German Given His Chance Following Cech Injury
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno says he is ready for the challenge of the coming weeks after finally being given his chance in the Gunners’ first team.
Leno, a £19million summer arrival from Bayer Leverkusen in his homeland, came on as a substitute just before half-time after Petr Cech suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Watford. It was his Premier League debut and only his third appearance of the season and he hopes it will lead to a prolonged run in the side.
“My chance came here and it was good,” said Leno.
“It’s difficult to sit on the bench but the coach said to me ‘Don’t be sad or disappointed, just train hard.’ He has worked with many goalkeepers and it is a specialist position – it takes a little bit more time to build confidence and to get a feeling for the team.
“I was calm and worked hard every day, and the coach gave me the time. It was a good start to save the first shot. It was important for the team not to concede the first goal and of course it was good for my confidence.
“Now Petr is injured, I have the opportunity to play more games and show the coach my quality.
“When I joined the club, he said he liked the style I play because he wants to play different football than before, but he did not say I was going to be No.1, No.2. He just told me to focus on performance. Some weeks ago he told me to stay calm because I played for just one professional club in Germany and it is a new country, a new language, and everything is new for me.”