Opinion: Our youngsters are leading us out of the slump, but we cannot afford to overwork them

Arsenal’s return to form in the last two games cannot be talked about without mentioning the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

Saka has been a regular for the club all season, while Martinelli has only just returned from a long-term injury.

The Brazilian has been a phenomenal player for the Gunners since he joined them from the unknown Ituano last season.

Arsenal missed his skills, flair and trickery and when he returned from injury, it was obvious to see that he is such a key player for the club.

Emile Smith Rowe has also started Arsenal’s last two games, and he has proven to be worthy of the chance.

I expect them to play more games for the club as the season progresses, but we have to be careful not to overuse them.

No one can fault Mikel Arteta at the moment if he continues to play them in every game.

The problem with that is that as we start to rely on them, the expectations on them will continue to rise, and these are youngsters.

Arsenal’s most experienced players have to take a leaf from these passionate players and also reignite their own season.

This would help the whole team function well and relieve the pressure on our in-form teenage stars.

An article from Ime

Tags Arsenal youngsters


  1. This is ridiculous.

    I think backnto players like ronaldo, Cr9, Messi all these great players who IMO would not be a the level they are if they had gone on loan or played only in cup matches.

    If u wanna be the best u gotta fave the best and we need to stop wrapping our players in cotton wool. Christ look at utd class of 92 all those youngsters played everyweek and become great footballers.

    This bit part culture I feel slows the progression of players. I been screaming for ESR and willock for ages and we are now behaving as if he is a new talent. Get outta here he is here and has been quality we just don’t see it because managers at arsenal weap players in cotton wool and this is detrimental to their development.

    If u getbused to playing at 21 u23 level thats all you will achieve.

    1. Furthermore im sick of ppl referring to experience as a free pass or reason to be good at something. Experience helps in some ways but I’m sorry the old way or experience is not always best.

      Sometimes new fresh ideas are the way forward especially in football. I take you to Ajax a couple of years back who had a very young team who were unlucky not to beat spurs in the semi finals.

      Quality is quality and quality is not defined by experience but rather by practice hardworking and understanding

    2. Shotbougoner, it is a bunch of over pampering non-performing old players because Arteta want to continue to field Willian. Good luck to him but he would sack himself at the expense of the so called older players.

    3. As for me let the fireworks continue with the West Bromwich Albion side of Sam Alardyce not the former. As an Arsenal fan of okd even against Wenger, Big Sam has always been an head. He will instruct his boys to play beyond football even going psychologically to cause sn upset and inflict injuries if need be. So we need the hungry, fast paced and skillful players at the front to destabilise their plan definitely not Auba,nor Willian or Pepe can give them the needed bite. Let the old players continue their layback in FA cup.

  2. CR7 and Messi weren’t too young to be “overworked”. I know Arsenal are still traumatized by Diaby’s and Wilshire’s injuries, but we really need the youngsters’ energy in the top four race

  3. Messi and Ronaldo didn’t play all the time until their bodies were ready. When Ronaldo joined United, he wasn’t in the team every game – partly because he wasn’t quite capable yet (a lot of questions about his “end product” initially), if you remember. Actually, I don’t think Saka is too far off from CR7 in terms of involvement at the same age, not to say I believe he will end up being as good, but who knows (fingers crossed I guess)
    Regardless, these are exceptional cases by anyone’s standards, so I dont think you should be judging how we treat our young players on that. It’s all about physical maturity and if you push too hard, too early, you can irreversibly harm their careers – this should be obvious to anyone. As was mentioned previously, Wilshere is as clear an example as you could see.

  4. I understand the need to be protective towards our youngsters ,particularly in the case of Martinelli after his long term injury, but as 19/20 year olds these guys would play every day of the week if they were asked to.In the case of ESR he has waited some time for a real opportunity in the first team so to suggest he may need resting simply does not apply.In physical terms a thirty year old will hit the ” red zone” far earlier than a teenager, all other things being equal.Providing they continue to play well and are effective they are quite capable of playing six games on the trot without any diminution in their physical condition.The trick for the Manager is to identify when their performance is beginning to shade off , as it will, and to give them a break or have them on the bench.Care is needed and experience does not in any way make players immune from the same treatment.Indeed the older you are the more care is required as I know from personal experience.

  5. No option. our best players should play every PL match. They have to start until we are 3-0 up before we go for they can give way.

  6. I see the upcoming game against WBA as, possibly, a correct time to rest the younger players and field our more experienced players, knowing what we will be facing with regards to physicality.
    Bring them on later in the game if necessary.

    1. Have to disagree with you here. This is the last PL game for 2 weeks. Play them, take them off after 60-70 mins if we’re winning then let them rest when we play Newcastle in the FA Cup and bring them back for Palace.

    2. KEN Not sure I can agree as the older players are also the lazier ones, Willian and Auba esp and a younger lazy one in Pepe. What matters is workrate and playing free from care as younger players tend to do.

      Hi KEN and happy New Year. I cannot really go along with resting the youngsters as barring SAKA, they have hardly played much at all and won’t need rest , Not yet! Saka IS a different case but surely he is too important to leave out. What use are lazy Willian , Pepe and even Auba , when they all play like they are on holiday? Esp against a hard working WBA!
      You of all people know my views on laziness . Not for me. No way!


      1. “On our clubs chances of top four, it is far less than even one per cent”

        Please explain your mathematical prowess and show how you accurately came to this “realistic” mathematical conclusion. Hurl abuse also if you must as long as I see your accurate mathematical formula that got you to said conclusion.


        1. DTM, I will gladly explain A LITTLE but you are incorrect that it is precisely a mathematical formula, which is not the whole of what I said. Part, though not all, of my thinking is a percentage chance.

          I ally that with games left to play, squad depth of all clubs involved. Injury likelihood based on recent trends is a factor too. Also fixture likely pile ups and I assess a final chance once all those factors and some more – ones which I will keep private – too are worked out.

          To come above ninth we have to overtake teams with better squads, better form, all of who have scored with more ease than us and a points gap, plus goal differences all better than us. Some of the eight above us will have fewer games in total to play til seasons end as we are also in Europa. I also NEVER overrate our own ability as a team, as so many do and on which I depend, as it is a massive help in moving odds in various, often false directions.
          It is hardly rocket science , at least not to me who has been a professional bettor and successfully so for over forty years. It is largely down to my personal judgement and even if there was a precise mathematical formula and ONLY I KNEW IT, I WOULD NOT BE GIVING IT AWAY(but there is not) just because I was being asked.

          I have told you as much as I am willing to say. My final league prediction for us is 9th -12 th with only a tiny chance of being top four . Less than 1 % , as you correctly said! Of course the odds against each position lower than fourth but higher than ninth are higher the lower down you go.

          Actually it is above half a percent but below three quarters on top four.
          I will tell you that my major and larger bets are on long term markets- not only on sport either – where I CAN TRADE ODDS EACH GAME OR EVENT AS THEY MOVE WITH RESULTS.
          Betting large sums on just the outcome of any one game is not wise.

          I made a tidy sum from correctly predicting the Brexit referendum and many other political events as I have been a lifelong passionate devotee of politics. Bet on what you know and leave alone things you do not have a deep knowledge about. Hope that helps!

          And I gladly forgive your two insults.

          1. Well played jon, successfully danced around the question without actually answering anything lol just phrases like “squad depth” but nothing on how you ACTUALLY quantified any of your factors into a precise percentage.

            “It is hardly rocket science” quite right its mathematics, but when you refuse to work within the standards of proof which mathematics and things like “percentage chance” are subject to then unfortunately its pseudo mathematics.

  7. what rest? if the coach rest them and we start to lose again you will blame him without remembering that you pray for it.

  8. After West Brom we have a week off. Play the same team (Laca in for Auba) and let them rest up after. We need to keep the momentum going

    1. To retain momentum consistent team selection (with minor adjustments for opposition) is required to build teamwork.

      1. Agree 100%. We can rotate against Newcastle in the FA Cup then have another week before we play Palace. Loads of time to rest, the Christmas schedule has been quite kind to us this year.

  9. Tbh we are not really playing that well still but i will take the wins however they come😉 and i think the youngsters energy is the massive difference,the martinelli runs,ESR links and tracking back not to mention sakas overall game play…but i dont feel that confident yet😔

    Anyway happy new year!!! gooners❤

  10. Happy New Year everyone!
    We have good talents and the recent change of playstyle seems to be more free than the previous ones. This makes me hope of a change in fortunes.

  11. Happy new Year, gunners round the world. I believe the same team should continue for the WBA game and than taken off after 65-70 minutes. Also since the game will be quite physical, MA should be careful as regards the use of the youth and should put in the senior players to mix up the team. Specially in the case of Martinelli, as he has just returned from injury, MA should be extra careful.

  12. Happy New Year, Gunners fans. Common sense would tell you that Saka could do with a rest especially after his knock. The others would be busting for more game time rather than less.

  13. Mentality, I don’t know what arteta learn from pep, when he started his career,he dropped all the old player including worldbest to achieve his philosophy, he introduced his system to new and young and he became world best coach but instead of arteta to so, he is started signing Williams and benching Nelson, Joe, Smith and MNL, even Salina was not registered at all, may God be with us

  14. Should the club retain MA then the club needs to recruit more of the youngsters and bring them through the ranks.

    They will be cheaper and easier to adapt.

    We already have a good nucleus so why should one waste so much time, money and effort on players that can’t execute.

  15. Can’t start feeling sorry for the youngster after just a few games. They wanted their chance and so should take it. May be a mixure of senior and young. But we need as many points as possible. Can’t be changing a winning team I guess.

  16. If we rely on Xhaka, Ceballos and Elneny rather than the youngsters, it will be down to the youngsters to get us out the Championship. The trio of Xhaka, Ceballos and Elneny is the worst in Arsenal history. Better to play the talented youngsters than the clueless ‘older’ ones, Xhaka, Ceballos and Elneny.

  17. As long as Arteta doesn’t play Willian AT ALL against WBA (wouldn’t have him in the squad if it was up to me), we should be fine. Also, wouldn’t mind if one of the three young kings was benched for the reasons stated in this post.

    Also, if the rumour about a player confronting Arteta over obvious favouritism (again, Willian having playtime regardless of the fact he’s one of the worst players in the prem this season), we’re in for one shaky game.

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