“Is this guy even a goalkeeper?” Pundit slams Raya for diving before Kane took penalty

Rafael van der Vaart has criticised David Raya for his actions before Harry Kane’s spot-kick last night.

Raya has been a pivotal figure for Arsenal this season, assuming the number-one goalkeeper role from Aaron Ramsdale. He has generally performed well and was instrumental in the Gunners’ victory over FC Porto via penalties in the Champions League round of 16.

Despite initially facing scepticism from fans when replacing Ramsdale, Raya has won their support and has been tipped to contribute to Arsenal’s trophy aspirations.

However, his handling of Kane’s penalty left much to be desired, prompting criticism from Van der Vaart and others.

The former Premier League star said, as quoted by The Sun:

“Take a look at Raya. Is this guy even a goalkeeper?

“Kane doesn’t even make a movement but Raya just falls to the ground already.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Penalties are tricky for goalkeepers to save and Raya has already shown weeks ago that he can save them, so last night should not make us question his ability on spot kicks.

In the return leg, we will need Raya to pull off some very big saves to help us win the game. 

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Tags David Raya Rafael Van Der Vaart


  1. I thought it was a weak effort, but there is no doubt he was instrumental in us making the quarter finals. You win some, you lose some.

    1. I get that Raya did not look when the penalty was taken. There is a reasonable explanation for what happened. However, far too many are overly invested in their negativity towards Raya to do anything but criticise and complain.
      That so many are piling in to support the view of an ex-Spurs man is disturbing.

  2. Raya was awful last night Reggie – he was nearly at the centre circle on occasions!!
    His so called distribution strength saw him bowling the ball out to one of the back four 99% of the time and for the penalty, he was diving to his right before Kane had finished his run up!!

    Still, as SueP correctly says, his penalty heroics against Porto and city in the CS has to be considered and remembered.

    1. As I said ken, last night he was poor. He was brought in as an upgrade on Ramsdale and I am struggling to think how Ramsdale would have been worse against Bayern, than Raya. I am not convinced by him but in the league, because we are top, I cant knock him either. Last night, he didn’t convince. In fact, he looked totally out of his depth.

      1. Agree, but if I was to point out that he’s playing to instructions, I would be accused of not backing the system… funny old game!!

      2. “Totally out of his depth?” Oh come on Reggie, you can do better than that!

        Such OTT criticism for basically ONE mistake where he came out too far. Context and sensible comments are important . They are both missing in your post!

        1. I disagree Jon.
          He was all over the place in THIS game and the ball was a hot potato whenever he had it.
          He never tried to calm down the situation and his distribution was confined to the back four.

          Everyone has a bad game and, maybe out of his depth was a tad OTT but he certainly was in the deep end without a paddle last night!!
          So much so, that I would think about throwing Ramsdale in to said deep end in the return match and see if he would sink or swim – he wouldn’t do any worse in my opinion.

    2. Ken1945
      I’ve been pretty convinced by Raya most of the time although it took a bit of time before the defence and Raya got used to each other. In the first city game I thought he was a bundle of nerves in the first half and then settled down and this has occurred a couple of times since imo.
      Until Ramsdale got sidelined, that was never something I had associated with him – in fact quite the opposite.

      I couldn’t agree more with you regarding Raya’s feeble showing against Kane’s penalty and I can only wonder at how he could then have been so self assured in the Porto game.

      1. That’s a good point SueP – perhaps Kane’s reputation as a penalty taker got to him?
        But I felt he was either nervous, or unsure throughout the game and I couldn’t believe how much he came out of his area in order to be part of a move – only to be ignored by his defenders.

        As I said, his distribution was confined to sideway, underarm bowling out to Gabriel or Saliba and got us nowhere.
        Still, as you say, his previous penalty saves got us there, so we move on – but I really would be tempted to play Ramsdale for the villa game and the return Bayern game – thank goodness I don’t have to make that decision, although the reported £8 million salary would come in handy!!

  3. I saw that and wondered too! He was already moving to the right even before Kane finished running. If it was different teams and a different competition, most would easily suspect match fixing.
    He needs to understand he’s no longer in Brentford and calm his excitement. Pathetic

  4. Raya had a poor game last night but has played well in recent months. It should be remembered that he is inexperienced at competing for honours when the pressure really winds up so will make mistakes. Other Arsenal players have the learning from last season or experience of European honours elsewhere, but even then the outfield players didn’t perform at their best – the Champion League Knock out stages are in a “different league” that really tests everything.
    A no from me to Ramsdale coming back, as some people suggested, as his confidence has been shot by his treatment (similar but not the same scenario as Joe Hart) and needs to leave to rebuild his confidence

    1. I do agree with you regarding Ramsdale replacing Raya at this stage of the competition. He too was nervy against Brentford when that game was an opportunity to outshine Raya, and I don’t think he did. (Although he did make some important saves) If he isn’t any better than Raya in Germany next week – or worse, then I would really fear for his confidence and the backlash. There has been a great relationship between the back players with Raya and that took a while to bed in, so I wouldn’t be looking to change it.

      What would have been better for Ramsdale was to get a chance to play in the Carabao Cup at least.

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