Martin Odegaard reveals how Aaron Ramsdale reacted to being dropped by Arsenal
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has praised Aaron Ramsdale for the manner in which he reacted to being dropped in favour of David Raya for Sunday’s win over Everton.
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The England international was ever-present for the Gunners last season, starting all 38 Premier League matches, and also started the first four games of the new campaign.
But he was on the bench in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Everton with summer signing David Raya picked to start ahead of him, with manager Mikel Arteta saying he is happy to rotate between his two goalkeepers and there is no guaranteed number one.
There have been some critics of Arteta’s decision but Odegaard believes Arsenal are ‘lucky’ to have two such excellent shot-stoppers and says Ramsdale reacted positively to the decision.
‘I think he will just keep working hard, like he is always doing,’ Odegaard told reporters when asked how Ramsdale would respond to losing his place.
‘Today [Sunday] he was there supporting us, cheering for us, helping us. He is a great character and he showed a very good response today by backing the team. It was excellent from him.
‘We have two good goalkeepers and big competition. They have different qualities.
‘They are both so good on the ball and in goal as well. So, we are lucky to have two such good goalkeepers and we will see who plays.’
Arteta has staunchly defended his decision to bring in Raya and rotate his keepers and even suggested he might sub one of them out during a game in the future.
On why he opted to start Raya, he explained: ‘The same rationale that Fabio Vieira played here or that Eddie Nketiah played ahead of Gabriel Jesus. I haven’t had a single question on why Gabriel hasn’t started – he has won more trophies including me in that dressing room but they don’t [ask why].
‘It is something that historically is done like this but I cannot have two players in this position and not play them. David has tremendous qualities like Aaron has and Karl [Hein] has, but we have to use them and it is like this.
‘I am a really young manager, I have only had three-and-a-half years in the job and I have few regrets. It was on two occasions, that after 60 minutes and at 85 minutes in two games in this period I could have changed the keeper in that moment, and I didn’t do it.
‘I didn’t have the courage to do it, but I am able to take a winger or a striker and put a central defender at the back to make a back five and hold that result. We drew those games and I was so unhappy.
‘Someone is going to do it, and it’ll be strange and you’ll ask why, but tell me why not? If you have all the qualities in another goalkeeper to do something, or if something is happening and you want to change the momentum, then do it. It is a regret that I have and now my feeling is to get everybody engaged in the team that they have to play, regardless of the competition – this is my message.’
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