Arsenal’s impressive start to the Premier League season continued with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. However, the victory did not come without its share of controversy, as manager Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in favor of summer loan signing David Raya raised eyebrows.
Raya, making his debut for Arsenal, was chosen over the England international and managed to maintain a clean sheet throughout the match. Notably, celebrity Arsenal fan Piers Morgan expressed his displeasure with Arteta’s decision, suggesting that Ramsdale had been “humiliated” by the move.
“I don’t understand what Ramsdale has done to deserve being dropped? Havertz, yes… but Ramsdale’s been consistently superb for us. Why humiliate him?” Piers Morgan lamented on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).
When confronted with the possibility of Arteta rotating goalkeepers, Morgan remained critical, saying, “I don’t believe in having two top ‘keepers with neither knowing who’s No.1. Nothing against Raya, who is very good, but don’t like the way Ramsdale’s being treated.”
In the aftermath of the victory, Arteta defended his decision to swap goalkeepers and implied that the position should be treated more like an outfield one.
“I haven’t had a single question on why Gabriel Jesus hasn’t started,” Arteta pointed out. “He’s won more trophies than anyone, including me, in that dressing room, but they don’t ask why I have not picked him.”
“It’s something that has been historically done like this, but I cannot have two players like this in one position and not play them,” Arteta continued. “David has tremendous qualities like Aaron has, like Karl [Hein] has, but we have to use them, you know.”
Arteta acknowledged his relative inexperience as a manager and shared some of his past regrets, including not having the courage to make changes to the goalkeeper position in crucial moments of previous games.
“I’m a really young manager. I’ve been in this job three and a half years, and I have few regrets with what I’ve done,” Arteta admitted. “But I’m able to take a winger, or a striker off, or put a central defender on to drop to a back-five and hold that result. We drew those games, and I was so unhappy.”
“Somebody is going to do it, and maybe it will be gasps,” Arteta stated, hinting at the possibility of future goalkeeper rotations. “That’s strange? Why? Why not? We have all the qualities in another goalkeeper to do something when something is happening and you want to change momentum. Do it.”
As Arsenal prepares to face PSV in the Champions League on Wednesday, Arteta has kept fans and pundits guessing regarding whether Ramsdale or Raya will be entrusted with the goalkeeping duties, further adding to the intrigue surrounding the club’s goalkeeper situation.
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