Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Raya tells Arsenal not to fixate on Anfield atmosphere

David Raya says Arsenal can expect a hostile atmosphere when Arsenal take on Liverpool next weekend but it shouldn’t be a focal point of the team’s preparations.

Without a league win at Anfield since 2012, a narrative has developed that the Gunners wilt when the home fans find their voice.

In some respects, manager Mikel Arteta has fuelled it. In Amazon’s “All or Nothing” documentary he admitted he was ashamed at being overawed as a player during a 5-1 defeat at Anfield in 2014.

He then came up with the “crazy idea” – his words, not ours – that his squad might benefit from training while giant speakers blasted “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

As it turns out, it didn’t do much good. In part because Arteta, of all people, stoked up the home support by going at Jurgen Klopp on the touchline. What was a close encounter at half time ended 4-0 to Liverpool.

Adding to Arsenal’s Anfield misery, we blew a two-goal advantage in April at a vital moment in the title race. On that occasion, Granit Xhaka was deemed guilty of riling up the terraces after a coming together with Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Against that backdrop, Raya’s comments make sense. Be aware of the atmosphere but don’t turn it into a big thing.

“Of course it is a massive game for any of the top teams playing against Liverpool away from home – with Anfield and the atmosphere,” he told the Evening Standard after Sunday’s win over Brighton.

“I think comparing the last time I played there with Brentford and what we are going to face on Saturday is completely different.

“I think obviously they (the fans) will be more on top of us now, especially as we are fighting to be on top of the Premier League.

“It is going to be very, very important but we don’t have to focus on the atmosphere. We have to focus on ourselves and the football, and win the match.

“I think pressure is what you put on yourself. I don’t think [about] the pressure from the outside, because I don’t listen to the outside world.”

You can understand why Raya might be wearing earmuffs a fair bit. Since he arrived at Arsenal, there has been non-stop chatter about his rivalry with Aaron Ramsdale, whom he’s usurped as the club’s first-choice keeper.

In all likelihood, that debate won’t die down until one of them leaves the club. For now, Raya says he and Ramsdale are very supportive of each other.

“He is a top, top goalkeeper and a top, top team-mate. We are team-mates, we are fighting for one position,” he reflected.

“That’s the only problem being a goalkeeper, there is only one that can play and I am just there to help the team as much as possible.

“Aaron and me we have a good relationship, especially as we push each other in every training session. That is going to make us better and it is going to make the team better.”

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Tbh I didn’t know David Raya could speak, so this is exciting news.


Rambo deserves his place back, Raya is a dud who is good at his feet when there is no pressure. But isn’t a GK expected to stop goals ?


GK is expected to help the team win. Even if we set aside Raya’s huge advantage in ball distribution and tempo control, Raya has been an above average PL shot stopper throughout his career, while Ramsdame is below average in all but 1 season.


I’ll be honest I never warmed but I now see his value for how we played but I can’t help getting nervous each time we defend a cross or a corner. His distribution though top notch.


Not sure if you noticed or not, but we have the lowest goals against in the league along with Liverpool and Allisson. Probably doesn’t mean anything, though. Ramsdale’s smile is more important. Get him back in there!

Dr. Gooner

The obsession with Ramsdale is mind boggling. I can’t remember Arsenal fans actually liking one of our goalkeepers in ages, but now this one is attracting a cult following. There is no objective argument in favor of Ramsdale. I don’t have any ill will towards him but at the end of the day this is very much like when we had Rob Holding, likeable chap, OK footballer, but we bought Ben White who was just better. My personal theory about this is that people remember moments about football, and they love Ramsdale for his great save from Maddison, for his… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Nothing against Raya, but I kinda wish we’d all stop talking about it.

It’s just some people singing. Fulham nearly won there. United drew.

I just think we might be over-indexing the significance of the Anfield atmosphere.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Brighton rotate keepers but nobody mentions it.
It’s all down to Arsenal hate and an Englishman losing his place

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Oh, just realised you meant the Anfield atmosphere


It’s not rotation if one is stuck on the bench all the time and watch the blunder bus that is Raya waltzing on as if mistakes don’t count against him just because we happen to win the games! I hope he shuts me up on Saturday by winning the game for us but much more likely he will miss a cross, not reach a shot and we will be having this conversation again…


This was a joke because he is so emotionless and quiet. That I have to explain it…


I’m with you on principle but it is a bit more than just some people singing, I think there’s an animosity that you really feel as a player when it’s expressed that passionately by 60,000 people against you personally, and conversely Liverpool players feel it like a wind at their back when that singing gets a tide of energy. I don’t know if any of it can be proven with the tools of current science but there’s something there beyond the sheer loudness of it, and honestly I really don’t think Arteta can simulate that something by blasting a recording… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

I’m sure some psychologist somewhere must have studied the effect of a crowd’s reaction on our psyche. It’s powerful. I think the best players take that negative energy and use it as fuel to play even better. Ironically that’s one of Ramsdale’s best traits. He very obviously feeds off of that.


Great point about Ramsdale. Yep some players are just built like that, not sure it’s necessarily always just the best players, but most of the best players are probably that way, otherwise they wouldn’t be very good in half their games.

Dr. Gooner

This is one of the few things I blame Arteta for not handling well. Totally a human understandable to have difficult emotions about a certain fixture, but in this case it was clearly counterproductive to emphasize it so much, especially with the documentary. Now it’s a “thing” that follows us until we can put it to bed. The only way to do that is to go there and win. We can do it as well, and arguably should do it because I think we are a more complete team than them.


While I think we have what it takes to beat Liverpool this season, I don’t think we’ll be able to overcome the officiating that will surely tilt the field significantly against us. Nonetheless, I will pray for a miracle.

A Different George

Yeah, the officials have definitely been on a campaign to help Liverpool. That’s why they beat Spurs so easily. What is the matter with you?


The matter with me is that whenever we play Liverpool, the officials do what they can to tilt the field in their advantage. At Anfield last season, Tierney allowed their players (Konate, Van D, Fabinho, Robertson) to foul us with impunity while handing us a deck of yellow cards for anything and everything. At the Emirates last season, Oliver looked the other way when both Tsimikas and Gomez should have received red cards and didn’t caution any of their players until the 65th minute. If you remember last season former referee chief Hackett commented publicly that Arsenal seem to receive… Read more »



Emanuel Ferreira

This Raya situation is so weird… I can’t really sympathize with him when I see him in goal. It always seems wrong, like he is a stranger and not part of our Arsenal family. And I’m always hoping that Aaron gets his place back, so we look like more like the family of last season. Besides, on the techninal aspect itself, I don’t see enough reason to demote Aaron. Raya seems to blunder just as much.


So Brexit?


Ramsdale was poor at the end of last season and although he’s a really nice lad he’s too flaky for my liking. He also admitted that he’s not comfortable doing what Mikel asks him to do and so they came to a compromise. No player is ever going to compromise the way Mikel expects this team to play. The family you refer to last season didn’t win anything, this season is a more grown up team and Raya fits that better.

Spanish Gooner

Agree with this. Obviously everybody was good last season, but coming second means anybody who isn’t undeniably world class is liable to be replaced if the market presents an opportunity. I’d say only Saka, Ø, Saliba and maybe Gabby Maghalaes /Martinelli were irreplaceable last summer.


The Raya Ramsdale debate brings the worst out of us. But to blame his solely at end of last season js a stretch. MA made poor choices throughout the season wity player management which cost us at the end,his team selection left a lot to be desired.
Collectively the team and defens crumble. My view is that we found ourselves unprepared to challenge city and crumble. We learn and move on.

Over the Highbury Hill

I think the point is Ramsdale wasn’t told the truth when Raya came in. All this stuff about rotating the keepers, and two no.1s looks like bullshit so far… and I feel for him. I don’t have a clear picture of whether he’s definitely an inferior keeper to Raya, but he’s always committed, does his best and has a huge, likeable character. To be dropped unceremoniously (while being told he wasn’t being dropped) feels like shabby treatment. He hasn’t behaved badly, turned up late or failed to put in a shift like certain others who’ve been frozen out over recent… Read more »


we don’t know what he was told. lest we all forget, Ramsdale is a new father; no clue what lack of sleep could be doing to his training. my point is, without being on the inside, we’re all just shooting our mouths off for nothing… and stating preferences or prejudices. very few goals allowed… a little bit of all right.


We will need to be way more efficient in front of goal if we’re going to get anything at Anfield.


And other games too. What worries me as well is how poor we are on counter attacks. We could have a 5 vs 2 situation in our favour on the break but most times you’d bet on our man under hitting or over hitting the pass, a spooky mis control or a slip up.

We just seem so poor at catching teams out the rare occasions we get

Spanish Gooner

The fact that we’ve been creating more than we’ve scored is probably seen as a positive by Arteta as it implies we can get even better this year. We used to beat xG regularly under Emery with Aubazette in their prime, but that just meant when they reverted to being average finishers the team turned to absolute shit.

Dr. Gooner

I think we will get lots of chances. It should be a similar game to Brighton actually, tactically speaking, but being in a hostile environment and Liverpool’s superior talent in certain positions compared to Brighton will even it out more.


Raya the man that can’t be trusted between the posts, nothing to do against Brighton, yet almost spilled a simple cross, he doesn’t inspire confidence and if anyone freezes against Liverpool, it will be him


Do people talk this bad about Pickford being ahead of Ramsdale for England or it’s just a xenophobic sentiment?

Anyone remembers how people wanted Giroud gone because he could only score 16 non penalty league goals but the same people loved 3 goal a season Welbeck just because he was Welbz, Dat guy, etc …….

Spanish Gooner

I think people in general confuse “is x doing better than I thought” with “is x good”? 3 years ago everybody thought Trent was the reincarnation of Cafu and Trippier was finished, so now that they’re both basically top 4 quality right backs everybody loves Trippier and criticises TAA


I’m more concerned with his body position on the gross chance in the second half- if it were on target he’s not getting close to any shot there at the near post.


Yeah, I mean he only all goal keepers in the EPL in the % of crosses claimed (18%) by a wide margin (Sa @ 12.8% and Martinez @12.4%).


*Leads all GKs in EPL in % crosses claimed*

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’m feeling confident about getting a win on Saturday, or at least coming away without a loss. That will probably change to the complete opposite feeling, round about 17.27 Saturday evening


If the game yesterday was any indication, the atmosphere won’t be a problem at all. It certainly wasn’t a problem when we went 2 goals up against them last time round. Without wanting to jinx it, I feel that this is a Liverpool team there for the taking, especially after a difficult midweek fixture against West Ham.

A Different George

It is Anfield, and they are a very good team, but we will have real advantages: (1) They play a League Cup fixture at home on Wednesday against West Ham. (2) Their midfield was unimpressive against Man United. That will be even worse against us if MacAllister is not back and, while his return would help them, they are still overmatched there. That will be even more true if Rice/Gabriel can contain Salah, which allows Zinchenko to join Odegaard in controlling the centre of the park. (3) Alexander-Arnold will need help against Martinelli; his ability to move into the “right… Read more »


Good points G.

Dr. Gooner

Trent is the key. They move him around so much, especially when they are trying to score. I don’t think most fans realize how good that guy is on the ball because of all the focus on his suspect 1 v 1 defending. I don’t throw around things like “elite” and “generational” that much but Trent is both of those things WITH the ball. I saw a stat that he’s already created and scored more goals than Dani Alves and Marcelo did in their entire careers COMBINED, and somehow Trent is still only 25! We’ve never seen a defender do… Read more »

Andy Drew

Raya is too short as a Gk. In all honesty, I don’t think our long term Gk is Ramsdale Or Raya. Will be another Gk.


“In the long run we are all dead”.

Raya will become a permanent transfer in the summer. He will be the first choice goalkeeper next season.

That is about as far ahead as it is possible to look with any certainty.

karl g

I’d agree.Against Brighton his fumble was because of a lack of height. With Ramsdale bridges burnt, I think we need a new keeper.


Miki’s plan of playing to our players You will never walk alone is priceless, can you imagine the players going out to that motivation psychological bollocks, no wonder we got thumped, we have a woeful record at Anfield but like our record v Man C they are there to be beat, lets hope for a strong referee not to be swayed with scousers, and a better return on VAR decisions, and getting an early goal 1st half i can see us getting all 3 points in this one..


With Raya Arsenal feels like 10+1 starters. The team just doesn’t feel complete without Rams between the sticks. His banter, exuberance and sunny smile were part and parcel of this resurgent team for two seasons.
Hope Raya makes some spectacular league winning saves because that’s the only ticket to full inclusion. Shutting Liverpool out and probably a direct assist in the game will be a great start.
Meantime there is very little hope of this happening but it would be a nice surprise to see Rams selected for this game though.

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