Arsenal 28yo criticised after breaking back into starting

Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson makes a save for Cardiff City (Photo via Cardiff City on Twitter)

Back in September, we highlighted that Runar Alex Runarsson appeared set for a spell on the sidelines, with Cardiff City goalkeeping rival Jak Alnwick performing well and Cardiff exiting the League Cup.

So it proved, with Runarsson going on a run of eight matches in almost two months without a game.

But after Alnwick conceded three to Norwich City in the final match before the international break, Cardiff boss Erol Bulut evidently decided to give Runarsson another chance against Preston North End this weekend.

Latvian referee Andris Treimanis (L) speaks with Iceland's goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson (C) during the UEFA Nations League - League B Group 2 - football match between Israel and Iceland at the Samy Ofer stadium in the Israeli city of Haifa on June 2, 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Latvian referee Andris Treimanis (L) speaks with Iceland’s goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson (C) during the UEFA Nations League – League B Group 2 – football match between Israel and Iceland at the Samy Ofer stadium in the Israeli city of Haifa on June 2, 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Alnwick dropped to the bench for the Arsenal loanee, making his first Championship start since September 2nd and his first start in any competition since September 27th.

Runarsson made one save, one high claim, and one successful run out as Cardiff ultimately won the match 2-1.

Even for the goal he conceded, there’s no doubt the goalkeeper was left horribly exposed after a mistake by Mark McGuinness put Milutin Osmajic in on goal with no covering defenders and Runarsson well outside his penalty area.

Yet Runarsson ended up taking some of the blame too. As the Iceland international scrambled to get back in position, he ended up showing too much of the goal to Osmajic, who finished the chance with ease.

Iceland's goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson (L) saves a shot by Israel's forward Liel Abada (C) during the UEFA Nations League football match on June 2, 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Iceland’s goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson (L) saves a shot by Israel’s forward Liel Abada (C) during the UEFA Nations League football match on June 2, 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Even though the goal was primarily down to McGuinness, the Cardiff City fans on social media evidently felt Runarsson’s goalkeeping rival would have dealt with the situation better.

  • @BEM05_132: “That keeper positioning is horrendous. Get Alnwick in”
  • @C_Brana: “What’s Runnarson doing”
  • @brnkwrth: “We’ll never see Runarsson again”
  • @haz0313: “Yeah Runarsson can go back in January he’s shocking”
  • @JakePrice1927: “Runar’s positioning is s****. How was he ever a goalkeeper at Arsenal”

Perhaps the three points will soften the blow somewhat, but the chances of another Runarsson start in midweek seem to have taken a hit.



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