Bernd Leno or Petr Cech? Unai Emery explains how he will pick between Arsenal’s two goalkeepers. Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has spoken out about how he will select which of his two senior goalkeepers for the rest of the season.
Speaking ahead of a Premier League clash with Everton, the Spaniard was asked about who will start between summer signing Bernd Leno and former Chelsea shot-stopper Petr Cech.
The German made his first competitive start for the Gunners against Vorskla in the Europa League on Thursday but the Czech Republic international has been the preferred option between the sticks so far in league games.
However, Emery’s demands over the 36-year-old and the need for his goalkeepers to play with the ball at their feet has led to criticism of the head coach from some pundits and former players.
Leno is eyed as a custodian who is more comfortable in possession, although his critics claim he is weaker when it comes to reacting to shots and saving them – a view that has grown out of concerns from his final two seasons in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen.
In an interview with Sky Sports , the Arsenal head coach explained how he would go about selecting between the two players in goal.
“My idea is to decide in the last hours before each match and first I will tell the players my decision,” he said.
“For now, the performance of Petr Cech is good and we explain with every player, including goalkeepers, about his situation in each moment.”
However, he was determined not to let his comments be misconstrued as being in any way negative of his summer signing.
“With Leno we are very happy,” said Emery. “He played his first match in the first team [against Vorskla]. We need to continue giving him chances and confidence for when he plays so he is at his best.
“My approach is thinking about the whole season and thinking about each match performance to create one spirit. I think the Europa League is an important competition.
“The only difference in the four competitions is the Premier League. It’s where we need to have the best performance because it gives us the regularity and credibility in the whole season.”
Arsenal defeated Vorskla 4-2 to win their opening game of the Europa League group stage, with Leno unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet on his debut.
Keep up to date with the latest news, features and exclusives from football.london via the free football.london app for iPhone and Android .
Available to download from the App Store and Google Play .