Arsenal need to clear out the Old Guard and go with youth

Arsenal need to clear out poor characters in the dressing room by Konstantin Mitov

Are you still excited about our Chelsea win? I know I am, because it’s been so long, and it showed we can do it. Another big take from the game was how young players made the ‘senior’ players look dumb.

Pepe offered nothing after coming on. So did Mustafi. Willock scraped a few opportunities to make something, but he was lively, and he found danger areas to be in.

Then we had the story in the Telegraph how ‘senior’ players sided with Ozil when he was left out and thought he should be included in January. Did anyone miss Ozil against Chelsea? Would he have fought like Smith-Rowe? I doubt it, but I am curious who those players siding with Mesut might be.

I highly suspect 2 players who were too “ill” for the game. Heck sickness was the best thing that happened to us, as it dropped Willian and Luiz and suddenly, we played better. We all know Kolasinac and Mustafi are Ozil’s pals and are not playing but are on high wages.

It’s just pathetic that some players leak such a story to the media, knowing we will lose if they play, just so they can sink the manager. Remember that Willian complained about Arteta’s tactics earlier in the season? If you are a player not playing well, it’s too easy to blame it on the manager, and I’m sorry but I won’t have that. It’s unacceptable for Arsenal football club to have people who don’t care.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Emile Smith Rowe, Alexandre Lacazette, and Hector Bellerin after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers – Pool/Getty Images)

But I’ve made this point before, that we have too many old players on ridiculous wages, who are immovable and expensive “assets” to the club. And here is where Edu and Arteta made a mistake.

Martinelli showed energy I haven’t seen from Aubameyang since his new deal. Willian has been atrocious, yet he pockets 200k/week. We have like 8 CB; did we need Luiz on a new deal?

Point is, Arteta and the board tried to take the short road to success by going for old players with big trophies to their names and it hasn’t worked. It’s no guarantee that the youngsters will just start winning us every match. Be certain that Brighton will be a very difficult game, but at least in the Chelsea game, we showed a potential path for the future.

Something which cannot be said for Willian, Luiz, Auba, Mustafi, Ozil and so on. Sure some of them will be gone this summer thanks to contracts ending, but Arteta must have learned a very valuable lesson here.

We need to clear out the stinker characters from the dressing room. It won’t be easy as there are more than one, but if we reduce them to a tiny number the strategy of setting the tools down so the manager takes the blame won’t be an option.

I’ve given Mikel my fair share of criticism, because of poor squad selection and tactics, but yesterday I saw a squad out to fight for the shirt, hungry to win. It’s Arteta’s job to pick the players that give us this chance every game and what shocked me is he kept sticking to them.

Whether the board really back him, we’ll know by the end of January, but to change our fortunes for the long run, it’s not a secret that we need a massive clear out and a strategy of bringing in younger players, with more desire. Tierney, Saka, Martinelli and Smith-Rowe showed the way.

In 2007 Thierry left and people thought we were finished. Instead, we burst out one of the most exciting young squads in Europe. Maybe it’s time we again changed the guard?


Tags Martinelli Nicolas Pepe Saka Willian


  1. Enthusiasm, teamwork, willingness to take high risks and work rate can beat experience sometimes. I agree that we need to get new young players, but we have to assess the candidates through a Moneyball system

    Liverpool hired a guy who worked at the Hadron Particle Collider facility, so Arsenal should’ve done better by making their own AI scouting system. I bet there are many unearthed gems in England, so Arsenal shouldn’t just buy highly marketable players like Isco

    1. Well said and we tried the experienced players and they kept failing, so it’s time to give these youngsters a chance to do something, they did try hard in the EL which is not like the PL but they deserve their chances. Clearly, MA should make the right choice and rely on these guys with some of the “mature” players around!

      1. Arteta had better keep the same youngster trio behind Lacazette in Brighton and Hove, unless one of them is unfit

          1. I hope so and Arteta has got to reward them with the Brighton match after their excellent performance against Chelsea

          2. Its amusing to read letters sent by fans. Many support the idea of using kids we have in our club but all forget that Balogun and Saliba are talented kids Artera ignores. Why, it’s a misty that our rookie manager cant see that. These kids are talented and fed up of being overlooked. We gonna regret when see them.banging in goals or defending marvelously.

    2. I know we have recently strengthen our data and analysis team. This was necessary because we got rid of our scouting network. I would hope that this will give us something like the Liverpool system. I understand that EDU is now the main man regarding player recruitment. I do not have any great faith in Edu as he has limited experience in Europe, but we will see.

  2. “but Arteta must have learned a very valuable lesson here.”
    That is the million dollar question, and time will tell if Arteta has truly learned a valuable lesson. We’ll see his selections in the upcoming games when all the senior players are fit. Agree completely with the article konstantin. 👍

      1. Fingers crossed Sue that Arteta doesn’t sabotage himself by not playing this young boys. Martinelli despite not scoring, did more in 65mins than Aubameyang or willian have done since after Fulham. And that’s coming from someone who loves Auba absolutely and couldn’t wait for him to sign. I hope Arteta sees what we see. Saliba is another one I don’t want going on loan. Let him get game time, let’s all see for ourselves if he’s truly worse than mustafi.

        1. Just watch the under 23 match highligts, Saliba is calm, assured and fast. He should surely be playing 1st team footie and Lets see if Vardy and the rest will beat him on the run.
          We need energy and speed. Leeds will remain in the league just because of this one aspect.

    1. Do you really think it’s fine to jettison the senior players? That’s causing more problems in the team. It’s fine to drop 1 or 2 occasionally but 3-5? MA will be foolish to do so. Besides the kids will need to be integrated slowly to reduce expectations and pressure on them. Just one bad game and arsenal fans will slaughter this kids,

          1. Saka, martinelli, ESR, Tierney, AMN… That’s 5,or do you need more? Saliba, nelson, guendouzi, John jules, Azeez, Balogun.. Or you just do not watch these youngsters play?

          2. I’m a big fan of the first four Kstix. I didn’t include Tierney because he’s my personal blue eyed boy and I have no doubt he has what it takes providing he gets some luck with injuries. Regarding AMN, I hope the club can do better in the market. Nelson, I want to see do well, but haven’t seen him back up a good run with a decent pass or cross. At this stage I’d put him in the Willock range. Gandouzi won’t be available this season and no I haven’t seen the others you mentioned play. I don’t rate Dundalk as a standard for Premier League success. As for Saliba who has seen him play. Please Mikael give him a run.

      1. Okay so if it were up to you, Arteta should keep playing the non performers till they get us to relegation right?. At which point, you’d be like Oh snap, he should have used the damn kids. And what pressure are you talking about? Are they professional footballers or not? Do you see an mbappe or ansu fati or all other kids doing well in Europe complain about the pressure? This is why we groom over pampered players. With this kind of mentality. Snap out of it Pal, if the youngsters are the ones delivering the goods, which they are right now, then I’d say it will be foolish of Arteta not to keep playing them.

        1. we cant expect ESR to start al games henceforth no matter his form, you cant expect auba sit on the bench henceforth.
          we can only hope the last performance stand as wakeup call to the big boys

      2. you are right Adajim.

        But they should be the majority in any given game. They want to win and make a name, the older players do not care anymore. What is there to loose for them?

    2. I completely agree we will see what happens when Auba Wilian Luis even TP are all available for selection and who will make way for them as for TH14 leaving in 2007 one of the reasons given by AW was that he was unintentionally stopping the development of the younger players and negatively affecting the team’s tactics because of who he was his younger teammates didn’t dare say no every time he asked for the ball or were always looking for him even though there were better options !

    1. last season a pundit suggested arsenal payoff Ozil to protect the team from getting infected, this is what we should have done. The players seing Ozil get fat cheque for doing nothing while they get paid less, paycut wages.
      besides, Sokratis asked for contract termination just like Miki but board refused, he gets paid for doing nothing likewise

      1. Arsenal try to pay Ozil contract as the start of the season which if I remember properly was around 18M but offered Ozil 13M as Sokratis I don’t understand the decision PSG came for him in the last 2 days of the window and wanted a free transfer which was turned down looking back this was a mistake paying him just for training by the way I agree with nearly everything you said except concerning the younger players we the fans will be more forgiving towards them because of their age but also for the facts we know they’ll give their all & best(running pressing,track back..)something we don’t even get from certain seniors players we would like to see Martinelli Saka ESR Saliba even Balogun getting more starts and if it doesn’t quite work introduce seniors players if it doesn’t motivate we will know where to stand MA should have been concentrating on players who are going to be with us for the next few years all these youngsters have been training with the first team for a good while and know our tactics that’s my frustration with MA he keeps going on about building for the future but his actions until now are telling s different story it’s all short term thinking like losing TP for 2 months for the sake of one game anyway we have recruited a new member in the medical department from PSG he was part of Tuchel’s team until he got the sack!

  3. We have alot of talented young players in our academy, we just need a coach that can take them to the next level, if it’s Arteta he need to focus on our youth if not he needs to go the future is the youth, as an example keep Balogun, keep Saliba even if they are not in our plans nurture them build them up then either build a squad around them or sell them on for a decent fee, but lets stop with this silly process of not wanting to give young players with potential 30k per week but we are willing to give 32yr old players 200k per week on 3yr contracts

  4. arsenal situation is very sensitive in the sense that, we do not have 1 or 2 underperforming players but almost half of the players who are supposed to be the mainstay are misbehaving.

    Though the kids performance this season has been outstanding, it will be foolish to sack all the senior players, we only need to make example by breaking up the gangster chain.

    Board decisions to keep some players who are not going to add anything but cause distraction backfired, I supported the decision to extend Luiz contract at the time due to lack of experience in that area, everyone will agree since signings he has yet to disappoint, I doubt he will stay beyond this season, however, keeping Ozil and Papa are gambles that backfired, their contracts should have been terminated when it was obvious they weren’t going to be included in the squad.
    I think AUBA will come around, he is a player who does well when the team perform, I dont expect much from willian, I have viewed his signing as one to give extra push to Pepe not the major man in the team, am only concern about Pepe who I see as our future mainstay, he has potential but not using it well, he need to be reoriented.
    I think we need a mix of old and young

    1. Fully agree it would be foolish to select 11 youngsters what I mean is expose our youth more, the last europa league game as an example was a perfect opportunity to start a guy like Bolugon and Saliba, give the youth as much exposure as possible in the senior team, for this season I would even play 5 of them in the FA cup, we can comfortably field Martinelli, Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Balogun and Saliba in the same team and I will bet my house, such a team will perform and get us results

    2. Adajim, I was nodding in agreement until you got to Pepe! He will never succeed here – he is the complete opposite of what this club needs, and his faults are simply too numerous to rectify. We should stop trying to justify his price by giving him chance after chance. Close to a season and a half is long enough to give him chances and see no improvements. Lazy, afraid of the ball, unable to tackle, no vision or tactical nous, one footed, one-trick pony, average finishing at best. Write off the £70m, let him go anywhere, for the sake of his and our sanity

  5. Whether Arteta goes back to plan A or sticks with a more youthful team remains to be seen. I hope that plan Boxing Day gets another outing and it may then induce the so called senior players from their torpor. All should be required in a proper functioning team – both young and older.

    I didn’t think of Luiz as being a villain (I remember his apology after the City game last season) and know nothing of Willian other than an underwhelming stint so far, so can’t make that link to siding with Ozil.

  6. Some of us have been advocating a “clearance” for 3/4 seasons but getting rid of certain undesirables is easier said than done.Unfortunately, lessons have not been learned from the incompetence of the past and we are now saddled with the likes of Luis,Willian(who was a very fine player), Soares and Mari which suggests to me that Edu has too much control in terms of recruitment.If I were on the Board I would be raising hell and demanding more accountability from top to bottom.I am all for going with youth and I sincerely hope someone in our organization can persuade Balogun to stay with a Club where talented youngsters are considered a priority.

  7. I think completely sacking the senior players will put too much pressure on MA and the youngsters. And I don’t understand the writer’s insinuation that Willian and David are making unrests in the team. You are suspecting them on the basis of what? Have there been any news reports that you are privy of? Last 2 publicised articles about supposed team unrest had one name in common and I dont think I need to tell you who that is. Also Willian might genuinely be more confused about MA’s tactics. He hasnt played under a tactic heavy manager like Guardiola, and players like Holding have said that MA’s peeparation includes lots of tactics. Its entirely possible to be confused. Notice in his first game his various positionings and then see the same thing in subsequent games. He is never someone who can consistently perform well, but in a season he can put up respectable numbers and has what people call elite mentality. Is he a coaster at Arsenal? Maybe but he is not someone who coasted throughout his career, and for me it is maybe a case of confidence and motivation. Similar with Aubameyang. Someone who has scored goals throughout his career and now os enduring possibly his worst draught? Maybe the tactics are difficult to understand or emulate for some players.Also wasnt it reported that the base salary of Willian is 100kpw and it is with incentives that it rises to 220kpw or something? So how do you know that we pay him 220kpw for doing nothing? Same with MO or any other underperforming players.

  8. We all know what happens against Brighton full well.

    Willian comes back as if he scored a hat-trick in the last ten games. There’s no way in the world ESR will start ahead of a risky investment that needs to show its worth.

    If Premier League were a Netflix series, Willian would have the thickest plot armor out there. I don’t think Arteta will bench him for at least a couple of months.

    That player is Arteta’s and Edu’s costly mistake that they desperately want to turn into a success and will play him until they realise it’s really pointless and admit to the board that this is another Mustafi/Xhaka/Kolašinac/Andre Santos type of signing.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if their Arsenal careers depended on Willian’s performance. Edu’s more than Arteta’s, though.

    With each passing day, I believe that Crouching Edu Hidden Kia is an actual full-fledged fraud. Never liked the look of his face, seems like a face of a person knowing they don’t belong but are hitching a ride regardless.

  9. It will be so irresponsible for Arteta not to bring in Martinelli and Smith-Rowe to the first 11.

    Some of us have been crying out for this youngsters to be mixed with the senior players.

    Against Chelsea our front 6 was a perfect balance, of 3 youngsters and 3 senior players.

    The first time our youngsters were fielded against a top club they performed really well.

    1. I agree GM and ESR must be integrated into the first team more frequently, but don’t forget both have had lengthy recent injuries. The challenge is to get as much from them as possible without over-using them and risking doing damage to 2 players who could be major playerd for a number of years (see what happened to Wilshire).
      It’s why I think we need a signing in January who can provide some real support – Buendia looks a good option to me.

  10. Everybody has different opinions on the ozil situation but i dont know how he became a reason for the recent thread of losses.Youngsters failed(apart from saka),experience players failed,the manager took weird decisions and went with some poor tactics but still ozil gets blamed👏💯

    The chelsea win,we had energy but without experience we wouodnt have won it.It should be a mixture cuz we need tge energy and experience.Dont forget that its tierney who won tge penalty from a wonderful xhaka ball,laca scored it and xhakas freekick that contributed to win the match.

    1. Yes but I think it’s the energy in attacking midfield that made the big difference compared to recent games. I can’t see us continuing this form without those three players being used in upcoming games.
      Completely agree that you have to have experienced players in the side to balance it, though

      1. Much as the Chelsea result had a blend of youth and experience, it was more about the coach shelving his numerous tactics and asking the boys to have fun and enjoy their football in the first half. According to Tierney, Arteta only had two words for them during half time, “Keep Going”. For the first time in a long while, the team played with smiles all round and without the hand break on. Arsenal had at least five players in the Chelsea half every time we attacked, something rarely seen in the previous matches. For once there was no confusion in tactical play because they played the Arsenal tactics that the players play from the youth system to the senior level, what we the fans are used to, and it worked. For once, Arteta was not micro managing the team from the touchline as he does normally. He also enjoyed the match as we the fans and celebrated as we did.

  11. Think that Ozil bought into the overhype and near worship most of his loyal followers have heaped on him since 2010. He and his fanbase live in this delusional bubble..

    Ozil is the biggest stirrer of things. He has this ego, arrogance and attitude that has been massaged into him by his many fawners for a decade, not gonna mention names. Many people on here have been worshipping him since before he joined Arsenal in 2013. People gave him this invincible tag. He has been assured and reassured on a consistent basis that he is so special by most of his fawners from the moment he broke onto the scene on 2010. He has been told that he did us a favour joining. That he is too big for Arsenal. That we should all be grateful to him even choosing Arsenal. That he has nothing to prove at Arsenal. Nothing to prove to Arsenal fans as he has won it all at Madrid and with the German national team. He played for Madrid and the German National team. Who are lowly Arsenal to demand anything from such a juggernaut of a superstar? Ey? 😊

    He never takes no personal responsibility or self reflection on whichever matter. It’s always someone else’s fault no matter what situation, just deflecting attention away from himself. Always the BIGGEST VICTIM in any situation. And I blame his worshippers that continue to laud him instead of calling him to account. To me this is why his career at Arsenal has been an anti-climax. Same as at Madrid.
    Instead of challenging himself to be better he instead let his over inflated ego that has been massaged to the limit by his over the top admirers to overrule him.

    Look at the likes of Mustafi, Sokratis, Elneny Kolasinac etc, these guys have been dropped so many times but I am yet to ever hear that they are on social media playing victim or undermining their managers or club. But with princess Ozil it’s always about him, meddling in club affairs, the 50 or so redundancies, the Gunnersaurus saga, the smug social media posts when we lose, posting things like “Guendouzi is the most underrated player blah blah”.

    The guy is a distraction.
    Madrid saw it from a far and got rid.

    Germany had had enough and pushed him out.

    Arsenal have had to find out the hard away. I bet you they just can’t wait for his contract to end in the summer. And some of us feel the same way.

    I am yet to hear a word from Sokratis, you might not even notice that he is still at the club. You want to tell me that his ego is smaller than Ozil? But how come he does not act like a princess?

    What a divisive character.

    Hope the club has learnt a massive lesson from all this.

    1. Bloody hell dude ,your grudge is legendary.
      He hasn’t even played this season but you have still managed to write an essay on him .

      1. I kinda think this essay was written sometime ago, but because of the losses on the pitch, it could not be posted. With the Chelsea win, nice opportunity to post.

        1. Yeah, perhaps you could be right, lets have a look….

          Are you still excited about our Chelsea win? I know I am, because ….
          Pepe offered nothing after coming on. So did Mustafi….
          Heck sickness was the best thing that happened to us, as it dropped Willian and Luiz and suddenly, we played better….
          Be certain that Brighton will be a very difficult game, but at least in the Chelsea game, we…
          . Tierney, Saka, Martinelli and Smith-Rowe showed the way…

          Yes sorry I should guessed it was written a long, long time ago by someone with a crystal ball!

          1. Not someone with a crystal ball, someone with a grudge and personal hatred, who can’t wait to see the back of MO out of Arsenal. I think it is a given that by next summer Ozil wont be a gunner anymore so why don’t we concentrate on the players who go out to play week in week out.

          2. I think you got your wires crossed Pat ,joes reply was for goonster and his obsession with Ozil ,not the Article

      2. Dan kit no grudge, just a summation of the clear truth. The only “grudge” is yours , against those who write truth, as Goonster did.

          1. Dan kit, if hating laziness is a bandwagon old son, then I was the man who BUILT and LAUNCHED that bandwagon.


    2. Any honest player would have been desperate to leave arsenal at this point. He’s just trying to maintain his reputation while taking in the last few million from his contract.
      Can’t fully blame him, though. It’s beating a dead horse, but we didn’t have to offer him the contract.

    3. Do you have any sources where Ozil has been told all those things that you say he gets told? It is all just speculation from you about Ozil, lol. And anyone can have any opinion it does not have to match with everyone. At the point when Ozil was asked this question he has played with many established starts and few underrated players, so choosing Guendouzi is something which I dont see as a social media affront to Arsenal. Even if he had said Giroud some people might have blamed him for naming a snake! And Guendouzi is playing relatively well in the German Bundesliga so…
      Regarding the rest things I kind of agree with you because he was acting against the club, but I think it was retaliation for leaking his name out for refusing the paycut.

    4. Goonster

      Sorry Goonster, but that was a tad bitter and twisted. Concentrate on the young, hungry, dynamic, intelligent footballers making the transition. Ozil is nearly gone and hopefully 5 or 6 others will follow him. The problems of Arsenal and the World are not down to Ozil. Be well.

  12. I totally agree with the article. We need players with energy and character and the young players showed that in the Chelsea game. Martinelli, Saka, Tierney and ESR led the way and if they continue to do that they will keep the senior players at bay. MA should now forget playing Willian and Pepe and only think about the younger players. Somehow get a CAM in the summer and Arsenal will again be in the running for Europe.

  13. I heard something interesting on talksport this morning. A reporter who was working on the Chelsea game left the ground at the final whistle and was outside within 5 minutes and Abua drove past him. Now make of it what you will but I would have expected the entire team to be in the dressing room at the end of the game.

    1. Talk sport -the Daily mail of the radio waves .
      It takes 5 mins to get to the dressing room ,let alone get changed.
      Gutter radio mate ,probably just a reporter trying to cause a rift where there is t one

          1. I have no time for you Jon ,I’ve told you countless times to stay off my posts ,but look above and your on one once again saying I have a grudge ,there was no need to even post what you did unless you wanted a reaction, which you got .I’m not some child that you think you can talk down to and you should know that from past experiences .
            I’m sure you will Email Pat on the quite to get my posts removed which you have no doubt done countless times ,but you won’t make me look stupid I can assure you of that mr Bandwagon .
            Now off you go and bother some other poor sod

        1. MARTY YOU SHOULD TRY LISTENING TO SIMON JORDAN Ex Palace owner, on the Jim White Show Mon-Thur, 10am. Real in depth, analytical and probing conversation.

          Agree that the earlier breakfast show up til 10am is downmarket and silly tosh though. Try listening 10am til 1pm and you may surprise yourself.

  14. Bringing Ozil into this is ridiculous. Chelsea wasn’t a game where he would be helpful and he hasn’t been part of this terrible start at all.

  15. Not really confident to predict what Arteta will choose to do next. The Brighton game will give us a better idea. I would go with the same lineup as Chelsea, replacing Cebeillos for Eleny to speed up things even further. I hope he does go for it and get results. The rumours of Benitez being lined up for his job are scarey. Who wants to go back to past. Go for it MA, show us you have the vision and judgement to take this team forward.

  16. ‘The Old Guard’ – err, yeah, OK. Keeping the squad fresh, keen and motivated is a given. The current squad is bloated with mediocrity – too many defenders not selected or just not good enough and too many midfielders who can only go square or backwards.
    So, shift Ozil, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Chambers, Luiz, Mustafi, get money for Bellerin & AMN, End DaniC loan. That’ll do for January. Keep Saliba and play him in all matches except Prem initially, if he’s that good.
    Sorry but Willock & Nketiah need to step up quickly as does Reese the winger. Jan signings need to be proven not potential so shifting those mentioned above funds Eriksen and I still can’t see why we don’t like Zaha. Oh and a good old fashioned centre forward – Jovic on loan for all those Tierney crosses..

  17. I am in agreement that the deadwood needs removal. But a word of caution, this process needs to be done carefully and slowly.

    We must give more chances to the kids and see that they perform on a regular basis (say 2 out of 3 games).

    Then ship out 3 – 4 in the Jan transfer window and then around 3 – 4 in the summer window.

    My view on the ones to go in Jan are: Kolasinac, Mustafi & Ozil if he is the one causing dressing room unrest (just pay the remainder of his contract).

    Send Saliba out on a 6 month loan in Jan.

    Then get rid of various other players in summer including Sokratis.

    I would keep Sokratis till summer as he could be useful in EL as we are not going to get any money for him in Jan.

  18. You are right Joe. The very thought of Benitez is quite scary. Cmon MA we are behind you and show that you can do it.

  19. I have been advocating for months now to give our talented youngsters more opportunities to play in the premier league games. At last,I hope Arteta continue that trend now, as he needs to faze out those tired legs from the squad. The old players are on huge pension contracts and they don’t really care about anything else. The youngsters have the passion for Arsenal and want to prove their worth with a desire to make a name for themselves, which brings the energy needed in the team. Arsenal must sell Mustafi, Kolasinac, Ozil, Willian and Sokratis in January transfer window , plus offload Ceballos. That would be a massive 900m+ pounds in savings from the weekly wage bill for Arsenal. That would open up four spaces in the team to buy a creative midfielder and a center back, plus register Bolagun and Saliba on premier league and Europa cup league squads.

  20. I do not know why most of us think our win over Chelsea was about youth over experience. Arteta has played the youthful players with some experience in EL and EPL. It has mostly worked in the EL and not the EPL. It worked this time in the EPL against Chelsea because he allowed the players to play without the inhibitions of tactics that seem to confuse the players. When was the last time we saw Arsenal having lots of players in the opposition half during an attack? The players oozed confidence because they were being themselves in a long while. Arteta himself enjoyed the game. I hope he allows the boys to take more initiative instead of confusing and boring them with more tactics than they can assimilate. It doesn’t matter how many youth or senior players he plays in a game, if the tactics he employs doesn’t suit the team, the results will not be favorable.

  21. Agree but not all the youth because youngsters like Willock and neslon are useless. They are not Arsenal quality and we have given them enough chances with first team to prove their worth but everytime they have come up short. On other hand look at youngsters like Martenelli and Saka they have big club quality, have taken their chances and are reliable. I have not included ESR because he does seem to possess talent but has not been given enough chances to judge him if he will succeed or is worth keeping. So give the boy more chances and let’s see if he can hold on to his place like the other two saka and Martenelli.

  22. I’ve said before, and think my point was proved against Chelsea, that we need to play the kids in threes. All those who single out Willock for criticism because he wasn’t as good as ESR should bear in mind that he had to play with Pepe and a tiring Saka rather than a fresh pair of kids. I think that if you perm any three from ESR, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli, AMN, Nelson and possibly Balogun you will see a good display from any of the old guard alongside them.

  23. Moshan, perhaps you could let me know why you are so bitter and twisted in your condemnation of Nelson and Willock as “useless”I don’t know your background, education and job circumstances but you clearly have never played football at a decent level of you think these two young players are bereft of real talent.Please try and control your emotions and cut out the unnecessary vitriol.

  24. @Mohsan.
    I don’t think Willock and Nelson are useless or for that matter Nketiah. It is just a matter of confidence for some and the unsuitability of playstyles for others. Remember that in Wenger’s last season we were raving about Nketiah and then next season about Willock. Willock has good ball carrying characteristics and arrives in the box frequently to grab second balls. Maybe a slight more tactical freedom will help him and also some confidence. Same for Nelson who I think is a good dribbler, possibly one of the best ones in our team and this season really looked good and seemed to have regained his confidence. Injuries have hampered his progress but he could turn out good/great for us. With Nketiah I think he should be used as an impact sub or played in a 2-man system with someone with good holdup play to play off from. He has good poacher’s instincts and presses really hard, possibly the hardest in our team. He lacks in ball control and strength, but developing these well will also make him either a good player or a good saleable asset for the club. I have hope for the former.

    1. Nketiah’s attitude is first rate and he’s got talent, trouble is he’s a very poor finisher at this level for a goal poacher. He doesn’t look confident when he gets 1 v 1 with a goalkeeper. He needs to address this fast because it will prevent him from being anything special. He didn’t seem to have antjst issue at youth level

  25. For the first time, I have seen someone who really has an eye that can see wrong things that happen at the club and i think this should be taken into consideration eminently if we are to survive this fallout.

  26. Clearing out the old guard is a Capital No for me, integrating four or five of them would definitely be an improvement to our horrible form just like we saw in the Chelshit game. But does our so called manager has the balls to field young players?

    Most of us were actually expecting a replica of Pep’s ball from Mikel, but it’s so disappointing we have seen the opposite. That’s a topic for another day, I believe Arteta is not a confident manager who doesn’t wanna take risks with youth players.

    Abandoning the big boys wouldn’t be healthy for the dressing room, we can only hope they eventually get motivated by the kids.

    Saw people mentioning Buendia and Bissouma On here yesterday and I had to watch a few clips, Bissouma is just a beast of a central midfielder. Dude’s dribbling and technique is awesome and adventurous. Buendia is a very good playmaker, score goals, a very good left foot and a decent right foot as well. EPL proven, strong on the ball and quite affordable at 15m.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs