Arsenal

Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer agree on David Raya verdict after huge error in Arsenal vs Luton

Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer have both critiqued the performance of David Raya in Arsenal’s dramatic 4-3 win against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road. Declan Rice headed home deep into added time from a Martin Odegaard cross with Mikel Arteta’s side securing their sixth straight win in all competitions.

However, it was far from a routine victory with Arsenal seeing the amount of goals they’ve conceded in the league away from home double in just one game. The equaliser following Gabriel Martinelli’s opener was a superb header by Gabriel Osho but the other two Luton goals could have been dealt with better by Raya.

From another corner, Elijah Adebayo rose higher than the Spain international who had flown off his line in an attempt to catch the ball before nodding into an empty net. Then, just eight minutes later, Raya opted to try and save Ross Barkley’s close-range shot with his hands but it ultimately proved to be the wrong decision as the ball squeezed under his body.

Following the game, Henry and Shearer were left far from impressed by his second-half display, although Henry was quick to bring up the mistakes made by Aaron Ramsdale that did not lead directly to goals in the win against Brentford earlier this month. “The corner and the goal of Ross Barkley, but I don’t want to play devil’s advocate, I watched the Brentford game and (Aaron) Ramsdale made two mistakes and he didn’t get punished.

That was only his luck, I don’t know if you remember that he misplaced the ball, Declan Rice saved it on the line, after he wanted to throw the ball and the ball bounced in front of the striker.” Specifically on Barkley’s goal, the Arsenal legend added: “So many times, go with the closest part of your body to the ball, which is your foot. (David) De Gea, Nick Pope does it, Peter Schmeichel used to do it – by time you go down there, how are you going to save that? The ball is going to his feet and by the time he goes down here, if you stay, the ball is going to your feet easily.

“But if you take it away, the ball will go under. It’s an awkward way of stopping it. If he stands his ground like Peter Schmeichel and De Gea used to do, they used to save that with their feet all day every day. It’s easy for me to talk because I was not a goalkeeper, but if you stay, he saves that.”

Shearer spoke next with his verdict a damning indictment of Raya’s ability as a goalkeeper. He said: “There’s an obsession with having a footballing goalkeeper nowadays and sometimes the fundamentals are forgotten – shot stopping and coming to collect crosses, and you have seen them punished this evening. It’s a huge error here, he never looks comfortable. There is no one blocking him at all so there is no excuse, he can see the ball coming in. He doesn’t take the ball at its highest point. It’s a huge error from the goalkeeper.”

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