Mikel Arteta has opened up on his decision to drop Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale during the 1-0 win at Everton and insists the position is no different to any other.
Ramsdale was named on the bench for the win at Goodison Park as summer signing David Raya made his debut for the Gunners, with the latter keeping a clean sheet as Arsenal maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign.
Arteta was asked for his reason behind removing Ramsdale from the starting side and said he views his goalkeepers the same as any other position on the pitch. The Spaniard said he had regretted not trusting his instinct in swapping goalkeepers previously, insisting the decision was simply tactical as he looked to earn his side a positive result.
“It’s the same rationale as to why Fabio (Vieira) and Gabby [Jesus] played – I haven’t had a single question about why Gabriel hasn’t been starting. He has won more trophies than anybody else in that dressing room, including me,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“I want Aaron to react the same as Gabriel Jesus. The same as Kai Havertz, as Takehiro Tomiyasu. Exactly the same. We play with 11 players, not 10 plus one.
“I’m a really young manager, I’ve been in the job three and a half years. I have few regrets, but one of them is that on two occasions, I felt after 60 minutes and 85 minutes of two games in this period to change the goalkeeper in that moment.
“I didn’t do it, I didn’t have the courage to do it. But I’m able to take a winger or striker and put a centre-back on to play a back five to hold on to a result. We drew those games, and I was so unhappy.
“Someone is going to do it, and maybe [people will say] that’s strange. But why not? Tell me why not. You have all the qualities in another goalkeeper to do something, you want to change the momentum, do it.
“It’s a regret that I have. Now my feeling is to get everybody engaged, that they have to play regardless of the competition. That’s my message.
“We adapt to our qualities that our players have, and try to play to their strengths. There are games to do certain things, games to do other things. In my opinion it was really important against Everton, and it was really important to benefit the team.”
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