Did Arteta make a mistake by playing “edgy and nervy” David Raya against Man City?

We hosted Man City at the Emirates this past Sunday in a top-of-the-table Premier League showdown, and the Citizens, like us, were eager to take all three points.

Our star boy, Bukayo Saka, did not make the matchday squad to face the defending champions, and many believed we would lose that game without his influence, given that Martinelli was also not starting. Nonetheless, Mikel Arteta’s decisions for our starting lineup paid off, as did his substitutions, and we won the game 1-0.

However, there are some of our players with whom we are unconvinced, and many of us would like Arteta to be ruthless and drop them.

David Raya is one such player. Many supporters were interested to see if Arteta would replace him with Aaron Ramsdale against Manchester City after some of us criticized his performance against Lens. That wasn’t the case and Raya confirmed that he could be our No. 1 after all.

Raya certainly didn’t have a good game against Manchester City, especially in the first half. His long ball distribution was wrong (though it improved as the game proceeded), his starting the ball from the back felt risky at times with City great at pressing, and he almost conceded a silly goal due to Julian Alvarez’s pressure. A ball was played back to the Spaniard, and he took his time selecting a pass, seemingly unaware that Julián Álvarez was closing him down. The striker emerged just as he kicked it, but fortunately for him, the ball ricocheted onto the side net rather than into the net for a goal.

I’m sure most Arsenal fans were unimpressed by David Raya’s shaky performance in the first half against City, which pressured some of us. Some Arsenal fans would have persuaded Arteta to make the goalie substitution he hinted at one day if they got the chance.

While the game was in the half-time break, Theo Walcott suggested that the loanee from Brentford was fortunate not to have conceded and that he was putting too much pressure on the audience.

“He’s not conceding, which is a bonus,” said Walcott.”He’s been a bit edgy and nervy, which could be the occasion; you sense the fans are getting on his back a bit.”He’s very edgy right now; the stadiums not giving him confidence.”

Other than Walcott, Gary Neville, who was also on Sky Sports commentary, commented in the half-time of that game, “I can spot a keeper a mile off; that’s a nervous wreck, and there’s one right in front of you.

“The mistake in midweek, he’s carried into this game. He’s not sharp enough, and he’s very lucky. It’s quite obvious the goalkeeper is struggling, but he’s still playing it short. They’re going to get punished if they’re not careful.”

Piers Morgan also called him out, continuing to complain about why Ramsdale is warming the bench. He said on talkSPORT, “I think we’ve still got issues. I’m not convinced by [David] Raya in goal; I think he was very jittery for much of the game.”I don’t think he’s an upgrade on what I’ve seen so far of [Aaron] Ramsdale, who must be feeling sick as a pig sitting on the bench every day watching this stuff.”

By now, I’m forced to ask; Are you comfortable with Raya taking the lead role at goal?

Darren N


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  1. Raya couldn’t escape from Alvarez’s high-press once, but his long passes to Jesus were accurate

    Ramsdale did similar mistakes too. I don’t think Raya is better than Ramsdale, but maybe Arteta has other reasons for playing Raya ahead of Ramsdale

    1. I think Raya is a bit better and he needs a few more matches to get used to the team and he will be even better

      1. Perhaps Raya is slightly better in set-pieces. I agree Raya needs more games to click with his new teammates, but he’d better do it in Carabao Cup and FA Cup first

    2. Gai, the way Alvarez and City press on Sunday even Ramsdale would be jetery. I like Raya’s long ball to Jesus and his corner kick catch. May be he is still adapting to his new team mates but so far can’t see why he is better than Ramsdale. I guess Arteta is trying to test him with enough games considering he is in loan. The danger is hope Ramsdale don’t become rusty. Personally, I like the person of Ramsdale he seem an enthusiastic Gunner fan

      1. I agree, Sylva. Man City were way more confident than us at high-pressing

        We know Ramsdale was beaten several times from tight angles. I’d like to see whether Raya has the same problem or not

        1. City were more confident pressing because they knew we didn’t have an outlet to play long when pressed like they had with haaland. As soon as havertz came on that changed

    3. We WON first time in n number of years against City with Raya, something that Ramsdale could not achieve collectively with the team or individually as a GK.
      Raya kept a clean sheet.
      What more do people want?
      The only person who should be concerned is Ramsdale. like the lad, but if “Prof.” Mikel is achieving wonders with Raya, then who are we to complain?

      1. It’s nice to win against Man City after eight years of waiting. But we lost against Lens, partly because one of Raya’s long passes

    4. Aaron’s weakness is Arial balls and that’s where David beat him and even on feet is better than Aaron with all due respect.

  2. Yes Raya was very edgy in the first half but Arteta wasn’t to know beforehand, except of course if Raya was showing signs of extreme nervousness before the game. Ramsdale too has had edgy times in goal and I think it’s something that can happen to any player at some point in a game. He certainly made up for it though in the second half by absolutely commanding his area and pinging long passes to our forwards. Does he play in the next game? That’s a decision for Arteta to make.

  3. The atmosphere was one that made everyone nervous and I don’t understand why there is no recognition of the defence putting some really dodgy back passes to him as well.
    ARTETA himself has said that Raya was doing what he was instructed to do and – as noted above – he got much better in the second half.

    I have no opinion as to who’s the better keeper, having watched Ramsdale make errors as well, but it’s MA ‘s call and we got the three points.

  4. A clean sheet is still a clean sheet, and I love Raya long distributions. City were forced to rush back numerous times due to the long balls to Jesus and I believe that plays a major role in spoiling City’s game plan.

    I still do have a lot of love for Ramsdale and the fact that he is young means he will only get better. Maybe a little unfair for the lad as he started the season without Saliba and Gabriel protecting the goal.

    Perhaps when Raya starts declining on the clean sheet stats, Arteta can pass the baton to Ramsdale?

  5. Both GK have shown errors in judgement as well as moments of distribution that need to improve.

    Don’t see where one is above the other as neither has shown performances to create a noticeable difference and clear improvement or upgrade.

    Just my opinion of course.

    1. You are very correct @Durand

      Let’s not forget Ramsdale committed several errors last season and one before that as well.

    2. Why should Raya distribute the ball in the centre of the pitch which is more risty compared to side distribution which is much safer with less pressure? He always does it and give more pressure to the defence.

      Does Arteta see this?

  6. On contrary of ‘popular’ belief, David Raya was not a nervous wreck at all. Instead, he was supremely confident. His role was to bait the City players for higher press. He followed Arteta’s clear instructions. And he was courageous enough to do it again and again despite those mistakes and the crowd moans. He needs his teammates to find space because Man City played the high pressing game to the tee in the first half. Once Martinelli came in, our game was way better. Can’t believe some idiots get paid for being idiots.

  7. Going to a nerve-wracking game can make any player uneasy. The entire squad had an unconvincing display of football in the first 45minutes.

  8. What we have not seen yet, in RAYA’s case, with one single exception, is a true world class save of the type that RAMSDALE HAS BECOME LEGENDARY FOR SHOWING US SO OFTEN.

    I will be frank and say my preference is for RAMSDALE IN GOAL.

      1. Yes KEN, that single so far , top class save WAS the one and only I referred to.

        Until Raya has proven he can stop “worldies” any keepers PRIME raison d’etre, which is often forgotten in this “good with his feet world” we inhabit today, then he has NOT proven himself Ramsdales equal, let alone his “superior.”

  9. No is the answer, Arteta did not make a mistake, We beat city and Raya was a part a part of that!!!

    We have got to have our players backs, Raya is own of our own now, support him, appreciate him and give him the opportunity to learn the BIG stage, remember he was a championship player back in 2019.

  10. I was one nervous wreck with the Spaniard between the sticks making those short passes, we are lucky not to concede from near misses if you ask me.

    Surely Raya must be better than Sunday’s display, but I will continue to say trying to keep both is against conventional wisdom.

  11. I still support Arteta’s decision to replace Ramsdale, although I’m yet to see much of an upgrade, if any, with Raya.

    MA rarely gets it wrong when replacing players, so I’m hoping that with a bit more game time for Raya we’ll see his decision fully justified.

  12. Arteta’s plan was to bait Man City players and Raya successfully did that despite of some mistakes. That opened up avenue of passes which allowed Arsenal to go crazy in the second half. I would rather watch an intelligent tactician at work than listening to insufferable dumb pundits.

  13. I still don’t know why arteta has decided to bench Ramsdale because he has grown with confidence.

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