Mikel Arteta has refuted allegations that Bernd Leno reacted badly after being benched during Arsenal’s recent 1-0 win against Norwich, claiming the goalkeeper reacted like a “top professional” in training.
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired the north London team to a hard-fought 1-0 victory at the Emirates last weekend, while summer signing Aaron Ramsdale, who joined Arsenal from Sheffield United last month, began in goal.
Ramsdale has yet to concede a goal for Arsenal since keeping a clean sheet on his debut in the Carabao Cup win against West Bromwich Albion, and the Englishman is hoping to keep his spot in the squad against Burnley on Saturday.
Arsenal head coach Arteta, addressing before of the Gunners’ trip to Turf Moor, declined to say which goalkeeper will face Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
‘Every position is the same.’ At his pre-match press conference on Thursday, the Spaniard stated, “We want them to make each other better.”
‘In this competition, we are fighting against the opponent, not against one other.
We’re only aiming to bring in players who can help enhance the level of the position’s players, the team’s level, and the club’s level, and that’s it.
Bernd was obviously sad when I informed him he wouldn’t be playing, but he’s a top professional and a great guy, and he should be disappointed, and he should support his teammates the same way they’ve all supported him every time he’s played. That is precisely what happened.
According to reports from Germany, Arteta intends to utilize Leno in Arsenal’s forthcoming north London derby match against Tottenham Hotspur, which follows their trip to Burnley, but Arteta was quick to dismiss the latest rumours.
He said, ‘I’m not sure where they’re coming from, but they’re ahead of me!’
‘I believe I am the one who selects the weekend team, and I occasionally read things about which I am undecided.’
‘So they give me ideas, but nothing more, since I haven’t made a decision for Saturday, so picture the north London derby.’
‘No, that’s not true,’ Arteta said of rumours that Leno reacted harshly to losing his position. That is not the case.
Arteta insisted that he had not promised Leno – or any other Arsenal player – any assurances or guarantees about their playing time this season.
‘We don’t want to do that,’ he continued, repeating what he had told them and the goalkeepers in the previous two or three years.
‘What we want to do is empower performance by asking them to train, behave, and play their best.’
‘How can I be certain that someone will act in a certain way? With everything we’re asking of them, it wouldn’t make sense.
What you did three months ago doesn’t matter on a daily level in football. That’s all there is to it; it’s what you’re going to do today and tomorrow.’
Arsenal will be missing Rob Holding (knee) and Mohamed Elneny (hamstring) this weekend due to injury. Arsenal is currently in 16th place in the Premier League rankings.
Granit Xhaka is also out because he is serving the second of a three-match suspension for his red card against Manchester City.