It must be very strange for the Arsenal first team, who are struggling to score a goal never mind getting a win, but every Thursday they have seen our youngsters and reserves scoring goals for fun in the Europa League.
Surely by now Mikel Arteta must realise that perhaps some new, hungry, enthusiastic youngsters should be given a chance in the Premier League, especially against teams in the relegation zone like Burnley.
One person who thinks the time is ripe to introduce new blood is the Gunners legend Alan Smith, who thinks that Arteta can’t carry on watching the sub-standard performances from his senior players. Smith said in his column in the Standard: “As a manager, that’s got to make you think. Standing on the sideline at Dundalk last night, Arteta saw some young players busting a gut to impress, eager to make a mark at senior level. We’re talking about youngsters with lots of potential such as Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, Folarin Balogun and Emile Smith-Rowe, a player rated very highly by many at the club.
“Would it be out of the question to throw some in on Sunday to offer fresh ideas and enthusiasm? I mean, we’re talking about Burnley, not Bayern Munich. That’s not to disrespect Sean Dyche’s side, a team struggling just now but one that could easily embarrass the Gunners.
“Fighting for their lives, the visitors won’t lack for passion and spirit. If Arsenal don’t match that, the situation could get worse. Because of that, maybe it’s time for Arteta to make a statement by picking the kids.”
I think Smith is talking sense. If this game against Burnley was in the FA Cup or the League Cup, Arteta would have no qualms about playing his youngsters – and he would still expect to win!
So why not todaygainst the relegation battlers?