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?
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