Are we in danger of over-hyping the Arsenal youngsters?

Is it time to stop the hype over our youngsters?


Over the last few weeks there is no doubt that our young stars have been the talk of the town and for some good reason.  Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka especially have burst onto the scene and into the first team with their heroics and undoubted talent.


But as recent years have shown with youngsters, such as Wilshere and Walcott to name a few, this soon will die out when they become inconsistent and suffer injuries or burnout. Which we are seeing already with both players it seems as they need to be managed carefully.


As nice as it has been to see them surface and do well, Arsenal is not a two man team and does not need to rely on these two players to get us wins and points. As we saw against Leicester where Saka was left out and Smith-Rose came off injured, and in doing so saw Arsenal push on and win comfortably without them. I think there is a bit too much pressure on their shoulders which is not fair.


Their time no doubt will come where they will be the stars of the show but for now I think it’s time to let them be young, enjoy what they are doing and stop putting so much pressure on their shoulders week in week out to get us the wins. Because after all it doesn’t help the more senior stars of our team when the focus is on the youngsters as it makes them feel they are no good.


And yes, it can be argued that had the senior stars done better over the past few weeks then we wouldn’t have been singling out the youngsters, but sometimes all they need are positive words as a confidence boost to get back to their best.


So for all the pundits, fans and commentators who began all of this hype, continue to do so in a subtle way, but mainly save most of the hype and the talk for the future for the likes of Saka and Smith-Rowe.

They no doubt will be around for a long long time, but for now please focus on the seniors and help praise them where due in order for them to get their confidence back.


Shenel Osman


Tags Saka Smith-Rowe


  1. How do you expect fans to sing songs for the under performing senior players?
    And for the hype it is not an arsenal problem, young ★ stars are very hyped here at england
    Football is performance related, i rather sing a song of praise for a performing young lad than sing for an underperforming senior player simply because i don’t want pressure on the young guns.
    Like it or not once you put in a performance that warrants hype from the fans and pundits you will get it.
    It is left for the management to keep everyone focused and manage such situation..
    I can’t see fans growing blind eyes simply because they fear over hyping their own performing kids

  2. I’m more worried of overplaying them than overhyping them.

    Thank God that Pepe and Willian picked up pace in the last two games. Long may their new form continue.

  3. Great article Shenel.

    It is easy to see why we WANT our youngsters to succeed:
    They are seen as “local” due to the time they have spent with us. Even if they have come from abroad they are seen as one of us, and, as we are often their first major club they quickly develop a less mercenary affection and loyalty for Arsenal;

    They are cheaper

    :They are younger, allowing us to dream of them wearing our shirt for the next decade.

    They are often boundlessly enthusiastic and energetic, with a confidence gleaned from never yet failing, and being “best of class” at youth level.

    But they are also untested at senior level. Still developing physically, mentally and emotionally, and therore potentionally fragile in all three areas.

    We too easily judge them on their potential to improve rather than what they offer us now. As we all know, the vast majority never fully reach that potential.

    Man Utd’s academy success in 1992/3 is not typical. You are lucky to find one kid who will make it in the EPL every 2 or 3 seasons. Why therefore do we think that others from the youth squad such as AMN, Nelson, Baloban, Nkentia etc are good enough, just because Saka and ESR are bridging that gap?

    Please look at the CURRENT form of those two. How would we be rating them if they were 25 and we had bought them? Dare I say our praise would not be quite so blind? They will hopefully develop even more, but we have no guarantees, so let’s not put pressure on them just yet.

    Kids alone are not the answer to our problems, and let’s be realistic about how good the ARE, not how good they may become.

    1. Totally agree. We need to gradually introduce these young lads. Rushing them is not good for them very few youngsters are able to deal with the hype and pressure that comes with the game. Take Joe Willock as a prime example. Everyone was hyping him up. The hype went to his head. Partying, arriving late for training, I’ll discipline etc. Now he has to deal with the pressure of being branded not good enough. This is why players like Balogun and Martenelli should be protected and not overhyped. But we see fans week in and week out putting pressure for these youngsters to be played. When they fail to produce the same fans turn on them. It is very hard for them to bounce back when this happens. Very few players actually bounce back.

  4. We’ve got talented youngsters but Arteta cannot fully utilize their potential. Seliba, Maitland-Niles, Balogun, Nelson, Martinelli, and Gouendouzi. Saka and Smith Rowe are already in the Manager’s plans. I don’t blame Arteta that much because where he comes from (ManCity), they are not used to youngsters breaking through the ranks to senior team. Pep is used to buying players and not grooming them. It’s so sad that Arteta is failing to build a team. None the less, he’s never built one

    1. Phil Foden, Eric Garcia, Angelino, Brahim Diaz, Denis Suarez.

      As mentioned before – all successful youth players have potential. But many have weaknesses and flaws that are not apparent until they are tried at senior level.

      Eventually in any case that potential peaks and you will never get any more. Otherwise every youth player will become Messi.

      You are using a very simplistic approach to say its Arteta’s fault. Many lose it once they play for the first team, more money and they think they’ve made it. You want them all to live with Arteta so he can watch and psychoanalyse them 24/7, as well as run everything at Arsenal? Find me a manager with a huge success rate with youth players please. Look at Liverpool with Klopp having to play the kids.

      Naiive comments Armoury

      1. GUY. TOTALLY AGREE WITH THE NAIVETY OF ARMOURY. Being older fans ourselves, do you, as I do, find the incredible naivety of many young fans who know little about how football works but are not short of showing their naive opinions, to be so frustrating?
        I loathe unfairness and so much youthful criticism of our fine manager by kids is totally unrealistic and in fact ridiculous in its naivety.

    2. AM SUPRISED……I guess we have to throw away experience for youngsters, or have more inexperience players in our squad to satisfy you rather than proven quality……again how many fronts are we competing in again for squad rotation and game time for the “youngsters” you are championing for, this was wenger’s philosophy and I know a lot of Arsenal’s fans that hated him for entrusting tittle challenge on the shoulders of youth, babies to be specific…..where have it led us to….?

  5. Not just our youngsters Shenel, as hype is the biggest anti truth drug that so MANY willingly indulge themselves on in JA. NOT ME, as I am and will remain a realist . Always! Hype is not and never will be for me, nor any other realist. REALISM IS TRUTH, HYPE IS FALSE.
    On the wider point, hype harms our club and adds silly pressure by fans who have not the wisdom to understand this point.

    Players are fully aware of fans views in this social media age and even though few will probably DIRECTLY read JA, the word gets around what immature fans think. Supporters actually support , fans -or SOME of them – merely add pressure.

    1. So Jon- what do you base your undying love for Arteta on in it’s not hype? From the start of this season he has proven himself very very capable of
      1) Taking us. BACKWARDS and DOWNWARDS in the EPL
      2) losing to teams that we should never ever lose to
      3) employing tactics quite obviously not suited to the players
      4) Team selections that have been proven time and time again to be completely wrong
      5) A brand of football on a consistent level that is insipid, boring and ineffective

      I could go on.
      Tell me what this is all about on an inexperienced and unproven manager manager if it’s not just based on hype

      1. Phil
        Don’t waste your time and energy trying to make the realist understand that we’re going backward under Arteta’s watch.

      2. Hiya Phil! Firstly You just proved my point from yesterday, so thanks!.
        I said that MA supporters admit his mistakes, and their support is not unconditional, which makes their point of view appear more balanced. Whereas “outers” only mention the negatives. They will give not one iota of credit for anything that has gone right to Arteta. Now re-read your post and tell me I’m wrong.

        I am not an “Arteta lover” which is your derogatory term for anyone who stands up for him. I see an awful lot of faults in him, and if he doesnt improve over the next 8 or 9 months then I too may be lobbying for a change. But I feel obliged to defend him precisely because your comments are always so unbalanced. So lets look at your points:

        1) Taking us. BACKWARDS and DOWNWARDS in the EPL.
        Agreed if you are talking about since he started. I believe we would be fourth if you looked at results since Christmas. Now thats quite an important stat if you like to quote them. You decided not to include that one though.
        2) losing to teams that we should never ever lose to
        Thats a bit vague that one. Is there an official list somewhere of teams Arsenal should never lose to? In any case look around you, this season its happening to everyone
        3) employing tactics quite obviously not suited to the players
        Debateable. Honestly Id say the opposite as we had such little quality. He changed his defensive plans to shore up the defence and suit what he had. He played with 2 wingers and overloaded wide before ESR made his breakthough and gave us guile through the middle. And surely in the long term its for the manager to set the style and for players to adapt or be moved along? Or does player power extend to tactics now?
        4) Team selections that have been proven time and time again to be completely wrong
        Agreed, but improving now, or you dispute that?
        5) A brand of football on a consistent level that is insipid, boring and ineffective
        Subjective but agreed to an extent. For a period yes I concur. I know that you don’t think that teething problems during transations of style exist, so I wont mention that, or the fact that good performances are coming much more regularly now, even though the results havent always reflected that.
        ok rant over, chicken soup time for the senile old codger. gnight bud (;-))

        1. @Guy-ok so let’s take a look at your comments in reply to mine.

          1) At this stage of the season we are TENTH in the EPL.
          As you say, if we look at the points since Xmas we are fourth. However it’s the number of points we have after 38 Games that matter, not 26, so we will have to wait to see where we finish. What I would say is this. We have, in my opinion, a far better squad of players at this club than Leicester, West Ham, Everton, Spuds and Villa. If we had not dropped 10 points at The Emirates to the teams currently below us in the EPL we would be level on points with Chelsea who are fourth. If, added to this, we has say drawn with two other teams that beat us at home, namely Villa and Leicester, we would be THIRD.
          I look at things far more objectively. Our manager is ultimately responsible for results ans he has failed badly in beating teams, especially at home, we should reasonably expect to beat.
          We can only wait to see where we will end up this season, but rewarding failure with no accountability is what got the club in this mess to begin with

          2) I cannot believe for one second you do not feel angry that we have lost at home as we have this season. I can accept losing the odd point to teams who park the bus and set out to frustrate better team. But we were awful drawing to Palace, worst still losing to Burnley, naive losing to Leicester, toothless losing to Wolves and even worst against Villa. Southampton and West Ham played us off the park but we luckily got away with 4points from those games and Sheffield Utd had us panicking at the end as well. Citeh was a disgraceful performance. No desire. No fight. No clue. If you were not embarrassed by that performance then you are far too easily pleased.
          These of course were home results and do not include away games. In my mind, it says everything that Arteta somehow managed to still be in a job after this. How long this is so we will no doubt see.

          3) Guy, in my opinion, you contradict yourself immediately. Since Xmas, you rightly point out that results have improved dramatically. So too have performances. Might I remind you it was on Boxing Day that Arteta played an attacking CM for the first time when ESR started against Chelsea. Since this game our whole game has looked more threatening and we have slowly looked more offensive. This is purely on Arteta. We were crying out for creativity and week after week we saw the same old tactics that were embarrassing to a club that had rightly earned a reputation under AW of playing attacking football. Can you imagine how the supporters would have reacted inside the Emirates to most of those displays? I can. And Arteta would have received exactly what he deserved.
          It seems to be improving, and results have been more consistent. But we still have a way to go yet before we know where we will finish. A thing lower than 6th place SHOULD be seen as failure. But perhaps my expectation levels are higher than yours.

          4) Team Selection improving? I cannot but agree, and results prove this. Which I must then question why Arteta waited as long as he did to introduce ESR or the tactics that immediately improved us.

          5) Style of play?
          The proof is there to see. As soon as we introduced a more attack minded game, our results and performances improved. I believe Arteta over-complicated things too much. We had Full Backs as Centre Halves, Double Pivot midfielders, Inverted Wingers. Did any of this really work?
          I agree Arteta did a very good job of sorting us out defensively, and if Partey had been fit for most of our games since he arrived I’m sure the results would have been better, because he is an excellent player. But a midfield of Xhaka and Elneney is never going to make us threatening going forward as was proved.

          Guy, these are my thoughts. My post was to try and get Jon Fox to answer what I wrote. But Jon goes into hiding when he is so obviously found out, as you will note from the other comments awaiting his reply.
          For what it’s worth, I actually would like Arteta to succeed. Your right in that he shows promise, and of course he is changing the squad gradually, which I accept takes time. If he is here next season, which i believe he will be no matter where we end up this year, he MUST be accountable for results and performances. Otherwise we would have been better off not sacking Wenger

          1. Great reply Phil. Nice to get the full response and I promise now that all of your posts will get my full respect. TBH, to an extent I play Devils Advocate quite a lot here just to get some meat on the bones as its an easy response just to say “Sack him he’s rubbish” as so many do.
            Yes I get hugely frustrated and very angry, often with Arteta himself. Probably we differ in only two ways as I agree with all of your points above. 1) Yes he’s the manager but in real life it is unreasonable to make Arteta accountable for everything. That’s like demanding the resignation of Richard Branson because your plane is delayed. 2) I see more progress being made than you do, albeit erratic the overall pattern is foward for me, if not yet reflected in points! Hence I would give him more time.
            Keep the comments coming…

    2. haha @Mr Foxy, you were very much on the Emery hype train during his 22 game unbeaten run. @ken1945 gave you a lot of stick for the comical U-turn you made when the results started going down the drain.

  6. I definitely agree just not with regards to saka, not only does he have the talent which granted some of our other youngsters have but he has all the other components which usually blossom in a players prime, hes consistent (rarely has a bad game), has good vision, composure, decision making etc. I just really cannot see him fizzling out, hes going to be an immense player.

      1. Agreed dan for me its undeniable at this point, just praying we can keep a hold if him 🤞

    1. Agree DFM. We kind of need to put his age aside already (never thought I’d say that about a 19 year old). He’s already “established” players. The interest now is in how much better he will get

      1. Definitely guy, let’s hope we get to see the ceiling of his talents while hes still in an Arsenal shirt, will be devastating if he ends up moving on

        1. Imagine our youngters now playing along side Vieira, Bergkamp, Gilberto etc.

          Would be a dream side with great mentorship

  7. My favourite youngsters are Martinelli, ESR and Saka. They are already quality and can only get better

    I just want our youngsters to be treated well physically and through good coaching

    The rest will take care of itself

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