Mikel Arteta brought Aaron Ramsdale back into the Arsenal team against Brentford in Wednesday night’s League Cup third-round clash, and the goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win.
It was a strong performance from Ramsdale under intense scrutiny, with the media and the Brentford fans making a very big deal over the recent decision to replace him with David Raya in the Premier League.
Ramsdale made a few big saves on the night, and he had some back-and-forth with the Brentford fans after a few key incidents.
Speaking to the media after the game, Arteta answered questions on Ramsdale by pointing out that he’s always believed in the goalkeeper.
“I don’t think I’m the one to ask (about) the quality of Aaron Ramsdale,” Arteta said. “Because I was the one that brought him (to Arsenal) when everybody was questioning that decision. So I don’t think I’m the one to ask that question.
“We love him more, for sure. We have him every day, we know him, we know his character, we know what he brings to the team, and we are really happy to have him.
“Every player is very important, we have a lot of injuries as well, we have a lot of players that contributed.
“In football, it’s about now, it’s about the moment and today he had the opportunity to play, and he played a really good game.”
It’s certainly true that many of the same people currently questioning the decision to drop Ramsdale from Arsenal’s starting lineup were also questioning the decision to sign him in the first place.
Football fans and pundits are a fickle bunch, and it probably won’t be long until it swings back the other way again.
For now, Arteta’s plan to have Raya and Ramsdale competing for a spot seems to be motivating them both.