Pressure is getting to David Raya amid poor form, believes Neville

David Raya is ‘getting hot’ under the collar and ‘started to make mistakes’ amid his battle with Aaron Ramsdale to be Arsenal No 1… with Gary Neville claiming the out-of-form Spaniard has ‘got that look on his face like, “help”‘

  • Mikel Arteta has long insisted having two No 1 calibre goalkeepers is no issue
  • Aaron Ramsdale did not do a lot wrong before he was replaced by David Raya
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Coming Up!’ 

Gary Neville believes the pressure is starting to get to new Arsenal No 1 David Raya and he is increasingly making ‘mistakes’ as he feels the heat.

Raya struggled in Arsenal’s recent Champions League outing against Lens and his confidence took another knock when he was caught out by a mishit cross from Mykhailo Mudryk in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea.

Neville, who was covering that London derby on commentary, feels that the level of scrutiny on Raya since usurping previous No 1 Aaron Ramsdale is beginning to get to the Spaniard. 

‘David Raya started his Arsenal career well but then he had a poor Champions League game [against Lens] followed by that first half against Manchester City,’ Neville said during commentary on Sky Sports.

‘Now, this game. It’s getting hot for him. He’s got that look on his face like, “help”.

David Raya’s performance away against Chelsea has again seem him come under scrutiny

The Spaniard was caught out by a cross from Mykhailo Mudryk in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea

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‘It’s the toughest position to play and certainly when you’re at one of the biggest clubs in the league, you’re under the most amount of scrutiny – particularly if you’re a goalkeeper.

‘Mikel Arteta has created that, let’s be clear with the Ramsdale and Raya situation. It’s unusual but he says it can work. 

‘I’ve never believed it could, and I believe we’re seeing in front of our eyes the challenges that exists because now, there is going to be pressure.

‘Aaron Ramsdale hadn’t done a lot wrong at the start of the season. Raya has now started to make mistakes.’

Raya (left) has displaced Aaron Ramsdale (right) as No 1, but many feel the pressure is showing

Ramsdale has made no secret of his frustration at having fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal, not least because he is fearing for his place in England’s squad for next summer’s European Championships.  

‘It surprised us all when Aaron Ramsdale was left out of a game a month or so ago,’ Neville added after the match in the Gary Neville Podcast. 

‘We thought it might be for a couple of games, but now it looks as though David Raya is No 1. The problem is he’s started to now look nervy and is making mistakes.’

He continued: ‘I do feel there’s a problem brewing here where Ramsdale is going to start knocking on the door saying, ‘get me back in’ and if [Arteta] doesn’t, he’s going to ask to leave.’

Fellow Sky pundit Jamie Redknapp echoed the thoughts of Neville, adding that Raya, who looked so composed during his time at Brentford, looks ‘a bag of nerves’ for Arsenal.

‘He looks like a bag of nerves right now,’ Redknapp said. 

‘Raya is really struggling with the pressure and the scrutiny he’s under. He’s giving the ball away, he’s looking like he’s always going to concede goals. The situation hasn’t helped him.

‘People have said that Aaron Ramsdale should consider leaving, but I disagree. I think he should hang in there given the way Raya has given away so many goals. He’s not showing that he’s good enough to be No 1.

‘Mikel Arteta has complicated a situation that he really didn’t need to.’

Ramsdale had been a fixture in the Gunners starting XI for two seasons but has now lost his place in Arteta’s team to Raya.

Raya (middle) looks like ‘a bag of nerves’ in the eyes of Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp

Ramsdale (left) did little wrong before dropping out and he is not satisfied being a No 2 

Mail Sport revealed on September 5 that Arteta was plotting a change in goalkeeper – with the Gunners boss selecting Raya ahead of Ramsdale in his team’s next game against Everton.

Asked about whether he’s concerned about losing his place in the England squad ahead of next summer’s European Championship due to a lack of action at Arsenal, Ramsdale responded: ‘Yes, of course, it is the first time I have found myself in this situation.

‘The manager here [Gareth Southgate] is brilliant, he trusts the players he’s worked with before as we’ve seen in different types of ways – you’ll see Kalvin [Phillips] and Harry [Maguire] haven’t played the most amount of minutes but when they step up for England and are given the opportunity, they perform.

‘So if if that’s the case for myself and I do get shown that trust to play another game if I haven’t played for my club then I will have to repay him.

‘But of course, I want to get back into my club team. I want to get into my club team and be able to give the manager a headache rather than just have Jordan [Pickford] as the England number one and me fall by the wayside.’


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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