Should Ryan Play on Thursday? By Dan
In the movie Space Jam, the Monsters steal the NBA players powers and suddenly professional basketball players lose all their skill.
That’s what I’m left thinking when I watch Leno at the moment. Although in my imagination , the German’s talent has been stolen by Martinez.
I never rated our keeper as one of the best in the division, he makes too many mistakes for that. In the world of instant reaction though, some Gooners were calling him world class after a few games (like they did with Gabriel).
Some readers on JustArsenal do what the world seems to do when you have an alternative opinion. I was told I had an agenda, was picking on Leno for simply pointing out the amount of errors he makes. That in my mind makes him good but not great.
I started to notice he lacked the concentration skills to go to that next level. Arsenal like to have possession, so in some games our goalie might not have lots to do for the majority of the 90 mins but has to keep his mind prepared. Last season Spurs, Everton, Chelsea and Olympiakos all scored due to a Leno blooper.
The most concerning was his gaffe in the Europa League when all he had to do was kick the ball up the pitch and we would have been through to the next round. Instead the pressure drowned him. He inexplicably put the ball out for a corner, giving the visitors one last opportunity.
That was the moment I doubted his long-term future.
If the Gunners are to return to previous levels, then we will face far bigger occasions then a knockout tie of a UEFA secondary competition. That’s why I wouldn’t start him on Thursday.
Whether it was the injury in his last campaign, or his confidence was hurt by some wanting Martinez to stay as number one, his form has declined.
He’s made howlers in the last two rounds of the Europa as well as in the Group stages. We are not going to keep getting away with it. Is it a coincidence that he’s gone backwards without competition for his spot?
I just think Leno could benefit from being taken out of the firing line.
Matt Ryan isn’t an understudy without experience. He’s a 29-year-old who’s played 123 Prem games and has 65 caps for his country so he can be trusted.
At Brighton he may not have been trained to play out from the back as much as the modern-day keeper, but that might not be a bad thing as we don’t seem to be benefitting from that tactic.
It’s also morally right to give someone a chance if one of their peers is struggling.
Leno has just allowed a ball to squirm under his body.
In possession (meant to be his strong point) his passing has put teammates into trouble at Burnley, Vienna, home to Olympiakos and don’t get me started on what he did at Wolves.
If a striker was going through a goal drought you would expect another forward to get a chance.
It’s a big decision for Arteta to make, because it’s one that could cost us our whole season.
The irony being it could be the second year in a row we put our trust in our number 2 for the run in. When that happened 12 months ago it was the platform for Martinez to earn cult hero status in North London.
Maybe Matt Ryan can do the same?
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