Aaron Ramsdale’s return to the Premier League starting lineup for Arsenal was met with relentless taunting from Brentford fans.
Ramsdale, displaced as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper by the arrival of David Raya from Brentford on loan, found himself back in the spotlight due to Premier League regulations prohibiting Raya from playing against his parent club. This presented Ramsdale with an opportunity to play for the first time since 3 September against Manchester United.
How Brentford fans unsettled Aaron Ramsdale with David Raya chant
Brentford’s vocal supporters didn’t hesitate to remind Ramsdale of his position in the pecking order, chanting provocative remarks such as “You’re just a s**t David Raya.” Their taunting escalated when Ramsdale’s error in the box nearly resulted in an opening goal for the hosts.
Despite Ramsdale’s shaky performance, Arsenal clinched a late winner from substitute Kai Havertz, taking them to the top of the Premier League table for the first time this season following Manchester City’s 1-1 with Liverpool at the Etihad.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said before kick-off that Arteta had put Ramsdale in a difficult position unnecessarily by not making public who is his first-choice goalkeeper at the club.
Ferdinand said on TNT Sports: “I don’t think today matters, whatever happens, he’ll be the number two goalkeeper at Arsenal. It doesn’t matter what the manager says publicly, I don’t think Raya’s position is under threat at all.
“He obviously thinks Raya gives them something else, and I think you look at Ramsdale, he’s been left in limbo because the manager hasn’t come out and said who his number one and number two definitively are.”
During the match’s broadcast on TNT Sports, commentator Lucy Ward highlighted Ramsdale’s mistake as indicative of the intensified pressure stemming from Raya’s arrival.
“It’s clear how much pressure he’s under, having been thrust into this game due to Raya’s ineligibility,” Ward remarked. “Their failure to handle Brentford’s pressing nearly cost them, and they were fortunate not to concede.”
Ferdinand echoed similar sentiments, attributing Ramsdale’s unease to the chants from home fans and the pressure of the situation.
“The chants of Raya’s name definitely seemed to unsettle him. He’s likely overthinking, aiming for perfection after a prolonged absence, which can happen when you’re trying too hard to get everything right,” Ferdinand commented.