Chris Sutton has praised Mikel Arteta for being ‘forward thinking’ and backed the Arsenal manager to follow through on his substituting his goalkeeper during a match.
Arteta dropped Aaron Ramsdale to the bench for Arsenal’s weekend Premier League win over Everton and handed former Brentford shot-stopper David Raya his debut for the club.
The selection decision spurned plenty of debate over who is Arsenal’s number one with the Gunners boss suggesting he will substitute goalkeepers in the future because he ‘cannot have two players like this in one position and not play them’.
Ian Ladyman questioned the authenticity of Arteta’s latest tactical claim with former Premier League winner and Mail Sport columnist Chris Sutton on Mail Sport’s ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ podcast, and believes the Arsenal boss was making a passing suggestion.
‘There’s nothing wrong with it if it is true but I think David Raya is in the team now in the Premier League,’ said Ladyman.
Aaron Ramsdale (left) and David Raya (right) are competing for the number one spot at Arsenal
Chris Sutton believes substituting goalkeepers could help Arsenal make ‘small margins’ of improvement
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has stated he will substitute goalkeepers in upcoming matches
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However, Sutton believes Arteta may have identified a new tactical tweak that could be a success for Arsenal and focused on the ‘small margins’ that make a difference in the Premier League.
Sutton explained: ‘I think it’s a really interesting one and in the past I have been dismissive of long throw-in coaches for example, but it’s all about details and small margins, it has been successful for teams like Brentford.
‘Thomas Frank is a stickler for small margins and Brentford have been really successful.
‘With this goalkeeping thing I don’t know exactly where I stand but we all understand the competition element and need for players pushing each other so what is different for goalkeepers and why should it be different, its the same principle and what is Arteta doing wrong if he does carry on?
‘This may be brilliant innovation from Arteta but you tell me throughout Premier League history teams who have had two outstanding goalkeepers. We had the Ramsdale and Pickford debate but if Ramsdale gets injured they have a good goalkeeper in Raya and if he gets injured they have Ramsdale.
‘In two years you will be praising Arteta for this forward thinking.’
Ian Ladyman insists Arteta won’t follow through on his claims and will instead rotate his goalkeepers
Ladyman agreed the Arsenal chief is a ‘forward thinking’ manager and insisted Arteta was admired for the style of play he has inherited in his team but explained the more likely outcome is that the goalkeepers will be rotated for league and cup games.
‘It is interesting… I just don’t think Arteta will do it,’ said Ladyman. ‘What you say is forward thinking and Arteta is the coach who claims he plays 43 different formations in a game.
‘We admire Arteta for the way his team plays and what he has done at arsenal, I heard him talking about the goalkeeper but I don’t think he will do it.
‘I think he will rotate and I think Raya will play in the Premier League now. This talk of subbing a goalkeeper on during the game to change the game – I don’t think that will happen.’
Mail Sport reported on Monday that Ramsdale’s future is being closely monitored by rival clubs after his role as first-choice was thrown into uncertainty.
Chelsea and Bayern Munich are among those understood to be keeping abreast of developments amid a sense that Raya was likely to overtake the England international at some stage this season following his initial loan arrival from Brentford.