Paul Merson has hit out at Bernd Leno following the German’s mistake during the 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday.
The shot stopped earnt a straight red card for handling the ball outside the penalty box after rushing out to stop a Wolves man from getting on the end of a long ball.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Special (02/02/21 at 7:35 pm), the former Highbury favourite spoke of his empathy for Mikel Arteta after the rare error from the Germany international.
Merson said: “It’s pouring with rain, it’s really slippery. He doesn’t have to come out of his box. He comes out of the box, and as he comes out, he runs past the ball and punched it with his arm. It’s a stonewall sending-off. You just cannot believe it. They have just capitulated, Arsenal. You feel for Arteta.”
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The error from Leno is one of the only mistakes he’s in recent times. I think it would be suitable to give the 28-year-old a bit of a break after his poor judgement against the Midlands outfit.
If not for Leno, God knows where the Gunners would be in the league table. The German’s shot-stopping ability has won the North London outfit many matches since he made the £19.3m move from Bayer Leverkusen back in 2018.
As a matter of fact, his performances during the 2019/2020 campaign earnt him the second place in the club’s player of the season award. He’s carried that superb form into this season and has conceded the fifth-least amount of goals per game in the top-flight.
Despite his red card, you’d be hard-pressed to find a supporter of the club who is too critical of Leno. Yes, he made a bad mistake, but, given his high-standards since joining, he can be forgiven quite easily.