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Ex-Premier League man slams Mikel Arteta for ‘worst idea in football’ following Arsenal season start

The Gunners boss is under fire for his comments

Ex-Premier League player Shaka Hislop has blasted Mikel Arteta for his suggestion of changing goalkeepers midway through a game, branding it the ‘worst idea in football’.

The Arsenal boss opted to hand David Raya his Arsenal debut against Everton ahead of traditional no.1 Aaron Ramsdale, and when quizzed on why he revealed that in previous games he wished that he could have changed his no.1 mid-match, before suggesting that he could do so in the future.

“I cannot have two players in each position and not play them”, the Gunners boss explained. “David has tremendous qualities, like Aaron has, like Karl (Hein) has and we have to use them.”

“I am a really young manager and I have only been in the job for three and a half years and I have few regrets in what we have done.

“One of them is that on two occasions I felt after 60 minutes and 85 minutes in two games in this period, to change the keeper in that moment and I didn’t do it.

“I didn’t have the courage to do it. But I am able to take a winger, or a striker and put a central defender back and go to a back five to hold that result.

“Why not? Tell me why not. You have all the qualities in another goalkeeper and you want to do something to change the momentum, do it.

That is a step too far for Hislop though. The ex-Premier League goalkeeper made over 200 top flight appearances across spells with West Ham, Newcastle United and Portsmouth, and believes that he has never heard a worse idea surrounding football.

“As bad ideas go, this is right up there”, he complained on ESPN. “I don’t think I have heard a worse idea in football. I am not sure whether it’s bad to think it or worse to say it out loud. I think what he has done there, and I have said this from the get-go, is that he has certainly alienated Aaron Ramsdale.”

“I said all along. If David Raya is your number one, say that. That’s my number one, that’s who I am going with. If it’s Ramsdale, say that. But this kind of playing the two off each other, I don’t think it serves either well. This has gone above and beyond what I certainly didn’t expect.”

Aaron Ramsdale is expected to be restored to the no.1 spot for the Champions League clash against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday night, but as Arteta has made clear, there are no assurances that he will remain there for the north London derby or beyond.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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