The Arsenal first team have hardly been doing well this season with just 9 wins out of their first 15 Premier League games. You could say they have been unlucky and have had many dodgy referee decisions against them but the fact is that they are simply making too many mistakes and not scoring enough goals. With that in mind you would think that our reserves would be fighting to win a place in the main team, and with every Europa League game giving them the chance to impress Arsene Wenger they should be playing their hearts out.
They could hardly have got an easier Group to contend with, and they started off well in the minor European competition, beating Cologne 3-1 in our opening game,, although the goals really came from first team players with Kolasinac, Alexis and Bellerin sll getting on the scoresheet. They then faced a daunting trip to Belarus to face BATE, and it was our true second string side who duly made their mark with Giroud scoring and Walcott grabbing a brace, while Wilshere was impressive behind them. With progression from the group virtually assured the performances have dropped. A tight late 1-0 win at Red Star Belgrade was just enough but hardly impressive, and the subsequent bore draw against the same team at home, and a defeat to bottom-of-the-Bundesliga Cologne has not helped them yo persuade Wenger to promote anyone to his main team.
Yes we know it is only a minor competition against inferior oppenents, but surely the players should want to be pushing for a place in the EPL side by trying to show their fight and passion to play for the club in any capacity. it seems to me that players like Debuchy, Elneny, Walcott, Wilshere, Holding and even Giroud have just given up on ever being first-choice players again and are just going through the motions. We can only hope that Nelson, Maitland-Niles and Willock don’t inherit that complacency and start showing that they can become a future force for Arsenal.
There may be nothing at stake tonight, but Come On Lads! Play your heart out for the shirt and your futures. Play for the paying fans who have come to support you, and play like you want to stay at the club. Give the first team reason to be looking over their shoulders….