German goalkeeper Leno was brought into the starting line-up for the FA Cup game, but was unable to do anything about Lewis Grabban’s winner for Championship side Nottingham Forest
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been an important signing for the London club, with his interactions with his teammates just as important as his actions on the pitch.
We saw an example of this on Sunday, when the 23-year-old was particularly vocal as Bernd Leno took his place between the sticks for the FA Cup game against Nottingham Forest.
German stopper Leno has been used predominantly as Arsenal’s cup goalkeeper this season, with Ramsdale preferred in the league, and was called into action long before substitute Lewis Grabban gave the Championship side a surprise victory.
Despite being given a break from first team action, Ramsdale was active from the sidelines as his colleague attempted to keep Arsenal’s opponents at bay.
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“The complaint is about the performance and the purpose and the drive and determination that we didn’t show, to approach it in a different way,” manager Mikel Arteta said after the game.
“I can’t criticise the attitude, because they were trying, but it is the way we tried, the way we continued to try.”
Leno was one of the exceptions, though, making a number of saves to keep Arsenal in the game, and his fellow keeper showed his appreciation.
As noted by football.london, Ramsdale was out of his seat on more than one occasion at the City ground as Leno came up big.
The England international was spotted shouting encouragement the way of his colleague, who was playing for the first time since Arsenal’s Carabao Cup victory over Sunderland in December.
Ultimately, though, Leno’s saves from Philip Zinckernagel and James Garner weren’t enough, with Grabban’s late goal settling the tie.
Arsenal failed to register a shot on target in the 1-0 defeat, with Eddie Nketiah missing the Gunners’ best chance of the game.
Ramsdale’s attitude served as a reminder of the qualities which have endeared him to Arsenal fans and teammates since arriving from Sheffield United over the summer.
The goalkeeper has been mentioned as a potential future captain of the London club, with Arteta yet to appoint a permanent successor to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Gabon striker was stripped of the armband in December.
Rob Holding captained the side against Nottingham Forest, while Alexandre Lacazette has also worn the armband in recent weeks.
Next up for Arsenal is the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool, where Arteta will need to decide whether to continue with Leno as the cup keeper or bring Ramsdale back into the fold.