Are Arsenal putting too much pressure on our young stars?

Don’t Rush Our Youngsters by Dan Smith

I have read some comments suggesting that if Aubameyang is sold there is no need to replace him. Some have gone as far to add Lacazette in the mix, saying those two sales can fund strengthening elsewhere in the squad due to the emergence of Martinelli and Saka.

I heard others fear that us being linked with midfielders could also undermine the progress of a Nelson, Maitland Niles, and Joe Wilcock.

The danger of any youngster is dealing with the pressure of expectation, as teenagers they become rich, told how great they are, etc. How do they then cope when things are not going so well?
It takes talent to be in someone’s first team as a teenager but what separates someone from playing for a team in the top 6 compared to one in midtable is having to win every week. If you don’t, then you have to handle scrutiny.

We are currently 9th in the League. The table doesn’t lie. That proves our youngsters are not consistent enough yet to handle starting every week as a gunner.

Our away from remains poor, too many matches we don’t show up and get out-battled. Our record against the top 6 remains poor. We have just been knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiakos. So why would we be better without our two best strikers? It makes zero sense.

A Martinelli and Saka in particular have shown magic, but is it enough to turn us into title contenders? Is that not the long-term aim?

Or has Stan Kroenke lowered standards to such a point we now accept the bare minimum?

We used to tire of ‘only’ finishing in the top 4, now 9th is enough to convince some gooners that we have good enough youngsters where we can get away with selling our star names?

Of course, our American owner is happy for this to be the narrative. Instead of questioning why we are again slashing the wage bill and losing the few world class players we have, he would rather us convince ourselves that we have the ready-made replacements. That way he again spends as little money as possible.

At just I8 Martinelli has 3 League goals in 14 appearances, the same age Saka (despite the hype) is yet to score in the Premiership in 19 outings.

He of course is mostly playing left back but the point I’m making there’s zero evidence they are ready to carry the burden of having to get 20 plus goals.

In comparison, this point in development Wayne Rooney had 26 goals, Michael Owen had found the net 19 times.

Our young midfield needs to still prove they are good enough, they lack goals at the moment, so surely a Willian or Fraser can only help them?

For instance, 20-year-old Joe Willock is still to score in the League after 23 outings. Eight times less than a 20-year-old Gerrard, 10 less then same age Lampard and Joe Cole. Some will think I’m harsh using some of England’s most famous names for comparison but that’s the point. That’s the level they need to be as that’s the level we should be aspiring too.

If your saying it’s unfair to compare, then maybe your saying deep down you don’t think they are ready to be in that conversation? Or are you settling for what we’ve got? You can’t have it both ways, you can’t say Martinelli is ready to be our main forward, yet please don’t compare him to anyone who succeeded. We have to set the highest standard if we ever want to return to that level, we deserve that much.

Don’t get me wrong some of youngsters could go on to become great, but it’s way too early for any guarantees.

It’s also not fair. A Martinelli deserves the best chance possible to succeed. He should be able to keep his head down and just worry about himself. He will already be bombarded with new sponsorship deals, people whispering in his ear. That’s before he puts on the famous Brazil shirt. There are enough distractions without being called the next Aubameyang.

We have good youngsters but too early to say great. We are Arsenal, we should only settle for great.

Dan Smith


  1. its the fans that are putting pressure with the super high expectations

    there is nothing wrong in giving opportunity and playing talented youngsters regularly

  2. Wonderful news German Bundesliga gets the go ahead. I was predicting the German chancellor would delay their resumption a little longer.
    All eyes on German then.
    Invaluable opportunity for the PL to study how their players get up to speed on fitness, skills, team work and of course safety precautions.
    Also how to present the spectacle that will be played behind closed doors.
    Fingers crossed.


  3. It’s not our talented youngsters who have brought us down to mid table mediocrity, but our overpaid ,bang average experienced players for whom we paid inflated transfer fees.Looking at the facts, apart from Saka, none of our youngsters have been over played.

    1. But none of our youngsters have taken us out of that mediocrity ?
      So why are we so sure that they can replace our two best strikers ?

      1. You’re so wrong.
        Martinelli kept scoring till Auba returns to the fold. He wasn’t use like that in the EPL till Auba got redcarded.

        We are 1-0 down against Everton when Saka came on and the momentum of the game changed, so I don’t understand ur point by none of d youngers brought us out.

        I could remember those Vela era when they beat West Brom 3:0 but our senior players was beaten by the same West Brom team 2:1 jst 2weeks later.

        Either our junior or our senior doesn’t matter, what matters is a coach that will instill confidence and winning mentality into them.

        Moreso, nobody is saying all the youngsters should be used.
        What is the meaning of Sell Auba and Laca if they refuse to sign and buy Partey and a good defender and a good CM with there money?

        It means we still want a good senior players who will protect the junior players. Martinelli can only prove his worth if given chance. Ask Mbappe.

        Do you think Mbappe will break so many records by playing 13mins, 20mins which Martinelli gets in EPL?

        He only played 90mins 6times and got 3goals. The rest are 27mins against Bournemouth, 20mins against Crystal palace, 30mins against Wolves and the rest are 7mins, 6mins, even 1min against Norwich. And he only lose 1 big chance.

        So I believe Martinelli can replace anybody in front if given the right training and him staying humble with right attitude.

        And on you saying Saka never score a goal and not even thinking Wan-bissaka never score a goal but yet Saka made the better contribution in just 18appearance compare to 26 of Wan-bissaka and yet it wasn’t even Saka strongest position and even better stat than Chelsea Reece James

  4. Yes your right Grandad.
    The young guys are on low salaries.
    Saka 30k Martinelli 40k Holding 25k Guendouzie 40k Niles and Willock on 30k Mavropanus 25k
    even Chambers is only on 50k.
    Unfortunately Ozil Aubameyang Pepe Lacazette Mkhitarian Kolasinac Socritis Mustafi Tierney Bellerin Xhaka Torreira Luiz are all on over 100k p/w some 180 plus.
    Even our 3 loanees are on 50k+
    I’d sell all our over 100k players and keep the young ones and build for the future.
    But post covid no one is going to move are they?
    It is what it is.
    It’s actually a decent squad which almost got top 4 and almost won the EL with out Pepe Martinelli Saka Luiz Ceballos Tierney Bellerin Mari Nelson and Soares With Saliba coming in surely top 4 is minimum next season…

  5. We’ve been hearing for the last 3 years that Nelson, Willock, Smith Rowe are talented players, the future of Arsenal but rarely see them play. In the latter part of this season Nelson replaced Pepe a couple of times and made quite an impact. We saw the Dutch side play youngsters last season with huge success, a few years ago Monaco did the same and many players became household names. Chelsea were forced to play some youngsters this season and it hasn’t turned out too bad for them either. We are told that due to the current situation there will be little money for transfers so maybe its time to give our youngsters a run in the team. If not then why keep them?

    1. It seems you’re only watching Arsenal’s game.

      To join to Roachie names

      Reece James, Fikayo Tomori

  6. Well we had are star names in the match against Olympiakos where did that get us how did Sir Matt Busby start with young kids

      1. Yes
        Players perform when a coach instill confidence in them.

        Don’t tell me Emery can make those Liverpool team win a CL medal without the Klopp mentality

    1. agree,star names at AFC are just for money only. Shameless bunch playing without pride of the badge.Got us out of the League Cup to Pool youngsters, and better forget that Oly. game.

  7. Bukayo Saka is a well talented boy but Martinellie is so amazing especially the goal he scored against chelsea.

  8. Youngsters need a strong ring of support for them to grow,from the seniors.All those great players that were mentioned had that support.So if we are to see our young stars thrive i think the seniors have to stand up and for the seniors stand up they need good “management” and plans.MA looks promising…

  9. A very good article indeed. I am one who believes in our young Gunners however for the transition to be smooth we have to keep the likes of Aubameyang,Ozil and Lacazette for at least one more season. A top defensive or box to box midfielder is a must. Welcome home Smith-Rowe you’ll be taking ozil #10 Jersey

    1. At Dan
      I also think Niles should be sent on loan and Willock is hanging by the threads

    2. our problem is management of this talented pool of youngsters remember sir Alex Ferguson started with youngsters from in the early 90’s and that man u team dominated it had the Neville bros,scholes,giggs,butt,etc what we should do is plan to lose at least ayears revenue by missing both CL and EL football that way this youngsters will play for a year without too much pressure thus gaining much needed experience meanwhile our overpaid super stars will definitely leave generating enough income which then should be reinvested in the team by getting young,hungry,talented,motivated,and experienced players,the Timo werners,Marcel sabisters,dayot upemecanos of this world just to name but a few in fact we should just follow RB leipzigs template and blue print so all arsenal need is a proper plan,a vision,a blue print and a template and the sign players that fit into that vision

  10. Interesting subject and some good points.
    It will always be difficult to balance it right. Young players need to have playing time at the highest level to fully develop. But it can be difficult to find the time, to allow them to make mistakes and show inconsistency, which often is a part of developing.
    I actually think we have done fairly well with the young players over the last couple of seasons .

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