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Arteta: I won't be afraid to replace 'keepers during matches

17 Sep 2023
Raya and Ramsdale

Arsenal manager explains how he believes goalkeepers should be viewed the same as outfield players

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he won't be afraid to change his goalkeepers during matches after handing David Raya his Gunners debut in Sunday's 1-0 win at Everton.

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The Spanish goalkeeper, on a season-long loan from Brentford, impressed as Arsenal won at Goodison Park for the first time since 2017, making one save and catching the eye with his distribution.

See: Super sub Trossard gives Arsenal first win at Everton since 2017

Speaking after the match, Arteta explained how he sees the goalkeeper spot as no different to that of an outfield position.

“It is something that historically is done like this but I cannot have two players in this position and not play them. David has tremendous qualities like Aaron [Ramsdale] has and Karl [Hein, third-choice goalkeeper] has, but we have to use them and it is like this,” Arteta told the club's official website.

“I am a really young manager, I have only had three-and-a-half years in the job and I have few regrets. It was on two occasions, that after 60 minutes and at 85 minutes in two games in this period, I could have changed the 'keeper in that moment, and I didn’t do it.

“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 at the back to make a back five and hold that result. We drew those games and I was so unhappy. 

“Someone is going to do it, and it’ll be strange and you’ll ask why, but tell me why not? If you have all the qualities in another goalkeeper to do something, or if something is happening and you want to change the momentum, then do it. It is a regret that I have and now my feeling is to get everybody engaged in the team that they have to play, regardless of the competition - this is my message.”

When asked about how he wants Ramsdale to react, Arteta added:

“The same as [Gabriel] Jesus, the same as [Takehiro] Tomiyasu - it is exactly the same. We play with 11 players, we don’t play with 10+1 or 10 or nine, it is exactly the same.”

Alan Shearer, the competition's record goalscorer and Hall of Fame inductee, praised Arteta for being willing to make changes.

“He [Arteta] deserves a lot of credit, because you can tell he is not frightened to make big decisions and you have to do that as a manager.”

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