Conflicting reports on Arsenal’s goalkeeper hierarchy

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has declared that one of Mat Ryan or Alex Runarsson will be filling in for the suspended Bernd Leno this weekend, but his Europa League squad raises huge question marks.

Today’s Arsenal news revealed the squad’s UEFA Europa League squad, which includes both Bernd Leno and Mat Ryan as our senior goalkeepers, but there is no place for the Icelandic shot-stopper. Instead, 20 year-old James Hillson is named as our third goalkeeper in the list, although younger players from the youth setup do not need to be named.

While this seems to confirm that Runarsson is behind Ryan in the pecking order, it also indicates that he is as low as fourth or fifth in behind our Under-23 options.

The manager insists that the former Dijon goalkeeper is in line to start this weekend, ruling out a debut for Arthur Okonkwo who was recently called up to the senior squad. Arteta told when asked about Ryan’s fitness: “He has not been available to train yet, and Alex is available, so we will have the choice between the two of them for the weekend. If Mat is able to train, and they are both fit, we will have a decision to make. If Mat is not fit, obviously Alex will be in goal.”

Alex will likely be disappointed at having been removed from the squad list for the Europa League, but getting the nod to play this weekend may assure him that he isn’t to be frozen out completely.

Okonkwo could potentially find himself named on the bench this weekend if Ryan isn’t deemed to be available.

Should Runarsson have left the club on loan in the winter window?


READ MORE: “I was really shocked” – Arsenal ace aims parting dig at Mikel Arteta

Tags Arthur Okonkwo James Hillson Mat Ryan Runar Alex Runarsson


      1. Arsenal should’ve promoted a young GK from the reserves instead of purchasing another GK, since the new GK is just for Leno’s backup and competitor

        1. My sentiments
          Or go get an older experienced gk who would love the chance to be a no. 2 at a massive club. Sorry did I say a massive club..was living in the past then
          But a club with a lot of history

  1. Our number one goal keeper is Leno
    But he is out on a red card.
    So Runnerson is now number one except he is well short of the standard required. So clearly Ryan is number one but he is injured. That leaves Okonkwo as number one but Hillson has been named in the EL ‘A’ squad making him number one.
    Well that’s cleared that up ☺

    1. Wyoming, When you say “number one” , you actually mean which oF them will play at Villa, presumably. We all know that LENO REMAINS OUR PERMANENT NUMBER ONE.

      An odd phrase to use for a mere ANY one match deputy for our well known actual NUMBER ONE!

    1. Of course Runarsson shouldn’t have been loaned out if he’s needed this weekend. With Leno banned and Ryan injured we would have been short of a keeper and whilst I don’t rate him, he did adequately when Keno got sent off.

    2. Of course Runarsson shouldn’t have been loaned out if he’s needed this weekend. With Leno banned and Ryan injured we would have been short of a keeper and whilst I don’t rate him, he did adequately when Leno got sent off.

  2. Okwonkwo’s been in and out of first team training since last season. I was hoping to see him make a start but I guess it’s a pretty big game so the more experienced Runnarsson will get the nod.

      1. If it was overturned it would have made them look silly ,I hope the club reject any fixture where Jon moss is ment to ref us .
        Clearly a corrupt official, he isn’t the first and he won’t be the last .

        1. Dan, is it true that Southampton have said they won’t accept Mike Dean to officiate their games in future?

    1. Corruption Sue! I don’t care what anyone says. Pawson and moss should never officiate an arsenal game ever again!

      1. It’s so obvious as well Kev ,how fans of all clubs can not see it is beyond me .
        How the fck does Bruno score a penalty every week ,if you go on to a betting site and see the odds of Man Utd getting a penalty it’s about 1/20 on ,if you go to any other matches it’s usually about evens .
        How Jon moss came to that conclusion in 20 seconds is a mystery in itself .

        1. I know all about it Dan, they’ve probably had more penalties this season than we’ve had in 3 years.. us getting a pen is probably 10/1 lol. Mane caught Tierney with elbow, not even looked at, Jota controls the ball with his hand scores, allowed! I think Pawson the same man who allows Jorginho go all kung fu on another one of our players stays on and then scores the winning penalty! Of course people will try and find reason and say we are overreacting and bitter because we lost but thats not true, I think we all accept defeat if we were beat fairly but it’s quite obvious Wolves had a 13th man the other night if you include Pawson and Moss! I have watched that clip about 20 times Dan I don’t see any contact whatsoever but Moss sees it in 20 seconds!

          1. Same mate ,I’ve watched it countless times even the angle where people was saying it showed contact ,even in SLO mo I can’t see it .
            Personally I can’t blame the ref but VAR should have least called him over to look at the monitor.

          2. I think the people who say they see contact just don’t like David Luiz, feelings aside just be fair and tell the truth there is no contact, if anything the wolves player catches Luiz. Let’s be honest if that’s harry Maguire in Luiz’s situation the other night the wolves player would probably be booked for diving.. they looked at that and went oh it’s Luiz he has form it’s definitely a red. I’m not saying we are the only team that is harshly treated Dan but we’re certainty on the receiving end of poor decisions more than most.

  3. Once again, how did we continue to bring in players who are unavailable to play…this clown was paid to be a 6 month cover job, so that if Leno got hurt or tripped over his dick, like he did, we wouldn’t have to rely on Runnar ever again…until we stop embarrassing ourselves with these types of comical footballing decisions, things will never really change

  4. Grealish will be rubbing his hands in glee!!
    AV must be training for long range shots at goal..
    He has a school boy goalie runarsson to beat. this saturday..

  5. Its so sad the way this club is being run. Having players sat on their thumbs not signed to a competition because of poor recruitment and from a position where we had two top keepers. Too a position where we dont have a decent back up available. Its like Charlie Carolis circus, full of clowns.

  6. As far as I am aware, when we signed Ryan, he wasn’t injured, so it seems he must have picked it up in training.
    Now, how it can be seen as another transfer error, if this is the case, I fail to understand.
    When it was announced, I seem to remember the transfer was met with general approval – a current international keeper, willing to fight for his place against our established No. 1.
    Strange how, because of Leno’s lapse of concentration, he is being turned into another mis managed signing.

    1. Hey Ken , according to reports he hasn’t been able to even train with the team since arriving at the club, so that would seem to suggest he was already inured…as for his international status, that means very little to me, after all Runnar is likewise an international goalkeeper with at least 7 caps…so to me that spells another classic transfer team screw-up, which has become an all too familiar refrain with this club over the years

      1. TRVL, like ken1945, I also read that Matt Ryan’s injury occurred in training. Matt Ryan is no mug.
        Matt Ryan’s goalkeeping is one of the reasons Brighton & Hove Albion stayed in the EPL for their first few years and he has played 121 times for the Club. Their supporters are unhappy that he was allowed to leave on loan.
        As for Matt Ryan’s international credentials, he has been Australia’s (FIFA ranked 44) number one, since Mark Schwarzer retired from international football in 2012. He has played in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, as well as the 2015 and 2019 Asian Cups. He has been capped 59 times for Australia.

          1. OG…I hope you saw my reply to Ken below as it applies to your posting as well…Cheers

  7. Watch the two goals Martinez let in for AV against West Ham. Goal scorer Jesse Lingaard who never ever scores. Even Runarrson could have saved those. So soft goals by our Martinez…
    Arteta made the right decision to keep Leno.

  8. RV, there are pictures of him training with the squad at London Colney and he was to be in line for the goal keeping position against Southampton, so that rumour isn’t true.
    He may have been injured at that session, but he is most definitely pictured.
    As for being an international, though it might not impress you (and I take your point regarding Runner) MA certainly sees it as a bonus, having played in both the PL and internationals, as he mentioned when the signing was declared on our official website.
    I would suggest that playing for Australia is a step above Iceland as well, along with his PL experience, but time will tell.

  9. Australia is currently ranked 41, whereas Finland is 54th…although I would agree that the Aussie National team is likely better than the Finish squad, I would argue that the latter usually face tougher competition when it comes to qualifying for the World Cup…as for the whole Mat Ryan gig these are two quotes regarding his injury status and/or lack of availability: (1) At the time of the press conference, Ryan –an Arsenal fan handed a dream opportunity by the Gunners – has been unable to train so far, meaning he may well be unavailable to fill in for Bernd Leno…(2) Mat Ryan has been conspicuously absent from the Arsenal squad since his signing as he’s been recovering from a hip problem…now you might be right and these reports could be erroneous, but I’m not sure why they would print such seemingly innocuous information unless they believed it to be a truthful account of the situation

    1. TRVL, if any European team had to travel the distances teams in the Asian Confederation has to travel to qualify for the World Cup, they would squeal like stuffed pigs. Australia do not have an easy draw. I suppose to some the “World Cup” should just be open to European and South American nations.
      Also Matt Ryan continues a long line of excellent Australian goalkeepers including Mark Bosnich, Mark Schwarzer and John Filan who have succeeded in the EPL.

      1. OG-just so you know my original comments had nothing to do with Mat’s skill level, even though he did lose his starting gig at Brighton, I was simply reacting to the fact that it appeared that we had brought in another transfer who was injured before playing a single minute for our club…I’m well-aware of the history of Aussie keepers in the EPL, especially Schwarzer, but the thing that matters most to me is their actual availability should something happen to Leno…the fact that he couldn’t even meet that seemingly simple requirement was disappointing, especially considering the last Runnar shite show

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