Mikel Arteta reveals in-game goalkeeper rotation plan as Arsenal boss defends decision to start David Raya over Aaron Ramsdale against Everton

Arteta Ramsdale Raya split Arsenal Getty Images
  • Raya handed start over Ramsdale
  • Arteta defended his decision
  • Could change keeper mid-game in future

WHAT HAPPENED? The Arsenal manager surprisingly picked Raya over Ramsdale during his side's 1-0 win at Goodison Park, which saw Leandro Trossard score a second-half winner. Ramsdale had kept just one clean sheet in the previous four Premier League matches this season and it was speculated before the game that his place may be under threat. Indeed, Raya was given the nod ahead of Ramsdale, fuelling speculation that the Brentford loanee could take over as Arsenal's new No.1.

However, Arteta dismissed those suggestions and pointed out that he had also picked Fabio Vieira over Kai Havertz and even chose to continue with Eddie Nketiah in attack while leaving Gabriel Jesus on the bench.

WHAT THEY SAID: “The same rationale about why Fabio (Vieira) played here or Eddie (Nketiah) or Gabriel Jesus," Arteta told the reporters when quizzed on Ramsdale being dropped.

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"I haven’t had a single question on why Gabriel Jesus didn’t start. He has won more trophies than anybody else, including me, in that dressing room. I cannot have two players in each position and not play them. David has tremendous qualities, like Aaron has, like Karl (Hein) has and we have to use them."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arteta also revealed that future he might start rotating his goalkeepers during matches, having failed to show the "courage" to take such a tough calls earlier in his tenure as Arsenal boss.

“I am a really young manager and I have only been in the job for three and a half years and I have few regrets about what we have done. One of them is that on two occasions I felt after 60 minutes and 85 minutes in two games in this period, to change the keeper in that moment and I didn’t do it," he stated.

“I didn’t have the courage to do it. But I am able to take a winger or a striker and put a central defender back and go to a back five to hold that result. And we drew those games and I was so unhappy and someone is going to do it and maybe it (the reaction) will be, ‘Oh! That is strange. Why?’ Why not? Tell me why not. You have all the qualities of another goalkeeper and if you want to do something to change the momentum, do it. It is a regret that I have and my feeling is to get everyone engaged in the team. They have to play regardless of the competition. Do it. That is my message.”


Mikel Arteta 2023GettyDavid Raya 2023GettyAaron Ramsdale Arsenal Nottingham Forest 2023-24 Premier LeagueGetty

WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Arteta will now shift his focus to the Champions League fixture against PSV on Wednesday evening, but it remains to be seen whether he picks Raya or Ramsdale to start between the sticks.

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