Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that he still doesn’t know who he will select in goal for the North London derby this weekend.
David Raya has started the last two games against Everton and PSV Eindhoven, with Aaron Ramsdale having been benched. However, when asked if he had made up his mind on who will be handed the gloves against Tottenham, Arteta replied:
“No, I haven’t decided.”
Whether Arteta is just keeping the opposition guessing, it is hard to know. The fact that Raya has been named in the starting lineup for both Premier League and Champions League games suggests he will be given the nod.
It is a tough choice and, when asked how difficult it was to drop Ramsdale, Arteta said he had not taken the decision lightly:
“Yes, it is hard. But with other players, it’s the same. He’s an exceptional character. We know his charisma and the aura around him. It happens with many other players. You saw it with Emile as well the other night. It sends a message that we really like him.”
Ramsdale is a victim of Arteta’s very high standards
Arteta has been ruthless in some of his selection decisions since he was appointed Arsenal manager. He has frozen out the likes of Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Matteo Guendouzi, as well as dispensing with players such as Kieran Tierney.
The Gunners boss is looking to create a squad capable of winning trophies and that means dropping stars if he doesn’t believe they are capable of delivering what he wants. Ramsdale is seemingly the latest casualty in that quest for success.
You need competition for places at the highest level
If Arteta’s remarks are to be believed, Ramsdale is still in the mix to start games for Arsenal, and he is hoping that competition from Raya will get the very best out of both of them.
It’s unusual to have two high-quality keepers competing for the No. 1 spot so we shall see if Ramsdale is able to get his place back.