Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted that he wants one of his two goalkeepers to “be upset” at losing their place in between the sticks next season, doing all they can to win it back.
Bernd Leno has been Arsenal’s number one for the last few years, but when he suffered an injury last season after the Premier League’s restart, deputy Emiliano Martinez stepped in.
First-choice keepers being ruled out will always cause concern amongst some fans but Martinez was superb in Leno’s absence, helping the Gunners win the FA Cup.
A different problem has now arisen for Arteta, namely how to keep two top goalkeepers happy – an undisputed first-choice and a deputy who has excelled at being first-choice and wants more.
When asked by Football London about whether it’s possible to do this, he replied: “I don’t want to keep them both happy, I want the one that is not playing to be upset.
“But upset and then challenge the next player to make him better, or if not, earn his place to do that. It’s not easy to do that.
“I personally don’t see any different with goalkeepers to full backs. They know that, I’ve been really clear with them and hopefully they can make each other better and hopefully the team better.”
As far as manager dilemmas go, two top goalkeepers vying for the jersey ranks amongst the better ones.
That said, the problem for Arteta lies in one of the two potentially deciding he wants first-team football elsewhere.
And Martinez has recently made it clear that he will not settle for an extended place on the Arsenal bench any longer.
“I showed that I can play, I need to play more games next season,” Martinez told Argentina’s Radio Continental earlier this month.
“I want to establish myself at Arsenal and become first choice. If I don’t play, I’m going to move, I’m going to go where I play more.”
Hence, Arteta will need to tread carefully next season, and it’s not like he can just rotate the two – this could risk upsetting them both.
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