Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale says his dad ‘threatens’ to text Mikel Arteta over his insistence on playing out from the back.
Arteta’s desire to have a ball-playing goalkeeper spelled the end for Bernd Leno at the Emirates and gave Ramsdale the opportunity to become the club’s No. 1.
While Ramsdale concedes that side of the game did not come naturally, he has improved with his feet to become one of the best ball-playing goalkeepers in the Premier League.
But watching Ramsdale play out from the back still provides some hairy moments for his dad, who ‘hates’ seeing his son attempting to start attacks from his own box.
‘He still hates it, absolutely hates it,’ Ramsdale told ESPN. ‘He still threatens to text Mikel.
‘The only problem is if I push it too far saying “go on then, you won’t do it,” he actually will because he’s got his number! I’ve got to play that one really carefully.
‘It wasn’t something that naturally came to me. I was released from Bolton for my height and not being able to kick the ball.
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‘So it’s not something I’ve always had and a huge credit to Sheffield United and coaches at youth age with England when I first got into the system.
‘They just mentioned training with the outfielders or to sharpen up a little bit more than what you would do at the football club.
‘I used to go and help coach the younger goalkeepers on Tuesday and Thursday nights for a little bit more money when I was a youth-team player and I’d also join in with the U16s in possession stuff and play as an outfielder.
‘That just got me a little bit more comfortable on the ball and being able to play off both feet. It is something which has always been developing.’
Leno started Arsenal’s first three matches last campaign but Ramsdale soon replaced him as Arteta’s first-choice goalkeeper.
‘At the end of last season, we panicked in certain games, I think we have learned from [that],’ he told Standard Sport. ‘I think we know how to deal with that a lot better now.
‘It doesn’t mean we’re not going to go into a game and panic again. But for the majority, we know what is needed and how to play and how to conduct ourselves.
‘We are a young team we had a really tough one last year missing out on the top four and to Tottenham then it’s even more [tough], so we’re learning game by game. I think huge credit goes to the staff but also for our failure last year.’