Is Balogun ruining his image with Arsenal fans?

Is Balogun Ruining His Image? By Dan Smith

Some gooners have translated Folarin Balogun’s social media activity this week as the latest sign he won’t be signing a new contract. The striker has removed any mention of Arsenal off his Instagram account.

He also recently decided straight after a Gunners defeat would be a timely moment to post a video of him scoring. It’s believed his manager read this a certain way which has led to training with the first team stopped.

Sending cryptic messages on the internet is not the most mature response to not being in the first team – but we are talking about a 19-year-old.

It suggests the teenager is be being poorly advised, with Arteta hinting in the past it’s not necessarily the player who is the stumbling block in negotiations.

It seems strange that at a time where both Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are up for sale this summer, Balogun seems further away from signing a new deal than ever before.

Reports have always stressed the issue between all parties is not a financial problem, more the striker wanting to know there is a realistic chance of playing time. Well if Eddie and/or Laca were to depart that’s your pathway right there.

If that’s not enough assistance for the youngster then I agree with the club’s stance. Unless we have the next Messi in your academy, zero kids should expect any kind of guarantee.

There’s a famous story of us missing out on a certain Ibrahimović because Arsene Wenger didn’t like the attitude of the youthful Swede who refused a trial. That’s the exception to the rule.

It’s good that any player has self-belief, but you can’t expect promises based on your record in Under 23 football.

On this occasion, we have to trust the manager. It’s not like Arteta (or Arsenal themselves) are shy in giving youngsters a chance. If Saka and Smith Rowe were trusted to start in the Premiership, why wouldn’t Balogun be?

So, if we know a manager is open to playing you however old you are, clearly all the reports are high on the player and clearly there is room for him in the squad, there must be another issue.

The danger is; has the young man been told by too many people how great he will be that it’s gone to his head?

This is why it’s so important a young man surrounds himself with the right people. In today’s era someone not even an adult can become rich before he’s even kicked a ball.

The best ever players in the world at the same age had self-belief but there is a difference between confidence and arrogance.

Arteta has shown right or wrong that he has an attention of detail when it comes to players and isn’t afraid to wash hands of individuals if he thinks they don’t match his expectations.

From day one our manager has spoken of the values of the club and how he won’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t follow his ethos.

While it would be wrong to write there has been any attitude problems, the forward is starting to create a reputation with our fan base which might come back to haunt him.

That’s what I mean by having the wrong people around him because I don’t think that was his intention.

I think his hope was that gooners would put pressure on the club to not let someone predicted to be a future star leave for nothing.

Fans though can see through this kind of thing.

At this point, he’s putting massive pressure on himself if he does start for us.

If he moved elsewhere, he puts a huge spotlight on himself given how he’s making such a noise.

He won’t be the first academy graduate who moves elsewhere for first team football but at this rate he’s raising expectation to an unreasonable level.

While they might criticise the club for letting again allowing a contract to be run down, very few would expect any club with serious ambition to be dictated to by a teenager.

If Arsenal have offered a fair salary and assured the player opportunities that should be enough.

Be Kind In The Comments



  1. Arteta keeps saying they have held very positive talks but still nothing signed by balogun i would be very surprised if he does sign a new contract espec after taking off all images of Arsenal from his account he should of got more first team game time and in my opinion he is better than Neketiah in every department so think he will go on to be a success whether he stays or goes somewhere else good luck to him either way!

    1. Lol, he’s Better than Nketiah in every department? Did you watch Nketiah play for the U23 ? Just an innoc question though because I noticed a whole lot of fan keep jumping on the hype Balogun train just because it isn’t working for Nketiah.
      I’m asking those who clearly watches both play football to come out and make their reasons known, not those who watched 15 minutes of Balogun Europa stint and YouTube goals.

      Nketiah as an U23 player was a better player, dribbler, passer and striker. The boy was touted as the next Ian Wright, even Ian Wright himself personally became his mentor who was helping him grow as a player. Then he gets disrespect this way because Balogun is currently doing what he did for the U23? Lol.. I get the fact that destiny ain’t same, it didn’t work out for Nketiah doesn’t meant it won’t work out for Balogun, but the issue is writing off who Nketiah was as a player and saying he’s not good a bit or Balogun is better. What’s the proof that Balogun is better?

      1. Have to agree eddie, while I don’t follow the u23s that closely, Eddie has a terrific goal record in the u23s (arsenal and england) better than baloguns if memory serves, plus we cant really make the comparison as people are judging eddie by first team performances and balogun by u23s which is a totally different kettle of fish, impossible comparison to make.

        1. U23 form means little. You can look great there and struggle to make the step up and vice versa.

          Only way to know is game time.

          Think people are judging Balo for UEL games, not u23

          1. He has played literally 61 minutes in the EL, so again to say he is better than eddie based on that is irrational.

          2. Nketiah is the highest scoring player for England U21s. The surpassed recently Alan Shearer and our very own fox in the box Francis Jeffers.

            I think those 2 mentioned players show us that Nketiahs career can go either way, so U21 record is not an indication of any kind. Its what you do with time you’ve given for mens team.

            Eddie has got plenty of it, Balogun hasn’t. The little Balogun has been given, he’s impressed.

        2. Yes they’re judging by Flo’s U23 records and the few minutes he’s played in the Europa. Quick to accept Balogun because things are bad and Nketiah ain’t living up to expectations.
          I’m not worried about losing Balogun one single bit

      2. Has Balogun come anywhere close to Eddie’s stats for the U23 team yet?I think Eddie bosses him here and he deserves some respect like you said here

    2. Danny I agree with you when we were ahead in the Euro league then come 2nd leg he could have played him and for the life of me I don’t know WHY? he didn’t

        1. Hi guys
          I do follow you all but allowed myself to get in too deep and become too emotionally engaged in my opinions and differences with others.

          Thanks for thinking of me😊

          PS having left my corner of north London after nearly 50 years to live in south Leicestershire 14 yrs ago the only thing I miss are my kids who remained and old friends
          Looking forward to seeing them again once it’s safe to do so


          1. Good to hear your doing well SueP and that you have remained an observer of JA throughout! and yes these are trying times at the moment and I’m on the same boat, being irish but living in london I havent seen any of my family or friends in just shy of a year now, difficult times but with the vaccine rollout things are looking on the up and up, have you had or been offered the vaccine yet? Hope that’s you back on here now 👍

          2. SueP good to hear you are ok and hope yo decide come back . Not worth getting emotionally worried by folks who don’t know you. I get loads of criticism, some deserved, some not and as you know, dish it out too. But I have had many personal tragedies in my own life; losing a son at just 13 months, which happened back in 1976, was the worst. But life, for the living, goes on!

            So now I am a tough old bird and don’t let those who don’t actually know me worry me one bit. Self respect is all important and what others who don’t know you think of any of us is so unimportant. People will always make hasty judgements, me included. But your own and your nearest and dearests opinions are all that matters. Take good care Sue!

          3. Yes DTM
            I’ve had the jab – as an old bird it was my time. Hopefully you get yours ASAP along with everyone else. Very important for all of us to take it

            I’ll keep watching and occasionally commenting but not like the crazy way I used to and I do Dan’s predictor very badly

            You’ve never been shy at putting your views out there and clearly don’t mind taking the flak. I’ve learned not to always take you too seriously- but used to be terrified of you. So very sorry to hear of the loss of your son. A truly personal tragedy. Life’s experiences can so often shape the person

          4. Great to hear from you Sue P and well done Defund for luring her out! Look forward to a few classic SueP comments and dont worry, I’m sure some of us will warn you if we think you’re getting in too deep!

          5. Cheers Trudeau!

            And that’s great to hear you got yours sorted SueP, my girlfriend has had her first and I’m now just waiting to be contacted about mine, fingers crossed it doesnt take too long 🤞🤞 cant wait till all this madness is done!!

          6. Abul.your comment made me laugh
            The verb for inciting – to encourage or stir up.violence or unlawful behaviour lol
            Not sure I did that

          7. Hey Sue
            You don’t do predictions badly
            I set It up as an escape and distraction and that’s more important then how many points we get
            Football is a beautiful game but it is just that …..a game

            This site should be an outlet and comfort and if it’s added stress ( and I include myself) we have to try harder

            However dark things get , light is guaranteed
            Bad times don’t last forever

            Ask admin for my email if you ever need a chat or if there’s anything I can write that might help
            When I was low my bro would set my silly games like prem best 11 ( one nationality , etc )and

            Stay safe x

          8. Thanks Dan for your words
            The predictor is an awesome idea and I hope you have the time and energy to keep it going … please
            You ‘almost’ always write the most in depth articles and whether or not I agree, I’m impressed with your thought processes and it shows by the following you have

    1. I much agree! SueP is a fine person and intelligent fan whose regular wisdom has been sorely missed. I do hope she comes back!

        1. Not sorry to disappoint you then Danny! No need for the laughing emoji either , as I know you mean it for real. Water off a ducks back, son!

      1. Sorry to hear about your tragedy.
        My late father had to bury his son (my older brother @ 55 due to cancer) and it tore him apart. 13 months is a completely different ball game. No father should have to bury their children.
        Stay safe.

  2. Said so before, saying it again, he should be allowed to leave. Can’t have senior players trying to dictate deals in the past and an U23 player trying to dictate deals right now.
    I’m someone who follows our U23 players a lot, some of you would know this to be a fact because I’ve always talked about the next big thing I’m seeing from the academy.. ( Roll back the Nelson vs Saka debate on here years ago).
    While Balogun is good, there’s nothing he’s done that Nektiah didn’t do, also he’s not even half as good as Haaland.
    There I said it, I watch both players. If Haaland was making demands about starting or leaving then I’d understand it but not Balogun.
    Goodluck to the kid.
    The U23 is a good spotlight, but the league is s different ball game. I’m not one of those who hype our academy players, the only one I ever hyped before he even got his chance was Saka.
    Right now among all the academy players, people mention Azeez and others, the only player I’ll hype with the same energy I did Saka is Omari Hutchison. The rests are just there doing okay and good. Balogun isn’t helping himself, like you said, the pressure on him will be huge when he finally gets to start for a team. That may be good for him, but whatever happens, Good luck to the boy,

    1. Agreed, because I also don’t see anything special in Balogun. His playing style and abilities seem similar to Afobe’s and Akpom’s to me

      I think some fans think Balogun would rip other league apart like Donyell Malen, but EPL is more competitive than Eredivisie

      1. Yes he plays somewhat like Akpom did.. Who can forget Akpom the next best striker we were meant to have after Henry and RVP.
        People are riding the Balogun train like just because Nketiah keeps struggling to bring his performances to the senior team, over hyped Balogun too much that now he feels as though he’s the next Mbappe making demands

  3. Arteta will rather play Willian and Xhaka regardless of their performances. Since his arrival, his interaction with youngsters has been very bad. He learnt that from Pep. We might lose Balogun, Seliba, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Gouendouzi, and Martinelli. Arteta is destroying the team whilst his brigade is urging him to buy more players. Losing youngsters in order to buy old horses. Arteta is causing more harm than good to Arsenal

  4. I agree with your thoughts in this matter Dan.The terms of the penultimate paragraph of your article sum up the situation in a nutshell.

  5. A sound and thoughtful araticle DAN, AS SO VERY OFTEN BY YOU! Balogun does appear to have a swollen head, IMO, and his impatience is somewhat thwarted in reality by theregular inclusion of such as ESR and SAKA. Having a chIp on your shoulder does not go down well with most fans, esp those who have been many times around the block and have seen how impatient so many young people are today. We are supporters of the club and way above ANY individual , however talented or impatient that individual may appear.

    That Balogun has not yet had a real chance in the Prem is, even to me , a little surprising. But being realistic enough to know the best and ONLY proper judge of this is the manager, as a fan of the club that this manager is employed by, I will obviously side with MA over ANY other single player and esp a young and clearly swollen headed one. Along with all Gooners I am entitled to my opinion.


    Because we do not!

    1. The club who hired him? You do understand that we support the actual club not the board members who hired him do you? Don’t mix up the two.. Us supporting arsenal does not mean we should blindly follow what decision the board makes.. Hiring arteta is even worse than hiring Emery and it will haunt us for many years to come.

  6. Does it really matter if he goes as to so many Arteta is always right and can’t do wrong…
    He wasn’t the one who gave saka his chance
    Saka was brought in by Emery and was was playing always our best farward after Auba and martineli before his injury..
    Did he brought ESR in to be he stumbled unto him because of injuries…
    So many of our young players are out of favour with Arteta to be it’s not a coincidence it’s more like a pattern

  7. Too bad Balogun wasn’t given the chance to compete to show who is the better player between him and Nketiah.

    It’s a battle of circular logic here; Balogun wants to play, so won’t sign because he isn’t given any chances. Arteta doesn’t want to play him if he isn’t going to sign.

    Stubborn on both sides, poor from manager, and poor from player in my opinion. Arteta should have given him sub minutes, and if he failed to impress, then say see you are not ready and need to wait your turn.

    Balogun handled things poorly on his part, no argument from me. Also, Arteta handled it poorly as well, arrogant and dictatorial without evidence or resume to base it on.

    Edu should be cracking both their heads, Balogun to grow up and be realistic, and crack Arteta for being so stubborn and arrogant.

  8. Dont get why ppl are so against Arsenal on this subject. It’s really just because of the fear of missing out on a possibly talented player. I get that, but you can’t be held hostage and give in to ridiculous deals for someone who hasn’t even played an EPL match. His record is as good as Nketiah’s. There’s no guarentee he will be successful. He needs to either wait until we offload some players and he gets into the pecking order, or he can go somewhere else for free. Arsenal shouldn’t bend over backwards tho.

    1. Though, to be honest, I’d look at our strike force and I would add him to the pecking order already. Nketiah is surely being sold this summer…

    2. The problem is that he was not given the chance! Even to the point of having 2 goal keepers on the bench instead of including him! It’s obvious it’s personal between him and arteta just like saliba and martinelli.. Why was he not given the chance when all was not working And kept insisting on neketiah? That’s the main problem.. Arteta’s lack of man management skills will hurt Arsenal in the end

      1. Yeah, i can definitely understand this viewpoint. There’s no reason he shouldn’t have been given an apperance in the league by now looking at how hit and miss our forwards have been all season.

        1. It’s a double edge sword, given the pressure MA is under to get results, he would be blasted for dropping points by playing an in proven 19 yr old who hasn’t kicked a ball in the pl when we are in dire need of points, if the gamble doesn’t pay off.

          1. i dont think balogun shuld be starting, but i do think he should be given chances off the bench. It would leave a better taste in many peoples mouths seeing players like Martinelli and Balogun getting chances instead of known poor performers this season. He can’t surprise us if he’s not getting the opportunity to do so., and Arteta’s subs have certainly been questionable majority of the season.

          2. RSH yeah very good point, he should definitely be getting some minutes from the bench 👍

      2. It is hard to explain two goalkeepers on the bench; that was a strange decision by Arteta.
        However the Manager is the boss and one has to wonder what Balogun’s ego will be like after he’s played a few games. Time will tell.

        1. OZ, IF you are making reference to the UEL games, let me brief you about my discovery.
          just like you, I was becoming uncomfortable with the team sheet recently, then I went a step further to check benfica team in the last game, I saw similar situation there, benfica coach also fielded to goalies on the bench.
          This can’t confirm its a new rule though, as I have not taken time to check other clubs team sheet, but, if am to make a premature guess, I’ll say it might be a new directive on line with 5 normal time sub now in the competition. Probably admin and those with better football knowledge will give us more ideas on this

          1. Adajim, I wonder if it is due to the potential for goal keepers to suffer concussion/head injuries?
            There’s no announcements that I’ve seen.

  9. Why should we let an academy graduate, who has not yet proven anything anywhere, dictate to the club. That would just set a bad precedent. If he was as good as Messi or Haaland different story. But is he? There are lots of players out there doing well and Balogun’s arrogance is sickening. Scoring for U23’s is not scoring in the Epl. Someone is definitely misguiding this young man. There are seasoned players with EPL experience playing for other teams that are not that arrogant. He needs to learn from players like Saka and ESR if he’s going to make it. Otherwise he will be putting undue pressure on himself. Fans need to stop hyping these youngsters, and when they do not perform, we destroy them.

  10. Does it really matter anymore, the player is not in a hurry to sign up with Arsenal so has probably seen better opportunities elsewhere both financially and regarding playing time. I don’t know who’s right or wrong in this case. On the one hand it pays to be patient because he needs to prove that he deserves to start ahead of Aubamayang, Lacazette, Pepe, William or Martinellii, on the other, however it is frustrating playing a waiting game hoping that your manager will give you the nod to show what you can do or believe him when he tells you to train hard, be a good boy and the opportunities will come. Would you trust Arteta to make the right call?

  11. I still see people crying that balogun should be above nketiah but nketiah hasn’t made the bench in epl for a long time now. The forwards on the bench have been martenelli, pepe and willian so unless you are expecting arteta to drop martenelli for balogun he lad has no place on the bench.

  12. Balogun better than Eddie * 100% in scoring in positioning balogun knows how to hold the defense like Lacazette

  13. Bogus statement # 1…two of the legit criticisms aimed at our current manager involve his inconsistent treatment of players, regardless of their ability or inability to live up to logically perceived expectations, and his questionable attention to detail, according to comments made by players who were loaned out in January…maybe you should be more specific when you make such claims, as you might have been talking about “details” pertaining to on-field defensive tactics versus “details” involving more off-field man management-related aspects that have been lacking at times (btw it’s “attention to detail” not “attention of details”…minor detail, but I know you’re a stickler for those things)

    “There’s a famous story of us missing out on a certain Ibrahimović because Arsene Wenger didn’t like the attitude of the youthful Swede who refused a trial. That’s the exception to the rule.”

    Bogus statement # 2…I feel like I could write for days on the supposed “missed” opportunities involving Wenger and budding superstar players, who all would have made certain demands that our former stubborn and fragile manager would have balked at immediately, to the detriment of our club as a whole…so to suggest that Ibra was the exception to any rule is “fake news” of the highest order

    From day one our manager has spoken of the values of the club and how he won’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t follow his ethos.

    Bogus statement # 3…see the response to Bogus statement # 1…his “values” have never been clearly stated or no outside observer could ever rationalize the differing treatment players have received for similar behavioural issues…he clearly tolerates more from his “favourites”, even if they aren’t performing on the pitch

    While they might criticise the club for letting again allowing a contract to be run down, very few would expect any club with serious ambition to be dictated to by a teenager. If Arsenal have offered a fair salary and assured the player opportunities that should be enough.

    Bogus statement # 4…firstly the grammar is awkward at best, but beyond that there’s no way you believe that this club has “serious” ambition, so your point is moot…on numerous occasions you’ve addressed your concerns over this club’s glaring lack of ambition, especially since you know who left North London…furthermore, you’ve spent ample time criticizing Arteta’s managerial tenure, then all of sudden, when it fits your particular narrative, you pull a 180…you can’t have your cake and eat it too

    as for Balu, both the previous administration and Arteta had a chance to deal with this situation responsibly, through some playing time opportunities, not too dissimilar from the guarantees he so willingly gave Willian and a loaner like Ode, as a transitional year would have been the most logical time to take a closer look at our blue chip prospects; not to mention, Eddie simply wasn’t progressing, so why did he not throw Balu a bone last season when it appeared as if some sort of amicable arrangement was still a real possibility and if that didn’t pan out we could have sold him last summer for even more money simply because he would have some significant EPL minutes on his CV…instead we chose to roll the proverbial dice, even though we did offer him up for sale last January, stifle his opportunities in the hopes that his valuation would be negatively impacted, thereby hoping that he would have less leverage and have to crawl back to us on the cheap, or at least cheaper than if we had more competition for his services

  14. “Arteta has shown right or wrong that he has an attention of detail when it comes to players and isn’t afraid to wash hands of individuals if he thinks they don’t match his expectations.”

    This was the first “bogus” statement

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