Nketiah by Dan Smith
I have always said the way for Eddie Nketiah to prove the likes of myself wrong is by scoring goals. Do that and it doesn’t matter what his critics say.
The 24 year old did that on Saturday by claiming his first ever Prem hat trick, the first time he found the back of the net in his last 9 outings.
Say that out loud, a striker didn’t manage a goal in his last 9 appearances.
The weekend was only the third fixture this season he’s got on the scoresheet.
Which makes his opening celebration disappointing. His response to his putting Arsenal 1-0 up against Sheffield United was the cap his hand to his ear. Which is a worrying sign of the player’s mindset.
It reminds me of when Harry Maguire scored for England and celebrated in similar fashion despite struggling for form.
The likes of Roy Keane called the defender ’embarrassing, he’s been a disgrace for months, he scores and thinks he’s shutting up his critics.’
People are entitled to their opinions and equally the subject matter has the right to have his own point of view on what is being said.
The weekend might have been a response to how hurt the youngster feels towards what been said about his performances, in particular his display in the North London Derby.
If he feels he was somehow proving doubters wrong against the Blades that’s a poor reflection on his mindset.
It’s a lack of accountability. I much rather a Gunner reflect on his performance rather than play the victim, his gesture suggesting he’s somehow been harshly judged.
Where’s his pride to be doing better than his current goal return instead of being content.
The majority of Gooners, I don’t feel, have ever been unfair, or crossed the line, it’s never been personal.
Compare that to the grief a Giroud, Walcott and Bendtner got. Players with a lot better goal returns.
Eddie is one of our own, an academy graduate. We want him to succeed.
Yet we also want to win a title, something we have waited two decades for.
To compete with Man City the standards have to be high, and there’s nothing wrong with pointing out if a forward doesn’t quite have the quality to play for the Champions. I’m not sure how many of the 20 top flight clubs he is suitable for?
Worse is; he feels he’s now vindicated himself because he was able to score against a newly promoted side. That one display against a side bottom of the division with one-point excuses his lack of previous end product.
Let’s remember this is no longer some youth prospect where every goal is part of his development.
This is someone on 100,000 pound a week.
He’s been in our first team now for 6 years.
In that time (before Saturday) his record was 16 league goals in 98 games.
I would much rather that as a fanbase we are allowed to say that’s not good enough and demand more.
It’s actually quite offensive someone would take home such a wage and then dare put his hand to his ear having achieved so little.
We are not paying him to score against the League’s worst and boast about it.
Make this a consistent run of goals.
Go to Saint James Park next weekend and not be invisible.
Get a goal return in double digits for the first time in his career.
Improve on your record of 37 goals in 147 appearances …. maybe then hold your ear to the crowd.
The irony being that a game where he thought he was proving doubters wrong again proved that he doesn’t have the mentality to play at this level.
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