Is Arteta putting too much faith in his youth project?

Is youth really the way? I don’t think so! (Opinion)

Although it has been a busy transfer window for Arsenal, I think it is safe to say that it has been rather disappointing.

No disrespect to the players that Arteta, Edu and the rest of the recruitment team have brought in, but they are not the right players to take this club forward in this moment in time.

We need experience NOT youth.

Yourh is not the answer, although it is nice to have players come from the academy, we do not need that right now!

Having youth in the team will only prolong things to get this club back where it belongs, it will take a few years at least to get this team together. But as Arsenal fans we do not have years to wait we want results now!

Speaking to ahead of the weekends clash against Norwich, Arteta  was talking about the strategy that Arsenal used in the recent transfer window stating:

“We want a club that is sustainable, that is stable financially but the same time can compete at the highest level, because we know the demands for our club is to be the best. We have to do that.” 

So yes it’s nice to see that he recognises the demands of the club and that the club has to be the best, however it’s a shame that they don’t put what they say into practice.

We all know that it’s been a disappointing transfer window and despite spending over £100 million you would think they would get players worth the price tags. But I’m sorry I just can’t understand why £50million for one player is seen as a successful transfer.

It is clear to see that the board finally did put their hands in their pockets and give the money for the transfers, although it is just not good enough!

No disrespect to any of those players but the money needs to reflect the experience and it just does not do that!

I am sure if used right and within time the new players will become a key part of our team, but right now we need a quick turnover, we need quick results and we need some quick success to get us back to where we are, we know it won’t be quick though because these things don’t happen overnight. However, for a club like Arsenal and as I said many times, to be where they are now is just not acceptable, and as an Arsenal fan I am actually fearful of the season and it hurts to feel like this, but this is the reality.

We cannot expect the youngsters to step up, it is too much pressure. But the experienced players are not stepping up either.

Yes, it is good to have a mix of seniors and youth in a team, but right now neither young or old have the right mindset it seems to get us up where we need to be!

However a little bit of positivity inside of me does say that the season will begin on Saturday and it is not too late for it to do so.

What remains to be seen though if they get the win, is whether they can really remain consistent or if it is going to be another awful rollercoaster of a season!

All I will say is Arsenal fans, if you haven’t already, brace yourselves!


Shenel Osman




  1. The youth project is his shield now to protect his glaring incompetence.

    I guarantee the “process” or “project” last summer was completely different what it is supposedly now.

    Runarsson – fail
    Willian – fail
    Partey – fail

    And now this summer its all about youth again.

    1. Partey didnt have the greatest first season but to say hes a fail is ludicrous. His motm performance at old trafford is testament to that. How far down the rabbit hole are you going to go to take a stab at Arteta.

      1. Hi Liam,

        Calling him a failure is a bit harsh, yes, but Partey has been disappointing. Mainly this is because of injuries, but looking back at his non-existent injury record before, it raises some questions what he or the club is doing different.

        I think the problem lies exactly in the fact that people can remember “that one good game at Old Trafford”. That’s about the highlight of him so far.

        We paid close 50 millin for him, and he’s our second highest paid player. His displays last season has NOT made his price tag justice.

        He still has time to remedy that though while as Willian and Runarsson are goners.

        1. DaJuhi, that’s what happens to very good footballers who come to Arsenal, they get broken and become injury prone. Maybe Thomas Partey would have held up better, if he wasn’t expected to carry Arsenal’s midfield on his own?

    2. I fully agree about this shield. He never had a youth project! His project failed terribly and now this is his fall back, buy a bunch of younger players and cry about needing more time.

      Only a fool would fall for this

      1. Preach PJ-SA…of course the narrative would have been completely different if the “youth project” was aggressively pursued from the offing, which was supposedly a crucial element of the original thought-process surrounding his appointment…the “foolish” part comes into the equation when some can’t seem to grasp the fact that this “plan” only reemerged when his attempt to rely heavily on “older” players failed miserably, thus the Willian debacle…it’s the very reason why I use the term “cherry-picking” so often, as far too many people like to skew the facts for their own purposes, which is incredibly difficult when it comes to this subject matter, as we no one can logically change the linear map provided by his very actions

      1. I dont trust Arteta either. But like it or not, it is a project, the youths bought are our players now and so we must support them.

        On arteta we have no choice but to trust him now. I would give him full support these 5 games and see how he does with his “new project”.

  2. So buying young players is not acceptable
    Buying old players is not acceptable either
    Buying someone for a big fee is also not good so no buying players in their peak
    Not buying is also not good

    So what are we suppose to do?

    1. My thoughts exactly Ackshay. Often its the same fans being critical whatever we do.
      Regardless of who we buy or don’t buy, fans often conveniently forget that they endorsed a particular approach if it’s unsuccessful.
      I am very much in favour of the current approach. We were in for a rollercoaster season regardless – you simply cannot integrate so many new players into a team, no matter how good they are currently as individuals, and expect everything to gel immediately.
      Most players with potential can expect to improve until perhaps age 27-28, so it’s much better odds on this team continuing on an upward trajectory with additions yes but without major squad adjustments over the next 4-5 years, than if we bought slightly better players than can only ever tread water for a marginal short term gain.
      With or without Arteta I see the core of an exciting future team here. And I don’t see them being solely “Arteta type” choices – they are all smart players who will flourish under any decent manager.

  3. This is a pointer to the fact that the owners are not aiming to be in competition for the league in the foreseeable future, and just aim to stabilize the team and along the way maybe win one or so local Cup, Europa is not likely, a more matured ManU even failed the last huddle.
    Maybe the owners want to build up the resources needed for a future consistent challenge for the league. The clubs winning it now are spending for immediate results, even the unexpected Leicester City won after good player were bought, though the big boys went to sleep. In other word, while the other clubs are ready to ” buy the league” so to say, no chance for The Arsenal.
    From after the 2006 Uefa CL final, the great Arsene, more highly experienced and more intelligent, introduced this model in a similar environment as now, the only success of it was, consistent Top 4. Poaching of the developed lads started, and no fund to replace type -4-type player with the league experience needed, and ….you know the story.
    Arteta Top 4 ? That is a fantasy!
    Nobody will wait for him to be ripe enough.

  4. I don’t see any problems with building from youth and creating a solid spine to carry the club forward. I just don’t trust the people involved in the process starting from the Kroenkes and their lack of passion down to Edu and Arteta with their poor judgement.

  5. Manager relied on his senior players despite terrible form – “ah he hates the kids, he doesn’t like them”
    “Our kids are no good with him”
    “He hates Saliba, Douzi, ESR, Willock, Nelson, and he hates Martinelli”
    “He will kill the growth of our kids”

    Manager giving his young players the opportunity to step up and show what they’re capable of and is okay with the kids stumbling and falling as long as they get back up –

    “Ah he will take us to the championships”
    “Youths won’t do it”
    “Why is relying on the kids so much? ”
    “Clearly no plans and we’ve been fed the youth pitch before and we know how it ends”


    1. Yes Eddie, yes!

      I’ve held my peace here for a long long time but this article has been the straw that broke the camels back.

      Are Arsenal currently in a bad position? Undoubtedly yes, but relegation candidates… eh no. I was never an Arteta fan but the end of season run last season won me over somewhat. I’m very happy to give him to Christmas to see what happens.

      I back the youth project as long as the club continue to invest SMARTLY in the coming windows, but more than that I back THE ARSENAL, thick or thin, Arteta or whoever.

      1. Agree Nemesis – unfortunately because Arteta bought them they are being tarred with the same brush as him – the dislike of Arteta is such that fans cannot see them as individuals capable of prospering under any manager. I see that as the underlying reason for them being written off, not their inexperience in the EPL.

        1. This what I don’t get. If you think Arteta is useless and going to be gone then you should be happy we bought multiple young players that another coach could work with and mould rather than 1 or 2 experienced players specific to Arteta’s vision. Kind of a no brainer but no everything Arsenal do is negative apparently.

    1. Actually we’re are consumers so have ever right to complain when the product is faulty ,which is what Arsenal is right now .
      MY opinion ofc

      1. Are you so sure it’s faulty right now though Dan? If I was I’d be with you 100%, but I’m not.

        Brentford was a disaster but I understand the reasons. Chelsea and City are two of the best clubs in the world currently and let’s be honest, 5 nil was Xhakas doing not Arteta.

        I’ll stand with you if we continue to disappoint but I want to see these new guys play together first. It’s our Arsenal, let’s give them a chance.

          1. Regarding Man City ,oFC they are a great team but let’s not forget the spuds done them over with a new manger who had only been at the club for a matter of weeks and without Kane .

      2. Not the point Dan – do consumers complain before they have even tried the product? We aren’t talking about Arteta, we talk of 6 new players, but too many are saying they cannot succeed just because Arteta chose them. We are saying at least give the players a chance to show what they can do.

        1. Guy
          The product as played 3 games already we now sit bottom of the league ,only one of the 6 players we signed has not played ,so I dont see how we haven’t seen the product yet .
          And my point was as a whole not just the new signings the club is faulty and new signings are not going to fix that ,there is only one way around this and that is getting rid of the problem.

          1. The six signings starts in the league this year

            Ramsdale – 0/3
            Tavares – 0/3
            Tomiyasu – 0/3
            Ode – 1/3
            White – 1/3
            Lokonga – 2/3

            Total 6 signings starts this year over 3 games? 4. Seriously 4 starts in 3 games between the 6 of them! Clearly we’ve seen the product haven’t we Dan? Not to mention the two expensive signing from last year Gabriel/Partey also played 0/3 each.

            Just making things up.

  6. I actually have a feeling that this is different from the Wenger youth project of the past.
    At least we have youths with wealth of experience not like Wilshire Ramsey era where we buy inexperienced youths and rely on them

    1. Came on to say much the same. It’s not like we bought a bunch of inexperienced 18 year olds. White, Lokonga, Odegaard, Tomiyasu and Ramsdale are all in the international set up for teams likely going to the World Cup.

      I really liked this window so the writer lost me after his first sentence.

    2. WHAT??????

      The great Arsene youth project that played the most beautiful football the world has ever seen and delivered champions league football season after season?

      Let’s not compare the great Arsene genius to whatever what Arteta is doing and failing repeatedly because Arteta is not qualified to even serve Wenger tea so to compare them is ludicrous.

  7. It isn’t a bad idea to put trust in talented youth players. But it requires a lot of patience and believe in a good manager to get a desired result from them. Football owners and fans are rarely patient this days for such process and project. The Ayax team of the early 2000 coached by Van Gual and beat the almighty AC Milan in Champions league final were 90% youths. The football market then wasn’t as expensive as now, Most club owners and investors want returns for their efforts now our days. It is yet to be seen if Kroenke and Joash can be really patient with Arteta.

  8. Nothing wrong with complaining if you are capable of presenting a viable , alternative solution which you have failed to even attempt.Snide comments are par for the course from many on this site, but very few have the football knowledge and hands on experience of the professional game to offer constructive comments as to how we can improve the fortunes of our Club, other than to suggest sacking the Manager and his support team.Any new Manager will have to work with a group of players ,which in my view is stronger than the squad inherited by Emery and Arteta .With major injury problems behind him hopefully, Arteta simply must turn this ship around in the short term, failing which his exit,and that of the Technical Director is entirely justifiable and appropriate.My genuine hope is for him to succeed, because of the positive impact for the Club and fans as a whole.Stability is very important , but stability without a measure of success demonstrates a lack of ambition which cannot be tolerated.

  9. “Arteta relying on youth” is a false statement. He failed our youth, Gouendouzi, Saliba, Mavropanos, Willock and others by binning them off because he didn’t buy them. Now he has to have better players than them because of his decisions with them. His players have to be better, he has made the transition and there is no time or excuses, he has used it all up. GET ON WITH IT!!!!!!!

    1. No proof he “binned them off because he didn’t buy them”. Guendo has been a head case everywhere, Saliba is still our player and we shall see, Mavropanos is still developing and is not yet to our standard I like him so maybe a mistake we shall see, Joe had a great run, no one bought him he was an academy player who we got good money for.

      1. Where is your proof that Guendo has been a headcase everywhere? You seem to berate Reggie for having an opinion do pet me ask you proof for that. Does english Mustafi ball watching White measure up to your standard? Cuz frankly he does not for me at 50 million.

        1. Sid we literally bought Guendo on the cheap because he was no longer allowed to train with the 1st team at Lorient for 3 months having fallen out with the manager. Sound familiar?

      2. And that much of an head case, he was called up to the FRENCH NATIONAL squad. Gouendouzi isnt a head case, Roy Keene is a head case and one of the best midfielders i have ever seen!!!!!!!!!

        1. Hi Reggie

          I think you are “over egging it” with Gouendouzi and Willock, being a lost to our club. They was constantly criticised for being useless on this very site…” buying cheap french players” willock is a poor academy player” etc. It happens all the time, youth players leaving clubs only to be great players some day, Pogba being one.

          Also it could be that technically, they are better players, but they don’t have the right mentality? I mean you would not put a Porsche spark plug in a Transit van 🤔

          Come on chin up…

      3. I think calling Guenda a head case is a below the belt shot at his Luscious locks!

        Don’t be Jel and embrace the Gel!


        1. no way, I used to get lost sorting who as who when Guendo and Luiz were on the pitch together in close proximity. Two side show Bob’s. For proof re : Guendo, German manager didn’t want to keep him after his loan over there plus actions in the PL, taunting, and trouble in Qatar.

  10. Lets just watch our game against Norwich. Too many people fighting each other for having opinions and demanding justifications for having a different opinion. MA has started horribly, it is majorly his fault, but so is it the players and the ambitionless Edu’s fault who after 3 years of failure says we dont have a target lol. Season has started, Madam Shenel, we are behind already. Based on all things considered I think we will lie somewhere between 7th to 9th, with a decent enough cup runs but no wins. White and Gabriel needs to work, same with Take and KT on the wingbacks otherwise in search of more attacking we might shoot out are defensive work.. also maybe MA needs to coach his midfield to different tactics than just pass pass pass and cross. Partey and Lokonga may work but everytime the coach tries something new, I feel we always come with less preparation so this time hopefully players are well drilled into whatever the tactics are. I remember our last away win against ManCity or something, AW changed his famous pass the ball into net tactic to one of counters and won 0-2. Also earlier MA also seemed to drill the players well but this is a problem I observed since last season.
    That and I hope Rolls Royce doesnt become a budget Volkswagen and Partey does not become Diaby. And our dear manager does not turn out like AVB..

  11. Who will history remember as being right and who will be forever marked as wrong?
    Which side will win the dark side who see a future of un-rivalled power within their grasp if only sacrifice can be made and morals set aside or the light side supporting ambassador Arteta, standing by the club no matter what because of resolute and unquestioning allegiance to the force and cause.

    Time will, of course, reveal all.


  12. This rebuilding process arteta dreams about is like raising 11,plus children and raising them them all to be doctors.. Will never work.

    Arsenal has been rebuilding since Wenger, unfortunately every season he lost a major player and failed to replace.. Yes he’s rebuilding and vision was top notch.. Arteta the rookie cant come close.. A season or twos time, with the way saka and Esr play, city will easily offer them 300k to jump ship… You expect them to turn this down?.. What now happens.. Prior to this lots of players will be unsettled and wish to leave etc, you’re dealing with humans with up and down emotions, bound by contracts.. They won’t play for arsenal forever.. Also times have changed.. While your building even teams like Aston villa etc are also building, but better.. Gone are the days only barca and the likes could poach arsenal players.. These days even villa can poach them., no team is sitting idle and watching you rebuild mikel.. Gone are those days..

    Its the fans that will suffer because the way mikel and edu sound… Arsenal has no real targets to achieve in 2 or so seasons.. The money spent wasn’t well spent at all.

  13. A reality seeker would not ask “youth or not youth” but specifically WHICH younger players or NOT so young players will improve us!

    To go only by a blanket description of “youth” is, ironically, what my late parents generation – not my own parents fortunately – did when discussing CERTAIN individidual humans, ie put them into “categories”!

    I expect most of you caneasily read between the prejudiced lines of what I am saying .

    Not a good read in todays world, as in general, I loathe generalisations. Spot my deliberate irony!

    1. BTW, I freely admit to at times being prone to using generalisations myself in SOME situations,but I sometimes catch myself doing it and then say “you idiot, what the hell do you think you are doing! At your advanced age you OUGHT to know better”. Other times I even fail to realise I am doing it. BAD!

      It is still wrong to generalise though and wiser folk know that and try to avoid doing it whenever we can.

  14. I pretty much feel the same way you do Shanel, I for one I’m hungry for some immediate success from Impact signings. We really needed to show that those previous seasons were a fluke and we’re back with a bang but our most recent recruitment have shown to some of us that’s it’s Arteta’s last resort strategy.

    Yesterday though I chose to look at it another way, remember Ajax 2018? I’m choosing to believe that in as much as these incomings are still for the future, we could become a force like Erik Ten Haag’s team which featured the smooth mixture of young and hungry talents plus very little gifted but old and experienced players. I think their average age then was 24.
    The only issue that i can see arising from this is, can MIKEL ARTETA PULL SOMETHING REMOTELY SIMILAR OUTTA THESE GUYS? Can he get them to be dauntless, adventurous and Trophy hungry.

  15. I’m all for the youth project. My biggest disappointment is that Xhaka’s still here gumming up the works. I would be looking forward to the development of this team, but with Xhaka still around it’s going to be 2 steps back for every forward.

  16. DaJuhi, that’s what happens to very good footballers who come to Arsenal, they get broken and become injury prone. Maybe Thomas Partey would have held up better, if he wasn’t expected to carry Arsenal’s midfield on his own?

  17. I don’t see our foundations being put in place -as a bad idea, it depends on -if they got the right man for each position.

    The last part of our foundation to improve on is now the spine up further forward from CB’s.

    Ask yourself -Would the money spent have been better spent on the other part of our foundation. We hadn’t the money to do it all at once, so we chose to consolidate two players for each position with first team and long term reasoning in mind.

    Would the money have been better spent on the pieces we have yet to fill, then waiting a season to do mostly what we’ve done in this window.

    Priority signings, they’ve seen the priority places a bit differently than what most fans felt were priority. You also have to take into consideration how the market was a bit different to what we were used to.

    Edu mentioned the foundations, and you can see what he meant with the age profile and us now having at least two players for each position. Time will tell if it was the best of two decisions to choose from, that’s how I see it, as I’m expecting a striker and a CM to arrive next time round.

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