Speaking to Sport1, Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has had his say on what everyone at the Emirates has told him about Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger.
The former Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper has been very vocal about how his teammates need to be meaner. He believes that Arsenal are too nice on the pitch and that is one of the biggest reasons why we are where we are in the Premier League table.
The German was asked about other players his teammates can take inspiration from to be more ruthless on the pitch. He named a few of his compatriots – Chelsea’s Rudiger, in particular.
Bernd Leno: Antonio Rudiger is a good example to follow
He said: “I immediately think of Joshua Kimmich because he’s a knee-biter. Ilkay Gündogan is also a brutal player. He may not interfere, but he plays very intelligently. Timo Werner is also a disgusting player because he always goes behind the chain and looks for the rooms there.
“Antonio Rudiger is also a good example: Everyone at Arsenal has said that it is extremely bitter and difficult to play against him. Such players are good for a team and hurt the opponent.
“That’s why I’m happy for Toni that he got the corner at Chelsea and will now be in the Champions League final together with the other German boys.”
The Insider’s View:
Rudiger, a £29 million signing from Roma in 2017, certainly is a no-nonsense kind of defender. He puts his body on the line time after time to protect his goal, and he isn’t afraid to take one for the team either if the need arises.
Arsenal, sadly, are too soft. A latest study from CIES Football Observatory revealed that the Gunners have the worst foul frequency rate in Europe’s top-five league – one foul every 10 minutes and 44 seconds. (Read more)
Chelsea, on the other hand, rank 28th on that list, which shows just how efficient they are in breaking play up. That disrupts the opposition’s rhythm and momentum, which in turn makes it extremely difficult for them to score.
That is something Arsenal need to learn ASAP to get out of the hole we are currently in.