Arsenal signing Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson came under fire during the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Rúnarsson had looked sturdy enough during his first four outings for the club, keeping two Europa League clean sheets and hardly being at fault for the three goals he conceded.
Rúnarsson struggles vs Man City
Sadly, the same couldn’t be said about his performance in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, dropping two errors that led many fans to call him one of the worst players they’ve ever seen at Arsenal.
Rúnarsson’s positioning was poor for Gabriel Jesus’ opening strike, before allowing a tame free-kick from Riyad Mahrez to slip through his fingers after Alexandre Lacazette had levelled the scores.
It was a poor display from Rúnarsson, there’s no getting away from it, but goalkeepers at every level make mistakes and some of the abuse he received on social media has been shocking.
Experts’ deleted tweet
And there has even been a broader debate about whether Arsenal should actually be footing some of the blame for Rúnarsson’s performance given the initial criticism surrounding his summer move.
Besides, in the aftermath of Rúnarsson’s error, an article from French football experts ‘Get French Football News’ reacting to Arsenal’s first move for the shot-stopper went viral again.
And it clearly wasn’t lost on the GFFN admin either as they tweeted shortly afterwards: “What Arsenal have done with Rúnarsson is nothing short of cruel & grossly unprofessional.
“They have failed him, not only by signing him when he does not have the required ability, but also by putting him in a situation tonight where he could suffer humiliation on a major stage.”
Analysis goes viral again
The tweet has since been deleted, but the wider point of the original article, published on September 18, still stands with the Ligue 1 experts warning Arsenal fans about Rúnarsson’s shortcomings.
The feature, which can be read in its entirety here, forewarned: “A decent ‘keeper in terms of his reflexes, his positioning and aerial ability is lacking badly, and while he does have a powerful kick, his distribution out from the back often left much to be desired, frequently putting his defenders under pressure.”
They added: “Rather than try to pick apart his skillset any further, suffice it to say that if Arsenal see a goalkeeper who is second choice for the worst team in Ligue 1 this season as a viable option to be their own deputy, they had better make a none-too-inconsiderable offering to the injury gods on Leno’s behalf.”
Warning signs were there
Credit to GFFN because they saw incidents like the errors against City coming from a mile away and it’s clear that Rúnarsson’s performances with Dijon should have been a massive red flag.
It is, therefore, a major concern that Arsenal seem to be ploughing through their tumultuous 2020/21 campaign with a back-up goalkeeper who, by all accounts, isn’t up to the Premier League standard.
But regardless of that fact, people make errors, it happens, cut the guy some slack…