Leno: I want to play all the games

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Alex Lacazette’s late goal was enough for Arsenal to edge a tight affair in Athens as Mikel Arteta’s men secured a 1-0 win against Olympiacos. 

After the game Lacazette and Bernd Leno were both quick to praise youngster Bukayo Saka who set up the goal. The German also touched on the boss’ decision to stop the usual keeper rotation in Europe. 

Here’s what they had to say when they faced the BT Sport cameras. 

On how the game went…

AL: It was a good performance from the team. We had a clean sheet which was a good point. We won 1-0, we wanted to score more goals but at the end it was good because we have an advantage in the next game. 

On not getting too many chances…

AL: I had a few chances but not always easy to score. Thanks to Bukayo for the cross, it was nice. I’m happy because I score. 

On Saka’s assist record…

BL: Bukayo is an outstanding player. Hopefully, he stays very long at Arsenal. He’s very important. Today his cross was very good for Laca to score. We are happy to have the advantage, to have the away goal and at home, we want to beat them again and go to the next round. 

On his performance including a number of saves…

BL: That’s my job. At the end, when you have a clean sheet, I’m happy. We won this game and we have the away goal, so I’m happy like Laca and all the other guys.

On Arteta choosing to play his first-choice keeper in Europe…

BL: Of course [I’m happy], because I want to play all the games. I and I think we all take the tournament seriously because it’s another chance for a trophy and also to qualify for the Champions League. I want to play all these games and I’m happy that the manager made the decision to play the league and Europa League games. 

On Olympiacos still being a threat…

AL: Yes, it was hard to come here with their great atmosphere. Now we have to go home and with our fans it will be better for us.

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Matthinc

Feel for Martinez though don’t question the decision. I hope he gets some domestic cup action, he’s been impressive this seasson so far.

charvakan

Martinez may be between the sticks next week, but this was a good call from Arteta for his first game in Europe as a manager.

Drewkernster

I thought the only positive decision in our team selection was Leno starting that was good. As for Sokratis on the RB Auba RW and willock CAM I thought that was a bad team selection. I hope he doesn’t start willock at the return leg. Ozil should be ack.

Mesut O’Neill

Willock isn’t good enough for this level.

Duno

You guys ever considered he doesn’t have much options left? He can’t play Ozil/Ceballos throughout the remaining games. He’s working with what he’s got.

Public Elneny

There are some games where he looks like he belongs and others where he looks out of his depth. But I don’t think it’s a question of talent. I think he has a high ceiling, but would probably benefit a lot from a loan where he plays every week. Somewhere like a champ club where he would be one of the key players looked to each game to make a decisive impact There’s an attitude toward young players at big clubs where every good contribution is treated as an unexpected bonus, but mediocre performances are quickly forgotten – which is… Read more »

Abb

Willock played well and he’s not a natural 10 or creative player so to play that position and play the way he did he needs to be appreciated and not criticized.

mjc1892

Love this. I admire the respect our 1/2 keepers have had for the last decade or so but there’s something a little Lehmannn-esque about this answer. Like it’s so obvious he should be playing why would you even question it.
Personally think he’s currently the best shot stopper in the league (though admittedly don’t wat h the others). Alisson and Ederson may have other assets that are superior but straight shot stopping I’d take Bernd.

Public Elneny

Yeah he’s excellent, easily our best since Lehmann, and has such a long time ahead of him

I feel like he could do with a more established 2nd choice to push him / take the playing load off without a clear drop in quality. Goalkeepers can suffer burnout too. But he seems to have a fairly driven attitude

Still needs to work on crosses though

Martin

He’s not as good as Cech was when he first joined us but is getting n
better all the time

mc1892

I think he lacks the ‘aura’ of Cech and potentially not as commanding of his defenders but they come with experience. Other than that I’d say he’s better in every way personally! I say this with no statistical analysis whatsoever but surely Leno has saved us a good 5 or 6 points in the league this season- at least. It feels like every game he makes a huge save or two.

Rich

Martin I thought you hated Leno?

As he simply wasn’t good enough?

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

Fully agree. So, can we start a petition to keep the captain’s band as far away from him as possible? We all know the slippery slope that inevitably follows.

Naked Cygan

We must sign Saka to a long contract NOW!!!

Nosferatu

Laca agrees!

Rich

Leno:
“Bakayo is an outstanding player”

?

Teryima Adi

Ah, the life of a goalkeeper. What would Martinez do now other than bid his time and warm the bench. Maybe he would be given the FA cup games.

Obama Young

He’ll probably get a couple Premier League starts when Leno needs a mental break, or a day off to regroup from a down performance, which he doesn’t at the current moment.

shokim

Saka is an outstanding player and nees tying down to a new and improved contract right quick. ?

shokim

*needs

Santori

Surprise he started but I guess Arteta is showing his pragmatic side. Its knock out stages so he seems to be trying to (correctly IMO) reduce risks. Thought Leno did well today, several heart in mouth moments like the one he almost slow motion just got to recover the rebound off that fierce shot (Our defense too slow to cover on that instance) Also proactive coming out for punches as we were subjected to a little too many crosses into his box. Thought it did not help starting Aubameyang on Rwing with Sokratis as fullback behind and they did in… Read more »

Benjamin Udom

Yeah, arsenal are the only English team that won in Europe this week. COYG!

Goonerink

Wolves won 4-0

C.B.

Wolves only got 4.

Benjamin Udom

My bad, totally forgot we are down to Wolves’ category. Can’t wait to get out!