Last season I felt obliged to point out Leno’s mistakes as some gooners were getting carried away. They had read his reputation as Germany’s future number one and quickly labelled the Arsenal Number One as one of the best keepers in the Premier League.
Don’t get me wrong there were games where he came to our rescue, but claims he was one of our players of the season should be put in perspective when you consider it was our worst League finish in 25 years.
This year though, I’m no longer making the argument that he’s not one of the best goalies in England, I’m making a case that he’s not good enough if we want to return to our previous levels.
At the very high end of competition (that’s where we should be targeting) you rarely win major honours without a very good GK, and for me Leno makes too many mistakes to be considered that.
Understandably he took time to recover from a lengthy injury and maybe even lost some confidence due to the constant comparisons with Martinez, who a section of our fan base didn’t like being sold.
I felt over Christmas, the German refound his mojo but recently the errors have crept back in.
The nature of our comeback on Sunday overshadowed that he was responsible for West Ham’s second, with keepers taught it’s a sin to be beaten at your near post.
The previous week his kicking (meant to be his strength) put Ceballos under pressure which gifted Olympiakos a goal, something he had done earlier in the Europa League to hand Rapid Vienna a lead.
Ridiculous talk of conspiracies and agendas meant he escaped any backlash for deciding against Wolves to charge out of his penalty area and blatantly punch the ball away. To panic that way, with the team already down to 10 men shows a lack of composure. It reminds me of 12 months ago in Europe he needlessly kicked the ball out for a corner which led to our exit.
Those are the biggest mistakes to worry about as they highlight, he doesn’t have the mentality when the stakes are high.
At Anfield and the Etihad he pushed the ball back into the middle when he would have been taught to palm the ball to your side.
He was out of position for Vardy’s header at the Emirates.
Last season I recall mistakes that led to goals for Chelsea, Everton and Spurs.
Simply these are too many for Leno to be considered world class.
If we want to be in the Champions League next season, we have to win the Europa League. That’s a lot of pressure to deal with in the knockout rounds so you need everyone with a strong mindset, especially in a crucial position like who is in goal.
My worry is Leno is becoming unreliable. He could be having a quiet game where we are in control and suddenly, he’s passing the ball to the opponent, charging out of goal or missing a cross.
This isn’t saying he’s not a good keeper, but I am asking is he good enough to take us back to the level we belong at?
To me he makes too many mistakes…
Let me know your opinions?
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