Should Ryan play for Arsenal on Thursday? Arteta speaks out on Leno’s Everton blunder
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Any hopes Arsenal had of qualification for European competition next season through the league were effectively ended last night after Bernd Leno’s horrific goalkeeping blunder allowed Richarlison’s cross to give Everton the only goal of the game.
That is an absolute shocker from Leno.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 23, 2021
Mikel Arteta was unsurprisingly questioned on the German’s error but refused to blame him for the defeat.
“I said that we lost the game for different reasons,” Arteta reiterated.
“One, for things that we can do better and we should do better and the other one that we cannot control. Again, that error, I make many mistakes and everybody that is involved in any sport will make mistakes and it’s part of it, unfortunately.”
Instead, Arteta said that the game was lost due to a failure of chance creation and referenced the incidents involving VAR.
“We lost the game because we had to define the game in the crucial moment,” said Arteta. “We had the openings or the chances, no clear chances that we wanted, we didn’t do that and then we conceded an own goal. Obviously when we earn the right to score with the decision that was taken away.”
Should Ryan play on Thursday?
Arteta now has a big decision to make ahead of Thursday.
On loan keeper Mat Ryan has featured just twice for the Gunners so far and failed to keep a clean sheet in either.
The goal against Aston Villa in the 1-0 loss would be harsh to place blame on the Australian and the 1-1 draw against Fulham saw the Cottagers score from a penalty.
Arteta refused to be drawn on Leno’s error further but did take a moment to praise both Leno and Ryan saying the latter earned the chance to play against Fulham because he ‘deserves it.’
“No,” Arteta said when asked if he’d spoke with Leno about the error.
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – JANUARY 25: Mat Ryan of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on January 25, 2021 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
“I think we have two really good goalkeepers. Mat got a chance because he deserves it. I said before the game that he’d been training really really well and Bernd is our number one keeper and he’s been doing well and errors are part of football.”
Could then the Brighton loanee be the man chosen on Thursday? Arsenal are reportedly already in advanced talks to sign him permanently this summer, could this show of faith extend into the Gunners’ most important game of the season?
— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) April 21, 2021