According to the Mirror, Arsenal legend Sol Campbell believes Mikel Arteta’s reluctance to identify a first-choice goalkeeper may become Arsenal’s Achilles’ heel in this season’s Premier League title race.
Ramsdale was Arsenal’s undisputed main goalkeeper last season, but this season he has been on the bench more and his performance has been frustrating. Arteta refused to criticize the performance of Raya who made two mistakes after the 4-3 thrilling victory over Luton in midweek, but Campbell believes this situation may happen again in later games this season.
The former Arsenal captain told The Sun: “The only tricky thing is the Raya and Ramsdale situation. In those very tense, knife-edge moments you need to know exactly what your goalkeeper is going to do. What to do. If things continue to change, or if this continues, none of the centre-backs are going to turn around and say, ‘No problem, we don’t mind.’ At that point, your mindset changes and the doubts are there. It will come quietly. At this top level, thinking about it for even half a second can cost you.”
Raya’s mistake brought down the solid defense Arsenal had built around the centre-back pair of Saliba and Gabriel this season. Although Arsenal conceded three goals at Luton, they still shared the lowest number of goals conceded in the Premier League this season with Liverpool. Campbell said that Saliba and Gabriel are the best central defender partnership in the Premier League.
He said: “Gabriel and Saliba came at the right time for Arsenal. Right now, everything is great. They had time to build a partnership and play incredible football. They didn’t. Panic. You can see the will in their eyes, the passion in their bodies. It’s not perfect, but this pairing is so strong. They both have real confidence. Once you get a center back like that Combination, never ignore it. There is a saying in ancient Rome that is ‘Never settle for the status quo’, but if you are really unsatisfied with the status quo, it may be the time to make a big mistake. You can build a strong central defender combination, To win titles and trophies. Arsenal are looking forward to that in the coming years. Hopefully this partnership will last for a long time.”