Monday, April 22, 2024

Raya: We are confident of progressing

David Raya says Arsenal are confident of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite losing 1-0 to Porto in the first leg. 

The Gunners have to wait three weeks to put right a sloppy performance at the Estadio do Dragao which was punished right at the death by a clinical finish by Brazil winger Galeno. 

While question marks have been asked of Raya’s positioning for the goal, the Spaniard seemed to dive a little early, it’s the way possession was conceded cheaply in the build-up that mostly irked his manager. 

“It was a few things before that,” said Raya when asked by TNT Sports about Galeno’s strike. 

“We should have managed a little bit more in that stage of the game. We were near [to a draw] and away from home, so we should have kept the calmness a little bit more. But it’s a good finish from outside the box and that’s what happens in football. 

“It’s a tough one to take obviously, just to concede in the last minute. But it’s half-time [in the tie], we’ve still got to play at home and we have to go there and win the game.

The Gunners will have to overturn the one goal deficit when the two sides meet on 12 March. It’s a long wait for revenge, especially with three Premier League matches coming in quick succession.

“We are confident. We know what we’re capable of and we know we have a better level to play,” said Raya. 

“And especially at home with our fans, we’re going to need them there and we will try and win the game.”

Midfielder Declan Rice was similarly positive about Arsenal’s chances and hinted the dressing, for all its disappointment, clearly feels they can rectify the situation.

“Nothing has changed,” he told reporters after the game. “You can lose games of football. We’re not going to beat teams 5-0, 6-0 every week, it’s impossible.

“Nothing has changed. We’re still going to work really hard, this is the most positive I’ve seen a group after defeat. We take really positivity from the game. Heads up, there’s no need to dwell.

“We’ve got a big game Saturday at Emirates and we’ll fight and give everything.”

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How much of the performance was about Arsenal players not being on their game and how much of it was about Porto players being really on their game? I’d say about 60/40


More about Porto (as expected) being a disruptive force to the type of game we like to play Or in plain terms errrr cheating ? Expect more of the same on Saturday from The Toon as they’ve adopted “James” Sit Down dong instead of local hero as their anthem ! Porto will do the same in the return leg so we need to be ready for that smash & grab performance. A good scrappy win would do it for me I need to see us be “smart” & maybe a touch more cynical ??? Apart from that ? Porto aren’t… Read more »


They had the perfect structure to deny us. We felt so flat though, after 10 min I had a bad feeling and kind of knew it would be the same all game. I didn’t even find them as annoying or divey as others. We’ve had much more combative games this season. I suspect Mikel told them to take the sting out of the game, maybe not but it felt like we started intentionally slowly. Combine that with us not being prepared for how good Porto were off the ball and it was a bad recipe which was hard to see… Read more »


It has to be said that we had a toothless minnow of a ref on whom Porto had clearly done their homework and just upped the ridiculous dramatics as the game went on.
It was laughably pathetic to see those second half corners where 3 or 4 Porto players would all hurl themselves to the turf at the same time!

Heavenly Chapecoense

Agree, for the goal 60 (Raya not in a good position), 40 (such a nice shot that the player wouldn’t have tried if Raya was well in the middle of his sticks given his limited arm span).


True, how tall is this guy by the way?


The Porto manager clearly did his homework. After watching a few PL games he realised that the best way to play us was by getting 9 men behind the ball and frustrating us. Forest nearly nicked a point from us a few weeks ago by doing exactly this. Yesterday’s game plan was ugly but effective for the Portuguese team. Arteta should have changed things up in the second half and maybe brought on Eddie. The only sub he made all night was a negative one. BTW: it looks like Arteta has finally given up on Eddie. I’m sure our number… Read more »

Ponsonby Gooner

We played the same 11 for the third time in 10 days (I think?) and only made one sub during the game. I know the bench looked a bit light as we’ve got quite a few players out, but some of the players on the bench have made important contributions in the past. It’s just that recently they haven’t had minutes at all, so you question whether they’re worth bringing on. I think we need to work on how we rotate now we’re back in the champions league.

Le Sulk

Same 11 in 10 days, yes, but in the last two games we’ve been able to make subs with the game finished around the 60th minute and not really apply ourselves the last 30 minutes. So the players shouldn’t be looking jaded, we know Arteta’s demanding that top players can play twice a week.
We should have rotated because nothing seemed to work, so an ESR could maybe have provided us with something different in attack.


There’s always the risk when talking about subs of doing a “grass is always greener”. I don’t think that’s the case with ESR though. He’s a goal scorer. When he’s gotten cameos recently he comes close to scoring A LOT. I remember many of them, all great strikes unfortunately right at the keeper. MAs lack of trust in him is baffling at this point. Even if he’s the worst trainer in our squad or can’t keep his weight down or whatever the issue is, he’s capable of arriving late and scoring. In a game like yesterday he probably wouldn’t have… Read more »


I agree with you. No one can convince me that, considering the game state, a fresh Reiss Nelson isn’t better than a tired Martinelli in the last 15 minutes of the game. That’s on Arteta.

Frog In Ze Room

Can he grow a couple of inches before the second leg? The best player yesterday was our captain , playing through the lines. Why not playing Emile? Very conservative approach from the gaffer I thought


It’s good the players are staying positive. My fear is just like against sporting last year we face a similar challenge. We’ve seen two types of opponents in the league and group phase. Low blocks which we put under siege and mostly beat eventually, then the open games where we thrive and mostly thrash the opposition. Porto, like Sporting last year seems like a hybrid. It’s not a low block but a very crowded midfield pressing hard once we cross the centre line. Worst of all is the very organised counter attack with nimble feet and cunning. We don’t face… Read more »


Us needed to score 3 if they score 1 scares me a little. A lot actually.

just saying

no more away goal ruling

Death by 300,000 Passes

The away goal is not a factor anymore


Raya is a good goalie but the fact is he’s too small for the elite level. He’s only 6 foot. Need’s to be at least 6’2, heading for 6’4. Courtois is 6’7 and has the wingspan to reach shots like that. Raya simply doesn’t


And his positional awareness is quite poor too. I think we lost because of his mistake.


I said the same thing yesterday and my post was removed by the moderator 😂 Raya is not a decent keeper and will keep shipping weak goals in.


We lost because of a series of what I repeatedly flag on here as ‘brain-farts’ (and get downvoted for it). Loss of focus, momentary laziness, call it what you will – at the highest level, you get punished. End of…


yes brain farts. But brain farts can be saved if the keeper digs you out. Alisson has saved Liverpool so many times with great saves after brain farts

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Ramsdale your hero.


Agreed, and I’ve always wanted my goalkeepers to be 6″2 minimum, so this is nothing personal against Raya.

Public Elneny

A couple inches in reach pales in significance compared to the difference proper positioning, footwork, anticipation, technique can make. Especially when you can expect a smaller goalkeeper to be a bit more agile and springy than a taller one.

There have been plenty of top quality 5’11”-6’0″ keepers throughout history who it’s hard to envision letting that one past them


Amusing thing here is that if Martinelli scores that at the other end, no one says a peep about the GK. that’s a cracking curling strike in of the edge of the post. Big question is WTF is jorgs doing with the pass that led to the goal, why isn’t Rice closing down with more urgency. Raya is the scapegoat (particularly with zinny out – can’t say enough how much we missed him, both our full backs were poor). Raya was exceptional in this game, distribution was sound, so secure on the ball, claimed every cross and made some critical… Read more »


Martinelli played the pass before the goal, not Jorginho


Oh fair enough, I thought it was jorgs on both viewings; my bad. Makes Martinelli’s poor night worse. Naivety on that was illogical. Even if that absurd pass comes off Saka is alone almost with 3-4 defenders around, slim chance at a goal. Why risk it?


Martinelli was shattered. The game management was weak, he should have been subbed and then the leggy pass doesn’t happen.

A Different George

Thierry Henry said the opposite: if Martinelli’s pass gets through, it’s a 3 v 2 break for Arsenal. But I agree with you about Raya being the scapegoat and how we really missed Zinchenko–not because Kiwior was poor (or no poorer than anyone else), but because Zinchenko changes the midfield balance and suddenly Odegaard has more space, further forward.


Raya was most certainly not exceptional. Decent up until that last hurrah – but the real fault has to unfortunately lie with Declan: slow to read the move inside, then still lurks at 2m away inviting the shot, and then doesn’t even raise his leg to at least attempt to block the shot.
Very, very poor.

El Mintero

lol. Diverse opinions are always welcome to spark good debate but come on dude – “Raya was exceptional” all game?!! That’s ridiculous. His poor positioning on their goal cost us.

And no, we did not miss Zinchenko’s lack of defensive capabilities at all. Your fan boyisms blight otherwise good comments.


So, diverse opinions are always welcome (especially when your reply starts with an ‘lol’) – but if someone’s opinion varies from yours on the usual whine about a particular player, it is considered ‘fan boyism’? I’m old so would that make it ‘fan manism’ when it comes to me? Or is the real insult calling other men, boys? Because the ‘fan’ part of it seems to…well, make no sense. Do you use the terms ‘woke’ and ‘cancel culture’ as well? Good times! Anyways, I digress. It was an an extremely good strike on goal, hitting the inside side-netting. Could Raya… Read more »

El Mintero

Yeah you’re right…you digress…😴


it’s not a scapegoat. I’m just talking about one incident that had a huge impact on the game. Elite goalkeepers save that shot. Yes Elite wingers don’t make that really poor pass that Martinelli made but I’m making one point at a time, of course there is nuance.


Completely agree. But Raya isn’t a keeper he’s a defender with gloves.

karl g

I can only think of Ospina:-)


An international goalkeeper?


Ospina was never Elite. We are aiming a lot higher as a team now than we were aiming when we signed Ospina (also was signed as a second goalie for 3m, pennies. Not a first team player)


But the elite goalkeepers are never 5’11, never. And if we want to be elite, we need elite players. He’s a good goalie but can sadly never get over physical size of the elite goalies. The top 3 goalkeepers every year since 2017 has had nobody smaller than 6’1 and that was Keylor Navas coming 3rd one time. He has top class reflexes, positioning etc but was still taller than Raya


Also didn’t help that he leapt at least a second too early… Rambo’s double-step and leap technique woulda saved that np.

karl g

Great as Raya is with distribution, this has always worried me and he does look small in the goal.


We need Jesus for these games and we’ve been given no idea if and when he will return.


We need Jesus and Zinny if we want to progress and challenge. Smashing West Ham and Burnley is one thing… Porto away in Europe is another, and it only gets harder from here. It was a poor showing, tactically too.


have you not witnessed how much more solid we are with Kiwior at LB????


The Zinchenko paradox: While we look more solid without him, when not playing he is (often) missed.


So you don’t think we can beat Porto with a similar team at home?

Sure, having Jesus and Zinchenko gives us additional strong and experienced options, but we’re more than capable of beating Porto without them.

Why downplay putting 11 goals past 2 premier league clubs while conceding none to justify a last minute loss away from home to a Champion’s league club. We didn’t play well collectively (like you said – a poor showing) in this game, it happens. Has next to nothing to do with the last 5 great games we’ve had (several without either Jesus or Zinchenko).


I’m not downplaying anything. Zinny is a brilliant player and brings a completely different dynamic. Gaurantee if for he would start – he’s built for champions league. So is Jesus. Kiwior has been great, but technically he’s not at zinny’s level, and I’ve not been impressed with white when asked to invert the RB position. He’s not great in the reverse zinny role. The critical part here is having different options. And alternative styles/tactics. We were a bit predictable against Porto and we better be ready for the reverse leg with a different look. I still expect us to qualify,… Read more »


There are a number of people, many of them Arsenal fans, on YouTube who make unofficial compilations of this player or that player, and set it to some awful noise that passes for music. If any of them are here, they could redeem themselves by compiling the Porto players throwing themselves to the ground. Comedy music, like Yakety Sax (a.k.a. Benny Hill Theme Tune) or similar could provide the musical backdrop.

Guns Up

Just watch the game back, ha ha. There’s an example every 30 seconds. The worst were their keeper going down in a heap after his own teammate barely nicked him and the guy who kept fighting White on corners hilariously collapsing cause White just moved out of his way. Their “tactic” for defending our dangerous set pieces was quite obviously to send several defenders to ground. Shameful of the ref to make it effective.


Less chat and more work on your positioning, Dave me ol’ mukka!

Dr. Gooner

Can anybody explain to me how Raya was supposed to do better on that shot? I heard Ally McCoist say it on the broadcast so I’m not dismissing it but I just don’t see it. That ball was just inside the post. Short of telegraphing the player’s intention, how could he have done more to keep that out?


Watch the replay carefully and then watch Rambo wonder-save in that FA Cup match. Safe-Hands analysed Rambo’s movement on that one and showed how, instead of just diving immediately, he clocks the direction of the ball and then dances one step side-ways before diving, giving himself a springboard from a point almost a metre closer to where he need to save the shot.
Raya – by contrast – leaps immediately, too early and is already falling downwards before the ball even gets parallel with him, giving him zero chance of ever reaching it.

Jah Bleess

If we look at the starting line up very well, we’ll see that Jorginho was needed in that line up, drop Trossard for Jorginho who can make those short and behind the defense passes, Trossard has always been a super sub in my own opinion in matches like this. Martinelli was awful in that match if only we’re being sincere. Anyway We Move #COYG

A Different George

So, does anyone remember we lost away to Lens? And handled them easily at home? Okay, Porto won’t play like Lens did at the Emirates–but we won’t play like we did in Porto either. Anything can happen in a knockout tie–but we have a more technical, quicker, and bigger (!) team. I wish we had won 4-0 so we could rotate in the second leg, but that was never going to happen. I still think we go through with plenty to spare.


This. Won’t quite be a 6-0 but we’ll beat them soundly at the Emirates. Not sure what the fuss is about

Dr. Gooner

Yes, the away game at Lens had big similarities to this one. Let’s hope the home leg follows the same pattern.


The Porto manager sure likes to talk.
I have a feeling his post-match bravado is going to end up on our dressing room walls.
I also know we are going to beat them resolutely in the return fixture.
That will shut them all up.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Seriously? Just keep quiet.
At this point just be thankful that your bad clearance and the poor save attempt on the goal will not cost you your place because the manager loves you and a lot of online blinkered fans love you.


🤣 Too funny!

Oh my lord. I’m SO with you mate!!!!!

Dr. Gooner

You basically just told Raya to get down the tunnel already

At least your bitterness makes a sad loss somewhat more tolerable.

I thank you for your service.

Signed, a blinkered online fan.

Parlour’s Pay Packet

Hate this. It’s a throwback to Mustafi digging his teammates out. Sure, Gabi could have just kept the ball but we had a 3 on 2. Rakes dale would never…


David Raya is so bang average it hurts, I hope arsenal don’t waste money making his transfer official.. I’m not saying ramsdale is better but at least ramsdale shows some passion.


Is it not already official? It is an obligation to buy


So, we need to get a new keeper this summer. Raya is a sideways move. Better with his feet, worse with his hands.
Leno, Rambo, Raya all midtable keepers

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