Aaron Ramsdale breaks silence on getting dropped by Mikel Arteta and losing Arsenal place to David Raya
David Raya has started the last four Premier League matches.
Aaron Ramsdale admits he has been ‘suffering’ and ‘hurting’ since losing his status as Arsenal’s undisputed No.1 goalkeeper but is adamant he is fully focused on winning back his place from David Raya.
Eyebrows were raised when Mikel Arteta sanctioned the decision to sign the Spain international in the summer given Ramsdale’s excellence last season.
Raya was forced to bide his time for an opportunity following his arrival but has missed only one game, against Brentford in the Carabao Cup, since he made his debut against Everton last month.
Arteta insists he will rotate his two most experienced goalkeepers over the course of the season depending on the opposition and even hinted he wouldn’t be averse to swapping them midway through a game.
For now, however, it appears that Ramsdale will have to play second fiddle to Raya who has started the last four Premier League matches.
‘I think because it’s one of the first times it’s happened with the situation it has been difficult,’ said Ramsdale, who was criticised by Jamie Carragher for enthusiastically applauding Raya’s full-length save during the recent north London derby.
‘There are times where you’re doing the right thing, but it’s the wrong thing and if you don’t do it, it’s the wrong thing. So it’s a double-edged sword.
‘There’s a lot of attention and it’s a position which is famously said; ‘if you’re not spoken about means you’ve done a good job’, and there’s a lot of talk at the minute.
‘Whether it is me or David who plays we need to be able to just focus and play but at the same time, it’s a strange, big headline…we have to deal with it and that is what we are doing.’
In a recent interview, Raya said the pair were ‘mates’ who had a good relationship, a sentiment echoed by Ramsdale.
‘If we didn’t get on it wouldn’t work. We work professionally really well together,” he said. ‘There’s days where I come in and I’m down because of the situation and he picks me up and for whatever reason there might be a day where he’s down and even though I’m suffering and hurting for not playing I have to stand up and be able to push him.’
‘This isn’t the first time my name has been in the press and it has been more negative stuff so I have drowned it out before,’ added Ramsdale. ‘I know there’s a lot of noise but it doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t help that my dad does it – but it was on a golf trip in Spain with 19 other lads from the local pub.
‘I wasn’t too mad at him, he didn’t say anything out of turn, it just wasn’t helpful for the situation, he knew that. He obviously just had a few too many on the golf course!’
Ramsdale is all too aware that his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad could come under threat if he remains sidelined at Arsenal.
‘For me I need to get back into my club team to keep getting picked (for England) and keep giving the manager a headache because if I’m not, then that’s an easier decision for him,’ said Ramsdale.
‘It is (a worry), it is the first time I have found myself in this situation. The (England) manager is brilliant, he trusts the players he’s worked with before as we’ve seen in different types of ways.
‘You’ll see Kalvin (Phillips) and Harry (Maguire) haven’t played the most minutes but when they step up for England and are given the opportunity, they perform.’
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