With players on international break, it’s common they give interviews with their national press which tend to get lost in translation.
Bernd Leno will most likely be asked by the German media why he’s currently not playing for Arsenal?
His country will be expecting their keeper to expand on an interview he gave to SportBild where he’s been quoted saying, ‘There was no clear reason why I was out, but It had nothing to do with my performance.’
In one sentence he ended his Gunners career in my opinion.
Days later Arteta would confirm his goalkeeper was lying because there had in fact been ‘a very clear conversation with him 48 hours before I was going to make a decision.’
The 29-year-old is either trying to protect his value by trying to convince any potential suitors that there is nothing wrong with his form, or worse, he’s deluded and actually believes he’s playing better then what is reality.
Either way it shows a mentality not strong enough for the level we want to return to.
What the very best athletes do in adversity is they take accountability, they take ownership, they acknowledge their short comings.
Because only when you admit there is a problem can you find a solution.
That’s not to say you have to lose the self-belief which made you a professional sports person, but you have to accept you will have moments where things don’t go well.
So, Mr Leno let me try and help you as you can’t possibly make sense why you are no longer our number 1….
In Mikel Arteta’s first home game as manager he was on course for a 1-0 win over Chelsea when you decided to charge out for a corner, miss the ball and present them with an open goal.
A month later an Everton goal squeezed through your legs.
Days later with seconds remaining in the Europa League second leg against Olympiakos instead of kicking the ball up the pitch, you lacked any kind of composure and kicked the ball out for a needless corner.
So, in a new managers first 3 months in the job he had witnessed his GK make three costly errors.
You then got injured in our second fixture back in Project Restart.
In your absence we won the FA Cup as Martinez showed more presence in the air then you ever did and seemed to bring confidence to his back 4/5.
When the Argentine gave us an ultimatum though we showed a loyalty towards you and gave you every opportunity.
Whether it was the injury or the knowledge that some gooners preferred Martinez you seemed to have lost a lot of confidence ever since.
At Anfield and the Etihad you were beaten at your near post, a big no-no in the keeper’s manual.
You were out of position against Leicester allowing Vardy to head into an empty net.
Your ability on the ball (or lack of) cost us goals in Vienna and played Xhaka into trouble at Burnley.
I still don’t understand what you were thinking at Wolves when you charged out and needlessly handled the ball getting an obvious red card.
West Ham and Everton both scored goals that went through your body.
At this point we were looking for alternatives to, at the very least, give you competition which might help you raise standards.
Instead, you conceded 9 goals in three games with Brentford scoring from a throw in!
Now that we had bought Ramsdale it made sense to give him a chance and to his credit he’s kept 4 clean sheets in 5 games. He’s had the baton and until he drops it, he deserves to stay between the posts.
So, in conclusion the reason you have been on the bench is the same reason that you don’t play for Germany …. there are better options.
Finally, whisper this quietly, maybe you’re not as good as you think you are?
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