Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The telling timing of Aaron Ramsdale’s father’s interview

Hello everyone.

The international break gets underway later on tonight, with Leandro Trossard potentially in action for Belgium against Serbia. 

The remaining 16 players Arsenal have away with their national teams will then be in action in the following days, with Mikel Arteta no doubt sat with his fingers firmly crossed back at London Colney desperately hoping to avoid word on any injuries.

Gabriel Jesus is over with Brazil now of course, but today I wanted to discuss the high profile comments made by Nick Ramsdale, Aaron’s father, about the goalkeeping situation at Arsenal.

Nick sat down with the Highbury Squad (watch the interview here) on Monday night to talk about how things now stand at the club following the arrival of David Raya and it’s safe to say he didn’t really hold back.

He was very open about it all, labelling Mikel Arteta’s handling of the situation as ‘wrong’. 

Here’s a little bit of what he had to say:

“Aaron’s lost that smile to when he was holding onto that ball at this moment in time. And it is difficult. It really is difficult to see him there and we all keep saying you need to keep smiling.

“Aaron is going to be the cup goalkeeper, and David Raya is going to be the main man unless something happens, an injury or a sending-off. Aaron’s got to live with that and he is living with that even though he’s not been told it. By anybody.

“Even though the way it’s been done, in my eyes, it’s been wrong and we can talk about that but it’s the decision. Really and truly we’ve got to get behind David Raya. He’s part of the family now. Whether it’s only until May-June of next year. It won’t be, it’ll be longer in my eyes, but that’s by the by.”

It was really interesting stuff, with Nick also admitting there was no warning from Arsenal about Raya’s impending arrival when Aaron signed his new contract in May.

The comments have certainly made a lot of headlines, with the show being picked up by media all around the world. It will be very interesting to know what Arteta thinks of it, not that we will probably find out.

The timing, just six weeks out from January, was also interesting. I can’t imagine for a second that Ramsdale was unaware that his dad was going to be on the show and that he would be talking about his situation so openly.

He must have known and so you would have to presume that he didn’t try to stop his father from doing it, despite knowing that what was said would generate so many headlines.

Is this the start of a move by the player to try and get himself away from the club in January? 

Is it just coincidence that this has happened so soon after Gareth Southgate very publicly warned Ramsdale that his place in the England squad could be under threat if he didn’t start playing regularly before next summer’s Euros?

These are questions we will probably never know the answers to, but the timing of it all does feel quite telling here.

This doesn’t feel like something that will be too warmly received by Arteta. Should the parents of players really be going public with comments like these?

I imagine Arteta will think not, but there will be plenty who believe that Arsenal’s manager has brought this all on himself by replacing Ramsdale with Raya in such ruthless fashion.

It must be said though, that even if Ramsdale does end up leaving, it’s Arteta who will have given him the platform to raise his profile so much in such a short space of time. 

He was the manager who brought him to Arsenal whenever everyone else doubted him. It was Arteta who picked him ahead of Bernd Leno and allowed him to establish himself as No.1 and to become a regular in the England squad.

So whatever happens with Ramsdale in the future, he will have a lot to be thankful to Arsenal and Arteta for.

If this is all about a potential January exit, I would hope that Arsenal shut the door on that possibility fairly quickly. It would make no real sense to me for them to sanction a move at the halfway stage of the season.

The last thing Arsenal need is to be looking for a new keeper in January and whoever they get in would no doubt be inferior to Ramsdale. You don’t really want to be weakening your squad in the middle of the season, especially if you are in the hunt in the Premier League and Champions League.

It does feels inevitable that Ramsdale will go, but from an Arsenal point of view it would be far better for that to happen in the summer, rather than January.

The only reason why that might change of course is if the money from a sale in January would help fund a significant new addition which could prove decisive over the second half of the campaign.

Anyway, we will see how that all pans out and for now, we do at least have some international fixtures starting which should keep us entertained until Brentford on Saturday week.

I’ll be sitting down with James Benge later today to record this week’s Inside Arsenal extra-time. James has just come back from Germany where he’s been talking to a certain Granit Xhaka, so he should have some interesting stories to tell.

That show should be out around 5pm, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 

Until then, have a great day all.