Bernd Leno will never win, will he?
Ever since Emiliano Martínez was sold to Aston Villa, the German has been the primary target of attention for all Gooners who think the Argentine should have stayed.
Now, it’s perfectly fine to think that we should have kept Emiliano Martínez over Bernd Leno but the decision was made and now Bernd Leno is our goalkeeper, while Emiliano Martínez is at Villa Park.
Let me apologise in advance for this rant but I’m already sick and tired of all the tweets, all the posts asking “how much is that Villa keeper?” or saying “OMG Emi I miss you so much!” and so on…
Move on, folks.
We went through the same when Olivier Giroud was sold to Chelsea to make way for a certain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, people moaning about the Frenchman being let go, regretting how unbelievable he was for us and whatnot. The same Olivier Giroud who said that moving from the Arsenal to Chelsea was an improvement, by the way.
Anyway, this is not about Olivier Giroud, this is about Bernd Leno: I believe that the German deserves some respect and I, for one, didn’t forget the collective feeling when he went down injured to his knee, in Brighton.
WE. ARE. FU**ED.
That was the feeling, don’t even try to deny it: the FA Cup semi final against Manchester City was looming and playing it without our first-choice goalkeeper, one of the two outstanding performers of the season, made it more difficult that it already was.
At that point, Emiliano Martínez was just another piece of deadwood we had hung on for too long and someone we’d have to move on, rather cheaply, to bring some solid competition to…Bernd Leno.
At that point, Emiliano Martínez was the eternal second, the journeyman who couldn’t get a game at Getafe, the promising goalie who could not dislodge a long line of terrible keepers like Lukasz Fabianski, David Ospina or the declining Petr Čech. At that point, Emiliano Martínez was the player who didn’t register one single Premier League appearance in two years. At that point, Emiliano Martínez was rubbish, basically.
Thirteen games later – THIRTEEN – he was seen as the best goalkeeper at the Arsenal and one of the best in the country, the man on whose shoulders we should lay the foundations of the team.
Don’t get me wrong, Emiliano Martínez was nothing short of sensational in his incredible run-in of games, making crucial saves in the FA Cup and displaying great ability with his feet, but it’s a very, very small sample of games, we are talking about. It’s one third of a full league campaign, one quarter of a full season if we include cup games. It’s very limited.
We all want to find the superhero, the saviour, the man to single-handedly carry us to the top and quickly chose Emiliano Martínez over Bernd Leno, erasing in one go everything that the German did, rather well, to keep us afloat while the Unai Emery ship was sinking.
Before his injury, Bernd Leno was one of our top performers, on of the most reliable goalkeepers in the league and Adrian Clarke – among others – was quick to praise the German both in his Breakdown series on the official website and on premierleague.com; all of that disappeared once Emiliano Martínez replaced him when injured. It’s important to note how Mikel Arteta was never going to use Emiliano Martínez instead of Bernd Leno, if it wasn’t for the injury in Brighton.
Now that Emiliano Martínez has been sold to Aston Villa for a considerable amount of money, Bernd Leno is permanently under scrutiny for everything he does and, more absurdly, for everything Emiliano Martínez does at his new Club.
It came to the point where Bernd Leno gets criticized for what Emiliano Martínez does well at Aston Villa: it’s crazy. To the eyes of some Arsenal fans, Bernd Leno will never be good enough, apparently.
All I know is that Bernd Leno is my goalkeeper and I surely didn’t forget the numerous times he had our backs, out there, when Norwich, Watford or whatever average opponent was bombarding our goal.
Thirty-something Italian, currently in Switzerland. Gooner since mid-ninties, when the Gunners defeated my hometown team, in Copenhagen. Twelve years ago I started my own blog (www.clockenditalia.com) after after some experiences with Italian websites and football magazines. Debate, don’t insult or you’re out.