In September, I wrote a piece affirming my belief that David Raya had been bought to displace Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal’s number 1, despite all the talk of potential goalkeeper rotation and competition (conversation largely driven by Mikel Arteta). At the risk of sounding smug (!) I now feel vindicated in that view. Since I wrote that piece, Raya has started every Premier League game that he has been available for.
A mooted Champions League / Premier League rotation model did not come to pass either, Ramsdale only started the dead rubber away at PSV on match day six. In that piece from September, I drew a comparison to the way that Ramsdale was purchased to upgrade on Bernd Leno in the summer of 2021. I will start by saying that I think Leno was a much clearer point of upgrade in the summer of 2021 than Ramsdale was in the summer of 2023.
Arsenal awarded Ramsdale a new contract last May so they clearly felt that way too, that they could iron out any weaknesses or frustrations they felt with Ramsdale’s skillset. However, Ramsdale’s signing in 2021 drew plenty of raised eyebrows, he was not a particularly highly rated goalkeeper when the Gunners decided to part with £32m to buy him. But he quickly won the crowd over with both his performances and the connection he forged with supporters (and, by extension, his penchant for ‘connecting’ with opposition supporters).
Very broadly, goalkeepers tend to either fall into the categories of fire or ice as personalities and Ramsdale was very much on the fire end of the spectrum. He once said he liked to ‘banter’ with opposing supporters as a means of motivation. This season, Arsenal have largely moved away from ‘fire’ in their overall approach and more towards ‘ice.’
Gone are the blistering starts and the rollercoaster matches. If last season was a drunken punch up at a wedding (good fun so long as it’s not your wedding) this season is much more a case of everything in its right place. The signing…
Source link : https://arseblog.com/2024/02/david-raya-jigsaw-falling-into-place/
Author : Tim Stillman
Publish date : 2024-02-08 13:00:49
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