Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted that he is the one to blame for David Raya’s early errors in Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Manchester City.
Having ousted Aaron Ramsdale from the starting XI in recent weeks, Raya was given the nod – as expected – for the visit of the treble winners to the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
The Brentford loanee faced criticism in Arsenal’s Champions League loss to Lens in midweek, having seen an underhit pass to Takehiro Tomiyasu cut out before Les Sang et Or’s equaliser, and he did not cover himself in glory for Elye Wahi’s winner either.
In the opening minutes with Man City, Raya appeared extremely nervous and was caught in an unmanned position from a corner within the first 10 minutes, but fortunately for the Spanish player, Declan Rice was there to block Josko Gvardiol’s effort on the line.
Soon after, Raya held the ball in the six-yard box and saw Julian Alvarez block, but the Emirates breathed a sigh of relief when the Argentine’s shot went wide of the goal.
Fortunately for the Bees loanee, his mistakes were not costly as Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal ended Arsenal’s 12-match losing streak against the champions and pushed them above Man City to rank second in the Premier League rankings, equal on points with top team Tottenham. Rampage.
Speaking about Raya’s performance in the post-match press conference, Arteta described the former Blackburn Rovers man as ‘excellent’ and revealed that he had told the goalkeeper not to use first-line tactics against the opponents. champion.
“It’s my fault, all my fault,” Arteta said when questioned on Raya’s distribution. “They can pull me up on it because I asked him to do that, especially against this team, you just have to do other things and you get in big trouble.
“I think he was excellent, the way he dominated his box, the way he came out for crosses and set-pieces, the height that he played at. He’s got big ones, because the crowd go like this with the players.
“I’ve seen it, the players start to kick balls everywhere and I said to him, you don’t do that, make sure you don’t do it, and he didn’t do it. At the end, he got rewarded because the team started the game that we wanted to play much better, so a big compliment to him.”
Given the remarkable defensive work of Rice and William Saliba, Raya did not have a single save to make on Sunday, only recording one high claim and one punch while recording a 67% pass accuracy.
The Spain international has now kept a respectable four clean sheets in his first six appearances for Arsenal, including three in his opening four Premier League matches, conceding just two goals in the top flight so far.
Raya will now link up with his national team for October’s internationals, as Luis de la Fuente’s side resume their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign against Scotland on Thursday before a showdown with Norway on Sunday.