Who would you choose in Arsenal’s Battle Of The Keepers?

Battle of the Keepers! by Shenel

One piece of good news for Arsenal fans is that Bernd Leno seems to be returning to full fitness even though it’s not so long after his injury in only our second game back from lockdown, that seemed it would rule him out for a number of months. What will happen to Martinez once Leno returns? Does he deserve to continue his successful run in the team even when Leno does come back?

It’s been a while since we actually had a few decent goalkeepers, if we can even call them that, to say the least. I know some people don’t class them as World class as they’re “no Manuel Neuer.” But they hold other talents that are clear to see, I know I feel a sense of security knowing they are in goal no matter who is in front of them, even more so than when Cech was with us- don’t even get me started on Petr Cech!

Both keepers show their qualities, be it being good with their feet, making some big big saves to keep us in games, or as we are witness to more recently with Martinez, becoming sweeper keeper and even trying to get some assists with long passes to the strikers up front. Which if it means they don’t “play out from the back” then I’m all for it.

Martinez and Leno are both 28 and for goalkeepers we know that is still young, they could easily have AT LEAST another 10 Years left under them if Gianluigi Buffon is anything to go by, still going strong in the sticks for Juventus at the age of 42.

Since Leno’s untimely and rather unfortunate injury many Arsenal fans were left wandering about Martinez and what he would bring, having only played for us 25 times before this moment. But I had faith in Martinez as, being witness to his game style many times in the cup for us, I knew he would be strong in the centre of the sticks and with him on our side maybe we wouldn’t be letting in so many goals (not including the stupid mistakes by the defence against Spurs that should never be spoken about again!).

What would be interesting to see when Leno does finally return from his injury is who gets to keep their place in the first team. Will Leno get straight back in or will Martinez maintain his spot!?

I for sure hope Martinez keeps the place he has earned, albeit unfortunately due to the injury to Leno. But things happen for a reason and maybe that reason, although upsetting for Leno, was a blessing for Martinez and I am excited about the strong competition they will bring out of each other when both fully fit!

What do you think Gooners? Does Leno deserve to get straight back in the side? Or has Martinez earned his place as a potential second Number One?

Shenel Osman


  1. Leno seems to be faster, more agile and have better reflex, but Martinez is more composed, more commanding and better in the air

    In my opinion, Leno’s style is similar to Lehmann’s, whereas Martinez’s is similar to Seaman’s. I’d choose Seaman any day

    1. It’s a tuff call by what Martinez lately displays.

      I will go for Leno as we saw him more, but indeed I won’t move Martinez today

      I like how you compared with our two legendary keepers…

  2. “Don’t even get me started on Petr Cech” 😂😂 (or me!!)

    Going to be an interesting battle between these 2… You have to hand it to Emi, he’s been incredible!! His distribution is superb and he’s made so many brilliant saves! It’s a really close call, not sure I’d like to call it!!
    Hurrah at last we have 2 decent GKs!!

    1. So Sue, Cech didn’t quite come up to the same levels as, for instance, Pat Jennings, who also made a move from a rival?
      In some ways Emi reminds me of him – the confidence to pluck the ball out of the air being the main thing.

      1. Yes, GJ, Cech didn’t do it for me, I’m afraid…
        Jennings was before I was a gooner (91)… so I’ll take your word for it!
        He does appear to have beefed up and watching him pluck the ball put of the air sometimes has me thinking wow!!
        I certainly don’t envy MA in having to make that decision!!

  3. Leno ,without a seconds thought ,some of the best reflexes I’ve seen for many premiership keeper .
    Great 2 nd choice keeper aswell 👍

  4. It is indeed a blessing to have two very good goalkeepers. I was impressed with Martinez as well. I was in agreement with the post until the author wrote that Martinez should keep the place he has earned, and then goes on to contradict himself by stating that he didn’t really win it, but was just put there due to Leno’s injury. For me, it is a no brainer, Leno gets his spot back as he was our best player before his injury. Martinez is awesome, but in order for him to claim/retain the starter spot he needs to do it when both keepers are fully fit and able to compete. If he convinces the manager then, with his performance in training and in the games he played so far, he will have then rightfully earned the spot. Martinez is very good as a sweeper keeper and has different but equally important skills as Leno. One thing he lacks though is experience (he is 28 and played in approximately 100 games) and he needs to gradually obtain that through fa cup, league cup (or even some premier league games) before he can challenge Leno, who has played in more than 400 games.

    1. I think that Martinez is also benefiting from Arteta’s efforts to play better at the back – and that is not a knock at Martinez he has been really good, nice to see someone taking advantage of the opportunity.

      Based on past performance I think Leno has to have his place back.

      The good thing is that we seem to have two very good options.

      Potentially if we can find a really promising new understudy we have an option to sell as well.

      1. with our back line you can be assured that Arsenal keepers will be tested. There is always a turnover waiting to happen, a confused switch, somebody not taking a man.

  5. LENO for EPL and EMI for cups.
    Or used interchangeably between the sticks. I would have gone for Leno all day but Emi has confused me with his confidence, saves, distribution and above all calmness.

    If Kepa is £75m how much is Emiliano Martinez?

      1. And I’ve just read Chelsea want Oblak and are keen to include Kepa in a part-exchange deal 😄

          1. I wanted him before we got Leno…
            Let’s face it the chavs are as leaky as us, so need all the help they can get!
            Not sure Atletico and Simeone would be up for Kepa though 😂😂 Very underwhelming…..

          2. Thanx to the chelsea defence we are not the only comedy show in town…😂.
            And yeah oblak would be a great addition…😔

  6. I love Leno as a keeper but he is yet to be available for selection, he would take time to get the match sharpness, so if Martinez kept the form, I would keep playing him this season as long as he is in shape.
    Next season, I would probably choose Leno by default and Emi can play the cups, unless something came up.

  7. Share the games out with a minimum amount of first team matches promised (barring injury) Get them both signed on long term contracts and along with Okwonko we could have our goalkeepers sorted for at least 10 years.

    One less position to worry about. To allow the club to focus on the real challenges defence and midfield as well deciding what to do with our ageing “best player at the club” Honestly if there was a combined total of around £100m on offer for lacazette and aubameyang, I would take it. With saka, Pepe and martinelli the first choice front 3 looks really good.

  8. 1) Emi’s performance with crosses sways it his way for me. He always gives me confidence. Being a stone and a half heavier than Bernd he isn’t so easily stopped from getting to the ball when it comes across the goal area.

    2) For a big man, he’s surprised me with his ability to get down to shots on the ground. Excellent agility.

    3) He seems to have big hands and the ball seems to stick to them – it doesn’t bounce away.

    Nothing wrong with Bernd but it’s Emi for me.

    1. God bless you for your comment..
      You had the same thought as mine.

      Emi’s shot stopping/catching amazes me, especially shots other goalkeepers would spill for a rebound.
      I say keep Emi, and let Leno convince the coach in training to get back his place. That’s the essence of competition and fight.
      I am sure Arteta and the Goalkeeping coach would know best

  9. It’s very difficult but I will go with Leno.
    He’s been our saviour this season barr Auba. I would say big ups to our goalkeepers trainer. Emi is not far from a national team call up cos he’s better than Romero.

  10. Actualy gooners all are good but leno has proved us in weak and wicked diffence of ours

  11. Martinez for the simple reason he has a much better command of his box, and much more assured in the air. Leno is a fantastic shot stopper, but is weak in the air. This is the EPL and being good in the air is very important. Last time we had two decent keepers (Flap and Szczes?) they were both allowed to leave for a colossal 10M! The point is one of them may have to be sold for good money to address glaring weaknesses across the team.

  12. Leno was our best player before his injury, and Martinez has been our best player since. Says everything you need to know about the rest of the squad!

    For as great as Martinez has been, it’s Leno for me. In both goals against Brighton (the winner), and Son’s goal, Martinez went down way too early, making it easier to score because both players were actually going away from goal, and both on their weaker foots. They had the angle against them until Martinez opened it up for them.

  13. We have 2 great goalkeepers imo and for years it was a problem area, now all we need is a good defence to protect both keepers more 👊

    1. Kev… referring to yesterday… Goater better than Wright?! Whatever was that old boy on?!! 🤣
      A good defence – well let’s hope Saliba is the start….

      1. Haha yeah Sue he said he was more of a natural talent than Wright 😂😂 how do you continue a conversation after that ? 🤔 I’m sure Saliba will be great well I’m hoping I thought the same about paulista 😂

        1. I bet you were dumbstruck!! I know I would’ve been…
          Well I’m hoping he’s a gem… as we bloody need one!

          1. Yeah I’m sure you would have put him in his place Sue 😄 from what I seen he has got that Van Dijk stature about him let’s just hope he’s even half as good and we’ll have a good player on our hands! Anyway nice and easy one tomorrow Sue 🙏😂

          2. Of course us Sue 😆 I think you know deep down we’ll beat Liverpool tomorrow and man city on Saturday 😉

  14. MAs system prefers emi i think because he is very comfortable with the ball.And we keep playing out from the back.
    But i also feel that the back 3 apart from maybe luiz no one is good enough to play out from the back and luiz is not a good defender.So if MA is to change his system or play down the flanks things can get interesting.

    And i personally prefer leno because i feel very confident with him between the sticks than emi as a shot stopper or to make some awesome saves.Lenos positioning is also great.People question his distribution but i saw that he has worked so much on it and i saw great improvements before the injury.

    Both of them have their strengths and weaknesses but i do feel leno is still our number one and he will be for a very long time and hopefully emi can keep on giving MA headaches.


  15. Martinez all day for me, what I love most is hes very good with set pieces, ooh and he’s so good in the air, we all know Leno is not that good with crosses, but with Martinez am always comfortable.

  16. We are very fortunate to have two very good keeper and two keepers similar in mindset. Leno is the best but that may not be the case in a few months, its that close.

  17. Martinez has had a good spell as sub keeper but a few good games are no real substitute for the actual class that LENO HAS LONG PROVEN TO HAVE. For my money it is not a serious contest as to the No 1. LENO IS A TOP CLASS KEEPER while Martinez has been here ten years already without becoming a No 1, though has had a sound spell. You need far more than a sound spell to oust LENO and I don’t even recognise a serious contest, as the article, IMO wrongly, states there is!

  18. Don’t shoot me down (just asking for a friend), but perhaps they should be rotated similar to Clemence and Shilton were for England?

    1. No shooting down but Shilton was clearly the better keeper and England suffered because Clemence gained approx 80 caps to Shiltons 126. I believe in always playing your best keeper – the most important player in ANY team of course – as keepers do not need rest as outfield players do.

  19. That’s why I always say most arsenal fans take so long to see things…

    Emiliano Martinez has always been the best keeper even better than the Cechs, Sczecsnys and Ospinas but coaches are maybe blind-folded.

    He’s better than Leno in virtually everything; height, ball distribution, reflexes, long shots, when to come out for counters (timing), EVERYTHING!!!

    Similarly, just remember in 1 or 2 years everyone will see that MAVROPANOS is the best defender we’ve got.

  20. I know this will seem harsh, but I would simply flip a coin – keep one and sell the other -provided we get an offer of 40- 50M, maybe more. We have to face the fact that we are skint and need to invest in other positions. Furthermore team chemistry will be harmed, having two world class keepers fighting week to week for the No 1 spot. We would then only need a cheap and reliable backup to support our main keeper.

  21. Emi all day everyday including Sunday.

    Better in the air, command of the box, set pieces, distribution either by hand or foot. and very good at shot stopping and not spilling the ball on hard shots, and wait for it, cheaper.

    Tie him down to long term contract and sell Leno to get a young talented cb or dm.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors