Bernd Leno opens up about the defence- The North London club is having one of their worst seasons in the last decade but Arsenal’s shot-stopper has been exceptional this season. Arsenal is at 9th in the Premier League table and has a goal difference of just +4. After the arrival of Mikel Arteta, the Gunners have improved in many ways and the defence is one of those sections to be praised. The 28-year-old German shot-stopper has been a key part of that and he has been arguably their best player this term.
Bernd Leno is in the second position in terms of shot saves with 107 saves so far in the league with an average of 3.7 saves every game. Leno outlines the impact of his goal-keeping coach at Arsenal. Inaki Cana Pavon joined the club last December and his contribution to Leno’s performances this season is remarkable.
“Inaki is working a little bit more physically. He is working a lot on dynamics but I think we all have the same mindset,” Leno told Arsenal’s matchday programme ahead of the Everton win.”
“We work as a modern goalkeeping group under Inaki but we also did that before. The coaches always worked in a tactical way, a technical way, and the goalkeeper does not only save balls, the goalkeeper is a spare man with his feet to build up the game and also to defend very high.”
“That is our job. It did not change too much but of course, every goalkeeper coach has his own way of working.”
Leno produced eight clean sheets so far in the Premier League in 30 games, the same he did from 35 games last season and that’s an improvement. However, he has been criticized many times for many Arsenal defeats and that is a normal thing for a goalkeeper. Maximum critics judge keepers on their mistakes in a defeat even he makes saves of some of the highest quality.
Arsenal Legend David Seaman sees the positive and insists Leno has been over-criticized and has been underappreciated.
Speaking in a recently conducted interview, he went on to add, “He has been criticized, but you do [get criticized as a goalkeeper].”
“Being a goalkeeper, you make mistakes and you do get criticized. I saw a stat saying he would make the most mistakes or whatever, but he made a lot of saves in those games as well.”
It is no doubt that Leno is surely ranked in the top five goalkeepers in the English top-flight despite his team is sitting at the ninth spot at present. Things could have better if he had much better protection in front of him, but sadly it isn’t.
Arteta should be looking to strengthen his defence in the summer but at least for the goalkeeping position, he can be satisfied for the next few years. Leno, at 28 is at the peak of his career and already performing his best for the team. If not Aubamiyang, Leno is surely on his way to win the award for the best player for Arsenal this season.