Could 2019 be the year of Arsenal’s ‘Project Youth 2.0’

A mix of youth and experience equals an exciting season ahead! by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal ladies and gentleman! Adidas has found a way to take my money, by making the most awesome of Arsenal kits! I want them all. The third one followed the trend of the first 2 and is just stellar. Onto some football now as we’ve started the season with an away clean-sheet victory!

This already equals the total amount of away clean-sheet victories of last year. An achievement already? Or a platform to improve upon? We were helped by the fact it was Newcastle. Literally one of the easiest opponents you could play given the circumstances. We also fielded a lot of young players.

AMN, Chambers, Willock, Nelson and Guendouzi all started the game and they didn’t let us down. The one player who did was Mkhitaryan, who should’ve scored, and he lost the ball quite a few times. He’s part of the ageing part of the side that needs to be moved on. If we take him and Monreal to join Koscielny, Lichtsteiner and Cech who left, our average age would see a massive decrease!

Now consider the fact that all 3 reserves we played are also under 25 and this will be the year of the youngsters. That Martinelli guy has so much pace and energy and could be a real diamond if we develop him right! Project youth 2.0 has arrived and it’s exciting. We featured a few British players in the starting 11 as well. Overall, it’s everything I’ve been crying out for in recent years and I’m very happy to see real change.

The performance wasn’t a vintage one and it seemed for long periods like it’s game 39 from the last campaign, but with the players we had, I’d take it. I wouldn’t like to put the “circumstances” as an excuse, because we know all too well when the season starts, and we should be ready with a squad good enough to compete. It was a typical trait of the Wenger era to complain and use excuses as to why we weren’t prepared to start the season.

This year, I’m taking none of that. We didn’t have our star players ready and we really need them for the big challenges coming up ahead. I’m not sure what’s up with Ozil and Kolasinac. They looked sharp in pre-season and we missed them and it looks like they could be missing more games which is a disgusting issue. That said, even if our win was not as flashy as Liverpool, Man City or United’s win against Chelsea, we needed the points and we got them.

The one player who looked really sharp was Aubameyang. The guy looks in top condition and if we supply him with the right service and don’t burn him out during the season, he and his partners in crime, Laca and Pepe, can really propel us into the top 4. I enjoyed the fact we dropped Mustafi, and I expect Luiz to eventually replace Chambers in the starting 11, as our defence could use his experience as well as presence in set pieces.

We’re playing Burnley at home next and we generally do well against them. We should have more than enough to beat them with all my respect. It’d be great if Pepe and Laca are fit to start. Torreira would be great to get some minutes too. Tottenham play City and we have a chance to get some ground before we face 2 incredibly difficult tasks. Anyway, it’s exciting. There is something to look forward to.



  1. gotanidea says:

    Winning an away game is not a trivial task for the youngsters. However, I’d like to see their consistency first

    Chambers has good skills and physicality, but he is more suited to be a DM due to his lack of pace. He can handle slow target man like Joelinton, but I want to see how he defends against pacey tricky wingers like Mane and Salah

    Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi and Willock were excellent in attacking. Nelson and Martinelli were not impressive on the left wing, but maybe they could grow in that position if they are given more chances to start

  2. Grandad says:

    Why Luiz to replace Chambers who is superior to Socratis on the ground,in the air and in terms of versatility.Socratis is on a par with Mustafi .Chambers has grown in stature and confidence on the back of his very good season with Fulham.The fact that they were relegated should not cloud the fact that Chambers was consistent throughout the season.Socrat is was also consistent last season.Consistent in having to resort to fouling because he lacks the ability to win the ball fairly.If he plays he will surely be targeted by the opposition as an Arsenal weakness.

    1. gotanidea says:

      If Luiz replaces Chambers, I believe it would be because Sokratis has more experience than Chambers. Sokratis has played as a main CB at a top European club, whereas Chambers is still competing for that role in this season

      Chambers was also used as a CB at the beginning of his loan period at Fulham. After Fulham lost several games, they shifted him to the DM position, which was perfect for his technical and physical attributes

      1. SuperClaes says:

        Don’t want to come down hard on Chambers who had a decent game up on Tyneside!

        However I recall hearing similar things when Chambers returned from Middlesborough couple of seasons ago but failed to kick on despite a full season playing in the PL. As for his technical ability I haven’t seen too much either while trying to play out of the back…

        Only a personal hunch but think Luiz and Sokratis combo might just work out rather well…although I still render hopes that Luiz and Holding will be the real fix for our leaky defence!

    2. Quentin faye says:

      He was consistent as a DM tho. when he played as CB he sucked.

    3. jon fox says:

      Quelle surprise Grandad I t seems I agree with you. For about the millionth time too! it is a puzzle to me how ANY Gooner – and there are many- who consider Chambers worse than “the wrestler”. Most CB ‘s grapple and hold at free kicks and corners etc. But Sokratis does little other than wrestle virtually all the time any forward comes near him. He is a clown, along with the appalling Mustafi and NEITHER should be anywhere remotely near our team. But they are . For now ! But we do not have to pick them and I pray we do not. All I can say for Sokratis is that he is a slightly(note the “slightly”) lesser clown than Mustafi. Chambers is looking a new player from the one we loaned to Fulham.

  3. Declan says:

    Luiz to replace Xhaka and leave the back four as is.
    Chambers has pace, height and positional awareness, leave him be.

  4. Thinesh says:

    Chambers should start along with Luiz. And drop Xhaka for Toreira. Ceballos and Torreira can form a good partnership in midfield.

  5. Samson says:

    Luiz should definitely replace Chambers at the back and we should stop hyping our young English talents, we should also stop selling young talented gunners for peanuts because we many coming through rumors now doing the round that we undersold iwobi @40 we as arsenal fans should know by now that football market is as crazy as it gets, Value for our players should be as follow.leno@70m,bellerin@60m,soc@15m, mustp@27m,monr@7m,kola@25m,mniles@35m,xakha@40-45m, holding@40m,torrera@50-60m,guen@60-70m,note players with personality are hard to find hence his inflated price,willo@20m for now, Nelson@20m Englishman ozil@15m milkh7m,elneny@6m,laca@90_100m, auba@90m age wise pepe n/a

    1. Mobella says:

      You really need to read and reread your comment because you need first before other fans here. Ozil 15m? Miki 7m? Elneny 8m?. You are one of the many fans that probably thought Iwobi couldn’t be sold for more than 10m. Leave players valuation to those in administration. Whoever make that as news should be sacked with immediate effect and fans that sucked it up are sick and see some doctors. What will be the next news? We undersold Kos or we overpaid for Teirney and Pepe?. Now I see why Jon calls time and time again some fans fools and idiot.

      1. SuperClaes says:

        Why sweating over valuations when we should only care about winning!

        As for the young guns personally I only rate Wilock to make a claim for starting place when all fit… Bellerin is way ahead of AMN and Nelson still got to show more end product. Martinelli looked strong, quick and hard working as did Nelson but only time will tell if there is also end product! l

    2. jon fox says:

      Samson, Some of us and me for certain, think that Chambers is far better than “wrestling” Sokratis! I am hoping that both Luiz and Chambers start against Burnley in a back four and that Sokratis is transferred to the WWE, where he belongs!

  6. simon says:

    most of these kids are not ready yet..maybe 1 oR 2

  7. Innit says:

    If Chambers starts today, he’s in for a tougher time because Burnley are more aggressive. It will be a big test for him. Any sign of difficulty and Luiz will be given a shot

  8. Break-on-through says:

    We did task Emery with bringing through some of our young guns, I think this was the criteria that won Emery the job if I’m not mistaken. So it’s a good article Konstantin.

    He sold Iwobi and brought in Martinez, he also sold Bielik and brought in Saliba, this seems a little against the philosophy that won him the job. I believe he could well be proved right, I expect Saliba to outdo Bielik even though I like Bielik, also I’d expect Martinez or/and Saka to become higher profile than Iwobi.

    Willock I believe will be around for years, I think he will be like Ramsey in that case. I believe he might one day captain Arsenal.

    Nelson will have a lot of competition because of all the wide forwards in the game, he’ll have to really knuckle down not just to win a starting place, he should look at Iwobi situation.

    The academy factor doesn’t carry the weight it used to, some fans might not like that going onwards but the majority will be glad of that. If you can buy better then why stick, academy players used to give their heart more and it counted but the game has changed and the rules cut out over enthusiasm to a degree.

  9. Frédéric slimane says:

    Sadly once all the injured players are back and the new ones have integrated we will be left with 2 may be 3 young players if we are lucky enough that is!!

  10. Aussie Jack says:

    When I was a kid players six feet tall were rare and admired. In to-days world a player needs to be six feet across the shoulders (just so they can get his name on the back of his shirt.)

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