Shaka Hislop slams Mikel Arteta for benching Aaron Ramsdale against Everton

Shaka Hislop was not impressed with the decision by Mikel Arteta to shuffe his goalkeepers and claimed it was the worst idea in football he has ever heard.

In the aftermath and the euphoria of Arsenal’s win over Manchester United, the Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel put out a report claiming Mikel Arteta could start David Raya against Everton. To everyone’s surprise, the story turned out to be true as the Spaniard made his full debut for Arsenal against the Toffees and kept a clean sheet in the process.

Many were left baffled by Arteta’s decision to shuffle his goalkeeping pack and, more importantly, dropping Aaron Ramsdale. The England international had only started against Scotland a few days earlier and had not done anything outwardly wrong to suggest he warranted to get chopped.

Journalists hurled questions at the Gunners boss over his decision to replace keepers, and this is what Arteta said in response. “I’m a really young manager and I have few regrets for what I’ve done, one of them, in two occasions I felt after 60 minutes to 85 minutes to change the keeper in that moment.”

In one day since the Everton game, there have been reports linking Ramsdale to Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Those stories seem short-sighted, considering Arteta never mentioned dropping the England international for Raya.

Instead, he explicitly insisted there is a possibility and options to rotate goalkeepers, something any club have rarely done in the past. Arsenal signed Raya from Brentford on an initial loan deal with the opportunity to buy him. Arteta wanted the Spaniard earlier in his tenure, but circumstances appeared not to favour the Gunners at that time.

However, there’s another side that feels Arteta’s decision was the wrong one. Shaka Hislop, in his segment on ESPN FC, claimed the decision to shuffle goalkeepers is the worst idea he’s ever heard. He also heavily criticised the Arsenal manager for not explicitly suggesting who his No.1 choice was between Raya and Ramsdale.

Hislop said, “I am thoroughly confused by what Mikel Arteta is trying to get at. I don’t understand anything about what he’s saying, about the suggestion. So the reason that you drew two games is because you didn’t change your goalkeeper on 60 and 85 minutes, respectively, in two games at some point over the last three and a half years? It comes down to the goalkeeper.”

“Listen, as bad ideas go, this is right up there. I don’t think I’ve heard a worse idea in football. I’m not sure whether it’s bad to suggest it or, it’s bad to think it, or it’s worse to say it out loud. I think what he’s done there, and I’ve been saying this from the get-go, is he’s now certainly alienated Aaron Ramsdale.”

“I’ve been saying all along, if David Raya is your number one, say that. Mikel Arteta has come in for a lot of praise, particularly over the last 12 months. And I am now convinced that he is believing his own hype.”

For Ramsdale’s part, the English keeper has done nothing wrong to suggest he warrants dropping out. Arteta’s words about rotating his keepers will gain merit if Ramsdale starts at the Emirates when Arsenal take on PSV in the Champions League.

From how things look so far, Raya could take on Premier League responsibility for now, and Ramsdale plays in the Champions League. Then, Arteta might evaluate the situation and make another decision. With the current plan, both keepers will get ample minutes under their belt and also help the manager gauge who is a better stopper.

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