“Weak” Leno slammed by former Premier League referee

Former Premier League referee, Keith Hackett, has slammed Bernd Leno for being weak and soft after the goalkeeper looked for a foul, following Brentford’s second goal on Friday.

The Bees stunned Arsenal by beating the Gunners 2-0 in their first ever Premier League game.

It was an embarrassing way to start the season for Arsenal and they probably could have lost it by a lone goal if the referee had agreed that Leno was fouled in the buildup to the second goal.

However, Hackett believes their goal was clearly a good one and Leno was only being soft and weak for looking for a foul.

“This is a contact sport and the bar has been raised in the Premier League now,” he told Football Insider.

“This goal would have been allowed last year and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed this year.

“If I’m critical as a spectator, I think the goalkeeper was a bit soft and weak in trying to do what he did.

“Overall, this was a great game. Michael Oliver was in charge and he handled it absolutely superbly.

“At the end of the day, I think his decision making was accurate. This one was spot on.

“Overall, it was a great result for football and a great result for Brentford. It’s a remarkable climb to the top that they have pulled off.”

Leno is under pressure to perform at Arsenal and that isn’t the best way to start the season.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and if he keeps making these mistakes before the transfer window shuts, they might be forced to bring in a new goalie to rival him for the number one spot.

Tags Bernd Leno Keith Hackett

37 Comments

  1. Adega Olatunji says:

    Weak, soft and stupid. Martinez will never fall for that but Arteta knows the best

    1. Adiva says:

      Yet he conceded 3 goals against Wolves. If Leno has decided to defend his box aggressively against that player I’m Oliver will be prompted to give penalty against him

  2. Reggie says:

    A good shot stopper but that is all he is. Arteta sold wrong keeper.

    1. Mark says:

      yep… will keep saying that

  3. Mark says:

    Goalkeeper, CM, RB and striker should have been top priority for AFC from the beginning of window. Never understood the ben white transfer..

    Leno is and has always been an error prone GK.. he just has alot of fanboys on here living in denial..

  4. Voyageur says:

    Two things can be true at the same time.

    Hackett is part of the reffing fraternity and he’s going to circle the wagons. Last year, fouls were called if players looked at keepers the wrong way. There would have been no eye batter if it had been called a foul. I call BS on Hackett’s first point.

    Having said that, Hackett is right that Leno was pathetically weak on that play. He did everything but role over and have his tummy scratched. Which to be fair is a bit of an anomaly for him. Yes he makes the occassional clanger but his bravery is generally not in short supply.

    1. Josh says:

      Absolutely spot one.

  5. Brian says:

    Jesus!!! since when was restraining a keeper with both arms wrapped around his body preventing him from any attempt to cut out the cross acceptable in football???
    The Brentford player wasn’t simply backing into Leno he was holding onto him with both arms!!!
    Just how some can call that a error on Leno’s part is farcical and shows some so called fans are more interested in slagging off the club than actually supporting it

    1. RSH says:

      I can agree, but why not even a peep from Leno after that trying to protest what just happened? He’s too nice, and he was hardly even trying to get out of that tussle as well. Yes, it’s easy to blame VAR, but also there is mental weakness in the situation as well.

      1. RSH says:

        and to add, i’d be more on his side if this was an isolated incident, but it’s not, and too many of our players are just fine with being bullied.

    2. David says:

      Have to agree with these points.
      Also, have to question Hackett’s motives and fairness. Is he now condoning holding in the box?
      The player walked straight up to Leno to hold him down and made no attempt to get to the ball.
      Historically, these have always been given as fouls against goalkeepers.

    3. VasC says:

      What was on my mind, mate!!! 👍

    4. Eddie SA says:

      The mind boggles.
      This was not a rugby match, good people.
      If it was Xhaka doing that to the Brentford keeper, it would be red for him.
      Double standards, both the refs and the shambling VAR.

    5. Josh says:

      A typical standing or preventing d GK from attacking d ball may be OK but in this instance, both hands were restrained by the opposing player.. If Bernd was too aggressive, am sure Oliver would have pointed at the spot.. His hatred doe AFC is legendary. Some so called fans like to give d club d stick unnecessarily.. As usual, VAR was missing..

  6. RSH says:

    This was the best quality about that “other guy”. Shot stopping is great, but if you ccant command you box and stop soft goals from happening, you’re never going to be a top keeper. When ball is in the box, a GK needs to step up. You need some arrogance, and a bit of craziness. There is no such thing as a good GK that is nice. If you are nice you’ll get rolled over easily.

  7. Paul Le'Dain says:

    What was Keith Hackett watching another game, cause okay we never deserved anything from the game last Friday night but when Brentford scored the second goal Bernd Leno was basically being held in a Bear Hug, now if that’s fair then you can keep it as far as l’m concerned!!!!!!!!!!!! ⚽⚽🥅🥅🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏅🏅

  8. VasC says:

    Had Mari or Xhaka wrapped their arms around a Brentford player inside the 18 yard box during that throw-in like they did to Leno, the officials would have awarded a penalty against us and they’d validate their decision by stating “excessive contact”. Leno made the wrong decision to stay on his feet and brave the situation, instead of going down like 99% of PL players do these days. To call him “weak” is absurd and this clearly illustrates the current state of refereeing in PL.

    1. Dan kit says:

      Top
      Comment buddy 👍
      I watched villas loss to Watford and the so called best keeper Th eWorld looked absolutely like he was still playing for us .
      Which is something I keep saying as sooon as Arteta gets his mitts on players they look like they belong in a pub side .

      1. VasC says:

        Thank you, Dan!!!

        Unfortunately, I know nothing about the other games. Except the results. Didn’t care to watch any football since Friday night. Not even the match highlights. Just can’t find any rational explanation for that.

    2. akabaggio says:

      Agreed , i have no idea what Hackett is on about. Watch the replay and judge it as an action in the game – which the referee is suppose to. He is clearly held by the player. If I’m any club in the PL I am not planting a body not in front of the keeper but actually around the keeper now. Why wouldn’t I? I can point to the reasonableness of this decision as Hackett himself says. Other than the keeper , As VASC says, going down like a pansy, what other option doe the keeper in this case have to get to the ball? Shit goal. We deserved to lose but a referee should know better and 2-0 of course changes the complexion of the game. Same old Arsenal? Same old crappy refereeing

    3. Loose Cannon says:

      Every grandma, her son, grandson and his pet dog know that Leno is pure rubbish for the transfer fee we paid. Enough said! The man – c’mon he is hampered, he keeps mum, does he loose his speech every time he is on the pitch? Had it been Runar in that situation, he would have been banished for life playing GK by our commentators over here. Week in, week out Leno has some role in every blunder and he gets away with it – It was/is/never will be his fault. Whom do we blame next? The janitor or the tea lady? Another Ozil like situation wher the player in the saint and all others around him are the sinners. Disgusting indeed. AFC needs better, the fans and supporters need better. If Ramsdale has voice on the pitch, get him asap or else hand over the spot to the Estonia GK – Karl Hein, at leat he has been an international GK on the pitch not a third GK warming the bench and contributing nothing.

      1. David says:

        This is a ridiculous post.
        The player was fouled. The referee is there to ensure fairness and that the rules of the games are followed. Decisions are not supposed to be dependent on dissent or thuggery.
        The situation has no comparison to anything involving Ozil.

  9. Niall Byrne says:

    I was more concerned that none of our centre halves or defensive players stopped the Brentford players from getting so close to Leno. Surely they should offer him some protection from being blocked off like that?

  10. guy says:

    Thats like a policeman telling you that if you didn’t have a security camera you deserve to get burgled.
    Yes he should have done more but does that mean its not a foul? He’ll be saying next that attackers who are fouled in the box should “man up” and its no penalty. Disgusting and false statements from Hackett.

    1. VasC says:

      Well, all our ex-players and pundits have taken a swipe at us since our game against Brentford. Now, it’s the referees’ turn, it seems. Don’t know who’s turn it is next??? Love Islanders, perhaps???

  11. JW says:

    I hate to say this, but that was such an obvious foul that VAR at least should have spotted it and forced the Ref to go look at the screen.

    There was another situation over the weekend where the referee gave a penalty and the replay showed the defender clearly took the ball and the attacker then touched his foot and dived forward. Either there was no VAR review of this play or the VAR ref agreed it was a penalty.

    Both situations give me cause for concern.

    Looking a little deeper, why does everybody say VAR won’t go away. Why has it become so sacrosanct?

    Is there something else going on with FIFA that requires VAR to continue to be a part of the “Top Level” of football?

    Remember none of the lower leagues have VAR. Those leagues are also represented by the FA, who are part of FIFA.

    I ask you:
    Who does FIFA actually represent these days? Is it the game of football as a whole or just the Top Leagues and the TV companies who pay the money?

  12. Gary winter says:

    I’m not surprised with hackets, comments he was a useless ref so why would he change now. It was a blatant foul on Leno both his arms being held, if a forward backed into a centre half like that holding his two arms it would be a foul given every time.

  13. Drayton says:

    Everyone sees that Leno is not the solution and yet all cry foul when we try to buy a new GK. Ramsdale seems like a decent GK to me. The one thing I don’t know about him though is how good he is on the ball. Leno has been absolutely woeful in this area for some time now and seems to take an ETERNITY to pick out a simple pass. It’s like watching Sergio Garcia play golf. He is also a liability in making some very poor passes to his midfielders and doesn’t seem to understand the basic concepts of playing out from the back. If Ramsdale is skilled and decisive on the ball and can improve Arteta’s “build-from-the-back” tactics, then absolutely I like his signing, because he seems every bit as good of a shot-stopper as Leno used to be (and admittedly, is still occasionally).

    At this point, I’ll take anyone competent enough to help pass out from the back.

  14. gunnerforlife says:

    It was a clear foul on Lenno and Hackett should know that. What and how will a GK stop a goal if he is being held by both arms of an opposing player. Lenno in fact should have gone to ground and protested vehemently.

  15. zamind says:

    Leno is not an all round keeper.
    He can stop shots but not all goal are like that.
    Brendford second goal was a disaster. The giant player held him like a small boy and he could not come out of the creep. To make it worse he did not rush to the ref to complain.

    By the way can some one tell me what has happened to VAR? Both goals were wrong, 1st one was out of play, second foul on Leno.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Bur Mike Riley said he had reviewed the performance of VAR from last season and it would be much improved. 🐂💩

    2. David says:

      Decisions should not be dependent on dissent or thuggery.
      The referee is there to ensure fairness and to enforce the rules of the game.
      Hackett’s comments were poor if not downright disgraceful

  16. Ozziegunner says:

    Glasgow Celtic just bought ex England International goalkeeper Joe. Hart for £1 million, if willing to come to Arsenal to be number two to Leno. Arsenal could then have bought Onana for say £5 million for the furure. Job done for £6 million, rather than spending £20+million on Ramsdale.

  17. James says:

    Leno was held fast in an armlock!
    Total obstruction!
    Unlawful under the code — written, moral,sporting, whatever the measure that should have been applied by the so called “unbiased” refereeing fraternity whether on the pitch, or “fourth official” or VAR!

    The on pitch ref was, no doubt, unsighted? The huge Brentford defender had arrived on the Arsenal goal line with the express purpose of stopping the goalkeeper! There is little doubt of the intent! In fact it was undertaken in such a slick underhand move that it must have been practiced on the training pitch to exhaustion! This says a lot about the depths to which this great game has sunk fuelled by dodgy money (Middle east oil; Betting; International corruption).

    Arsenal as a club are NOT innocent by any measure, yet there remains a glimmer of integrity that still props up a unique history. It would be difficult to identify much in the way of integrity in relation to many of the other so called top clubs already long sold out to the highest bidder.

    FIFA FairPlay rules and the application of such are a total joke. Clubs do not operate within honest means.

    The rules of the game and referee integrity is now clearly out of the window and shown so clearly in the gleeful reaction of that “honest” fourth official on the touch line at the Brentford game!

  18. Steven says:

    I agree with James entirely. How can Keith Hackett possibly think that holding a goalkeeper in an armlock is within the rules?

  19. David says:

    Leno shouldn’t be playing in the top flight, only a club like Arsenal could offer such an error prone goal keeper a first choice gloves.

    No wonder the club is where they are

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