David Ospina has spoken about the influences on his goalkeeping style, the pressures of being a keeper and why he loves being between the sticks so much.

Ospina has been the number two goalkeeper at Arsenal since arriving from Nice in 2014. He’s been handed a run in the first-team every now and then, but mostly features in the cup matches for the Gunners.

While Petr Cech continues to keep him out of the side in the Premier League, Ospina aims to continue learning and developing every day. “I’ve always studied other keepers,” he told Arsenal.com.

 “In Colombia, at that time, this meant Rene Higuita, Faryd Mondragon, Oscar Cordoba and the late Miguel Calero. At international level, I would watch Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon.
“I tried to notice what each keeper did really well, but it’s important to develop your own style – a style that works for you. You need to have a strong character as well as being patient and calm.”

Ospina spoke about how the role requires a lot of concentration and a thick skin, as any mistakes will be magnified.

“It’s also a position that helps you to develop mental strength, because you can be the best, but if you make one mistake, you are more heavily criticised than any other position on the pitch. That really helps you to become strong psychologically,” he said.
“A great keeper must enjoy the trust of his team and be able to remain calm and focused. There may be key moments when the team needs him to take direct action. Maintaining focus is important, but very hard to achieve, particularly against certain teams.
“In some matches, the ball might only come near you two or three times, yet those moments can be decisive. If you are not focused, and living every moment of the match, you can be caught out suddenly. It’s very hard to maintain focus, so you have to work at it.”

The Colombian has certainly made some errors during his Arsenal career. The worst was, perhaps, dropping the ball into his own goal in a 3-2 defeat to Olympiakos in 2015. Despite that, Ospina is determined to enjoy playing in his position and prove his quality to Arsenal.

“I make the most of that calmness I’ve already mentioned. I am passionate about goalkeeping, I love being a keeper. You have to enjoy it in order to be calm and relaxed on the pitch. What I want is to be able to play and carry on showing what David Ospina can do for Arsenal.”

Ospina has been linked with a move away from the club on a number of occasions. He looked certain to leave last summer in pursuit of more first-team football, but was convinced to stay at the Emirates and fight for his place.

While Cech is the first-choice goalkeeper, Ospina has been getting games in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup, and should feature in the FA Cup next month.