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A frame by frame analysis of Raya meeting Win
And what it will mean for Raya's impact at Arsenal
Arsenal have announced the signing of David Raya.
Now, there are a lot of really great think pieces about how Arsenal will juggle two starting-worthy keepers, what this means for Aaron Ramsdale, and all that good stuff. Something else caught my eye about David Raya. In one of the various pieces that the Arsenal media team released after the transfer was announced, Raya was asked:
Mysterious unknown Arsenal media voice: “How do you like to spend your day off?”
Raya: "With my girlfriend and my dog”
Folks, I’m slightly worried that my entire brand is becoming dogs, but we have another Arsenal signing that has a dog.
Now, from my extensive research, I can’t find any photos of Raya’s dog on the internet, but we do have a video of David Raya greeting Arsenal’s dog Win.
So logically, the only way to tell if David Raya has enough dog experience to succeed at Arsenal is to do a frame-by-frame analysis of his first interaction with Win.
We start off pretty strongly here. Raya comes off his line, but Win is clearly not sure what to make of the situation. She ultimately decides not to venture too far away from the foot she is currently resting on. Linus van Pelt from Peanuts had a security blanket, Win apparently has a security foot. Raya reads this well by keeping good spacing here. Making sure to keep a comfortable distance between him and the dog.
It’s at this point that Raya kneels down and greets Win on her level. This is clearly a good sign, showing that he’s willing to meet people where they are at. He immediately goes into a two-handed petting approach, going with the right hand on top and the left hand handing the chin. Great sign for a keeper here, indicating that the far post and near post will both be on his mind. He’s not going to be a keeper that is caught with someone sneaking one in at the near post because he’s going to be giving that near post the scratches it deserves.
Win reciprocates by raising a paw, a universal sign for all dogs that their chin is being petted or that she needs a substitution.
Now this is where Raya really shines as a keeper. Distribution. The beginning of this interaction was entirely head focused. We had scratches on both the bottom and top of the head, but nothing on the rest of the body. We’ve heard that Raya has good distribution, can stretch the field, and all that good stuff. It’s really on display here.
Raya stretches the petting by immediately going into action with a few side rubs into the belly region. It’s quick, obviously trying to catch Win off guard on a surprise attack, but it’s effective. It’s good to see this type of distribution this early into his Arsenal career.
At this point, both Raya and Win get distracted by the opposition. Raya is able to help direct Win toward the threat to their interaction. This is another great sign that Arsenal can expect some solid communication and organization from this shot-stopper.
We’ve come to the end of the interaction here. Raya makes sure that he finishes strongly with a last under-the-chin scratch. Win’s body language indicates that she’s enjoying it, this time not with a paw raise but with the classic leaning into the scratch. Showing that she can rely on this teammate.
All in all, I think this is a great sign of Raya’s success at Arsenal. He showed strength in communication, care for both poles, and assertiveness. All great qualities for a keeper.
Win on a T-Shirt
Speaking of Win, if you want Win on a T-Shirt now is the time. These things are flying quickly and could be sold out soon.
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