Bernd Leno is not a weak link and some perspective is required

All top-class goalkeepers make mistakes, some more than others, they also make some great saves and feed confidence to the defence but some people are questioning whether Bernd Leno falls into that category of a top-class keeper.

For the record, I actually rate Leno very highly and believe that he will be the Arsenal number one for years but I have seen murmurings on this site and elsewhere questioning the Germans reliability.

I accept that he does make mistakes, he clearly did against Tottenham but then he also made a fantastic save from Son and overall I do find him reliable, put it this way, Hugo Lloris, David de Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga have made just as many, if not more, mistakes than Leno over the last 12 months.

Leno’s distribution does leave a lot to be desired, that is the weakest part of his game but apart from that, I cannot see any justification in questioning his quality at the highest level.

It should also be remembered that he does not have a world-class defence in front of him and because of that he is called into action far more often than he should be and that does lead to mistakes because any keeper with a dodgy defence in front of them is called into action more often and the law of averages means mistakes happen.

I have no doubt that if Liverpool’s Alisson and Man City’s Ederson had to play with the Arsenal defence they would end up making just as many mistakes as Leno.

Seems to me that some perspective is required and Leno is a genuinely top-class keeper.


  1. ThirdManJW says:

    Well said. I’m surprised some have criticized him, when you consider he gets zero protection from our defence.

  2. Innit says:

    When a GK has a weak defence there isn’t much he can do. Actually the defence includes GK, defensive midfielder and other players playing defensively when they need to. It’s a team effort

    It’s funny Fabianski has turned into a very good Premier League goalkeeper. So has Szczesny for Juventus. Actually Szczesny won the Golden Glove with us. We should have kept him

    1. Lenohappy says:

      Szczesny is a way better than Leno and fabianski has always been a good goalkeeper, Leno has always been a good shotstopper but to me he’s not in the top 5 premier league goalkeeper.

      1. Loki says:

        I agree Szczesny is an excellent keeper. Now try to remember and recollect the blunders ans mistakes Szczesny did when he was at arsenal and Leno will start looking like a top goalkeeper again

  3. mayert says:

    I love how arsenal fans create all kinds of excuses for their misfiring stars…

    I’ve always said and will say it again.. EMILIANO MARTINEZ is better than this Leno guy.

    Not only is he home-grown talent, I’ve rated him way back even higher than the lousy Cech. Back then I was wondering why Wenger was loaning him out (the last loan to… Betis??) but he realized his mistakes and recalled him.

    Height, punching, positioning, distribution.. name it, he’s better than Leno in virtually everything. Just like Mavropanos is our second-best defender after Luiz.

    1. Nonny says:

      Thats a very strong one. But its just your opinion, mavropanos our second best cb after luiz if his our second afer luiz who is the 3rd best i have no problem

    2. Goonerresponse says:

      What scale do you rate a player on when they haven’t played competitive premier league matches? How can you state he’s better than Leno? Leno who has been one of more reliable players, and probably the best goalie we’ve had since Lehman.

      And then you go on a pick a defender that has played maybe 5 competitive games for the first team and rate him as the second best defender – most of which were 3 years ago?

      And then pick a defender in luiz, calling him the best, even though his individual errors have led to more goals against us than anyone else this season.

  4. Agu Emen says:

    Goal keeper is the most important player in a football team.
    They can make ten brilliant saves but if they let
    in the winning goal they are sent to the gallows.
    Dying by a thousand stuff ups sums up English cricket.
    99 minutes on the razors edge sums up following Arsenal.
    GK is the last line in defence. A line of one!
    Imprisoned in their 18 yard box marshaling the defences
    time and time again they throw back the enemy.
    Then at days end whether in victory or defeat
    they gather their gloves and disappear down the tunnel.
    The stadium goes quiet the game is over…for now.

  5. Lenohappy says:

    I first saw Leno in action against Australia at the confederation cup, the coach started him in the first match ahead of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and he made two mistakes that resulted to goal and nearly cost his team, though they ended up winning 3:2.And since then he hasn’t been called to the national team, he was not even part of the Germany world cup team. Leno has always been a great shotstopper but that’s not enough for a so called top keeper,each time a Cross comes inside our box am always scared not because of our defense but because of Leno.

    1. Diogenes says:

      – No. 1 in the EPL in mistakes leading to goal (those are not mistakes due to defenders), which means more than the ones you quote.

      – Weak ball distribution

      – Uncertain with high balls

      – But a great shotstopper

      Good enough if our ambition is to stay in the top 6, probably not if we aim higher. On the other hand, over a season a keeper is not as influential as some other positions, so if everything else is sorted out, he could still be good enough for the top 4 “trophy”.

      1. I’m not of the opinion that he ain’t making mistakes but have you watched Hugo Lloris of late, especially the game between Tottenham vs Mancity and Tottenham vs Arsenal. Watch those clips and see his individual mistakes. I don’t know why Arsenal fans are quick to attack their own but celebrate others.

  6. David Seaman says:

    Criticism is good but we need to appreciate Leno.I’m sure on hid day is one of the best keepers.Lets all back him

  7. Mig says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you. He is probably one of if not the best close range shot stopper in the world. He has incredible reactions and I believe this more than makes up for a few mistakes he makes. But I also think he’s adapted really well to the PL and he’s a fast learner. I have no doubt we won’t see that kind of mistake again he will have been practicing that type of save where he need to push it well clear.

  8. Simon says:

    Leno makes good saves and bad mistakes.. people tend to remember mistakes than saves

  9. Sue says:

    I preferred Leno to Cech… yes he makes mistakes, but unfortunately most of our team do…. a lot of the time though, he proves you don’t have to splash out 71m for a ‘decent’ keeper – 19m was a bargain

  10. Loose Cannon says:

    Almunia, Fabianski, Manone, Schnezy all had a poor GK coach.Thats why Schez and Fabiansky improoved elsewhere.Leno is rock solid and all GKs make mistakes, only Leno is doubted. And our defence is bottom 15 -20 quality.We are top 6 is due to Torerra, Auba and Laca.Remove them from the team and we are relegation material.Hoping Tierney and Hector join the team sooner than later.

  11. Henry says:

    Hector is no way near Miles. Unlike Miles, Hector will always allow crosses to be whipped in by
    the opposition wingers into Arsenal 18 area on his watch. Defending space is never the best way of defending

  12. Viju Jacob says:

    One of Leno’s biggest weakness is he isn’t vocal…doesn’t shout out to his defenders guiding them to problems areas. His ball gathering also needs improvement, instead of just punching away every single time.

  13. eric says:

    i am still waiting to see the day he will save a penalty

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