Does Arteta need to relegate Jesus to the bench for Arsenal to beat Man City to the EPL title?

Gabby Agbonlahor’s recent comments regarding Gabriel Jesus have sparked a debate among Arsenal fans, with the former player suggesting that the Brazilian striker may be the player who hampers the Gunners’ chances of competing for the Premier League title in the upcoming season. Agbonlahor’s criticism stems from Jesus’ perceived inability to convert scoring opportunities, a weakness that has been highlighted in previous discussions on JustArsenal.

During a talkSPORT discussion, Agbonlahor expressed his concerns about Jesus’ efficiency in front of goal and how it could potentially undermine Arsenal’s aspirations for league glory. While Jesus was initially hailed as a game-changing signing for the Gunners, with his arrival filling a void for a prolific striker, doubts have arisen about his consistency and finishing ability. Some argue that his performances have fallen short of expectations, with missed chances becoming a recurring theme.

“I think they might be up there but I think they might come short because of a goalscoring number nine, I think that is going to be the difference with Haaland,” Agbonlahor opined.

“No [Jesus isn’t right]. He comes off too much. He wants to rotate all around the pitch. He missed a lot of chances. A lot of chances that Haaland puts away, Harry Kane puts away. That could be the difference that costs Arsenal. But I think Arsenal definitely will be up there again, and will finish probably runners up again.”

Indeed, Jesus had a mixed season for Arsenal, displaying moments of brilliance alongside periods of frustration. There was a noticeable dry spell where he struggled to find the back of the net, leading to doubts about his contribution to the team’s success. Additionally, his participation in the World Cup was cut short due to a significant injury, causing him to miss a considerable portion of Arsenal’s campaign.

Criticism regarding Jesus’ goal-scoring prowess is not unwarranted, but it is crucial to acknowledge that Arsenal’s shortcomings last season cannot be solely attributed to the Brazilian striker. Numerous factors came into play that ultimately hindered the Gunners’ title pursuit. While Jesus may have missed some crucial opportunities, other elements within the team also contributed to their failure to secure the championship.

Mikel Arteta must carefully assess Jesus’ performance and consider the overall impact he has on the team. Despite his occasional struggles in front of goal, Jesus brings a range of other qualities to the pitch. His movement, work rate, and ability to create space for teammates are assets that cannot be disregarded. Additionally, his presence often forces opposing defenders to divert their attention, enabling other attackers to exploit gaps in the defense.

It is important to remember that football is a team sport, and individual shortcomings must be evaluated within the larger context. While Jesus may not have been as prolific as desired, it is necessary to analyze how he fits into the overall tactical framework and the contributions he makes beyond scoring goals. Arteta’s decision on whether to bench Jesus should be based on a comprehensive evaluation of his overall performance and the potential alternatives available.

Ultimately, the question of whether Jesus should be benched by Arsenal next season cannot be answered definitively without considering the wider dynamics of the team. The Gunners’ pursuit of the Premier League title requires a balanced approach that takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of all players. While Jesus’ finishing may need improvement, his overall impact on the team cannot be overlooked.

It is up to Arteta and his coaching staff to make an informed decision that maximizes Arsenal’s chances of success in the upcoming campaign, but do you think the boss may be thinking of relegating Jesus to the bench now that Havertz and Rice have been brought on board?

Jack Anderson

Tags Agbonlahor Gabriel Jesus


  1. I’ve been saying it for a while now, and on many different threads. Jesus is the natural cover for Saka when he needs resting. He is experienced at playing the role and very good at it. I am not suggesting he compete with Saka for a spot on the RW; quite the opposite. Jesus should play as many games as he can, but all across the front 3. He is the 3rd best winger we have behind Saka and Martinelli and using him in this way will either allow for another striker such as Vlahovic to come in or more likely give some much needed game time to Eddie or Balogun.

    1. Last season defensive collapse costs us title. Irrespective of players the moment when our mentality goes down we go down. So to get right mentality and not get nervous and budge at crucial stage is essential. We cannot expect all quality in single players. Jesus has good dribbling ability and with him we can pressure opponents in their D area, and jesus and create space for others to score. If we have haaland we will definitely score more goals but there is possibility of drying of goals from wide area. So all we want is goals, who scores doesn’t matter. We need to have confidence about our strength and avoid getting nervous in important matches.

    2. I personally blamed Arteta for arsenal’s failure to win premiere league last season! One of the answers to why is, when Jesus was out injured, arsenal did not missed his goals for quite some time! As Eddie stepped in his shoes and did very fantastic until when fatigue started to take advantage of him, or maybe lack of good substitute… Then he started to miss chances! Then Arteta decision to benched him was smart! But two games is more than enough warning to Eddie, and definitely not more! But for Jesus to be back from such a long injury and straight to the first eleven, with such lack of match fitness, it neither helped Jesus himself let alone Eddie! Because you r simply not creating competition in the team! My second reason is before Saliva took over from White every 1 believed that he did some special Stubbs to be able to pushed White to the side defense! The two play some similar calm, and always push their opposition on their back, and give through passes when they are with the ball… So when Saliba was out injured, simply bring White to play central defense since he did organized arsenal defense once! Every solid defense we can ever have in the world of football, is combination of calmness and deity works! Then you can task any of your players to cover for the rw back at least for the time been! That’s what the best managers do and win trophies!

      1. Definitely manager has to be responsible if you lose title from such healthy position. And we cant blame fatigue for our collapse, as we had only premier league to play for while mancity was competing for 3 titles at the same time. So ot was purely down to quality and poor tactics. Injury to Saliba, shifting partey to right back and most importantly being hopeless and giving up easily was main contributor, because its normal that u dont drop points whole season and play like relegation team in last few matches.

  2. Yes, but not because of his goal-scoring abilities. Ronaldo also scored many goals for Man United, but his inability to do high-press has put the defense of his team at risk

    I think Jesus is still one of the best high-pressers in EPL, but his hold-up play was almost non-existent this year. If we have someone who’s great at both aspects, we could minimize the pressure on our defense

    1. I guess this is why Havertz was signed,to make the false runs,
      IMO, the reason we bottled the league was because our midfield was weak, one injury in defence and the hole in midfield became larger,
      I fear if we don’t get an additional beast like Rice in CDM, we might drop again, but if we play Kiwior as LB and White/Timber as RB, we might not need another vicious CDM,

      Havertz needs alot of drilling mentally and physically, he seems to have lost alot, he barely scored any of the volleys in the MLS volley challenge, he must find his gift.

      1. Funny thing is I just watched that video while reading this post and I was shocked when the commentator said this first ever clean sheet in the cross and volley challenge

  3. Its only his first season with us and had a seriousinjury, give the guy a break. Jesus is a creative force, I think goals will come. There way some people put its like he’s not good enough. I know he missed a lot of opportunities but gave us momentum in the beginning of the season.

    1. Yes the first season factor should be considered. I see rooms for further development most of our players. Players like Saka, Martinelli and Odegaard can take their games to a higher level. G. Jesus, Zinchenko, Saliba are going into a second season. They should get better.

      For G. Jesus’ lack of aerial threat, I believe that’s the reason we go Havertz to compliment him.

  4. Jesus needs competition from Balogun and Nketiah. The No. 9 position cannot be automatically his anymore. He needs to work hard and impress in order to occupy it, just like everyone else. He cannot be happy watching Martinelli, Saka, Leandro and Marten Odergaard scoring and him coming out of a match with nothing.

  5. I think Balogun is the missing piece we need in that team.
    A natural striker. The focal point of this super attacking minded team.
    With 2 attacking 8’s and 2 skilled wingers.

    My team :



    D. Rice

    Zinch/Tierney Timber/White


  6. Now that we have the partnership of Partey and Rice in the middle of the park, I can see Jesus scoring >30 this season. I still can’t see anyone better than him the upfront at Arsenal at the moment. He’s deadly in the box, physically strong, can score with a header and with both feet and one of the on 1 v 1. All we need is just the system that suits him and with that partnership✍🏽🔥🔥🔥

      1. Just watch what he was doing before his injury last season – he was backing in to defenders twice his side and controlling high balls with his feet, regularly. He’s plenty strong enough, and able to hold the ball as well as anyone. He was poor after he returned from injury, for whatever reason, but he’s proven he’s capable.

      2. Zeb, as well as the lack of physical strength raised by PJ-SA, Jesus is also far from “deadly in the box”.
        Jesus, at his best creates a lot of goals for others by drawing defenders away and creating space, but he has been very profligate in front of goal. He needs to spend a lot of time on accurate shooting and powerful finishing.

  7. When he’s on form he’s among the best forwards in the league – no, he shouldn’t be dropped for the reasons given. We score plenty of goals when he’s on form. When he’s off form, arteta has to drop him because we can’t carry him. That should be the rule for every player, but i don’t think it was last season.

    1. By scoring plenty of goals, do you mean 5 goals is plenty? remember he was on a 5 to 8 games without a goal before the world cup?

      Richardlison was preferred as the centre striker over him for a reason.

      But like you, we don’t need to buy a striker, just make sure the no 9 spot is not automatic.

      1. I purposely said *we* score plenty goals when he’s on form because, yes, I agree with you and accept he’s not a natural goalscorer – I just don’t think it matters who finishes the chances as long as someone does. I’ve mentioned this before, but i don’t find it hard to imagine a situation where a new striker might score 25 goals on own, but the team scores fewer goals overall – nobody wants that.

      2. You need to understand that we don’t have that energetic midfield like Man City, Jesus has to drop to support Odegaard and Xhaka,
        With Havertz, Jesus should improve, my only concern is Havertz’s strength in midfield.

        1. No, he was doing the right things before his injury pressing from the front, but staying there and acting as a target man to help progress the ball up the pitch. After he returned, at the key point in the season, I think he panicked as he saw we were in trouble and started running back into deep midfield, leaving us with no one to receive the ball. He made it worse.
          I don’t know why he did that, but arteta should have corrected it by telling him to stop and/or replacing him with someone who would hold their position (Eddie or trossard)

  8. Nevermind how many goals Jesus hot, it is the team total that counts. We scored 88 goals last season, more than any other season for about sixty years. Jesus was a huge part in that, brilliant in bringing other players into play and helping Saka, Martinelli and Ødegaard get into double figures. Martinelli in particular dropped off when Jesus was injured, although he picked up bit when Trossard replaced Nketiah. Martinelli could even be the player to replace Jesus at centre forward as they switch positions effortlessly but for next season just leave it as it is.

  9. Not necessarily a striker to add more goals but one who would add something different to the attack. Height is something we lack upfront and we don’t score many headed goals from open play as Jesus against Liverpool is the only one that comes to mind.

    I do think it will be interesting to see whether Saka Martinelli Jesus and Odegaard can improve on their numbers this season or at the bare minimum match last season output plus Xhaka has gone who got 7G/A Havertz expected to be his replacement and as a more natural attacking player than the former I expect him to produce a better output than Xhaka.

    Saying this I don’t think Arteta is looking to bring in a striker this window. All the reports suggest a RW to provide cover for Saka.

  10. Don’t think anyone should be automatically a starter. Jesus isn’t a striker that’s going to give you 20+ goals a season.

    1. All the talent around him at City and Pep still shuffled him to the wing before selling him for a striker that scores goals.
    2. All the talent in Brazilian team and Jesus is still mostly on the wing.

    Just because we get a striker that scores goals doesn’t mean others drop off.

    I thought team first, not players. What’s best for the club, not best for Jesus or any individual.

    Maybe we score more than 88 goals. Haaland scored 33 PL goals and helped City to title. Are his teammates, Manager, or fans offended because others scored less?

  11. Reality football is not Championship Manager computer games. Gabriel Jesus was EPL’s best player in the first 10 games. The reason why Jesus was scoring a lot in the beginning was because Arsenal was outrunning, outplaying and outperforming everyone else. They were the best pressers in the world. Then, opponents start to sit back on a low block. Crowding the midfield and double marking Saka and Martinelli. Granit Xhaka started to push more forward but he lacked the creativity to create more chances. Thus Jesus need to drop back to power the midfield more. Of course, the lack of pre season for Zinchenko made it worse as he was inconsistent and injury prone and made Jesus to drop more. Since Arsenal push more to beat the low block, opponents start to counter attack and counter press over the midfield. We got that covered. Then, Saliba got injured and we gotta revise the high line. With Rice, Havertz and Timber, we got all the solutions for last season’s problems. We don’t know what’s the potential this season. Players are getting better and managers are getting smarter.

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