Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith is worried that Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will have to rely on reserve goalkeeper Runar Runarsson against Aston Villa this afternoon.
Arteta revealed on Thursday that new signing Maty Ryan has yet to return to training due to a muscular injury and, with Bernd Leno unavailable, it could mean another start for the error-prone Runarsson. Smith says he is concerned about the situation:
“With Leno suspended, will Mat Ryan be ready or will Arsenal have to depend on Runar Alex Runarsson, the Icelandic keeper who has looked very shaky? With old boy Emi Martinez down the other end, more Runarsson mistakes would make Arteta wince.”
Runarsson’s performance against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-final is still fresh in the memory and supporters will be keeping their fingers crossed that, if the Icelandic keeper starts, he can put in a more composed display.
Arsenal are going into the game off the back of an underserved defeat to Wolves during the week, and it would be a kick in the teeth if they lost their second game in a row due to problems of their own making.
Arteta hasn’t completely ruled out Ryan from being available, though, so we shall have to wait and see who is selected when the team sheets come in at 11:30.