Some Players Have Had Enough Chances To Impress! By Dan Smith
Eventually the core players responsible for our three wins over Christmas ensured that we still haven’t had a penalty shoot-out at the Emirates.
Arteta ideally wanted to rest goal scorer Smith Rowe, Lacazette who got an assist, and Saka who became our main outlet. If Andy Carroll had his scoring boots on it would be more of a concern that yet again certain talent didn’t make the most of their opportunity.
0-0 at home is when you should be able to rely on your record signing and/or one of your biggest earners.
Yet most of our attacks were built on the opposite side to Pepe which is quite telling, while Willian was subbed off after 66 minutes. At least those two have shown quality in their careers.
But this weekend was another wasted chance for Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson. If our manager is as ruthless with them as he has been with other players, then the jury still has to be out if they belong at this level.
I feel because they are young and British, they get a lot of patience from gooners who love the idea of an academy graduate succeeding. But they are not very inexperienced in terms of games played.
Willock has now featured for the first team 77 times, Nelson 47. In 39 and 22 prem appearances they have got a goal each and one assist. One is meant to be a midfielder who runs into the box, the other a winger.
If we are serious about returning to our previous levels those stats are not good enough (and why I will never believe Ozil can’t even make the bench judged on ‘football reasons).
To put those numbers into perspective Smith-Rowe has started 3 prem fixtures this season and already been involved in more goals then those two have since debuting in the League 2 years ago.
That’s not to say they are not talented. You must be to make it from the youth team all the way to the first team. Yet it’s only when you play do you learn who has the mentality to play at a club our size. They will excel at a mid-table cub where there isn’t the scrutiny of you don’t win every week. But I maintain they lack the personality required. They play it safe, scared to make a mistake. Compare that with Smith Rowe and Saka who demand the ball and try and make things happen.
This is why I disagree with squads having a quota of how many players need to be homegrown. These players will hang around for years based on where they were born, so Arsenal can tick a box.
For example, at a time when we need money, we could have got 20 million for Maitland-Niles who was tired of being a makeshift full back. He would have had more of a chance being the midfielder he wanted had he gone to Wolves. Yesterday, he came on in the last few seconds as drum roll…. a make shift full back.
To be a big club you have to act like a big club. Too many players are not good enough to wear the shirt.
It’s better to notice that while winning, before noticing until it’s too late.
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