Far too early to get over excited with the Arsenal youngsters

There is no denying that the youngsters have done brilliantly on the mini-tour of the USA and I am as guilty as anyone for getting very excited over their performances but some perspective is required before we get carried away.

Eddie Nketiah has done very well, he has scored three goals and done everything expected of him. Joe Willock and James Olayinka have both put in stellar performances in the midfield, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka have not hit the heights of their fellow youngsters but have shown glimpses of their potential.

Robbie Burton, Tyreece John-Jules, Zech Medley and Dominic Thompson all did what was asked and of course, Gabriel Martinelli has shown us what talent he possesses.

So, we have a great bunch of kids and there is a good chance one or two of them will have a breakthrough season but we have to take into consideration the types of games we are playing, the opposition and of course the fact that almost every pre-season our youngsters impress.

I remember last year there was Emile Smith Rowe and what happened with him?

Don’t get me wrong, the kids are doing brilliant but I just do not see many of them getting into the first team on a regular basis once the season kicks off.

These kids will not drive us into the Champions League, these are not an Ajax bunch and the reality is that they are not the answer to the underlying issues with the team.

They will no doubt help, Willock looks special and I have a fondness for Olayinka but can you see Emery picking them ahead of Xhaka, Torreira and even Mattéo Guendouzi, I cannot.

Will Nketiah or Martinelli shift Lacazette or Aubameyang? And what of Nelson and Saka?

Emery just does not come across as the sort of manager that will regularly blood the youngsters in the Premier League, for some reason he has more confidence in the likes of Xhaka and dare I say, Mustafi.

So, yes, I am excited watching these kids play but I am realistic to know that it is far too early to get over-excited with them and I am very doubtful we will see much of them once the season kicks off in earnest.


  1. fair enough assessment of the youngsters … but i am seriously worried about a manager who has faith in xhaka and mustafi … confirms my belief that emery will only last 2 seasons at emirates as he lacks the football vision to get us back to the top … need quality in midfield centre and left side … and thats the minimum needed

  2. After seeing the tinkering he did during last season, even when we were on unbeaten runs, I do see him using these players.

    He had no compunction dropping anyone and these players have certainly taken their opportunity to shine.

    look back at the young players we have blooded at early ages…if they are good enough then play them.

    After all, “the class of 92” certainly proved you can win things with youngsters.

    1. Joe Willock has everything that Xhaka lacks right. He has been showing the class and composure since last season that anyone with eyes and a brain can see he is ready NOW,,,,

      1. Both don’t have excellent dead ball skill and accurate long shots

        Willock’s ball control is better than Xhaka’s, but we need to see his abilities in free kicks and set-pieces first before starting him ahead of Xhaka

        1. You just said Xhaka doesnt have great dead ball skills so why would we need to see Willock’s deadball skills first? Xhaka is a liability.

  3. Emery likes to heavily rotate squads going on his previous form with us and other clubs so I can see him using our youngsters a fair bit this season…. if not in the league then certainly in cup ties and early europa league fixtures

    Much will depend on who else we buy in before the window shuts and which formation he decides to run with I guess but the promotion of Freddie pretty much guarantees we will be using our youngsters quite a lot this season imo

  4. A gooner from Uganda thinks that that midfield of xhaka is doubtful so if were are to performe well Emery should think of giving our young stars chances but not that chance which i saw at crystal palaces’ game ELNENY en Guendouzi in the midfield he should do like this: Martinelli and AUBA, TORREIRA,WILLOCK &XHAKA, NKETIAH&LACA OR NELSON In the RW&SAKA LW Thats my opnion
    we don’t want to see our Young stars leaving like GNABRY&…..

  5. The season is still very early

    I guess we won’t have to wait

    Long me worries is why there

    Isn’t any transfers yet. I sense

    They are up to something fishy

    But fingers crossed

  6. OT: last coments from emery worried me. It seems like we would wait until CP low down zahas price, freezing everton operation in the meantime. I have seen that movie before and the end is arsenal having nothing at all than the little money we had to spend standing in clubs pockets, or with panic buys (because another club would go for everton). To me everton makes a lot more sense than zaha. Everton could do wonders here and then we could sell him to a big club (yes, because we are not a big club anymore, not in EPL, not in Europe) for a lot of money and invest that money in new good players, like liverpool has been make it last seasons, and look at where they are

  7. We need to make sure that:

    Mustafi stays away from starting XI
    Xhakas appearances are limited to small cup games
    Özil will be played as long as he performs but as soon as he starts sulking, use Ceballos/Iwobi/Mkhi as CAM

  8. We’ve been waiting for iwobi to shine for a long time
    I’m all
    For blooding the youngsters as long as Mustafi and Xhaka dont start
    Any team with those two will fail

  9. If Emery uses 3-4-2-1 again, he should use Willock in the middle because he is better in controlling the tempo than Xhaka

    He had also better start Nelson, Saka or Iwobi ahead of Ozil and Mkhitaryan, because those old no 10s are not wingers:

    ………..Mustafi . Sokratis . Monreal
    Maitland-Niles . Willock . Torreira . Kolasinac
    ……….Nelson …………….. Saka

  10. Love this stat:

    Arsenal with Holding
    12 wins 4 draws 0 losses -0.9 goals conceded

    Without holding
    9 wins 1 draw 6 losses – 1.4 goals conceded

    Same could be said about Ramsey. Once he went down at the end of the season so did the squad. We need a CB(or at least a healthy fit Holding) and a proper box to box CM.

    1. So what? Mustafi had a record like that when he first came to Arsenal, then it all went downhill fast. I don’t know why so many ppl think Holding is going to be our savior. Has never completed a full season for us and has played a total of 31 EPL matches.

      1. I think you misunderstood my comment. I do not think that Holding is the answer to all of our prayers. My point was that we NEED a competent CB. Whether Holding is up for the challenge or it’s a new signing we NEED our defense sorted much more than we need a winger.

        1. Our main problem last season was the lack of wingers. The team was out of balance with no direct way of penetrating the opposition.

          We were too narrow and spent too much time passing around the opposition. When we got frustrated, we committed more bodies forward and use our fullbacks to supplement as wingers to stretch the opposition.

          Unfortunately, when we lost the ball with midfielders and fullbacks pushed forward, we became more vulnerable to counterattacks, especially with average defenders.

          Fixing our defense is not just about defenders. It’s also about keeping the shape of the team

  11. Xhaka is the one who worries me….he’s too casual , gives the ball away cheaply and is slow. He has the occasional long shot but that’s about all, I realise Emery knows more about his players than me but I really don’t see what he sees in him to pick him week in week out.

  12. Indeed. Topic about youth, WE have an inhouse replacement for Ramsey and more on what Willock provides.

    We have one of best youth stystem, attracting them for me History in bringing youth to first team for over a décade. Thx to Mr Wenger!

    But we do not for a long minute as incapable of providing proper balance in team between youth and top players they need to grow around, at Every part of thé field.

    With Kos at top form, you dont need Mustafi but Holding next to him, Always, not as a sub of Mustafi.

    Why have xhaka, Miki, if we have Nelson and Willock?

    Why have Auba & Laca or one injured and still not play Nkhetia all year and ever as many leaving club and can show top display as Nelson and co…Ngarby came as one of Germany top young players, but WE couldnt play him enough and in accurate position as Ox who i see blow up this year. But Mr Wenger started them early but had to then mix it up with experienced average players because in a cheap club…

    All these kids should leave before to be waisted as Bielik, 22 years old, and as Holding he had these average players in front of him.

    Because we are a cheap club, get 2 average players in positions needed. Instead of 1 top player in one top position each year as Red does, adding yuth too. Spurs also took our model; We are simply ridiculous in term of exécutives and board, owner first.

    If i or you do own Arsenal, you would sign Koulibaly and 2 L&Rbacks as needed, a winger, a beast CM. Youngsters handle the rest,thry not young, more talented than older ones but no play Time,they precisly need. Look at Ajax, Monaco and many teams, young players blowing up in a Season when get a chance. If you dont play Mbappe, you cant see what he got!

    Loan these kids and good club where they can play over 30 games a year as Nelson and co… Dont just have them, not develloping which takes to play a game each week. Saïd it; Nelson with another Season in Hoffenheim be playing 40 games as much he did good; worth over 60millions then, Sancho like. But not if Sancho stayed; he’ll be as

  13. Too early, but I’d way rather see some of these young players get a chance over finished has-beens like Miki and overall bad players like Mustafi.

  14. Everyone just says everything the way he thinks he knows it and is right, criticising this person and praising this person. The thing with these young players is that:

    1.The fact that they’re young makes it easy to praise them, cos it’ll be like they’re too young to be playing this well. What a 26 year old will do will get more praise when it’s done by a 19 year old. Remember when guendouzi first came, his performances were really impressive cos he was young. a couple of weeks later, we started preferring the much maligned Xhaka to him again.

    2. It’s just preseason, that fact matters a lot. it’s easier to do some things once than to be consistent with it. Remember Mavropanos against Lukaku? Remember Holding and Chambers when they first arrived, even this Mustafi.

    The point is, it’s pretty early to be saying who should start or not due to preseason performances

  15. The only player that can genuinely make it to the top is Nketiah. The rest are just loved and hyped by English fans but they sincerely have no chance.

  16. The youngsters are ready to shine. If we don’t play them and develop them ourselves we have no future, since we can’t buy ready-made top talent.

    We lost Welbeck and need another striker. When we play both Laca and Auba in the same game we need a striker on the bench. We have no money to buy a new striker, so why would NKetiah not be our third striker at 20 year of age?

    Wilock also looks ready and in the current backline, Chambers has a right to play based on ability IMO.

    We have two poor wide players in Mikhi and Iwobi and clearly need back up for them (if not replacements) so Saka and Nelson would not be a drop from Miki or Iwobi or at least should get minutes.

    If we think foreign teams or lower league teams are better at developing our youngsters we should look for the proof of that and worry about our ability to develop our own talent.

    The Ajax model is not based at loaning out their young talent and they are quite successful.

    The only way to develop these youngsters with leaps and bounces is to give them minutes and have them train with our first team and be developed in our own mold (if we have one 😉

  17. Calling all Chinese clubs, please dig deep and buy 3 of our 4 top earners ozil, mkhitaryan and kolasinac. European sides please dig deep for mustafi, xhakha,elneny and koscielny. Jenkinson to Palace

    All we need then is Alves Cisse Tierney to strengthen our back 4. Ceballos on loan and a left winger.

    Imagine this 433 at weekends and the second one midweek.

    Bellerin holding cisse Tierney
    Guendozi torreira ceballos
    Aubameyang Lacazette zaha

    Alves Sokratis mavropanos nacho
    Smith-rowe chambers willock
    Nelson nketiah saka

    8 out 4 in plus Saliba for the year after.

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