Are Ramsdale and Leno set for a fair fight for Arsenal’s number one spot? (Opinion)

Mikel Arteta moved to praise Aaron Ramsdale for his performance against Norwich this weekend, but will the English shot-stopper get a fair shot at keeping the number one role?

Bernd Leno has been the club’s first-choice between the sticks since displacing Petr Cech in October 2018, but his performances in recent seasons has raised questions.

Even when Emiliano Martinez appeared un-droppable after playing a key role in guiding the club to FA Cup and Community Shield glory, Arteta was unwilling to admit that Leno would not be set to take his first-choice role back, which ultimately saw the Argentine leave much to the dismay of our fans, but Leno now looks to have a new challenger for his spot.

While the former Bayer Leverkusen man has shipped nine goals from our opening three league matches, Aaron has denied all challengers in his opening 180 minutes of football for our club, as well as keeping another clean sheet in a behind closed doors friendly with Brentford during the international break.

He looked a formidable force in a tough clash at the weekend, with his communication skills shining through, and you would imagine that he should already have his name cemented into next week’s starting line-up assuming he stays fit, but I fear that may not be the case.

I wouldn’t be overly shocked if Leno was to come back into the side to take on Burnley come Saturday, with our new summer signing being told that he will return to the team for the EFL Cup clash with Wimbledon in midweek, with a view to giving both players the opportunity to fight for their place, and show that they are both able to step-up to the challenge.

I hope I’m wrong, and that the Ramsdale has earned his spot until he makes a mistake between the sticks, while Leno should spend some time working hard to try and get that spot back, and figure out why his level of consistency has faltered.

Am I alone in believing the spot should be Ramsdale’s to lose at present?


Tags Aaron Ramsdale Bernd Leno


  1. Ramsdale is the man in possession and as such, he should play against Burnley, particularly so as his commanding presence will be needed against a side which is dependent on set pieces for goals.We should expect an aerial bombardment so the ability of Tomi in the air should also be a big asset.

  2. One game is not enough to confirm Ramsdale as no 1. The Norwich striker weren’t lethal against Arsenal. If he is tried against Bunely and Spuds then we would know how talented he really is. However, his ball distribution and risk taken within his box is better than Leno. But whether he make some really good saves is yet to be seen.

  3. “Arteta was unwilling to admit that Leno would not be set to take his first-choice role back, which ultimately saw the Argentine leave much to the dismay of our fans”

    You mean the same manager that publicly spoke about how proud he was to have both goalkeepers and how he wanted them to stay and keep making each other better?

    You mean the same manager that told Martinez he would be our goalkeeper going into the new season while refusing to give anyone of both GK the 100% assurance as number 1?
    Yeah right, only if Martinez wasn’t a coward who chose to ran at the sight of competition, he’d be our number one right now and Ramsdale won’t be in this discussion.

    Back to your question, you can’t make that decision that it his spot to lose after just one game against bottom side Norwich.
    What, you pitched Leno against the two best English teams last season, one the UCL winner and one the EPL winner and what did you expect?

    I love Ramsdale’s confidence and his awareness, but I’m not ready to start making stupid comparisons about him and Leno right now.
    Let them fight for the spot

      1. Don’t ask me silly áss questions if you don’t follow the club enough to listen to and read interviews.
        lol you needed to do was to search the press conferences in which he made those statements.

    1. I wouldn’t say he is a coward for leaving its just that any goalkeeper competing with Leno is surely not guaranteed a start.

      He made the right choice and it has turned very well for him. I don’t think we have lost much from his absence either so it’s fair for both parties.

      1. Yeah I was unhappy at the prospect of losing him, but once I saw that he’d be happy and he’d get what he wants. I was happy for him even though it felt terrible to lose him.
        It’s why I don’t attack him, I just constantly wish he was confident enough to just stay when the club wanted him to.
        Having him and Leno would’ve brought the best out of both, but like you say, it was the best situation for both parties involved.
        Only thing I don’t get is fans who keep on attacking the club as though the club chased Martinez away

        1. I don’t understand it either. It has been made clear time and time again even by the player himself that it was his decision to leave.

      2. Leave Ramsdale in until he gives Arteta a reason to bench him. His distribution is better & Leno’s had quite a few howlers a la ‘Lettuce-Wrists’ Lloris at Spuds…Plus he seems an affable lad & gets on with the other players better, changes are needed!😹👍

  4. I have lost faith in Leno from the Everton game last season.. I think he is done in Arsenal but Arsenal being Arsenal they won’t realize until it has cost us.. the two goals against Brentford were goals a keeper at the level of Arsenal should be saving.. Chelsea beat us well.. Arsenal looked dangerous and was more likely to score first against Man city until Leno conceded a lobbing header from Gundogan.. it all went down hill from there.. Ramsdale might just be the man that will give us confidence at the back I don’t care if he has been relegated twice by the way you get a lot of experience from that.. Leno is like a stranger in the team always minding his business in making mistakes, communication zero, and admin is mentioning Martinez that bitch ass nigga who was not up for a fight I don’t know why some of us can’t let go of Emi I was his biggest fan but he is an Aston Villain now so he is inconsequential to my GK problems.. bottom line Ramsdale over Leno any day!!!

  5. What I’ve read between the lines is that Leno as said something that Arteta does not like so will be off next summer ,shame that fans so easily turned on Leno after his heroics in his first 2 seasons and that his downturn in form coincides with Artetas appointment as has quite a few other players .
    Feel sorry when Ramsdale fluffs his lines for the first time with some of our fans yo yo opinions .

    1. Some of us haven’t forgotten Leno heroics and I agree it is just a coincidence (or not) that Leno has turned bad after Arteta appointment. The authoritarian rule never ends well he can get rid of anyone he dislikes for whatever reasons but in the end the table will judge him. And I am expecting it sooner rather than later.

  6. When Leno displaced Czech, he wasn’t the best. Arsenal was in a pressure 2 showcase him having just signed. Even when he displaced Martinez, he still wasn’t the best. He was the coach’s choice. Now Arteta has seen what we were complaining about Leno. Tomiyasu, Lokoknga, Ramsdale & Odegaard has got me thinking Edu & Arteta did a great job at the transfers. By December, we will be talking about Leno leaving in the winter window, but Arsenal will not sell then. Maybe after.

    1. I agree the transfer business they have done is very good, and we have a very good squad on paper capable of top 4 or more nothing less.

      You can buy a person the best car in the world but if he don’t know how to drive it is useless. That is Arteta in a nutshell.

      1. Stop being negative and wishing Arteta fails thereby wishing Arsenal fails so you can win a bet.

        It’s not looking good on you.

        Stop with the rotten mind.

        They’ve signed decent players. And all is looking like a reboot and rebuild overseen by the same Arteta. Let’s just for the sake of the club and as a true fan hope it all works out well in the end.

        Not wishing the coach fails so you can have the last laugh. Invariably,.you are wishing Arsenal fails.
        What does that make you ?!


  7. “While the former Bayer Leverkusen man has shipped nine goals from our opening three league matches, Aaron has denied all challengers in his opening 180 minutes of football for our club”

    This is a fair statement and no other variables come into play like different opposition.

  8. Hopefully there’s a fair internal GK competition set by Arteta

    If either Leno or Ramsdale and the outfield players lose a game, the GK has to step down for the other one. This method would likely make them more focused in the games

    Ramsdale did well against Norwich, but I haven’t seen anything special that sets him apart from Leno yet

  9. Comparing Ramsdale to Leno after one performance against Norwich is a bit soon don’t you think? I’m sure MA will give him a run before he makes a decision on who is the No. 1.

  10. Ramsdale has a commanding presence in the box , Leno is inconsistent from mid of last year , lacks confidence now . When our defense is new , better to have a GK who commands the box. I would have expected Leno to that , being Germany No: 2 and his experience …he failed

  11. Ramsdale looked confident, agile, strong, commanding, though it is only one game. Leno for me has done enough this season and in the last to warrant being dropped. Ramsdale will obviously have more difficult tasks to come, he will have bad days but hopefully he’ll rise above them and remain confident, and brave. I’d like to see him throw the ball like Smeichel used to, he looks strong enough for it to be a threat when opponents are pressing us high.

  12. Arteta must have picked Ramsdale for a reason. You don’t put out your second choice keeper in such an important match if you don’t trust him. Norwich may have been an ‘easier’ fixture but after the 3 losses it was no time to take chances

  13. In every game I have watche with Leno in goal for the last 7-8 months I have been nervous. He won’t leave his line, doesn’t command his box, doesn’t say a word to his defenders. He is not a leader, can’t play with his feet, and makes some very ba positional errors leading to goals. His only asset is shot-stopping, and although that’s obviously critical it’s only one of the many skills required of a modern keeper. I feel his presence has undermined the confidence of his outfield defenders considerably. I have never felt he was a great keeper either before arriving and during his earlier days here. Awards were earned because not only are stopping shots the most eye-catching aspect of a keepers duties whilst Leno’s failings are less obviously important, but a keeper in a poor team is often given more praise than they merit
    Since Ramsdale has started I feel a sense of confidence that our defence as a whole will be calmer, better organised and make less mistakes.
    And I’m sorry there can be no layalty in the football business, whatever Leno may have done. Like financial investments, “past performance is no guarantee of future results”. Anyone who says either that Leno should keep his place because he was good a season ago, or that we owe a player loyalty, or that he has not let us down, is talking rubbish and deep down they know it.
    I can see Ramsdale becoming an undroppable fan favourite very quickly, because he is what we have needed for a couple of seasons.

    1. I agree Guy.Leno is a very good shot stopper ,but that is only one aspect of keeping, and like you, he has never filled me , nor I suspect, his defenders, with confidence.It’s no coincidence that the best 3 teams in the League have goalkeepers who have real presence, including Mendy of Chelsea who has made an enormous difference to that side.

  14. Leno can’t kick the ball a two meters pass and is unsuited to playing from the back. Even though he’s been doing it for two seasons he’s not getting better. I don’t know if he can’t or if he just won’t put the extra effort. He puts fellow players in awkward situations and don’t inspire confidence or communicate with his defenders when defending set pieces. Not that long ago Mari yelled to him after a terrible pass, I think it was in the opening game actually. He’ should be sold in January. Then we need a goal keeper to compete with Ramsdale, may be the suspended Ajax guy if he’s up to the hype. While he’s starting to train to compete Ramsdale will have got a good run in the league.

  15. I believe that LENO’s form has markedly declined since prior to Martinez being sold and that Leno is not NOW the same keeper he was back then.

    So, that being the case, RAMSDALE will now, IMO, remain as first choice until and unless he proves not good enough.

    Like many Gooners, he would not have been my ideal preferred choice to come to our club, BUT as he is here and currently first choice, I will support him and themanager for picking him.

    We will see what transpires in good time but, as ever, I preach patience to certain fans who have little or none at all.

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