How can Arteta keep all the Arsenal strikers happy this season?

It seems very strange that Mikel Arteta didn’t managed to cut back on the number of strikers in the Arsenal squad in the summer, and he currently has our captain Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nketiah, Martinelli and Balogun all wanting to get a piece of the action as centre forward.

But with no European football, the opportunities for the backups to Aubameyang are few and far between. It is telling when you think that our top scorer from last season, Lacazette, has only made 2 substitute appearances in the League in this campaign so far.

Eddie Nketiah has only seen action in the League Cup, but that could simply be a product of him refusing to take a wage cut to move to Crystal Palace in the summer, and is now aiming to leave for nothing in the summer. He may have signed his own death warrant there for this season.

The 20 year-old Gabriel Martinelli seems much more promising anyway and started our first two games this season when there were very few other options available, but has also appeared in the League Cup and has less reason to complain than Lacazette.

But the season is long and Arteta has told the young Brazilian that he needs to be a little patient and relax a little. “We sometimes forget his age, what he’s done and where he is.” Arteta said. “We need to try to help him to maintain that balance because you know you can generate frustration that, in my opinion, comes out of a not very realistic diagnosis. You need time to do that.”

And then we have Folarin Balogun, who was promoted to the first team this season. After an awful introduction in our first game against Brentford, the youngster was quickly sent back to the U23s, where he quickly regained his confidence. So far he has scored 6 goals in 5 games for the reserves, but at least he gets to play, while Martinelli and Lacazette just have to sit on the bench and hope they get a few minutes from Arteta.

It must be tough sitting and watching Aubameyang doing very little on the pitch – and knowing they could do better.

How can Arteta keep all these strikers happy this season? Should he rotate more often?
Dan Smith stars in this week’s The Just Arsenal Show ahead of the Crystal Palace match

Tags strikers


    1. Firstly we should be in a European competition which we aren’t thanks to another 8th place finish.

      Secondly we should have sold at least 1 and probably 2 of the 5, we didn’t.

      Thirdly benched players lose value by not playing + contracts are running down and not being renewed when they should be. If you don’t want a player, sell them FFS

      Reality is our squad is too big for the amount of games we have, poor management and refusal to sell players when the opportunity arises has led us to this point.

      1. I bet Arsenal tried to sell Lacazette and Nketiah in the summer. But no club was interested in paying 10+ M for each, knowing they could sign the strikers for free next year

        1. I agree and thats my exact point. Take whatever you can while you can, they aren’t part of the clubs plans anyway.

          – save on the wages of a player that’s not being utilised

          – get a bit of cash in while you can

          – increases the playing chances for players that are part of future plans

          – reduces possibilities of potential disruptions by unhappy players

  1. Unless he improves dramatically shortly, Auba should be left on the bench .Arteta needs to be seen to be fair and make substitutions earlier as circumstances dictate.To bring the likes of Lacca, Martinelli and Pepe on in the latter stages of a match is of !little value to these players and the team as a whole.To have a chance of being effective any player needs at least 20mins to make a worthwhile impression.I would hope Arteta will take such actions regardless of the status of the player/s being substituted.If they are not performing on the grass, they ought to be substituted.

    1. Agree 100%.
      Arteta can sub off Auba when he’s not producing, no reason Martinelli can’t get 15-20 minutes at the end of games.

      Players need actual game minutes, practice pitch and simulations are not enough. Sub appearances are crucial to getting match sharpness.

  2. Any two out of Auba, Pepe, Martinelli, Lacazette and Folarin has to be sold.

    If Nelson has all the opportunities that Pepe has had playing wing forward, Arsenal FC would be in a better position.

    Pepe and Auba are world class players, but not arch typical premier league wingers.

    Our coaches so far are not innovative enough, else, if given game time, it is default for Bellerin / Nketiah / Nelson / AMN and Saka to win more games from wing forward position for Arsenal than Pepe /Auba/Martinelli.

    Arteta has to desist from playing players that are more than 178cm tall as winger attackers else he will continue to have a hit and miss result. Consistency would be hard to come by.

    1. How dare you include *martinelli* and not nketiah? As far as I am concerned Arsenal can sell all their strikers but martinelli is untouchable.

    2. Martinelli???? Insane. Throw away our future for the sake of the past? No way. Martinelli is the future

      1. tbh Sean I’d keep both although I think Eddie is set on leaving. Unconvinced GM will make it but he needs game time – enough to settle in as he seems overly anxious, and then time to grom. Won’t get enough with Auba still being the golden boy.

  3. @admin

    the article Arsenal vs Palace a must win game has a broken link, it wont open and gives an error.

    can you please fix it

  4. like I said in my comments regarding the mishandling of the Mavro situation, this amateur hour, novice administrative triumvirate has completely shite the bed when it comes to most things asset management-related…minus a few depth purchases this summer, it’s clear that there’s no real definitive plan when it comes to the handling of player contracts, from a wage, term and assurances perspective, or the timely offloading of players, who clearly have no place here moving forward and only stifle the development of those waiting in the wings….to make matters worse, not only have they kept players in their respective final contractual years, they likewise didn’t loan out those more youthful assets, vying for the same positions, knowing full-well they would hardly see the pitch, minus some sort of totally unforeseen circumstances where multiple injuries occurred at the same exact time…this is certainly a counter-intuitive approach when one considers that this is supposed to be a “rebuild” of sorts, where the matters discussed above are of vital importance

    1. Here’s a list of players that have been mishandled, from an asset management standpoint, if one was to believe that Arteta/Edu had a defintive plan from the offing:
      (in no particular order)

      Auba(especially considering the negative tactics)

      enough said full-stop

  5. it’s clear we cannot keep going with Laca and Auba as our main strikers after this season. Their time is up as far as I’m concerned. Martinelli probably needs a loan to recapture what we know he’s capable of. Arteta just doesnt seem to like him as well which doesn’t help. ST has to be the priority in summer. Glad we did not get Laturo. I’m happy to wait to see what strikers look good this coming season and choose from them. Obviously cant get world class players like Haaland lol.

  6. Another example of poor player management by Arteta. Lacazet and the captain should have been dropped long time ago. Very promising Martinelli and Enketia should be Arsenal’s main strikers.
    Just like the Brazilian Goal keeper martinez should have replaced Leno last year.

  7. Another example of poor player management by Arteta. Lacazet and the captain should have been dropped long time ago. Very promising Martinelli and Enketia should be Arsenal’s main strikers.
    Just like the Brazilian Goal keeper martinez should have replaced Leno last year.

    1. Well Lacazette was dropped, but he’s quite literally the only forward we have who’s played well with any degree of consistency over the past year and a bit. It’s crazy to me how we’re so happy to toss him out because auba used to be better and some of the youngsters might be better in the future. For the here and now, we really need to start playing Laca because he’s the best we have and gives us the best chance of winnings matches.
      Yes, try to bring in some of the youngsters over the course of the season, but we can’t rely on them until they’ve demonstrated they can be relied on. Until that happens, Laca should be starting, and honestly Auba should be on the bench at best because he’s proven he cannot be relied on anymore – how much longer are we going to persist with him? (Watch him play well tonight lol)

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