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Leno Reveals What He Feels About Being Dropped By Unai Emery After Being Told To Wait For His Time

Bernd Leno, Arsenal primary goalkeeping target, Bernd Leno to Arsenal, Leno confirmed, official Bernd Leno

After a disappointing and turbulent late few years at the club, Arsene Wenger parted ways with Arsenal. New manager Unai Emery who was expected to alleviate some of the club’s problems, including resolving the  position for the No.1 at the club. However with the signing of Bernd Leno and the new gaffer’s decision to start Petr Cech in the opening three matches of the premier league has made fans unsure over who’s going to be the main man between the sticks.

 

Leno Cech Goalkeeper battle for Arsenal
Cech and Leno for No.1 battle


The German international became one of the first signings of the Unai Emery era when Arsenal paid Bayer Leverkusen £22.5m for the services of keeper.  26 years old Leno, who has 300 appearances to his name in the German top flight, making him the 6th most expensive goalkeeper of all time. Many Gunners supporters expected Unai Emery to put Leno straight between the sticks but the Spaniard has followed in Arsene Wenger’s footsteps by picking the veteran Petr Cech as his No.1. 

Cech has undoubtedly been one of the most reliable goalkeepers in world football having won every possible club trophy and all time premier league clean sheet record. He brings an element of experience to the table, something that lacks from Leno’s game.

Moreover, Cech has responded to the competition by making more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper so far this season with 18. It was expected that Emery has faith in the veteran when he was included Cech in his list of 5 possible captains for the club.

Under Unai Emery, Arsenal will be attempting a short-passing approach, splitting the centre-backs and requiring a goalkeeper who is just as capable of dribbling and passing it out of the back as he is with a long throw or big boot downfield. (Similar to Manuel Neuer at Bayern) .

However, Cech, a 14-years experienced veteran of the Premier League has never had an experience playing with this approach. In the 22nd minute against Manchester City, Petr Cech almost scored one of the worst own goals imaginable when Matteo Guendouzi played a pass back, Cech attempted to play the ball wide to the right flank but misplaced his pass.

However, despite not playing a single minute of premier league football this season yet, Leno is not unduly concerned. However, stating in an interview with Sport Bild that he will bide his time; 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]

“I am convinced that my change was the right decision,

“I’m not crazy. It may take a few weeks or months, but my time here will come.”

– Bernd Leno[/perfectpullquote]

After the 2-0 defeat against City, Emery said in a post-match news conference,

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“We want the competition between the goalkeepers and also every player in the squad. 

Despite the position, it is the same opportunity and the same chances for all the goalkeepers.

We spoke also and Petr Cech, he is doing very well. I think he played well. He has this experience for continuing to defend our goal.

Also, Leno is starting with us. He is working very well, he played well in pre-season too, but he has to wait for his chance to arrive.”

– Unai Emery[/perfectpullquote]

Whatever happens, Leno will eventually get his chance to impress. Arsenal’s participation in the Europa League means he’s likely to pick up plenty of game time even as second choice. Leno is a decade younger than Cech, and it’s possible that Emery simply wants to give him time to acclimatize to English football rather than throw him straight in at the deep end.

I personally sympathise with new head coach regarding the selection dilemma. As a fan I of course wanted to see the new highly rated keeper in action but I believe Cech has gone through a lot of unfair criticism despite performing reasonably well and topping the saves chart in the league till now.

However, the fact that Leno has not been involved so far will definitely put pressure on him when he eventually plays. Though Leno’s patience is commendable, only time will tell who’s the better No.1 for The Gunners.

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Revant Maheshwari
Ardent Arsenal lover. Represented school in Gothia Cup, Sweden as a defensive midfielder. CA aspirant. Student of Narsee Monjee College in Mumbai. Keen to share thoughts and opinions with other fans of the beautiful game.

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