The Arsenal keeper conundrum – Shouldn’t we just trust Arteta to make the right choices?

In the quest for Premier League glory, every decision matters, and for Arsenal and our manager, Mikel Arteta, the choice between goalkeepers has become a focal point of discussion among fans and pundits alike. At the heart of this debate is the contrasting styles of David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale, both competitive options vying for the pivotal role between the sticks.

Raya’s approach to the game is defined by his willingness to take risks, a quality that aligns with what Arteta seems to be seeking. Despite the inherent potential for mistakes, Arteta appears to value the rewards reaped from Raya’s bold ball-playing abilities. Furthermore, Raya’s adeptness at handling high balls, particularly crosses, addresses a historical weakness for the team.

One cannot overlook the mental fortitude displayed by Raya amidst intense scrutiny from fans, opposing supporters, and pundits alike. This resilience speaks volumes about the character of the player, and it’s a quality that can prove invaluable in high-stakes matches.

In contrast, Ramsdale has not had an easy path either. Having surpassed a predecessor, he now faces the prospect of being displaced himself. This dynamic competition is a testament to the fierce drive for excellence within the Arsenal squad.

Fans’ sentiments and emotional attachments are natural, but ultimately, Arteta’s role demands a degree of pragmatism and ruthlessness. He must make decisions based on what he believes will best serve the team’s ambitions. History has shown that Arteta’s judgment, even when contentious, has often been vindicated.

The parallels to past player situations, such as the Ozil and Aubameyang sagas, underscore the importance of trusting the manager’s vision. It’s a reminder that sometimes, to progress to the next level, sentimentality must be set aside in favor of calculated strategic choices.

Ultimately, the choice between Raya and Ramsdale will come down to the metrics that matter most to Arteta. It’s the little extra margins, the intangible qualities that one brings to the pitch, that can be the deciding factor. As the battle for the starting goalkeeper position unfolds, Arteta faces a pivotal decision that could significantly impact Arsenal’s trajectory in the Premier League.

The trust and faith placed in the manager’s judgment may ultimately prove to be the driving force behind the team’s success.

Jack Anderson

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Tags Aaron Ramsdale Raya


  1. We haven’t lost any EPL game yet with Raya and maybe there’s a clause about minimum playing time on his loan contract

  2. I liked reading the articles reasons for making RAYA the first pick. I thought , from the writers viewpoint, it was a well written piece.

    However, I disagree with most of it. Except what the writer says MA wants, which I DO agree about.


    I accept that keepers are now expected to be good with distribution, but I BELIEVE Ramsdale IS top class at doing so and he has a far better proven pedigree than RAYA at making TOP CLASS saves, which I never overlook, is THE PRIME REASON for any keeper to earn his place.

    But that matters not, as all opinions when written well and detailed reasons given for the views held, are well worth reading.

  3. What a conundrum we have here
    Love AR
    A complete upgrade on Leno and has done a great job between the sticks for us and saved some big piunts for us but has also been prone to some mistake none ls

    Less then southampton at home last season
    Is DR better then AR . On paper his stats are great
    Has made a lot of.mistakes and got away with it and the scoreline will reflects that to date bar lens
    My theory
    DR is on loan
    We won’t sign him As he will go abroad at the end of the season when his contract ends
    MA hopes AR has it in him to fight for his spot and kicks on after being given a scare
    Either way
    Who ever is in between the sticks I hope they keep plenty of clean sheets
    Onwards a d upwards

    1. Interesting Alan that you think RAYA will be on his way, come seasons end. Though I much hope RAMSDALE BECOMES FIRST CHOICE, and from right now too, I see it as more likely, unless he is soon reinstated, that HE will request a transfer by next summer at latest, quite possibly sooner.

      I pray that RAMSDALE is soon and IMO rightly restored to first choice keeper. I could well accept RAYA LEAVING,if he does go, but NOT Ramsdale.

      Long term all experienced football watchers must surely KNOW that two top keepers cannot remain together in the same club.
      I believe Raya is a top keeper, though to me and in our shirt he is yet to prove it RAMSDALE PROVED IT CONSISTENTLY OVER THE LAST TWO FULL SEASONS, by contrast
      I always prefer tangible and ample evidence to mere unproven opinions. Ramsdale has given evidence in spades.

  4. The writer brilliantly prosecuted the case for Raya and has cleverly crafted Ozil and Abayang as prime example why fans should trust the managers judgment, no doubt such parallels will plays in those former players distrators narrative.

    In my opinion there is no significant difference between the two goalies apart from the gaffer been a little more fond of his country man, and the fact he would slide into Pep Guardiola Man city team seamlessly.

    My experience taught me that Raya joining Arsenal is much more than a simple straight forward loan as one would think, and the lad is very much here to stay.

    1. But he forgot quite shamefully the massive mistake of not having the foresight to make Martinez our no1. The rest is just bolloxs. He sold Martinez and has not got in a bette keeper.

    2. I am not sold on RAYA and have yet to be convinced by him. But the article using those two arch shirkers, Ozil esp, and also the latter Auba, was an irrelevent analogy, IMO.
      I also believe in trusting the managers vision, but it is easier NOW to trust MA, than it once was when he foolishly chose that arch shirker OZIL and also Auba , when both had effectively already retired from work, even while still wearing OUR shirt during matches.

      I can see he has learned from those two gross errors and now we have not a single shirker or lazy player in our entire squad, which is a huge reason, among many others, WHY our squad is so united and dynamic.
      MA has , after his learning curve period, learned never to tolerate passengers ever again. Hurray!

  5. Fair point. Raya’s ability to start a counter attack with his accurate long range balls gives him an edge over Ramsdale.

    There is also one other thing that is overlooked. Raya often catches the ball as opposed to punching it, like Ramsdale.

  6. Call Mikel whatever you wish to. The Magician has manages to beat City in the league for the first time since when? The man with the Midas touch – Marteneli, Saka, White, Rice, Tomiyasu are some examples of the gold class. While I do like Ramsdael, but Raya is a notch better – he knows when to play from the back and when to start a counter – something Ramsdale needs to learn from him. We are just 2 points off the leaders after 10 rounds, we are grinding wins/draws from nothing most of the times, this is one hallmark of Mikel. In the past we would have accepted defeat in 60th minute, now we fight back till the very last 60 seconds. Nevertheless, Ramsdale is not a rotten apple unlike those whom Mikel binned. He has a future, he will do well and lets wish the lad well.

  7. Ramsdale is relatively younger and could be of a longer service to us all things being equal. The presence of Raya could help push his game even higher and to our benefit.

    I really love Aaron Ramsdale at Arsenal. Whether or not he stays is entirely up to him and MA and how he (AR) responds to his current circumstances.

    And having said this, I don’t believe the Manager is as blank as some comments suggest about what’s going on with our current goalkeeping issue. Whatever the case, we’ll judge him (MA) for his handling of the situation in time as either an enemy or friend of the Arsenal.

    For now, all the best for our excellent and mature goalkeepers!!!

  8. While all of us are entitled to our opinions on who we believe should be playing in any position for Arsenal, there is only one person who’s opinion counts, Mikel Arteta.
    As manager of Arsenal FC, Arteta will thrive or fall on the selections he makes and the success or failure which results.

  9. Let’s also not forget there are only a handful of world class managers in the world and so many are poor. The pundits for example who talk about what a manager should do are just for show. Take Gary Neville for example, was a very poor Sevilla Manager but talks a lot about where things are wrong. Trust “any” manager who changes things round for a Club. Someone like Diego Simeone for example. Atletico Madrid were nobody’s but now make up the top 3 in Spain. I won’t say De Zerbi because Potter started it. Funnily ex Arsenal Manager Emery may fall in to this category as Aston Villa were a shambles before him fighting relegation regularly.
    The match between Man ITD and City where UTD left horrendous gaps at the back is not seen at Arsenal. One example, when City were halfway on the pitch in possession UTD had 5 players in attack. Arsenal always have 10 man vehind the ball when this happens.
    Finally Arsenal are probably the only team in the world who seem to find managers who are nobody’s then gems later. Wenger and Arteta for example. So let’s go and hope for a successful season. If we don’t win anything this season, don’t worry, we definitely are heading in the right direction. Do not crucify him

    1. GEMS sparkle for different timespans when we are talking about football managers and not actual diamonds.

      Right now, MA and also Emery are others sparkling bright.

  10. Whenever Raya collects one of those crosses he regularly gathers maybe we should ask ourselves what would have happened if it’d been Ramsdale opting to punch the ball back into play or leaving it for our defenders to try and deal with. It’s fine margins that are sometimes a deciding factor. At the least, they can cause more pressure on our goal. Raya, it has been said he hasn’t had a shot to save But if he punched the ball back into play or left some crosses for others to deal with well then maybe he’d be slightly busier. This is only one small aspect of their game but unless you see both of them on the field it is hard to judge what might have happened

    1. This can’t be stressed enough. Whenever he gathers crosses,he makes it look so simple and people assume it must be easy. In reality though,it is a skillset that many keepers struggle with. And like you’ve said,the fact that he’s not facing many shots could partly have to do with his own good decision making in the box. Saliba and Gabriel have not had to deal with many aerial duels- maybe it’s because Raya is sharing the load with them. His aerial presence is top class,which remarkable because he’s not the biggest of keepers.

      1. Onyango – to add to your point, Raya also helps with the ball possessions as he can pass out the ball when pressured and he can also pinpoint a long pass. These are areas that Ramsdale doesn’t do well.

  11. Raya has 4 clean sheets out of 6 matches played and is currently #1 in the league. Ramsdale has 1 out of 4.

    Not saying Raya hasn’t done any mistakes, but we are currently conceding very few so it would seem foolish to suddenly change keepers. Besides, Ramsdale will play both Brentford matches in the PL, Carabao and FA Cup matches so plenty of matches to be played.

    1. Yes you are right but thats in spite of, not because of. It has nothing at all do do with what we have seen in the flesh.

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