‘Serious question – why did Arsenal sell Martinez?’: Gunners fans criticise Mikel Arteta’s decision to play Alex Runarsson after the Icelandic goalkeeper makes howler in their 4-1 Carabao Cup defeat by Manchester City
- Alex Runarsson was chosen to play instead of Bernd Leno on Tuesday evening
- The Icelandic goalkeeper made a costly howler for Man City’s second goal
- He also arguably could have done better for the first goal that Arsenal let in
- Fans have criticised the decision to sell previous back-up Emiliano Martinez
Arsenal fans have questioned why they sold Emiliano Martinez after goalkeeper Alex Runarsson’s performance in their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
The summer signing from Dijon failed to get onto a cross which saw Gabriel Jesus put Pep Guardiola’s side 1-0 up after three minutes.
But the moment that left him with his head in his hands was when Riyad Mahrez put City 2-1 up, when the Algerian’s free-kick spilled through the hands of Runarsson into the back of the net.
Alex Runarsson let Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick slip through his fingers when the score was 1-1
The summer signing from Dijon was chosen to play ahead of regular goalkeeper Bernd Leno
Arsenal were dumped out of the Carabao Cup with the 4-1 defeat at home, and fans and pundits questioned why No 1 goalkeeper Bernd Leno had been left out of the starting line-up for such a big game.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said that it was a ‘monumental mistake’ to start Runarsson.
He added: ‘Arsenal fans will say “why didn’t we play Leno today?” He’s a young boy it didn’t make sense to start him today.
‘That being said hopefully he comes back from it quickly and gets over it, got to pick yourself up, what can you do.’
Runarsson was brought in as a replacement for Martinez, who impressed for Arsenal at the end of last season.
The 28-year-old has carried his form over to Aston Villa, who he joined to get regular first-team football, and has been one of the best performing goalkeepers in the league this season.
Arsenal fans questioned why they let Emiliano Martinez leave to join Aston Villa in the summer
Arsenal fans questioned the logic of selling the Spaniard on social media following the game.
Alephdan tweeted: ‘Serious question why did Arsenal sell Martinez?’
Alistair Ritter commented: ‘Sold arguably the most inform goalkeeper in the league in Emi because they needed the money for Thomas (Partey).
‘Martinez deserved to start as first choice and have Leno battle. Now we have Leno as first choice can you imagine if he gets injured now? Just given them the game tonight.’
Mikel Arteta was in the firing line for the decision to let Martinez leave and sign Runarsson.
The Real Ansah tweeted: ‘Weird thing is we let Emi Martinez leave and we replaced him with this goalie? No one can tell me Arteta is a coach. Trust which process?’
LordGooner added: ‘Edu sold Martinez and bought Runarsson. He gave Willian a 3 yr contract. Arteta looking increasingly confused and helpless. It’s going to be a long season.’
There were some however that came to the defence of Runarsson after his display.
Jan-Christian Austad tweeted: ‘For me, Ceballos, Mustafi, Kola, Cedric and Elneny are as bad players as Runarsson was today and they have played many matches like that.
‘It’s Runarsson’s first bad match for the club! He is a goalkeeper without playing time.’
Despite outside criticism, Arteta refused to single out the goalkeeper for his costly handling error.
Mikel Arteta refused to single out Runarsson for his costly mistake after their 4-1 defeat
‘He has not played a lot of games for us, we all make mistakes and have to support him,’ the Spaniard said on Sky Sports.
‘We know that Bernd (Leno) has played a lot of minutes and he needs a rest.
‘We have to give opportunities to other players and he (Runarsson) did well in other games.
‘These things happen in football.’