By signing Raya, has “ruthless” Arteta hung Ramsdale out to dry?


Man. I don’t know what they’re smoking over there at the Emirates, but it’s some heady stuff. It wasn’t so long ago that Leno and Tierney were counted among our best players, but they’ve each been ousted with a quickness so dizzying that one would be left wondering whether either one was any good at all. So it may also go with Ramsdale, who’s gone from hero to mare to such an extent that we’ve loaned David Raya in from Brentford for £3m plus a £27m buy option clause. It’s not often that you see competition for who’ll be a club’s #1 GK, but here we are.

The rumours around us signing Raya did seem to fuel Ramsdale’s fire to some extent. He saved not but one but two penalties in the preseason, and he also came up with vital saves from Rodri in the Community Shield. However, he was also caught out a few times; Rodri’s early shot, deflected wide, would probably have beaten Ramsdale had it not been for the deflection, and Rodri very nearly lobbed Ramsdale, who hardly bathed himself in glory as he tumbled into the back of the net. Yes, “Rammers'” did well to deny Rodri’s point-blank header from a corner and Foden’s point-blank shot from a counter-attack, but it’s all a bit flimsy

Enter Raya; exit Turner. Ramsdale is now on notice, having displaced Leno just one year ago. Raya is arguably the better keeper in just about every regard, and his signing suggests that Arteta will relentlessly look to improve at every position while also creating depth at every position. There aren’t many clubs that can claim two keepers who are each capable of starting. Outside of Man City and Liverpool, one could make a decent argument for either or Ramsdale or Raya starting. We have them both.

The loan deal is not only necessary for FFP considerations; it’s also shrewd. If his arrival inspires Ramsdale to re-discover his passion and focus, all the better for us. If his arrival allows us to compete on all four fronts (UCL, Prem, FA Cup, League Cup), again, all the better. It’s not as if keepers suffer injuries all that often, but they do occasionally suffer drops in form, and that’s the situation Ramsdale finds himself in. Raya’s arrival puts Ramsdale on notice.

On a broader level, it puts a lot of players on notice. Gone, apparently, are the days when players could blithely assume that they’d walk into the squad regardless of form, training, or attitude. There’s competition at just about every position now. Arteta also has options at his disposal. The upshot of all of that is that each player will have to be on his toes and at his best on the training ground as well as on the pitch.

This is the way.

If we’re to compete on all four fronts, if we’re to build on last season’s potential, there will have to be rotation and competition and sacrifice. Signing Raya might feel like a luxury when we already have Ramsdale. Then again, such a signing may just herald a return to caviar after years and years of sausages.

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13 thoughts on “By signing Raya, has “ruthless” Arteta hung Ramsdale out to dry?

  1. consolsbob

    I’m all for it. Ramsdale has never been ‘reliable’ in the goalkeeping sense. Either he shapes up or is shipped out. Lovely bloke though.

    1. Eoin ó Conchobhair

      the kind of bloke you’d like to have a few pints with, but that’s not really something a GK can use to stop shots.

  2. Palladio43

    Meanwhile we still have some wholes to fill and, unless we just begin giving away a few players, we seem to be carrying a number of players Arteta does not want and will not play.
    How can they or will they afford this all and if this grand experiment fails or implodes, Arteta will be gone and will ownership be willing to splurge again to pick up the pieces going forward or will they pull the plug or walk away. The Raya deal was clever and saves money. It may prove correct especially if he is the better GK and saves a few matches, but a true and better striker, especially given that Jesus may always be able injury-prone.and we may need a better scorer, seems a greater priority
    It is interesting, as you point out, that yesterday’s darlings seem to have a very short life or half-life under MA. Is it that he wants to constantly better the squad, or are there other reasons for sending off yesterday’heroes?

    1. Kelechi

      I’ve seen some talk of Arteta as a manager who won’t tolerate any dissent or even pushback, but I don’t see any evidence of that nor do I see any evidence that Leno or Tierney were the kind to get in the manager’s face. With Tierney, you can see the gap in quality. He’s so so left-footed, he barely uses his right other than to plant it. Leno was a superior shot-stopper but apparently Arteta didn’t like his distribution. Tierney’s now behind Zinchenko for sure and Arteta has played Tomiyasu ahead of him at times. There’s no room for sentiment anymore. Maybe bad, maybe good. Perform or prepare to ship out.

      As for others like Cedric, Pepe, Holding, et al, we should ship them off as soon as possible.

  3. jw1

    “It wasn’t so long ago that Leno and Tierney were counted among our best players, but they’ve each been ousted with a quickness so dizzying that one would be left wondering whether either one was any good at all.”

    We both know this comes down to style of play. Leno graded out as the best PL shot-stopper last season. But Bernd was scarier than Matt Turner with the ball at his feet playing out from the back. Tierney is a classic LB– in a team that inverts the fullbacks. Note I said fullbacks, plural. As now, with Jurrien Timber in the side, if Arteta wants to invert his RB, that may see Kieran with a role to play on the left– at times, versus certain opponents.

    What we should be marveling at? Is the freaking Jedi Mind Trick-deal that Edu has pulled off!! £3M for top-5 PL GK David Raya (with £27M option to buy). WTF!?!

    We get a massive upgrade on Matt Turner– for a season at £3M. If we exercize the option to buy at season’s end– we’ve upgraded our #2 to #1 level for £20M.

    Further– that £27M is still in the kitty this window or in January– to bring in high-level backup for Bukayo Saka on the RW.

    Absolutely brilliant Edu.

    1. A Simple Truth

      agreed…the key here was the terms of the loan…usually I’m not a fan of the loan gig, except under very particular circumstances, this being one of those acceptable situations…with bigger fish still to fry, spending massively on another Keeper would be absolutely nonsensical…now we have real competition for a fraction of the price and no obligation to buy…if Ramsdale proves incapable of rising to the challenge we likely have a logical replacement already embedded, plus we can strategically protect Ramsdale’s valuation so that we can still hopefully get a decent transfer fee come the summer…just wish this was all figured out before we re-upped Ramsdale, as that could become a stumbling block…good piece of business

      1. jw1

        Thibaut Courtois went down with an ACL tear yesterday.
        What should Edu do if Real now approached with a £50-60M+ offer for Ramsdale today?

        1. A Simple Truth

          I think they’re moving for either De Gea or Kepa, now that Chelsea signed Sanchez…plus they would never pay anywhere near the 50-60 mark for Ramsdale

  4. reg

    Ramsdale had that lob covered. His hand was up at the crossbar before the ball arrived. He was lucky with the deflection because the ball went between his legs and hit his trailing back foot to go by the goal post. He had no clue what was going on. I think we are to fast to go after errors or near misses. These players are human and cannot be perfect all the time. Ramsdale did far better the majority of the time.
    It’s rare that outfielders his 100% of their passes.
    Actually everyone seems down on Turner but he reached 20 clean sheets in 30 games faster than any previous goalie in the USMT.
    Raya is obviously much better but what seems to have gone under the radar is that Raya is considered home grown because of his age when he joined Blackburn. And that is a very big deal to help with squad balance.

    1. Eoin ó Conchobhair

      I’ve been harsh on Ramsdale, it’s hard to remember he’s only 25. He probably has a good decade in him. Bringing in Raya is more than competition or a reflection on Ramsdale, it’s a chance for Ramsdale to train closely alongside and learn from a better keeper. Not outrageously better, but good enough to push Ramsdale in his development.

    1. A Simple Truth

      Turner was a bag of toys with the ball at his feet, which is why he was never going to survive his first summer


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