There Are Too Many "Andy Carrolls" in the Premier League for Runarsson to be Arsenal's No. 2 Keeper
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
Arsenal's dreadful first half against Newcastle surely provided all Gooners alike an abundance of anxiety. The low block deployed by Steve Bruce was a wise move as Mikel Arteta's men generally struggle to break down deep lying blockades. Throughout the first 45, a cloud of nervousness encapsulated me, "are we really going to lose to this pathetic lot too," I asked myself.
Of course, we came to life in the second half and some of the anxiousness subsided, however an unignorable, relenting feeling of fear remained. It did so until Andy Carroll was subbed off in the latter stages of the match. At that point, I came to a stark realization. Of course I'm terrified of us losing, but I'm far more scared of losing Bernd Leno to injury and losing a lot more thereafter if that ever occurs.
If Arsenal lose our first choice keeper through injury, Runarsson will be the man to vacate the area between the sticks. That previous sentence is arguably scarier than the thought of us losing any given match. The former Dijon keeper is poor and nowhere near at the Arsenal level. Him coming in could, and probably would see us lose matches that Leno keeps us alive by the skin of our teeth in.
Since joining, the Icelandic shot stopper has shown he is out of his depth. The fact is, the 25-year-old is nowhere near good enough to be an Arsenal player, and the goalkeeping coach who suggested him should have all input taken with a ocean's worth of salt going into the future if he classifies Runarsson as "Arsenal material".
Leno often has questions asked over how well he can dictate his own box, Runarsson on the other hand, can't even control the goal line. His performance against Manchester City was atrocious, and arguably one of the worst performances I've seen by an Arsenal keeper.
The less said about Runarsson the better, time to veer more towards the thought of losing Leno. It's not Runarsson's fault that nepotism came to play.
Leno squaring up to the likes of players such as Carroll, Chris Wood, Neal Maupay and the abundance of other villainous center forwards in the division is reason enough for the Reds of London to be desperate for a different number two.
While Carroll was pretty much anonymous in the league bout to Newcastle, in the FA Cup tie he provided Arsenal some hardships, and me a number of terrified moments--none more so than when he swung his oafish leg towards the ball and more notably, Leno's noggin after the German came off his line.
Some believe that the area should actually be the priority in January--I still believe a creative midfielder is far more important, personally, but I understand such a belief.
If the current number one is left the victim of another blatant crime such as the one previously done onto him by Maupay last season, Arsenal will be up shit creek without a paddle. The fact is, there are far too many Maupays and Carrolls in the division for us not to have an adequate second fiddle.
If a deal can be struck in January for a second choice keeper, I'm all for it. However, if the club have to choose between the aforementioned position, or a creative midfielder, I know which one I'd opt for. That could be what happens too, given the financial implications.
A great deal of supporters seem to think this season is dead and gone, and that could be why their preference is another shot stopper, but given the poor quality of basically every team in the Premier League this season, I see this campaign as far from over for the Gunners. A top four finish is highly unlikely and nearly impossible, but a top six spot is still more than up for grabs. A club the size of Arsenal playing European football is pivotal--even if it is the Walmart version of it.
If another goalie is not signed this window, one is certainly needed in the Summer. Runarsson's time at Arsenal already appears to be over as he has failed tragically when called upon. Just as swiftly as Runar became a Gunner, he failed miserably and now is a goner. Whether it be on loan, or as a permanent sale, the man surplus to requirements must be sent away. I wish him nothing but the best in his future, but one thing is for sure, said time ahead cannot be at the Emirates.