Mikel Arteta focused on team spirit after nervy Aaron Ramsdale display

  • Arteta praises collective team effort as Arsenal keep clean sheet against Brentford
  • Kai Havertz's late goal sends Gunners top of the Premier League table
  • Aaron Ramsdale's performance less than convincing but goalkeeper ends up on winning side
Aaron Ramsdale looked short of confidence in Arsenal's goal
Aaron Ramsdale looked short of confidence in Arsenal's goal / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Mikel Arteta opted to focus on Arsenal's collective performance when questioned about Aaron Ramsdale's unconvincing display against Brentford.

Recalled to the side because David Raya was ineligible to face his parent club, Ramsdale sloppily gave the ball away in the first half on a couple of occasions and looked desperately short of confidence.

Bryan Mbeumo came within a whisker of punishing Ramsdale for his dallying on the ball, but saw his goal-bound effort cleared off of the line by the retreating Declan Rice.

Ramsdale settled down a little as the game wore on but his determination to play out from the back, even if there wasn't a viable option available, appeared to irk an agitated Arteta on the touchline.

Kai Havertz's 89th minute winner eventually bagged all three points for Arsenal, sending the Gunners top of the Premier league table, and Arteta evaded questions about Ramsdale despite being asked directly about his performance in his post-match press conference.

"I think I’m so happy with the team, the way he performed. We got the clean sheet and I’m so happy the way everybody played," Arteta said in response to being asked about Ramsdale's tough start. "I think the team was exceptional today."

Mikel Arteta, Kai Havertz
Mikel Arteta celebrates with Arsenal's match winner Kai Havertz / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Arteta did praise Ramsdale's "big courage and big personality" after battling through the jeers of Brentford's supporters, adding those traits are "why we love him".

Arsenal's players opted to sprint over to Ramsdale to celebrate the win, and Arteta, celebrating his 200th game in charge, revealed his delight at the public show of affection between teammates.

"It’s a joy as a manager to watch this reaction of the players looking after themselves, encouraging each other, and showing love to each other. It doesn’t get any better than that," he said.

"Today’s my 200th game and when I see a team that behaves between them like that and I see the staff and the smiles. I’m so happy, I cannot be prouder and more grateful for everybody that was with us every single day to make my job so enjoyable."