Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Arteta explains decision to use Leno in Europe

Mikel Arteta says his decision to stop the rigid rotation of Arsenal’s goalkeepers is based on a desire to bring better balance to the situation.

In recent years, Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery opted to award game time to the club’s second choice keepers in domestic cup competitions and the Europa League.

Last week, taking charge of his first European game, the Spaniard opted to field Bernd Leno instead of Emi Martinez. It’s a policy he says he’ll stick with while the German continues to impress.

“I have been really pleased with his (Leno’s) performances and I have been really pleased with the person that I am getting to know, how professional he is as well,” Arteta told media ahead of Thursday’s Europa League second-leg tie with Olympiacos.

“The club was playing four competitions, one of the goalkeepers was playing three and Bernd was playing one. I wanted a little bit more balance at the moment and that’s it.”

Given the Europa League represents a viable route back into the Champions League it definitely makes sense that we’re putting our best foot forward in such an important position on the pitch.

Obviously, you have to feel a bit for Martinez, but he’s a big boy and appears to have a decent relationship with Arteta. It wouldn’t be surprising for him to still get game time in the FA Cup when we travel to Portsmouth on Monday.

“Bernd at the moment is number one,” clarified Arteta. “If Emi oversteps him then he will be number one. Whoever I think is better to play, he will play.

“I think that position is evolving as the rest of the game is evolving and other positions are evolving too.

“Before it was just one and he used to play 50 games and every [other] one used to never play. At the moment managers are more flexible, the competition is better, there’s not that big a difference between No1 and No2, which is great for competition and for them to improve and challenge themselves. That I think is the reason why.” “

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Martinelli fanboy

Anything that helps us win

Heavy Gunner

The more he speaks, the more I really appreciate and value our new gaffer.Or is it just me, likíng straight,honest talk? Get behind Mikel, lads and lasses, I
think we unearthed a gem…


While I agree that Leno is the better goalie, this paragraph here
doesn’t feel completely straight……

“The club was playing four competitions, one of the goalkeepers was playing three and Bernd was playing one. I wanted a little bit more
balance at the moment and that’s it.”

I think he’s playing a little fast and loose with the definition of balance,

Goalkeeping is a different world really, but Arteta knows what he’s
doing. Forcing Martinez to try and improve himself while keeping Leno on his toes, perhaps?


Why are my paragraphs all askew???

Billy Bob

Notice the word “was” in the sentences. It is correct to say that the club WAS playing in four competitions (at the start of the season) and that Emery WAS playing Leno in the EPL but Martinez in the other three competitions

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

The more he WINS, the more I really appreciate our new gaffer.
You would agree Brendan Rodgers has nothing interesting to say but he gets results.


Very mature decision, I was so angry with Cech starting in the EL Final, while everyone basically knew he was joining Chelsea. Emery bottled that decision, even if at the end the result was not on Cech at all, these thing matter (that you aren’t started based on promises made a few months ago).


Fully agree! There should have been no room for sentiment with Cech, as Leno was better and we knew Cech was joining Chelski soon. One of many bad/weak decisions on Emery’s part, reason he is off managing club Nowhere FC at the moment.


Wenger used to do the exact same thing – remember starting Ospina at Bayern or in the cup finals.

A Different George

I also remember Fabianski, about to leave, winning the FA Cup. So, not totally stupid.


Have never been a fan of using different goalkeepers based on the competition we are playing in. As always Arteta talks a lot of sense, laying it out as it should be: on merit.

Ashburton Red

Arteta is the man. Every time he speaks, he talks absolute sense. COYG.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

Arteta’s decisiveness is so refreshing.


I think Mikel Arteta is a really smart cookie who is in total control of everything but wise enough to listen to everybody before making his own decision. To say I’m impressed is a massive understatement.

Peter Story Teller

Arteta is the new “Professor”. He is a very intelligent man who gathers evidence and considers it before making a decision. Sometimes the decision will prove right and sometimes it will be wrong but he is man enough to take that on the chin and must be applauded for standing up for what he believes is in the best interest of AFC. Decisiveness is what has been lacking for many years at the higher levels in Arsenal management so let’s hope that some of his personality rubs off on those above him especially with many high profile contracts coming up… Read more »


Perhaps Arteta wasn’t ready then


Also Mr Emery took the post Wenger hit (and bounce to be fair).

Arteta has had a lot of good will due to how bad Emery was.


Completely agree. It may be bad short term as I think we’re likely to lose Auba as a result, but I think those couple of extra years under Pep in a title win as intense as last season was will have taken his abilities to another level. Pep annoys the hell out of me but there aren’t many who are as fastidious in preparation and as well informed of the game as him. I think we’ve got a whole different animal to the man that we’d have had if he’d joined immediately after Wenger. And I’m bloody loving it.


No doubt they will try to get a pre-agreement that if Arsenal get CL, Auba stays else he joins xxFC.


I think this narrative detracts from Arteta’s actual competence. I don’t think Emery’s failure is the yardstick by which to evaluate Arteta. We can’t know how he would have performed if he succeeded Wenger but, what is clear is that he is his own man with his own ideas and would have implemented what he felt is needed regardless of who went before.


I think people would have received him the same way. Emery was warmly welcomed, his tactical changes applauded, his firm hand on Ozil supported, his faith in Guendouzi and apparent improvement of Iwobi were lauded, people were talking about how much better we handled big games under him too. He had massive amounts of good will just for being something different. We didn’t collectively turn on him until it became blindingly obvious he was leading us down a wrong path.

People give our fans stick but I honestly think we’re easily the most patient and forgiving of any “elite” club.


We’re not patient or forgiving, but apart from that I agree with everything else you said lol


Imagine Xhaka flipping the fans the bird at Nou Camp, Bernabeu, Munich or even Anfield, you’d need the combined efforts of the Avengers, the Justice League, Optimus Prime, the power rangers, seal team 6 and a couple of those crafty kids from Stranger Things just to get him out of the city unharmed.


Brilliant comment.

Benjamin Udom

Nice decision!
Now isn’t Martinez really such a tall bloke?

Billy Bob

Gotta say Arteta is seriously on the money with his management techniques, feel positive about the tail end of this season which, in itself, is amazing!!


on the plus side, I like the fact that all the comments already come with thumbs up vote before I even open the article. saves me some little time


You should play your best available players in your highest priority games. The PL and EL are our only tickets into the CL, we can’t afford to take either for granted. Emi can play the F.A cup games until the semi and final stages.


Taking a sideways step here but if the FA Cup is to resume its major ranking, the winners need to get a CL place.

Venga Bus

I have massive respect for what Mikel has done, he has been impeccable. Also, let’s not forget what Freddie Ljungberg did for us too…………he got dealt some horrible cards and yet under his shift, he stabilised the ship in so many ways.
we are heading in the right direction, we possibly have one of the managers of the future, and Freddie is still with us.
Happy Gooner!!


Thank you for speaking about Freddie. People overlook what he tried to do for the club without any real support. He also brought Saka in as a left back and was coaching him in the U23s.


“He’s a better player. We need to win. The better player plays. ”

Love it. It’s crazy how rare an honest answer is in football these days


I really really really like Martinez. No whining, just getting on with the job, always appearing confident. I support using Leno for the EL games, I just really really really hope Martinez won’t become too disheartened. He’s been very very good too.


One of Emery’s craziest decisions was to play our recognised No. 2 keeper in the biggest game of our season against his future employers.


Martinez is not good enough to be at this club. Never has been

Naked Cygan

On what evidence is Martinez not good enough? Anything to back that up?


“He’s the best keeper, you dumbasses”

Teryima Adi

Arteta takes no prisoners.?


It is not about number of competition, it is about number of matches.


Probably wishing he hadn’t made this call right now…


All of the comments aged so well! Especially the ones attacking Cech again. You know, a guy that was still one of the best on corner kicks… Leno showed everything about about him this game and the absolute lack of inteligence at the 117. minute of a football match giving up corner..

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