Roberts praises Shea loan move

Recently-retired Dagenham & Redbridge goalkeeper Tony Roberts has spoken of his delight that Arsenal youngster James Shea has been allowed to move to the Daggers on loan for the season.

Roberts, who now is a coach at Arsenal, believes the move will provide Shea with valuable first-team experience – something which Roberts believes will do him the world of good.

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“I know the manager at Dagenham very well and I know how they play,” Roberts told Arsenal's official website.

“It will be a completely different game for him. There will be balls thrown into the box and there will be decisions he will have to make.

“That is what stands out with good goalkeepers - the amount of good decisions they make. We’ve got every confidence in him.

“I’ve been with him for four years now and I think, personally, he is going to be a very good goalkeeper. For his career now, he is ready [for a loan] and he knows the game.”

Roberts was a long-serving member of Dagenham’s team, becoming their all time-record appearance holder, and believes that Shea can carry on where he left off.

“I’ve showed him things that I have done for Dagenham and my experiences but he needs to go and get his experience now.

“I took Wojciech [Szczesny] and James to watch me play a game a couple of years ago to explain to them that everything is not like it is at Arsenal.

"There are small grounds, the pitches are different, the style of football is different and I try and teach them to learn everything.

“He will be fine, we saw with Wojciech when he went out. I think James can do just as well.”

By Elliott Binks