The Runarsson Dilemma! By Dan Smith
Arsenal are one of several clubs over the years who have adopted the policy of having a ‘cup keeper’. We of course could have had Martinez competing with Leno, which would have brought out the best in both. Leno hasn’t been the same without any competition.
The club yet again prioritised money over what was best for the team, selling Martinez to pay for Gabriel. We then used the 2 million saved by making 55 staff redundant to purchase a goalie that was not even first choice in the French second tier (again the best our Billionaire owner could do?)
You get what you pay for and the mistakes Runarsson made against Man City hinted that the 25-year-old is not ready for this level. If the pressure is too big now, imagine if 60,000 people were at the Emirates?
While us gooners can quickly write off the player, Mikel Arteta cannot. Despite clearly being a cheap option, I assume scouts would have been watching the Iceland International for a while, and therefore wouldn’t give up on a talent based on the short term view of one match?
Our manager doesn’t want to garner a reputation for simply giving up on individuals the moment he doesn’t like what he sees.
Part of his job criteria is teaching players on the training pitch, that’s meant to be his main asset from his days at Man City.
If you include Saliba, Ozil and Sokratis, that’s a lot of money you are just writing off. A top coach gets the best out of his resources.
Ideally when a player makes an error, he wants to play as soon as possible to get that mistake out of his system. The longer you leave it, the more fans talk about it. Runarsson has closed his social media accounts since the Carabao Cup game due to abuse by some ‘fans’. These were probably the same bunch of cowards who in the next breath preach loyalty to the likes of Ozil?
The nightmare scenario is that Leno gets injured and suddenly Runarsson is playing in the Premiership – with his last game being the Man City tie. In that sense Newcastle is not ideal. While I expect the Toon to mostly park the bus on Saturday, they will take every opportunity to load the ball into the box.
While Arteta needs to show man management, the risk is too high. We can’t gamble our FA Cup defence on if a 25-year-old is out of his depth or not. Forget our only realistic chance of silverware, there might be financial pressure to retain the trophy to ensure we qualify for Europe.
In the first lockdown the club stressed that zero revenue from Europe would impact our transfer plans. Nothing’s changed, if anything they have gone longer without match day income then they would have calculated.
The club have just took out a short-term loan so what’s the financial implications if we didn’t have, at minimum, Europa League Football?
Remember when some complained that Mr Wenger ‘only’ finished top 4?
Oh well, at least Mr Kroenke saved money on his manager’s salary.
In many ways the Runarsson saga sums up how our club is run. Our American owner would have loved the idea of getting nearly 20 million for one keeper and only spending 2 million to bring in a replacement.
That’s great business in the short term. Long term though, it will cost you when you fail to meet your targets due to having a lack of quality. And some wonder why I say our owner has no ambition?
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