It was only Sunderland, and no one is going to pretend that scoring against League One opposition makes you ready for the Premiership. Some would even say League One Is his standard given the majority of his performances in the League.
In the Cups Eddie Nketiah looks confident, in the Prem he looks like a competition winner, someone grateful to be there but not entirely convinced he belongs in that company.
The swagger he showed on Tuesday and often against lower League opposition is not the demeanor we see in the top division.
Yet they say strikers gain confidence by goals, no matter who the opponents. If a hat trick doesn’t qualify you to start at Norwich nothing will.
Even from a tactical point of view, if Arteta wants the forward to extend his contract, then he needs to play him at Carrow Road. What sign does it give to the player (and others) if you take your opportunity in the Carabao Cup and are then dropped for Boxing Day.
Remember as things stand the player has turned down an offer of a new deal, believed not to be for financial reasons but based on a lack of game time.
Arteta speaking about Nketiah last night: “We are trying. It’s not about anything else but minutes. He wants gametime, he wants to be on that field and that is the only reason to say, ‘Can I do it here?’ That’s the question. We all want him to stay.”
“…Recently he’s played more minutes than in the past and we’re going to need him and he’s going to play more minutes.“
At 22, he can’t keep hiding behind being a youngster from our academy.
A refusal to sign could equally be translated as acknowledging he isn’t going to a regular starter for the Gunners.
There’s no disgrace if that’s the case. If the assumption is that we want to return to our previous levels, then it’s okay if you’re not quite up to those standards.
At Arsenal you have to play under a massive spotlight under intense pressure. You go a couple of games without a goal it gets debated and talked about.
It makes the next week a huge one in the career of Nketiah’s.
Maybe now or never.
From next month he can sign a pre-contract with clubs abroad if he wants. The next week might make his mind up.
Aubameyang is being frozen out and you score a hat trick. If he still can’t get a chance in the League, he never will.
Be Kind in The Comments