Does Arteta need to have more trust in Arsenal’s youngsters?

Arteta needs to be more welcoming for the young players

From Mikel Arteta’s numerous comments on William Saliba, it has not felt like the Spaniard sees the young French defender as an integral first team player next season.

“We will sit down and discuss the roles of every member of the squad and how they can fulfil that role and he’s our player so he’ll be back here for sure,” said the Spaniard when asked whether Saliba will have a great impact to play next season with Arsenal.

He continued, “After that, we will make a decision based on the agreement of the role that each player is going to have in the squad.”

When a manager is certain that a young player has huge potential and is part of the plans, they are generally straightforward with questions like this. However, Arteta does not seem too convinced with Saliba.

When the Gunners bought Gabriel Magalhães from French club Lille last season, they did it because of his impressive performances at Ligue 1 in the 2019/20 season.

Saliba on the other hand have had two admirable campaigns at St Etienne in 2018/19 and then more recently at Nice in 2020/21. In spite of that, it feels like his performances are not given due credit by the current Arsenal manager.

It is no secret that the young manager shows signs of hesistancy when it comes to introducing inexperienced and young squad players. One perfect instance for it is the introduction of Emile Smith Rowe.

Arsenal’s creativity void was apparent to every Arsenal fan at the onset last season, but the former Manchester City assistant took two whole months to dispense of Willian in place of Emile Smith Rowe, who was available from October, but was overlooked when the team looked for a spark in the final third.

Although Arteta has earlier stated about his “non-negotiables,” it appears like some of his non-negotiables are more lax with few players, especially the more experienced ones.

With Arteta at the helm, it has occasionally felt like there has been a reluctance to embrace the obvious. The obviousness of the underperforming stars.

The Arsenal faithful’s clamour for the introduction of youth over experience has not always been senseless. Too many times last season, they were let down by players who were good in the past but continued to be bad in the present.

Slowly integrating the likes of William Saliba and even Folarin Balogun and Miguel Azeez will seem rational.

But the supporters uproar will be understandable if their integration in the first team is extremely gradual even if the established stars continue to disappoint on the pitch.

Yash Bisht

Tags Azeez Balogun Saliba Smith-Rowe

39 Comments

  1. Sean M says:

    Third youngest squad in the PL last season by minutes played.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      It is fifth andnot third. And the article is about Arteta being hesitant to change when the situation demands.

  2. Yash Bisht says:

    Drop your comments. Would love to read your views!

  3. gotanidea says:

    He has enough trust in the youngsters already, as seen in Nketiah, Saka and Smith-Rowe developments. Integrating too many youngsters will unbalance the squad and we will surely Balogun/ Martinelli more often next season, since Nketiah couldn’t make it as CF

    Henry told Carragher in a Sky Sports discussion that he was questioned and argued by the young players he coached at Monaco and Montreal. It’s good to have their own opinions as youngsters, but the manager also needs team players and the ones with good attitude

    Wenger also said he trusted a senior CB more than a young one, but he had to give the young CBs some chances at some point. I think Arteta has his own criterias in judging a player’s abilities, so we need to trust him on Saliba

  4. jon fox says:

    My problem in principle with this article is that it lumps players in a group as either youngsters or not youngsters.

    In reality, where I always live and always will, I dislike labelling players into groups, like youngsters or olderplayers. EACH is an individual, like all humans globally and as such needs to be judged entirely on an INDIVIDUAL basis and on that alone.

    As a deep thinking and considered fan, I find it intensely frustrating that I even need to make this point. It is so obviously true that it SHOULD NOT NEED saying , though sadly , even for the sake of the unthinking Yash, it does need saying. A shame though, all the same!

    1. Davi says:

      Not sure what to make of this. While it’s definitely true that one young player is not ever going to be exactly alike with another, there are general trends which you have to account for when bringing them into the first team. Young players generally make more mistakes them older ones, v regardless of how talented they are, so it’s generally folly to play, say 5 under 21 players with limited experience, even if they’re more gifted than their opponents (assuming you need to win the game).
      It’s also the case that many many younger players end up having poorer than expected careers due to injuries, and it often happens that injuries picked up early on can stick around and limit their playing time over so long period of time. Some young players seem pretty stable and able to handle it, but you don’t necessarily know until they’ve been though it, so it’s normally best to bring them through slowly to reduce the risk of doing longer term damage. It’s why I think Saka has been treated differently to Martinelli, even though they are probably quite similar in the impact they could have in the long term, but it’s only come about because Saka has been through some trials with the first team and come out relatively unscathed.
      I suspect I’m missing your point here, but this is why I think it’s useful to group players together as youngsters to some extent, but agree that there are always differences between individuals.

      1. jon fox says:

        DAVI it is very apparent that you are indeed missing my point. Whether that is deliberately done OR because you simply cannot comprehend something very straightforward and easy to understand, only you can decide.

        Essentially it comes down to one single point; whether you understand and accept that each individual person is unique OR you do not. We all have many things in common with many other individuals but we also differ from every other person. Not rocket science, Davi!

        1. Davi says:

          Yes Jon, it is an extremely simple point – one I don’t see any value in whatsoever. I guess the question I should have asked is: why did you make it? But I gave you a little more credit than that so wanted to clarify.

    2. Eddie says:

      Jon Fox, it continues and it’s not gonna stop any time soon

  5. Nickerless Bender says:

    In MA’S eyes nobody I bigger than Arteta.

    He is far too stubborn to admit any mistakes and if he don’t like you or your opinion you’re gone. He likes the players that do what they are told although they know it is failing.

    I assumed that Edu was supposed to keep him and his ego under control. I thought wrong as he as weak as Vinai.

    One year ago I recollect a certain Mr Luiz having a breakdown because he didn’t have his future sorted. Funny how he was quite ecstatic to leave at the end of this season without a club to join. Not a coincidence that the senior players are looking eager at moving on even if we rate them or not.

    So answer to your post. He won’t trust anyone that disagrees with him and the “process’ whatever that may be?

    But mine is solely an opinion.

  6. AndersS says:

    I don’t see MA has a general tendency not to trust young players.
    Wheteher he should use Saliba, I believe it is his choice to make as long as he is our manager.
    Every manager will have their own ideas about individual players.

  7. Alex says:

    I didn’t realise this was an anti arsenal website. I pressed a link that says just Arsenal. So, I thought the writer would have in depth knowledge of the Gooners. I was under the impression that Smith – Rowe was unavailable until November due to an injury. Is being an Arsenal fan nowadays means having stupid, unfactul ideas, & if that is the case, you lot are doing very well. Verify your facts, look at the stats! This website is not for a true Arsenal.

    1. Eddie Hoyte says:

      Alex!!! How dare you write the fact and truth about Smith Rowe’s availability?! How dare you?
      I made my research months ago and found out unlike the lies people were spreading about Arteta using ESR only when he ran out of options and saw that as usual it was just nothing but lies and agendas to criticize the manager.
      ESR was injured, suffered a setback just a week before our first game, needed time to recover and got some game minutes in the Europa league to build his fitness before finally starting Dec but I’m telling you they don’t care.
      According to them, Arteta only used ESR because of lack of options.
      I wrote the timeline of his injury and games when I had a discussion with someone on here, but as usual the lies keeps popping up.
      Writing articles without proper research and spreading false accusations

      1. SueP says:

        Well said Eddie
        It’s just mind numbing
        I’m not saying Arteta is the second coming but blimey, he did better than Ancelotti who is now in Madrid. It was a disappointing finale but not a total disaster. We all need a teaspoon of reality about how our club has been run for a number of years. And I am not particularly referring to the manager.

    2. Adajim says:

      Alex, just like Xhaka and Ozil, MA has divided the fan base although not completely yet, some who think he isn’t quality will try to find any fault in any case, I guess the writer is part of those groups and he has to cook up ‘facts’ to justify his claims.
      Supposed he would reply my post I’ll have love to ask him a few questions:
      What does it mean not to welcome young players?
      Did he hear about Arteta exploits with young players at city, sterling an example
      What age is considered ‘young players’ because I can see most of our players are under 26yo with lots of 19-21yo doing great too

      1. Admin Pat says:

        Yash is saying that maybe Smith- Rowe could have been used earlier last season rather than waiting until we were desperate…

    3. Admin Pat says:

      So Alex,r know everything.
      So you condemn justarsenal because you read one post that you don’t agree with and you sit in judgement.

      Read the other 99 posted just this month and then please submit a balanced review, if you don’t mind!

    4. Logic says:

      Here we go again, Arteta fan boys are back in force again. When things don’t go there way they hide under the rock then one win and they all come crawling out. We had the worst season in decades and are out of Europe but you see ppl who live in cucu land themselves calling others to be more realistic. I mean to what end guys really??. You guys think this season was not bad enough and we are on right track?. Man kronke is has bought the right club because forgot about the board even the fans have no ambition. Like I said I have seen people celebrate 1-0 losses here to other so called big clubs and labell that as an achievement by our saviour Arteta. With fans like these who needs enemies. Eddie is the biggest person here to put spin on things to show every thing in Arteta’s favour. By the way Eddie how is it going with that Saliba bullshxt story that you fed the ppl here about why Saliba was not selected because he was missing his mom and Arteta was protecting him. Also you said the same thing about Martenelli as well that Arteta was protecting him when it was also pointed out to you by numerous ppl that even when fit EN was preceded over him by Arteta. You guys cant even balme Ozil now for every thing because that is what you guys used to do to hide your manager’s incapability. Talking about facts then go and check how much Arsenal have spend in last 3-4 years and in last 2 summer transfer window that is fact not silly stories putting all Arteta failure in owner’s shoulder.

  8. Eddie hoyte says:

    Whoever wrote this article don’t get tired of spreading agendas? How many youngsters has Arteta had an issue with? How many teams played more youngsters than Arsenal this season?
    The false agenda that he doesn’t trust youngsters will never end will it?
    I can question his decisions and game management but not this crap that he’s not welcoming towards youngsters.
    Hogwash.

    Also, whoever needs to know this, hear me out. Ruben Neves is not an upgrade on Xhaka. You think Xhaka is slow? Wait till Neves gets into this team. Why not just go for Locatelli.
    Does it have to always be the shitty signings for Arsenal?
    I hope the deal doesn’t go through.
    If Neves signs for us, I’ll support him because he’s our player and hope he proves me wrong but I know already that he’s not an upgrade on Xhaka except he improves under Arteta.

    1. DaJuhi says:

      Well we already missed out on Buendia who is:

      More creative than anyone at Arsenal
      Tackles more than anyone at Arsenal

      But apparently he is “just a Championship player” so its OK we didnt get him.

      Can’t wrap my head around it. I GUARANTEE Edu will spend whole summer trying to get Ödegaard only to be left with his d*** on his hand.

      1. Gily says:

        🤔

        😆😆
        His what on his hand?
        That will be either suicide or transgendering by self.

      2. towny254 says:

        DaJuhi Or another Brazilian that’s EDU limit

    2. Adajim says:

      I think one of the reasons he was given the job was his exploits with city young players at the time as reported, because arsenal were looking for a long time project with young core

    3. Tumisi Paul Matshaba says:

      Eddie, if i was the coach, i would have sold Xhaka the first day of our training. He cannot retrieve a lost ball, cannot win heading duels, he is slow, cannot play one two moves, erratic, slow and kill our attacking moves by basing tbe ball backwards. Also he gets booked more often, causing us to play under pressure.

  9. ozziegunner says:

    YES, look at the age of Tony Adams and Martin Keown when they played first team football.

    1. Adajim says:

      We have a defence that gave top 5 performance lithos season, some players played there, are we expecting the coach to bin those that suffered for this just because Saliba is now here

      1. Sid says:

        Not completely, but you might agree that we have to replace Luiz, who was a very integral part of that defence last season. Among the incoming players, Saliba and Dino are closest to the first team with Ballard and McGuiness just behind(another loan maybe). From what we have seen of them, Saliba is good with the ball at his feet and Dino is very fast, so why not give chances to these guys as players who can replace Luiz. A partnership of say, Mari and Saliba might be good against sitting back teams with the additions of a tall and strong striker as they can feed long balls from both sides. Ok maybe I am rambling a lot but I hope you might see the point I am trying to make…

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍

  10. Atid says:

    Play Smith Rowe in the box to box role alongside Partey. He is strong, can run with the ball creates chances and scores.

    1. Gily says:

      I don’t see any difference between Emile Smith Rowe and Grealish apart from the stamina.
      Even then, the later falls more than the first.

  11. Adajim says:

    I can’t comment on Saliba too but I want to say he is lucky to have MA as the manager, I have said it several times here that MA was protecting him and I saw AFTV Robb echoed my sentiments. Saliba was lucky to have escaped, if it were during Wenger era , Wenger would have thrown him straight into the first team considering his price tag and he would have been well dealt with by now by most of you guys who is currently blaming MA for excluding him last season. He needs to build a good relationship with the manager also, he is young with good potential he should not self destroy himself by listening to media hype and fans praise

    1. ken1945 says:

      Adajim, can you give me some examples of AW throwing ANY youngster in due to his price tag?
      This should be interesting, as I cannot think of any “youngster” who AW paid a reported £25,000,000 for, with the age of Saliba and then threw him straight into the first team……

  12. Durand says:

    Arteta is looking like a checkbook manager, just like Pep. So Arteta needs his players to be successful?

    Isn’t Pep and City, Utd, Chelsea condemned for this? Yet I find it curious that “the project” is based on selling it to incomings, not current players.

    Wasn’t Arteta hired in large part to develop youth, not buy his dream 11? Question is, has he? Willock, Guendouzi, Saliba shipped out, Martinelli froze on the bench.

    Why keep Nketiah in team and done nothing to develop him in 18 months? Kept Nelson for what? Do we sell, loan, or keep? No one knows because he wasted a year under Arteta.

    But hey, “trust the process” and be excited by “the project” because Arteta and Edu say so.

    What is it? What does it look like? Standards? Goals? How is it measured?

    Just be a good lemming and follow along.

  13. Atid says:

    Chelsea interested in Aubameyang and Willian. Whilst prepared to listen to offers for Ziyech, Emerson and Abraham’s

    Straight swap I say 😜

  14. Atid says:

    Gabriel 23
    Tierney 23
    Saka 19
    Smith Rowe 20
    Martinelli 19

    Pretty much the mainstay of our team

    Even Chambers Holding and Partey are not much older.

    Willock, AMN, Nketiah, Guendozi and Nelson have all be given their chance, whilst I am sure that Okonkwo, Balogun, Saliba and Mavropanos will be given theirs too.

    How many youngsters can one starting x1 take?

    1. jon fox says:

      Atid, Well the FACTUAL answer is obviously eleven , as that is the number of players that begin a game. Hope that helps your surprising basic lack of understanding of the laws of the game.

  15. Samuel -Akinsola Adebosin says:

    If Miguel Azeez is truly a top quality Hale End product as being alluded to on here by Gooners. But then, would us want to see him promoted to the first team squad next season if he makes the cut? More so, as his promotion will fill one home grown quota slot to replace one of the home grown quotas of Bellerin and Nketiah. Who are being touted should be offloaded to leave Arsenal this summer.

    Let us Gooners not over engaged ourselves in arguments on whether Arteta should fully integrates Saliba into the first team squad or not next season.

    For, David Luiz leaving Arsenal has provided Saliba with a vacant slot in the Arsenal defence to slot-in into it. But if he convinced his manager he’s worthy of sloting-in into it during Arsenal pre-season training and pre-season friendly games.

    But I think Saliba should be able to pass the acid test that he’ll be subjected to undergo during the Arsenal pre-season drilling to qualify for inclusion into the Arsenal centreback personnel for next season’s campaign.

    Let me reiterate once more that Arsenal haven miss out on Guendai signing this summer, which was largely due the subversion being orchestrated against Arsenal by his agent in collaboration with the elswile Arsenal goalkepeer Emi Martinez. Who acrimoniously let us last summer. But who apparently has now pay back Arteta with his own coins for his rejecting him as Arsenal no. 1 in preference to Leno who the club purportedly now want to offload this summer to sign Onana.

    But nevertheless, Arsenal failure to not succeed to sign Guendai should not lead the club to resort to panic-signing a new midfield play maker for Arsenal this summer.

    But let the club take time to evaluate things carefully and weigh up their options properly to avoid acting under panic situation pressure to go and sign a low productive performing play maker to pacify us for their missing out on Guendai signing.

  16. Sid says:

    Think the article is a bit biased. It is well known that Smith Rowe was injured and not available during the timeframe the author mentions. The point regarding Saliba, well isn’t that what most managers say in front of the public, let alone someone who is at his first job. What MA said was reasonable IMO, about every player having a defined role and then discussions regarding how to perform the role. He has to be a little more careful in his pressers now after an underwhelming season, and so making safe statements are fine. Also he may have something for Saliba in mind. Now about Nelson and Nketiah I agree as their developments were wasted this season and Arteta could have handled the situation better but lets see.

  17. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Admini, please what was wrong in my comment posting that made it to be under moderation?

Comments are closed