‘How wrong I was’ – Arteta admits fault in failing to play youngster

Mikel Arteta has admitted that he was wrong not to play Eddie Nketiah more for Arsenal this season.

The 22 year-old has featured very little in the first team over the last two seasons, despite initially impressing when returning from his loan spell with Leeds to help the Spanish boss win the FA Cup.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having left to join Barcelona earlier in the year, and with Alexandre Lacazette out with Covid-19 recently, the young Englishman was called upon to lead the line, and while he didn’t manage to score against Southampton, he did bag himself a brace in helping to defeat Chelsea last night.

Manager Arteta has now admitted that he has been ‘unfair’ to overlook Nketiah so regularly.

“If there is one player that I have been unfair with, I think it is him,” The manager told Arsenal Media. “He has given me every right to do something different, so if Eddie hasn’t played more.”

“It’s my fault and because as a manager I have missed something or I haven’t had the courage to play him more, and today he showed me again how wrong I was.”

Regular readers may recall me being positive about Eddie Nketiah in previous posts, having seen him thoroughly impressing in pre-season before getting injured, and with him also flourishing in his limited playing time in the cup competitions this term also.

The issue we have now is that he is likely fed up with being constantly overlooked and will not be interested in staying on as our back-up to a new signing, knowing that he has already suffered heavily behind Laca and Auba previously, with the new striker likely to command an even stronger hold on the attacking role.

Even if trust was shown in Nketiah in the remaining six matches this season, I struggle to believe it will be enough to convince him that he should stay, and he will likely be the next academy graduate to flourish after leaving the club for pastures new.


VIDEO – A great win for the Gunners at Stamford Bridge and Mikel Arteta was in an upbeat mood after the game…

Tags Eddie Nketiah Mikel Arteta


  1. Well most strikers peak around 27, should we sell him, a buy back clause should be in place.

    If the coach can convince him of munites, he may likely commit to a new deal, we also have flo onloan….

    They should have game time , next season, EPL, QARABA CUP, FA CUP, EUROPE….

      1. Any club he signs for will still have to pay a small fee, per the rules for players that come through an academy.

  2. If he stays fine if he leaves fine but it’s not a critical decison. Eddie is plainly not good enough for the CL or the top PL games despite the two goals against a diabolical Chelsea. He averages 2 PL goals a season over the last three seasons. If we miss CL then yes Eddie is ideal for the early rounds of the EL, the Carabao and FA Cup and as a late sub in easy PL games. He is also quota. But he is not an important part of our rebuild.

    1. Not true. He’s good. He demonstrated it yesterday. Let’s see how he performs against United and West Ham

  3. What Arteta is more at fault for is either not getting him to sign a new contract or moving him on before he leaves for free which seems the norm these days for our club .
    He’s obviously not good enough for a top tier team yes he scored 2 last night against a poor Chelsea defence but we have seen over the last 2-3 seasons that he isn’t one to rely on when called upon .

    1. Agreed coaching staff were obviously not convinced enough to play him. Now we have no choice, but if I remember rightly he was up for sale last summer and Palace offered 12-14m which we accepted but Eddie priced himself out of the move. Whether that’s true or not he’s not the calibre of striker that Arsenal are famous for and not what we need

      1. Yep 15 million I think
        But talks broke down ,probably cause he knew that he could a nice signing on fee if he held out this season .
        Personally I would not be giving starts to players that are leaving but the squad is so thin that he’s now leading the line

        1. @Dan kit
          I say, if he’s on the payroll, let him earn his wages…Utilise him as well as any other player about to leave, until the absolute end of their contracts…IJS

        2. I know it’s an unfortunate situation bu one positive it’s a clean slate for next season at least. Hopefully Flo will get some time in the summer

  4. I am not a huge Nketiah, as a player, fan. He has far too many holes and weaknesses in his game for me.

    BUT, he is miles preferable to the completely ineffective Lac a goals and in what remains of THIS season must now play as central striker.

    He does at least have pace and a poachers eye for goal. I do not see what, if anything, LACA offers us at all. Certainly NOT goals!

  5. Good on you Mikel for admitting you got something wrong – trouble is, I don’t think you have!!!
    As Dan, once again, points out, we have another player who can/will leave for free… at least we’re not giving him away – but for me, not the answer.
    To get the equivalent of a golden boot player, £65,000,000 and £200,000 a week minimum is required and Nketiah is not that person… in my opinion.

    1. Completey agree 60-75m striker is exactly what’s needed but 200k per week should be our new ceiling and give good match and performance related bonuses. Players should be paid highly if they win you things. As it proved with Ozil and Auba and even Alexis at Utd big wages doesn’t guarantee performance

      1. Trouble is James, these kind of rare players, don’t have to agree to anything – the reported £500,000 a week city are offering Haaland is testimony to that.
        I do agree with your points regarding Ozil and Aubemeyang though – so Mikel, just like those before him, will be forced to cut their cloth accordingly.

        1. Yeah I think at the moment any player who wants incredible wages we should leave well alone the only one I would pay over 200k for is Haaland cause of his age and quality but then sign him to a 5 year deal the bigger the wage the longer the deal

  6. Great game from Eddie, but I still only see him aseither a decent Championship starter/squad player for a bottom half Premiership team. One game changes nothing!

  7. The positive is if Nketiah stays, it would make it easier for Arteta. Given Chance, Nketiah can work well as a substitute and a rotational striker. Not in epl, nketiah will go to a big clubs. So here’s hoping he stays and Arteta manages to secure his stay. But not to take away from what Nketiah did,. Both goals were absolutely poached, which he is good at. We might need such trait next season.

  8. I think Eddie had A good game yesterday. I think that could be down to a number of factors. Eddie has never been the one to set the stage on fire but,He can do a job.
    I think what we saw yesterday is what hard work on and off the pitchc an do for you. with his did speed and an improved work rate He could offer more than Alex does. If he keeps up the work rate I’m sure he could become a very good striker or forward Sunday.

  9. Wow, an Arsenal manager that says HE made a mistake. Fair play to Arteta 👍👏.

    He was offered a contract and never signed it. Would is the club supposed to do, hold a gun to his head ? Sell him people will say. It’s within a players right to refuse and see out his final year and then chose who he wants to sign for, getting a signing on fee.

  10. I think Eddie has a brilliant mentality, but not quite the skills to be a great striker – I’ve always felt arteta really wants to pick him because of the attitude he shows but unfortunately he’s had too many completely ineffective games. He’s earned the right to play the next game – if he can build on the Chelsea performance, who knows

  11. Eddie is very clinical,the problem is he can’t make chances for himself always depending on the services of his team mates which i think should be constantly provided and trust me he won’t let us down.a striker like him will shine in a club like pool and city,not a championship player like so many on here call him.

    1. Eddie clinical? Two PL goals a season a clinical striker does not make. Your right tho about Eddie needing others to create chances for him. One thing for sure the Chelsea defenders certainly set up Eddie brilliantly on both his goals. The first goal Chrstianson played Eddie in with a brilliant through ball. The second goal no fewer than 5 Chelsea defenders gave Eddie half an hour and at least 7 chances to score before Eddie scuff toe poked it over the line beyond a hoplessly out of form Mendy. But we can’t play those Chelsea defenders all season 🙂 I like Eddie as a person and like Laca he tries hard but 2 and 4 PL goals respectively all season is not enough for our senior strikers.

  12. I think there is a chance that Eddie could stay with Arsenal. It depends on what his priorities are. If he wants to play every week then he will probably need to move to a lesser team. If he wants to be in a big club then he should probably stay because he is not at the level yet that he will play much at any of the big teams, including Arsenal (and I just don’t see other big teams picking him up unless they want him as a squad player that also fills the English quota. I doubt if anyone will pay him more than whatever Arsenal has already put on the table, but maybe the signing on fee could lure him.

  13. Its one thing to admitt you are doing something wrong on the back of an massive uset victory when the fans are suddenly onside. But it is another to admitt your wrong after 3 losses against mid table opponents when the fans are screaming blue murder. Its like lambasting the the match officials and calls to scrap Var when you lose but saying Var is great and the match officials deserve reapect when you win 🙂

  14. Nketiah got a couple of gifts from Chelsea, he deserves credit for his tenacity but he still has lots more to do to prove he is a premier league striker. Good luck to him wherever he ends up but Arsenal can not rely on Eddie Nketiah as our striker.

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