Thursday, July 18, 2024

Raya still adapting to Arsenal life, but happy so far

David Raya admits he’s still adapting to life at Arsenal but he’s pleased with the way he’s handled the pressure of his much-debated loan move.

The Spaniard arrived late in the transfer window to provide competition to Aaron Ramsdale and has since usurped his peer as Mikel Arteta’s first-choice stopper.

In his first four and a half months, Raya has made 18 appearances, keeping 8 clean sheets and conceding 15 goals. After starting the season in goal, Ramsdale has been reduced to a bit part role, featuring in just one league match since September.

Many continue to wonder whether Raya marks an upgrade on Ramsdale with the noise created by their rivalry seeming to affect the performances of both.

While Raya is aware of such talk, he insists the pair are focused on improving the team.

“It’s a big thing when another goalie comes to a club,” he told Arsenal.com.

“Aaron had a magnificent season last year so I’m just here to help the team to win the games when the gaffer puts me in.

“My relationship with Aaron is really good. We’re teammates and try to make each other better in every single session. We don’t try to hear what the outside world is saying, just focus on the team.

“I’m enjoying every time I go out there, playing football and doing what I love, especially enjoying every single training session as well. It’s incredible to be part of this football club and hopefully we can fight for the title.”

He added: “I’ve experienced a lot of new things, especially at a club as big as Arsenal. It’s one of the best clubs in the world, so the challenge has been incredible and I’m still adapting to the club and everything here.”

Under the microscope since he arrived, Raya knows any mistakes on the pitch will be fodder for those who advocate for Ramsdale. It’s an awkward situation but he believes he’s coping with the extra scrutiny and the pressures of playing football at the highest level.

“Pressure is what you put on your shoulders,” he continued. “If you believe in yourself, you’ve got a big part to play and I don’t try to think so much about it.

“I’m just trying to enjoy the moment, every single training session and, every time I go on the pitch, to help the team. I’m just focusing on that and not focusing so much on the pressure or what’s going on outside the club.

“It’s not that you have to be mentally stronger, it’s just new challenges that I have never experienced, so just trying to adapt as quickly as possible to a title race and playing in the Champions League for the first time. I’ve dealt very well with all of that stuff so I’m really happy with how it’s going and hopefully it can go better.”

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Man Manny

Raya did nothing to find himself in the awkward situation apart from accepting an offer that is a real step-up in his career. From midtable mediocrity at Brentford where some matches might be considered lost before a ball is kicked, to a team where you are expected to win every match irrespective of who your opponent is or the venue. As if that was not challenging enough, he has found himself in the middle of a media-generated storm.
My allegiance is with Arsenal Fc and whoever the gaffer chooses to wear the shirt gets my full support.

Funsho Patrick

I agree with you…But would 27m have been better spent on strengthening say the centre forward position where it could cost us a premier League title? The jury is still out on that and it will stay that way unless we’re crowned in may….

Daveo

We haven’t spent anything apart from a loan fee on Raya. And I’m not sure what your mythical 27m quid striker brings to this team. You’re not getting anyone better than Eddie for less than 50-60m.

Funsho Patrick

27m plus Eddie nketiah money would land you a 70m striker and we’ve exercised the option to buy Raya…..time will tell if Gabriel Jesus and nketiah are enough…look at the list of top scorers in the PL…most of the top 5 appear more clinical than what we have….look at the stats for shots taken as well…..only a league title will justify …

Kojo

Pal, Raya is not ‘my favorite’, but you see that’s me, I am not paid to do team selection, neither will I be called to answer if the team plays bad, Raya equally deserves our love and respect because it must be very difficult on him dealing with all the negative feelings for him from the very fans who should be supporting him. Let’s also remember how People dropped fan favorite and England number one Hart, when he took over, Hart was a far better keeper than those who replaced him but it was purely about a certain way of… Read more »

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

The Arsenal is bigger than any player but our history says we do things right. Getting rid of our captain who couldn’t turn up on time = right.
Freezing out a keeper who had an incredible season = wrong.

Greg in Seattle

Replacing a keeper with declining stats who doesn’t align with the vision of the play style is exactly what I’d hope a club and manager would do. You can make the change respectfully, but it’s going to sting regardless. You still do it if it’s “right” for the club.

Rufusstan

Still to be convinced he is much of and upgrade on Ramsdale.

Naked Cygan

I think overall he is a good keeper and with his feet he is slightly better than Ramsdale but his height seriously bothers me and I get Ospina wibes from him. With time his chemistry and communication will improve with the team. I think we have had a good relationship with Brentford over the years and they helped us with the Raya transfer to meet the financial rules with the transfer. I hope we can do a similar deal with Toney loan in January option to buy in the summer. Maybe Nketia can go on loan as part of the… Read more »

NorthernGooner

People keep saying how good he is with his feet but all i keep seeing from him is long passes going to the opposition or directly out of play. I’ve noticed in the last 6 or 8 matches (after his “display” v Man City) he tends to pass it short, which defeats the point.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Careful about starting the truth on here, the thumbs downers get twitchy! Haha

Giuseppe Hovno

The comment of someone who just can’t accept that their opinion is unpopular

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

With who?

Adney Toams

Absolutely agree!

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Agreed.

Abdul bakar

Well adapt quickly so you can eradicate your mistakes by given your best for the club.. You need more cleansheets. COYG

Daveo

He’s got the right attitude! I’m expecting a big second half from half from him, guide this team to a title! Next task, West Ham. COYG!

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Yeah we had a No1 with an even better attitude but that counted for nothing.

Rob

We’ve no time for you to adapt, no excuses, either perform or we have a more than adequate replacement for you patiently waiting in the wings.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

That ship has sailed. There have been at least 2 sub par performances from Raya where Arteta could have dropped the teacher’s pet and brought back Ramsdale but Arteta will never do it.

“Arteta could have dropped the teacher’s pet but he won’t do it” Why would Arteta drop Raya for being a teacher’s pet when Arteta is the teacher? Why would the teacher drop his own favourite student? Why would a coach drop a player who is consistent with his game plan? If you want to have a go at Raya by all means do, but trying to insult him by tacitly acknowledging he listens to Arteta and fits in better with Arteta’s gameplan than Ramsdale just makes you sound confused. Him being a “teacher’s pet” is the exact reason Arteta won’t… Read more »

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Oh dear. As I’ve said many times I’ve got nothing against Raya. The teacher’s pet comment is directed more at Arteta.
I think the confused on here are the ones that just don’t get that swapping a top performing keeper, who has built a huge bond with the fans (just like Arteta wanted) for an obliging yes man who is in no way noticeably better and then talking nonsense about why you did it is not a classy move.

Yeah and I agree with you about almost everything, I think Ramsdale’s a great keeper and has outperformed Raya from a goalkeeping perspective, I love Ramsdale as a fan favourite player and I think players like that are important at any club. I think Arteta handled it in quite a cowardly manner by not being open about who was number one. But again you called Raya a “yes man” which is clearly an insult directed against Raya (much as teacher’s pet also is an insult against both Raya and Arteta), because you’re projecting your anger at Arteta onto Raya. Which… Read more »

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Again, my ‘yes man’ point is not a dig at Raya, it’s just a tongue in cheek way of saying he does what he’s told, like players should do. That’s certainly no reason to have axed Ramsdale like he did. I also don’t accept that Ramsdale wasn’t prepared to play how Arteta wants. That’s smoke and mirrors nonsense that the pro Raya crowd (no that’s NOT a dig at Raya, *sigh*) and Arteta yes. As if Ramsdale would say to his manager, nope, not playing that way! In terms of my ‘insults’ they have 99% of the time purely been… Read more »

Calling someone a “yes man” or a “teacher’s pet” is absolutely a dig and you know it is, “tongue in cheek” or not – if Arteta is dishonest then so are you for repeatedly trying to weasel out of taking responsibility for your own language. It’s fine to be angry at the situation, I don’t love it either, but you can either accept you’re taking out your anger by insulting Raya or else you can, you know, actually stop insulting him. Again I get the frustration but the whole “ah I was only joking” shtick comes across as pathetic and… Read more »

BillyTheDandy

Surely being a yes man is the point, and that every player should be a yes man? that’s another term for doing the tactics the manager wants…

Man Manny

You are, somehow, blaming Raya for Ramsdale’s loss of his number one spot.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

I’ve never said that. Ever. I blame the manager.

Greg in Seattle

You are blaming the manager for Ramsdale not measuring up and/or aligning with the desired play style in the manager’s eyes? That kind of decision is precisely what he is paid to make. That you and a subset of the fan base don’t approve is immaterial. Tierney is also a good player and a fan favorite and was a part of the early rebuild, and was ultimately deemed an imperfect fit for the final phase of our quest for the title. No one is undroppable when you are looking for those last percentage points of improvement to get to the… Read more »

Skinny Ricki

Probably Arteta’s most conflicting decision for me in the last four years. (Discarding the waning Ozil and Aubamayeng was brave but necessary; cutting adrift the deadwood and those not on board with the project, from Guendouzi to Mustafi, all entirely vindicated; only really dodgy transfers I can think of is Willian, or Runarsson, if he counts). For me – and many who understand the game more deeply than I – the jury is still out on who’s the better keeper, now and in the long term. No disrespect whatsoever to Raya, who seems a decent enough fella, but Ramsdale embodied… Read more »

gooner

And those who understand the game more deeply might include legendary Valencia manager Garry Neville? Look we all have our favorites but what matters is the team winning and being competitive. You can support the club through thick and thin but a manager lives by his results and decisions, not by selecting our favorites. The only jury out there is the manager losing his job because silly decisions made his team uncompetitive or getting rightful praise because he pulled it off. Arteta has my trust and if we had prime Messi and he got a guy he believes adds a… Read more »

Skinny Ricki

Fair points. Just saying I feel conflicted about the decision, and have seen so many mistakes from Raya I haven’t been convinced yet he’s an upgrade. Hopefully I’m wrong. Arteta is a genius IMHO, but doesn’t mean every decision is perfect. In any case, as you suggest we all need to come to terms with it. Happy New Year.

gooner

Good points too. The thing with Raya though is he gets people to the extremes. When describing his errors you’d think he’s Vito Manone king fu kicking that ball in a champions league game in Greece, Alumunia rushing out of goal combined with Fabianski (the Arsenal version) flapping balls in Runnarson’s body. That’s the first reaction every time a post about Raya comes on here. You suspect he’s not as bad as advertised and I can swear I watched Allison make worse howlers in one game a few weeks back but luckily he is not sharing his duties with an… Read more »

Skinny Ricki

COYG!

Alberto Balsam Mendez Rodriguez

Ramsdale is a young, likeable, keeper, who has put in some decent performances and physically won the crowd over,
while Raya is a somewhat quieter player at a similar level, who has yet to win the crowd over, partly because Ramsdale is here and has done so.

Both have blips of concentration, like any goalkeepers,
sadly Ramsdale’s lapses in concentration tend to get punished more.

Raya is marginally ahead (for me personally),
however I do worry that Ramsdale has the potential to improve beyond Raya.

gooner

I absolutely love Ramsdale and I was shocked when we moved for Raya. I feel bad for Ramsdale but I understand the manager has to make the decisions he makes. What I don’t agree with is hatred towards an Arsenal player and Raya is an Arsenal player who didn’t sign himself into the club. Same way Ramsdale came in when we had Leno just taking over from Cech. Thing is guess how Raya or any other player would feel about the online bashing from their own fans most of it just for who they are teammates with and not howlers… Read more »

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Why do people not understand, it’s not about favourites (unless you’re Arteta as his favourite is Raya). Our annoyance is that for once in a very long time, I’d say even as far back as Seaman, we had a keeper we loved, who had personality and who had an immense season and the manager changed him. It’s just wrong, it’s not about favourites.

Gunner1971

You just admitted that you love Ramsdale, hence he is YOUR favourite.
So Arteta should keep playing YOUR favourite, right?

Bleeding gums murphy

Checkmate

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

How’s that then? Favourites should have nothing to do with it. We went down that road in the later Wenger years and that didn’t exactly end well.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Oh dear. Again, it’s not about favourites. *please read above.

Daveo

Keep digging man, there has to be a way out of that hole with that shovel you’ve got…

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Yep, it’s a lovely shovel that’ll dig us all the way to having Raya as No1, Ramsdale strengthening a rival and a no2 worse than Matt turner. Well done.

gooner

Well I won’t say “we” but I loved Lehmann, his personality was unmatched and the seasons he had were beyond immense. Then Wenger just changed him for Almunia but it was all out war!
We all love Ramsdale but it doesn’t mean we should hate Raya( an Arsenal player) we can simply love them both. One thing is for sure, none of us can pick the team. We might reach a point where some wish Raya starts costing us games or even titles if that’s the price to pay to see Ramsdale regain his place

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Again, I don’t hate or have anything against Raya. If he’d have come in to replace Leno I would have seen that as an upgrade.
The issue is what Arteta did to one of the top 3 keepers of last season and then lied about it.

Vonnie

I don’t think Arteta lied about it, I think things changed in a way he didn’t expect. Nobody can deny that Ramsdale was an improvement on Leno and a nice lad who is engaging and fun with the fans. He was also piss poor at the end of last season, which is when an unexpected opportunity to bring in Raya opened up. The club would’ve been mad to turn that down. Ramsdale is on record, with different interviews including a gobsmacked Wrighty, of admitting that he can’t concentrate for stretches of time so he has to shit stir with fans… Read more »

Adney Toams

I hadn’t noticed Raya communicating with the back-line, which I think is vital for the team – just saying…

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

He’s been right on so much but I think we’re allowed to say he’s been massively wrong on this.
You’re exactly right about Ramsdale embodying the young dynamic players with personality we could get behind. Raya is not that.

Greg in Seattle

You are allowed to say it of course. But don’t go thinking it’s the majority opinion.

appelsenpere

Margins at this level might not be visible to us normal folk. We’ll need to be open to the idea of losing/seeing a player that helped us get here being dropped or sold if we’re to compete with the elite.

gooner

The goalkeeping issue at hand is quite complex. It’s not really about margins and who might be helping better. It’s about some folk hating Raya simply because he’s being selected ahead of Ramsdale. When we signed Ramsdale from a relegated team to come in everyone thought he was backup to a German international in Leno. The problem was the fee looked hefty so there was always that hint he was coming in to compete. The situation was similar but the difference was more to do with their nationalities and who fans are more likely to sympathize with. I was here… Read more »

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

I’ve got zero beef with Raya about all this, it’s in the disgraceful way Arteta has handled it. Especially with the ethos he was bringing to the club about togetherness with fans and players and then he drops a fantastic goalkeeper who embodied exactly what he wanted in making that connection with the fans + he was quality and could only get better.

Gunner1971

There’s nothing “disgraceful” about it. He is doing his job, and if he ends up getting it wrong you can call him on it. Why is this so personal for you? Are you actually Ramsdale’s dad?

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Sorry but aren’t we allowed to call him on it now? Why can’t we call him on a move that lacked so much class on a player, who on form alone (forget he’s a top bloke) didn’t not deserve it and then kick him in the nuts by telling blatant lies about it.

Doghouse

The only way back in for ramsbo is if raya gets an injury (which i don’t want to happen) and then gets a few clean sheets under his belt, that would make it interesting..

Daveo

Margins are fine and difficult to see, but not impossible:
22/23 v 23/24 per game:
xGa: 1.21 v 0.91
Ga: 1.13 v 0.89
SoTa: 3.58 v 2.33
Raya was brought in to bring these numbers down. And they’re down. Are their other contributing factors. Yes, but Raya is absolutely one of those. Data speaks for itself.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

The yawnfest at stats is beyond dull and completely opposite of the connection Ramsdale has with the fans.

Daveo

You couldn’t have proven that point more perfectly. This isn’t about improvements. It’s about blind love and nationalism… Well done lad!!

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Nationalism…Hahaha! Oh dear. Yep excellent and intelligent comment to someone you know nothing about, including his family being European and having a Spanish wife. Yeah totally about nationalism.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Oh and wasn’t it our beloved manager who wanted to build that love and connection with the fans. Oh I happen to love Ødegaard too, oh sh*t, is that allowed?

A Different George

I wonder what last season’s statistics look like if you exclude the games without Saliba. I’m sure it’s possible to figure that out. I support the decision to use Raya, because I think Arteta has proven he knows what he’s doing. But I think Saliba and Rice have done more to change the defensive statistics than the keeper.

Daveo

They’ve for sure influenced the numbers too (as acknowledged) but there is no doubting Raya, who makes more cross claims than Rammers or ANY other keeper in the EPL (by a wide margin), more sweeper actions, and is statistically speaker a much better distributor than Rammers, has had a clear role to play in those numbers – the fact that the “Rammerers” wave Raya’s informed away when, just those three days points, which in all the Raya is well ahead and are DIRECTLY linked to preventing chances, is nonsense. I welcome you to find and show the data you ask… Read more »

Daveo

Woah…that last response was a mess. Dam autocorrect. Anway point was – yes, I acknowledge Saliba and Rice are big impacts on those stats (as I stated). But Raya was brought in to reduce the number of chances we give up, his best attributes (preventing crosses, improving distribution and possession, and cutting out more through balls – sweeper actions) all work in preventing chances. You’re waving his contributions away without data – I emphasize again he was brought in to reduce the chances we concede and the numbers show we are conceding less chances and goals. What more can he… Read more »

NorthernGooner

I fully respect Arteta’s absolute right to pick any player he wants, that should be a given for any manager at any club. Personally, I don’t see Raya as being better than Ramsdale, but that’s my opinion. With that out of the way, I do have a lot to say about the way Arteta has gone about replacing Ramsdale. I think it’s been done in a very deceptive and underhand manner and leaves a very bitter aftertaste. Arteta’s explanations when Raya was brought into the club have been proven to be totally disingenuous if not downright false, and that to… Read more »

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Exactly, well said.
I’ve been saying this for months about how disingenuous Arteta’s reasons have proven to be.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Blah, blah, blah.
He knows his position is safe no matter what he does.
He also knows that if Arteta had treated him like this after a ‘fantastic season’ as you he put it, he’d have left.
Nothing against Raya but he’s not brought any considerable improvement (queue the stat geeks!), no added energy, no fan engagement and no personality.
Never my No1 (queue the thumbs down)

Gunner1971

Ederson, Alisson, Courtois, Donnarumma, Ter Stegen, Neuer etc…

What “energy” did they bring to their elite-level clubs? Tell me about it.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

So what? We had an awesome keeper, who also happened to be a big personality with a great connection with the fans.

Jelvis

We needed a backup keeper. We got one, a very good one. That was Ramsdale a few years ago. He became number 1 because he showed he could play the way Arteta wanted, better than Leno. History has repeated itself. Raya has come in and is playing how Arteta wants. Ramsdale should be putting in every effort to improve himself and follow the manager’s instructions. He is the younger keeper and if he can play with more maturity that Arteta wants he will have a fantastic career with us.
Up the Arsenal

Billy bob

Exactly the point, Raya is a quick solution to a fix that arteta needed… but if ramsdale learns these additional extras he will become the number one

Cobbler No1

I thought we had our keeper sorted for the next 15years and that he’d probably be England No1 too. Instead, we seem to have swapped a young keeper with the potential to be a club great for the 28yr old brentford keeper. Weird just really really weird. Personally it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if Raya went back to brentford tomorrow, I wouldn’t feel that we’d lost anything.

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