that he had ‘humiliated’ the 25-year-old. The Talk TV host posted on X (formerly Twitter):
“I don’t understand what Ramsdale has done to deserve being dropped? Havertz, yes.. but Ramsdale’s been consistently superb for us. Why humiliate him?”
Ramsdale has been a mainstay in Arteta’s starting lineup since arriving from Sheffield United in 2021 for £30 million. He has made 83 appearances across competitions, keeping 30 clean sheets.
His Arsenal manager did clarify why Ramsdale had dropped to the bench for the clash against Everton. He alluded to the intense schedule of games that his side will play this season (via transfer expert Fabrizio Romano):
“There will be rotations. I mentioned that we wanted to build a squad with two quality players in each position. We have got that now. And to maximise that they’ve (got) to play games.”
Raya joined the Gunners from Brentford on loan this summer with an option to buy for £27 million. He impressed for the Bees last season, keeping 12 clean sheets in 39 games across competitions.
Morgan may have jumped the gun as Arsenal will be in action in the UEFA Champions League this week. They face PSV Eindhoven in their opening group game on Wednesday (September 20) and it’ll be interesting to see who starts that game in goal.
Gary Neville reckons Arsenal shouldn’t tinker between David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale
Gary Neville reacted to Arsenal’s signing of Raya in the summer by questioning Arteta’s idea of rotating between him and Ramsdale. The Sky Sports pundit said (via The Mirror):
“I’ve said this before, that I’m not a fan of competition for goalkeepers; I think you need a clear No.1 and then a clear No.2. That’s my view having experienced it at United [like that].”
The Manchester United icon played with many icon goalkeepers during his playing career at Old Trafford. The likes of Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar, and David de Gea were mainstays in Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting lineup during Neville’s career. They won 10 league titles between them in different eras at United.
The trio were crucial in the Red Devils’ period of dominance in English football with Ferguson not tempted to rotate his goalkeepers. Arteta appears to have another plan in mind to try and propel Arsenal to trophy success.
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