Hello lovely Arsenal family, what a time to be a Gooner, a controlled, patient, and mature performance against Wolves means we are 5 points clear at the top, MIND THE GAP! As we look forward to the World cup and the effect it might have on the players, I can’t help but think about my darling Arsenal.
Much has been said about us and our title challenge
, many so-called pundits have analyzed and identified our most important players – players that, if we were to lose them, would really derail our top 4 hopes, let alone the title challenge, as we do not have capable replacements for them. If I start naming them, I might eventually call the entire first eleven, so I focus on our backup striker; Eddie Nketiah.
If we have our current starting eleven on the pitch and you take a look at the bench, you would realize that Nketiah is the most exciting option, if you want to push it further due to recent performances, you would probably include Fabio and Nelson, but we are talking about players that can really make a difference off the bench, can Nelson consistently prove that what happened against Forest was not a fluke? Fabio Vieira, although he assisted the first goal against Wolves, still has a lot to improve, which leaves us with only Nketiah as the first option if we are chasing a game. Fabio would not have featured against Wolves if Xhaka was well in my opinion.
From the last two pre-seasons, and the tail end of last season, there has been a notable improvement in Nketiah’s game. He was also highly prolific in the Carabao cup, playing with swagger and confidence but it was not enough for Arteta to show some confidence in him. He eventually got his chance at the end when Lacazette got injured, and he was so good Lacazette could not get his place back. He proved to be a reliable outlet at the focal point of our attack, his form earned him a new 100k per-week contract. If we are being honest, most fans also supported the move as we do not want to see him leave for free.
To be fair to Nketiah, he continued to show he might be a reliable backup in his cameos earlier in the season, however, he seemed to have dropped off as the season went on and this has led me to question what could have gone wrong with our number 14? could it be inferiority complex or lack of confidence?; personally, I think the former led to the latter. I think it would be unfair to just conclude and say he is not good enough, as I am sure some are already doing.
If you are Nketiah, seeing how integral Jesus has been to our success so far, you may begin to doubt yourself as a player, these players are humans and they have feelings too. It is a different thing when you watch Lacazette and feel like “I can do better than this guy” and then watch a brilliant all-round animal in Jesus who has injected great dynamism and confidence into our attack, thereby raising the level of the team, you start asking yourself serious questions.
The truth is, fans are sometimes unfair when they criticize our players. An example is Kieran Tierney. I was surprised at the level of disrespect thrown at the player because of the arrival of Zinchenko, suddenly he is not good enough to play for us anymore. I feel the same treatment is being shown to Nketiah, who I think only needs a run of games and the confidence of his manager.
Now, to be honest, I always thought Nketiah would be an able backup for Jesus before the season began, but seeing as Jesus has completely transformed our attack, I now doubt if Nketiah can remotely replicate that. All our attackers are thriving around Jesus, everyone is contributing goals and assists. The quartet of Jesus, Saka, and Martinelli are well on course to produce at least 10 goals each this season, and I put that down to the impact of Jesus, even Partey and Xhaka are not left out.
That said, it does not mean Nketiah is no longer useful, I believe he can influence our games in his own way. If Martinelli is injured, Jesus can efficiently play LW and Nketiah plays CF, he and Jesus can switch positions during the game to a devastating effect making our attack fluid.
Nketiah is a talented and equally hard-working player who, in my opinion, is the best finisher on the team right now, he needs the support and confidence of his manager and fans. The wise choice is to support him, because there is no way we are getting a good striker in January, the best we can do is add a winger and a midfielder. Nketiah is one of our own and we have to support him.
What do you think?