Thursday, June 20, 2024

Arteta looking for goalkeeper solution, ‘probably in this window’

This morning David Ornstein reported in The Athletic (£) that Arsenal were looking to send Alex Runarsson on loan in January.

The Icelandic international has made five appearances since his somewhat surprise move from Dijon towards the end of the last window, but looked particularly shaky in the EFL cup tie against Man City.

It raised serious questions about his capacity to provide adequate cover for Bernd Leno, and as last season showed, when the German got injured having quality back-up in the shape of Emi Martinez proved vital to our FA Cup success.

The fact that the Argentine departed for Aston Villa, and the complexity of the window itself, left the Gunners unable to do the kind of business they wanted, and it seems that Runarsson was very much a last-ditch option.

It’s something Arteta appears keen to address, saying, “We are assessing the situation with the three positions on the goalkeeping area and we will find a different solution, probably in this window.

“The discussion we had in the summer within the club are a little bit different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi.

“We didn’t have much time to do what we really wanted to do and we decided to assess the situation in this window which is what we are trying to do and we will make a decision on how we want to move forward in those three positions.”

Brentford’s David Raya was the first option, but the Championship side were unwilling to do business then. It seems unlikely they’ll sell in January either.

He remains high on the agenda, but in the short-term an experienced loan signing might provide more reassurance, while young keepers Karl Hein or Arthur Okonkwo – who has recently joined the first team training sessions following the departure of Matt Macey – can provide third choice cover.

“There is nothing there yet,” said the manager of a loan move for Runarsson, but even if he doesn’t go, the club are expected to pursue a goalkeeping signing of some description before the end of the month.

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Obvious that Runnarson isn’t up to it yet, possibly ever.

Would be great to have someone like Martinez that we can rely on to step in when needed (though that may be too optimistic…).

Runcorn Gooner

We need a keeper who has got experience and no longer has a massive ambition other than to be part of good Schwartzer at Leicester and Chelsea, Green at Chelsea, Cech at Chelsea. Oops.


Tim Krul would be my choice


I hope that’s sarcasm. He is a useful keeper though.


or a decent one who had experience in the league and willing to be the No.2, for example someone like Vorm.

Matt Ryan has been dropped after a few games this season, not sure why. He has always been a good shot stopper, reckon he is more willing to be No.2 at Arsenal than at Brighton.

As for No.3 is Stuart Taylor still hanging around at the big clubs? Maybe he likes to come home. 😛

Public Elneny Number One

So just how bad was Matt Macey then?


Weird, 6 foot 7 inch tall, not young, been at the club some time.

Looked like he had the potential to be the next Martinez or similar.

Public Elneny

Argh, there is so much more to goalkeeping than just being tall!


Agreed, though it obviously helps if you cover more of the goal.

Public Elneny

I think it helps up to the point it starts to impede on footwork, agility and spring If you think about it there aren’t all that many 6’6+ keepers at the top level – Cech, Courtois, Van der Sar and maybe Dida being the best I can think of Most of the best ones seem to be in the 6’2 – 6’4 range There are zero 7′ monsters like in basketball And historically probably at least as many great 6’0-6’1 keepers as 6’6+ ones – Kahn, Casillas, Shilton, Southall, Zoff, Banks Ok if you’re shorter than that you’re a bit… Read more »


Yea agree, I would say height is more of a detriment past 6’5 – none of those are actually even over 6’6 – tallest is Courtois and he’s 6’6

A Different George

Lloris (France number 1, not sure what club he plays for) is 6’2″, as are Ter Stegen and Oblak. No one complains about any of them being too short.


Could also be a disadvantage getting down on time to keep low balls out. It has its pros and cons


True, Gordon Banks was pretty good and he was no giant (but unlike Runarsson he had skill in abundance – and was humble about it as well).

Dave Cee

Dreadful loan spells. There is a reason Hibs only signed him to a 6 month contract


Seen only few mins of him against MK Dons. Didnt look composed. Atleast runnarsson is good at feet. This guy’s only positive is his height.


Poor. He was tall but not athletic with it. Nor was he good with his feet.

He also didn’t have the best of loans in the lower leagues.


At 6.1 (my height) you can touch the crossbar with fingertips without having to jump. If you are shorter than that it causes massive problems.


Does this mean Runnarson was a Panic buy?
Or did we rely to much on the GK coach and should of done more scouting?

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Panic or the only buy available without spending money. He was dropped from a second division team so no surprise there…


Looks like it. It was a false economy really. Although difficult to retain two quality keepers (as we found out) surely we could have got someone from a club here who had some experience of the higher divisions, which Runarsson clearly hasn’t and got a very rude awakening.

Crash Fistfight

Crystal Palace bought Jack Butland for a reported £1m in October.

AMN's cheeky grin

Isn’t Dijon in Ligue Un?

Still agree with your point that being dropped by Dijon isn’t great


Our GK coach replaced our scouts.

Obama Young

He chose Runarsson because he had worked with him before. Will the same coach be choosing the next keeper?
This time will he choose the best keeper we can possibly afford, or will it again be someone that he worked with before?

Eddy F

Why do we need a quality second choice GK?

Leno had a freak injury cause by a striker that you can’t account for.

For years we had Seamen or Lehmann with no real backup at all and they managed fine playing 50 games a year.

Have 3 GK’s sure, but one of them should be an older experienced head who is more of a coach that can be relied upon, and the other can be a youngster who still plays for the U23’s regularly.

Many other areas of the squad we should be spending money improving.

A Voice in the Noise

Think you answered your own question with the second sentence in your post, mate.

Giuseppe Hovno

“Why do we need a quality second choice GK?

Leno had a freak injury cause by a striker that you can’t account for.”

You’ve answered your own question

Public Elneny

I don’t remember Seaman too well, but didn’t Alex Manninger have to cover for him for half a season and do a season saving job? Keepers get injured and suspended just like outfielders do And OK, physical fatigue isn’t a big issue for GKs, but it’s a very mentally demanding position and mental fatigue certainly is. If a keeper is struggling to keep focus, or starts to develop confidence issues, a midweek break from cup games for a while surely helps a lot Thirdly, decent back up gks can normally be found for pretty cheap, so money isn’t too much… Read more »


You remember correctly.


Assume you are quite young, maybe? That was a very naive comment. Seaman had first lukic and later manninger as backup, the latter proving absolutely vital at times. Lehmann had almunia as backup,so the idea that they had no number 2s is plain wrong. As an aside I have long felt that we get having almunia as no. 2 and then no. 1 was a horrifically bad decision, almunia undermined the confidence of the defence, which had been strong for many years and is only recently finally recovering from being a bit of a joke for a long time. A… Read more »

Dave Cee

Almunia was awful! I called him the ghost between the posts he turned so white when a shot came at him


If Leno got injured now the season is over, unless we buy a proper back up in this window. We cannot take the chance and end up relying on Runnarson.
We always had back ups in the past – Mart Poom comes to mind and he was 3rd choice.


Just remembered John Lukic returned to back up Dave Seaman, and he was class, there was also Alex Manninger

Public Elneny

Even quite recently Ospina did an ok job replacing Szczesny for half a season after he lost the plot


Stuart Taylor also deserves a mention, not a bad back up, plenty of experience, but rightly was never in for no.1 Manninger was also a good back up. We also had Richard Wright for a time, though he actually has less appearances for the club than Taylor – I think the intention when we signed him from Ipswich was to provide competition for Seaman, though he wasn’t quite good enough to really be in contention for no. 1 at Arsenal. In fact, the longer Seaman was in goal, the better he seemed to get, he was that good. Almunia, Fabiankski… Read more »


My favourite back up keeper was always Rami Shaaban!


Ooof! Forgot about Rami, shame on me!


You just never know when you’ll lose your first choice keeper. Although you can’t keep two top quality keepers happy for long, you do need a competent second choice but I don’t think that describes Mr R.

David Hillier's luggage

We managed fine when Seaman had a back up: winning the league in 98 with Manninger playing key games (inc. the turning point victory at Utd), and in 02 when Richard Wright and Stuart Taylor both hit double figures in league appearances. When there wasn’t a decent understudy (mid 90s) the club were regularly injecting him with painkillers at half time and hoping for the best.


Just spitballing here, but I happen to have a pair of gloves and I used to be an outfield player so decent with my feet, a bit shot shy but hey who isn’t.


Is that a direct quote from Runarsson’s job interview?


Our this summers tranfers are a mess. I understand that we had to sell Emi and didn’t have much time to figure out our options, but Macey would have done the same job as Runarsson and we wouldn’t have signed new guy on 5 year deal who is clearly even nowhere near the level we need. And he isn’t a teenager either who will develop to next level. For me justification that he was cheap is annoying. Runarsson wasn’t cheap. It is like billionaire paying 100 pounds for a slice of bread and calling it cheap, because for them 100… Read more »


Just be glad that he is not a Arteta’s non-negotiable like Willian!


It was bad business, but not fatal. Eventually he will go on loan, at a lower level and we will get some of our money back. It’s a scratch card that didn’t pay off

Obama Young

It was reported on Arseblog News recently that until Holding signed his new contract, Runarsson was making more per week than Holding. That is just horrendous. There is no excuse to justify those wages being handed out to a player of his ability.
And what kind of message is it sending to players who are clearly far better and have been with the club far longer?

Far East Stand

It’s more evidence of how bad we are at negotiation and business in general. Runarsson had been dropped to reserve keeper at the bottom club in Ligue Un, not able to get a game and earning 7k/week. His career wasn’t on an upward trajectory and there would have been no other big clubs in for him. If we had come along and said join Arsenal for the same money on a two year contract he probably would have said “Sure, why not.” Instead we offered him 40k/week and a four year contract! There seems to be nobody at Arsenal with… Read more »

Public Elneny

Yeah it’s inexplicable, and there are other examples of our players’ agents managing to negotiate contracts worth literal multiples of what they could hope to get elsewhere

It doesn’t even require a brain for business really to know this is not good. Even a 10 year old Football Manager player would realise this isn’t how you should operate

Which in my simplistic head leads me to believe there is/was something fishy going on within our ranks. We’ll see if anything changes after the recent departures

Man Manny

To do nothing about our goalkeeping department in this window would be rather irresponsible on the part of Arteta et. al.
Runnarson MIGHT eventually come good (I remember Emi’s performance at Reading in the outrageous 7-5 game), but at the moment, we are a Leno injury away from a collosal disaster.
An experienced back-up keeper is our number one priority.


Yeah agreed, and although GK injuries are less frequent and you can play them week in week out, it was still a dangerously stupid decision to go into this season with a back keeper who wasn’t going to make it at Dijon on the advice of Inyaki Cana, when you have Edu and a whole department dedicated to scouting and transfers. Can’t think to imagine how fucked we would be had Leno gotten hurt.


This needs a to be a priority… I don’t even want to think what would happen if the worst were happen at the moment…


We nearly had the worst yesterday if Caroll had connected on his follow up to his own blocked shot on Saturday. Leno isn’t the type to shy away from a tough challenge is he. Was a scary moment…


I didn’t mean yesterday did I? I meant Saturday..


A joe hart kind of signing would be perfect.


Perfect for what? Relegation?


good dressing room presence and totally normal/chill calming influence


We want a decent ‘keeper, not a can of Air-Freshener.

Public Elneny

I would not describe Joe Hart as chill. He went to the same academy as Jordan Pickford for overexcited keepers who just need to shout at something, anything at all times


I was kidding, I know he’s a total head case now.


Well, that’s no real surprise regarding Runarrson. Far too cocky and doesn’t have the skill to back it up. Hopefully, the loan will knock him into shape but I’m not holding my breath.

Am I the only Gooner to be concerned about the number of players signed recently – Willian, Saliba and now Runarrson who, for a variety of reasons, just haven’t done the business. That’s a pretty high percentage over a short time and doesn’t say much for the supposed expertise that we’re supposed to have now. Anyway …


Arsenal need a better backup goalkeeper as soon as possible.
Arsenal need to finalize contract issues mostly with Balogun contract negotiation because his a future number nine 9, so he can fill the space left by Martinelli, he need more chance and his better than Nketiah too.


Runnarson was a totally pointless signing.

At this point we need someone to come in and give us a real strategy with transfers. This scattergun approach is getting us nowhere.


Wasting money is our forte…

Lord Bendtner's Square Foot of Land

Anyone else concerned by the apparent fact that our number one GK target is a Championship goalkeeper who conceded a 40-yard direct free kick goal in the play-off final?


Yeah, Seaman would never have done that…

Crash Fistfight

At least Big Dave never conceded a goal directly from a corn… oh wait, never mind.


Seen him play recently? Still a better option than Runnarson.

Obama Young

Are they the only 2 goalkeepers in the world? Oh right, we are only interested in keepers who have previously worked with Inaki Cana.


Sorry, I was referring to David Seaman.


I don’t understand? The club registered 5 GK in the EL squad… It even prevented the club from registering Özil and Papa (there was space for 2 non home grown players without the 2 additional GKs)…


Do yourself a favour, give up trying to understand how this club is managed.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

It was the tactics used to keep Ozil and Papas out.

David Hillier's luggage

We actually registered 6 keepers, with Leno and Runarsson taking up the non-homegrown spots in the UEFA squad. In no way have the other 4 prevented the club registering Ozil or Sokratis. Hein and Okwonko count as B list players (u21 eligible and have been registered at the club for 2 years), we’re allowed unlimited number of B list players and registered the likes of Saka, Nelson, ESR, Nketiah and Willock to this B list. Therefore they don’t take up squad space. The other two keepers Macey (over 21, homegrown, recognised third choice) and Hilson (U21, homegrown, but not registered… Read more »


How about that bloke up at Aston Villa. 🙄

Crash Fistfight

The number 2 at Aston Villa ain’t too shabby.


Aston Villa may have to get rid of the other one, as he may not like the bench


For older readers, Runarsson has a touch of the Bartram about him.


Who Sam Bartram?

Corona X

Good ol’ Vinnie! 🙂


Is Sebastian Frey available?


Runarsson looks a shambolic signing. If you’re buying a 2nd or 3rd choice goalie, they really ought to be young, homegrown and fucking tall enough to play in goal. He’s none of them.


the sooner we get these bad scouting and signings behind us the better.

Gudang Bedil

Just a half season in, already a deadwood.

Obama Young

Now known as doing a Willian.

AMN's cheeky grin

I think we might struggle to find a buyer on his wages, if we decide to move him on permanently.

Supposedly he is on £40k/week on a 5 year deal, whereas he was on under £6k at Dijon (according to Football Opus). That’s not looking like great business. Still, the sums aren’t huge comparatively speaking, so it’s not the end of the world.

I feel bad piling on to the poor lad… Let’s hope he improves and give him our support, he’s one of us now.


Imagine dropping Saliba from the squad because of the HG quota, to put instead Runnarson, a 25 years old keeper backup at Dijon FC in France, and signed on a 5-year deal.

This is one of the dumbiest decisions ever. Should’ve signed any english keeper just to make numbers in the window, like Hart or Butland.

And David Raya is also nowhere near the level we should be willing to pay a fee. He’s a Ospina/Kiko Casilla like keeper. Freddie Woodman, the Newcastle keeper playing on loan at Swansea, is one that I would love us to pursue.


Is Stuart Taylor available?


This is now top priority with Macey sold.

Runnarson less than convincing serves to illustrate poor acumen in market with Edu. Letting Caggagio (and well established scouts) go and trusting stats also part of the issue

As mentioned before, we would do us a huge favour if we had a real football brain with experience in on transfers like Campos at Lille or Overmmars.

Sylvain Won'tord

Matt Ryan? Better than Runar i’m sure

Eboue's tears, Eboue's cheers.

Let’s not forget his social media comments about Wenger and the club too. Another red flag that could have saved us the bother.

Mikels Arteta

Maty Ryan from Brighton could be available

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