Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock has sympathised with Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who has not “done anything wrong” to be dropped by Mikel Arteta.
Ramsdale was named on the bench for Arsenal’s trip to Everton in his side’s first match after the international break, with David Raya making his debut in his place.
Many expected the English shot-stopper to come back in for the Gunners’ Champions League clash at home to PSV, but Arteta stuck with his compatriot, who also started in goal against Tottenham on Sunday.
Arteta has been relentlessly quizzed on the goalkeeper situation and the Spaniard keeps insisting that his decision on who starts in goal is made on a game-to-game basis.
Three games in a row on the bench for Ramsdale has obviously raised a lot of questions, though.
When he joined from Sheffield United there were low expectations but Ramsdale has shut a lot of people up – including Warnock – with his performances at the Emirates.
Throughout his impressive Arsenal career, the 25-year-old has received criticism for his eccentricity and personality. Mainly because people are miserable in this country.
And Sunday’s north London derby gave us another example of Ramsdale – who clearly can’t win no matter what he does – getting criticised for absolutely nothing.
Raya pulled off a world-class save to deny Brennan Johnson a certain goal and the camera cut to Ramsdale applauding his teammate on the bench.
Yes, some people did not like this and he has been accused of being sarcastic and bitter. FFS.
Warnock has sympathised with Ramsdale, who will be “furious” to have lost his starting spot.
“Ramsdale’s in a horrible position because if he sits there and sulks everyone has a go at him, if he claps he’s being sarcastic,” Warnock said on Sky Sports News.
“What is the right thing for him to do? I’m sure deep down inside he’s furious.”
The former Liverpool, Aston Villa and England left-back then went on to say Ramsdale does not deserve to be a benchwarmer at the Emirates but thinks the player has the ammunition to push Arteta if he cannot get back in the starting XI.
“From my point of view I don’t think he has done anything wrong as an Arsenal goalkeeper,” he added. “I think he has been outstanding and proved a lot of people wrong.
“I hold my hands up and say I was one of them when he signed who was thinking, I’m not so sure he’s the type of goalkeeper Arsenal would go for, but then the form that he’s showed, the character he’s showed, it shut me up. He’s been brilliant.
“Now you look and it feels harsh on him but a manager has to make big decisions. Mikel Arteta’s made big decisions since he’s gone into Arsenal.
“It just feels now that possibly David Raya has stepped ahead but in two weeks’ time, he might put Ramsdale back in and we might be talking about David Raya saying, ‘What a horrible situation for him, he’s actually not done that much wrong’.
“We can only judge this situation either come January if Aaron Ramsdale has not been playing, or come the end of the season if it has been chopped and changed, depending on the game as Mikel Arteta eluded to yesterday.
“That would almost be my argument to Mikel Arteta if I was Aaron Ramsdale and I wasn’t playing games. ‘Where’s my games then? Where’s my merit? Where are the games that suit my game?’
“That’s something I’m sure he will be keeping his eyes on.”