Risk-taker Leno unrepentant for unsaintly efforts

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Bernd Leno may not have covered himself in glory at Southampton, but it’s becoming apparent that he’s not the type of personality to wallow in defeat.

Beaten by two Danny Ings headers in the first half at Saint Mary’s, neither of which he could do anything about, the German had to fetch the ball out of the net a third time on 85 minutes when he was beaten by Charlie ‘generic Premier League striker’ Austin at the back post.

While his efforts to claim Shane Long’s cross didn’t look particularly pretty, Leno says that as a goalkeeper you’re often called-out for split-second decisions. Even though this one didn’t pay off, he’s unrepentant.

“The last goal was a little bit unlucky for me,” he told Arsenal.com. “I wanted to get the cross because Austin was completely free and it was so close.

“No risk, no fun. Maybe next time I will get the ball or I will stay on the line, look at the ball and then nobody says ‘you came out and didn’t get the ball’. That’s the life of a goalkeeper but I would do it again.”

The 3-2 defeat ended Arsenal’s 22-game game unbeaten run, but mitigating circumstances played their part.

Without four centre-backs before kick-off, the Gunners lost Stephan Lichtsteiner and Hector Bellerin to injury during the match and ended with a back four that included two players returning from injury, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny, and two midfielders, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Granit Xhaka.

Leno is hoping that the return of Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi from suspension will restore some order to his backline.

“It was not easy defensively because this line of defence didn’t play together before,” he reflected.

“We have a big squad so we have many players who can play in defence or at centre back, so hopefully it won’t be a problem. I hope there will be no more injuries.

“After 22 games you can lose a game, so it is disappointing but now nobody talks anymore about the unbeaten run and we can look forward. We have Spurs on Wednesday – another big game – and maybe now we can start another unbeaten run.”

We’re going to assume that “No risk. No fun” is not a soundbite that Emery has been circulating at the Emirates and that Bernd probably meant, “No risk. No rewards”.

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Pedant
Pedant

Mustafi and Sokratis will be a lot better than our Southampton CBs. Full-backs a problem though.

Let’s hope we beat them on Wednesday (partly as I’ve just been chatting to a jolly Sp*rs fan).

Mpls
Mpls

If he had 3″ more step on that cross we’d all be praising the play.

I like his response and perspective. Honestly looks at the options, and his own decision. I really like what I see from Leno so far. I like Cech, but when you take into account distribution and ability to play to the feet, I think he is the most composed presence we’ve had between the sticks in a long time.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

“If he had 3″ more step on that cross we’d all be praising the play.”

But he doesn’t, and he should know that more than most!

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Funny enough though I thought Kos was more at fault for that goal, his (lack of) positioning left Leno with a split second decision.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Most definitely

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Allison was unrepentant in an interview after an error
and made another error the following game. We hope Leno does not put too much pressure on himself this way.

DamoDinkum
DamoDinkum

I think we’d all rather another 3″ but that’s reality for you

Abhi
Abhi

A goalkeeper plays better when the defence in front of him play well, and if they’re the same defenders, or thereabouts, week in week out. To quote Wenger, ‘automatisms’ develop. With three absolutely NEW guys in front of him, one coming back from a lengthy horrific injury, two not even actual CBs, you cannot expect him to know when they will attack the ball, how aggressively they will attack it, when they want him to come, etc etc. It’s all split second. It was clear I felt for the third goal, Leno felt he had to come, because he just didn’t trust Kos and Lich to deal with it. He felt he had to compensate for them. He might not have come had sokratis, holding, or Mustafi been there defending it because he expects them, from playing with them these many times, to win it, or on the other hand knows, ‘OK he’s not going to reach it!’ and sorts his feet out and jumps that split second earlier. I don’t think the third goal was his fault completely. All three goals infact, were due to the failing of the complete patched-together, no-other-choice defence that was playing on the day.
He is currently the best goalkeeper in the squad, and should be playing every PL game.
That said I do feel he is weak with crosses, think I can recall several times in recent games he was found flapping in no man’s land. Hopefully something him and and the coaches can iron out soon.

Hantal
Hantal

Kos had lost his man, Leno had to come for it or hope it was hit straight to him

berlingoon
berlingoon

I don’t get why everybody is blaming Kosc. The logic behind a back 3 is that you should have 2 defenders taking care of their main striker. And in all 3 cases Kosc was left alone by his team mates. He didn’t play fanstastic but it was is first game back and his team mates knew that and also that Austin as well as Ings are quite good headers of the ball. The fact that Kosc was that isolated for all 3 goals is down to the guys around him at least to the same degree as he is to blame for these goals.

santori
santori

Poor positioning maybe.

Rusty yes but he should be experienced enough.

Zuhair
Zuhair

Koscielny is 33. He’s a far more experienced defender than any of the other centre back(s) we had on the field yesterday.

It’s his job to command his area and use his experience to make sure everyone is doing their job. I get that he was out for a long time, but when you’re back at the races, you find out that time has not stopped for you once you’re injured. The intensity only increases. I’m not blaming him for not being 100% matchfit, but he should’ve at least done better for even one of their goals.

It really was embarrassing to see how easily their striker got in between our centre halves.

berlingoon
berlingoon

Absolutely disgaree on this. He was out for 7 months and played in a completely makeshift defense. To ask him to command this defense as if he’s never been away and blame him for the faults of his team mates because he should have guided them better is way too much to ask of him. Lichtsteiner has played centre back in a back 3 several times at Juve and Xhaka is experienced enough to do a job there for a game. You write yourself that the strikers got in between our centre halves but you only blame him not the other ones. Not fair at all, especially considering the overall context.

Zuhair
Zuhair

I don’t SOLELY blame him
It’s on the others too
I’m just trying to say that a little guidance can be expected of such an experienced defender playing at the top level, man.

It’s not like it was a world class striker who scored an epic goal that couldn’t be stopped
It was a basic thing really
That could’ve been stopped

Jimbo1
Jimbo1

He was a long way from Austin when the cross came in for the final goal. This was not down to lack of fitness, as he was keeping pace, just bad marking. He has probably lost match sharpness, which is going to take a while to get back. Just unfortunate for him he was pushed back into the firing line before he was ready.

Paul
Paul

Have to disagree with ya there. Look at the replay again. Montreal is out of position and slow to react (a common arsenal full back problem) and Kos had 1x person to mark, the only Southampton player in the box. He was the wrong side of the attacker and nowhere near him (a common Arsenal CB problem). Leno is flappin. Very poor play altogether and very avoidable with basic training.

Devlin
Devlin

We need players with the mental fortitude to brush off mistakes, and then strive to show how they are just anomalies. If you play for Arsenal, you don’t need convincing about how good of a footballer you are. He is a great keeper, he will only play badly if he doubts himself.

Martin
Martin

He is as error prone as Ospina at handling crosses and am afraid he will cost us many points this season. It’s no good being a good shot stopper if you can’t do the basics well.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

I think that’s harsh Martin. After 4 seasons in English football, Ospina was still hopeless on crosses. Leno’s only had a few months. If he’s still doing it at at the end of the season I will be very worried but for now time to give him the benefit of the doubt. Plus I think he’s already better than Ospina in most other departments too.

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

You are in turn harsh on Ospina.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Ospina…so good that literally no club wants to buy him.

Willyp

Oooospina

Tanned arse
Tanned arse

The irony is that the least commanding on crosses is cech who rarely comes out because either his judgement or inability to move quickly prevents him. He’s tall and he used to be good behind a back line that was great at deal with aerial threats but that has never been one of cech’s strengths

afan
afan

what utter rubbish

Gilberto
Gilberto

I actually think Leno had to go for it, as Austin had a free header and staying on his line would have given him no chance….

TotsOfJack
TotsOfJack

I don’t blame him at all. He got f*cked by his defender’s for the first two goals, and he could see the same was about to happen for the third. He had to do something.

Irrational Gunner

Spot on. Could have come for the first, but the Captain looked to be in position, so he doesn’t. The second, we aren’t aggressive enough defending the initial cross. Nice header placement by Ings. The third, he just seems to say, ” The hell with this, I’m going for it”, and like some past situations, doesn’t get there in time.

Have seen some Southampton this year. If they recreated all those changes without any defenders at all, they may score 30% of the time.

arsepedant
arsepedant

You are right. Southampton put in three absolutely inch-perfect crosses, and they won’t do that again in one game for the best part of a century. The defending might not have been the best it could have been, but I think even if we had the Messi of all defenders out there it would still have been difficult to stop those crosses from being headed in. What we really needed to do was stop the crosses from happening in the first place.

Tom Gun
Tom Gun

“No risk, No fun!” Not quite the mantra you want a goalkeeper to have. Leno is a good shot stopper and good with his feet but there have been several questionable moments. Many positional decisions particularly from crosses have left me pining for Cech. Cech is SO good at the non-glamorous side. His positioning is often so good he makes it look like it’s nothing special. While others are not as good positionally but then fling themselves around for the cameras, he just goes about his job. I’m far from shutting the door on Leno but I’m concerned as he is matching the description given by those that know him pre-Arsenal – good but prone to costly errors.

Limey
Limey

Totally agree.

N10
N10

A lot of truth to this. Downvoters, how many do you think Cech would have gotten that?

At the same time, I like Leno’s attitude. When you fuck up, you move on with it and get ready for the next match.

That said, if he fucks up too much, he should get moved on.

Irrational Gunner

My take is that Cech would not have gone for the cross, but would have gone to a spot very close to the far post where he thought Austin’s header would go. Thinking quickly, if you miss the cross it is a goal, no doubt. If you run toward Austin, there may be a probability(albeit low) that you make the save. From past experience, in that situation I would have wanted Cech. At his point in their respective careers, Cech seems to read the game a bit better than Leno.

Two bad we can’t clone both of them into one, as they seem to have divergence positive attributes.

santori
santori

I said it when we signed him, that he is a decent keeper but not the Great signing everyone seems to like to imagine.

That said, he did make an excellent stop against Yoshida just before their third.

AND whilst we may focus on his gaff, Koscielny was as much to blame for being too far off of Austin for the cross.

Also Monreal was caught too square and far up.

BUT some people have their favorite players to blame. They will blame Ozil for the dummy and conveniently ignore we could have still defended things better thereafter or that Ozil’s dummy earlier was superb to Aubameyang.

They will shy away from casting the light on Aubameyang who had many chances but was poor on the night yet these same voices will cast him as “world Class”.

Reality check.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

You said all 5 of our signings weren’t great santori . Is this your plan for the season: pretend you didn’t say it when they do well & bring it up every time there’s a mistake?

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Auba is a world-class striker. Statistics do not lie.

Hantal
Hantal

Agreed, Leno would have been a great signing four years ago. He hasn’t actually improved in that time.
That said, he’s an improvement on what we had which is what we’re looking for

santori
santori

Hopefully Mustafi is mended from any hamstring issues.

Kolasinac and Bellerin also a concern although AMN and Monreal at least available. Prefer Kolasinac frankjly to Monreal at the momentparticularly in recent back 3 system.

Lichsteiner also went off with a knock.

santori
santori

Aubameyang should have put away a number of those chances.

Forget “world class”, some players escape criticism.

Particularly if the defense is already brittle, we should have stamped our authority quickly over a nervous Soton instead of giving them every encouragement.

We did not finish them off and the attack has to take a share of the blame.

santori
santori

Credit to Mhkitaryan yesterday.

Good work rate and you make your own luck with his second as the pundits would say… if the goal was against us of course.

Lack of Perspective
Lack of Perspective

Breaking up your posts doesnt trick the rest of us into thinking you are not writing an essay/rant/wannabe blog.

Andy
Andy

Seriously dodgy defending on the day. Koz looked like a player who has played for a long while, so it’s forgivable. But as for the rest of the team in a hugely lacklustre performance, I’m not sure what the excuse is. Frustrating to loose that inbeaten run to a team that has been utterly pony at home.

Todd Hester
Todd Hester

I dunno. I kind of like, “No risk. No fun.”

David C
David C

I wish we weren’t play Sp*rs on Wed. We really don’t need to be in the waste of time competition, but then we can’t let Sp*rs win it either, haha.

Kos was to blame for all three goals, Leno was left hanging out to dry. I feel bad for Kos, he shouldn’t be playing yet. We all know he’s much better than that.

Martin
Martin

The third goal was totally the fault of Leno. His weakness at crosses is going to cost us many points this season. Ospina Mark 2

Mpls
Mpls

Kneejerk.

arsepedant
arsepedant

No, just “jerk”.

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

With both Bellerin and Lich injured, who will play RB against Tottenham? Jenko?!

Mpls
Mpls

If both Sokratis and Mustafi are back and fit, AMN as wingback would be my guess / preference.

Limey
Limey

The goal was unlucky for me,REALLY ??
I suppose you wouldn’t expect him to come out and say – it was my fault, I mucked up big time.
And it’s good he is positive.
Bottom line is,if Cech plays on Wednesday,we have a better chance.

Bob
Bob

I like this attitude. He didn’t reach it, just. It looks bad, but no qualm about him being decisive and going for it. If your personality is so affected by messing up a 50-50 split second judgement, and you become too scared to be decisive, then you can’t be a keeper for the Arsenal. Sounds like he has the stones for it and he’ll only get better at these sort of decisions.

THE_sh0gunn
THE_sh0gunn

I live in Poland and that No risk no fun is a direct translation of their form of that expression. Probably it translates the same to German.

Prakhar Tripathi
Prakhar Tripathi

He was a goalkeeping prodigy, became first team player in his teens. Has played over 300 games. We got a real veteran on our hands, we can trust him in between the sticks.

Kafkush
Kafkush

No no! Austrians and Germans I know regularly say, “no risk no fun.” In this case Leno did probably mean the connotation you identified.

emery idea
emery idea

So catchy headline, you got me. 🙂

Alex
Alex

No risk no fun is a German phrase, he didn’t mean to say it differently. And he’s right. How much fun can you have with no risk? Answers below please!

SB Still
SB Still

Off topic:

The Special one is sacked. Surprised it’s happened already, was expecting it closer to the transfer window.