Should Emery be playing Arsenal’s young talents during this injury crisis?

Blooding young talent. by Bryan

The biggest fear when blooding young players is that they’ll freeze in the moment. The primary reasons this might happen are fear or lack of confidence. It therefore goes without saying that the best time to give young players a start is when their confidence is at its highest and fear at its lowest. So when is this optimal time? I’d postulate that it’s when there’s nothing to lose, when all other options are off the table. And right now, given Arsenal’s endless list of injuries to first-team defenders, now might be the perfect time.

As Emery said ahead of our Europa League game against Vorskla: “The Europa League is very important for us and it’s very important for us to win on Thursday and come first in this group. The young players are going to have chances.

“Then you know that some players like Eddie Nketiah, like Willock, like Emile Smith Rowe, have played. Then other younger players are coming through with us like Bukayo, Dominic, Zech and Charlie. For us, it’s not different because they are working with us every day.”

We do have young talent, so it’s baffling to me that Lichtsteiner, a 34-year-old blow-in who can provide no long-term benefit to the club can start ahead of Maitland-Niles (Boxing Day v Brighton). And we don’t have another defender in the 19-21-year-old range that would’ve been better than what we had on display the last couple of games?

And it’s not just our defense . . . Our midfield has been anaemic. Shouldn’t we be giving Joe Willock a run? Now is the time to give our brightest young talent a shot at breaking through.



  1. Phil says:

    Why is AMN always referred to as an alternative as a RB/LB or RWB/LWB?He is a CM And is now at the age when he should be played there or not at all.
    Guendouzi is beginning to produce very average performances in midfield and needs pulling out of the EPL starting line up for a while.AMN should come in for him at Anfield.
    As for the rest of the young players it must be FA Cup or Bate Borisov only.At this stage we need to get back to a settled team and consistent tactics.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      ?re AMN

  2. gotanidea says:

    Yes. Unfortunately Arsenal is not a club that can purchase expensive bench players like Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United. Despite their status as one of the richest football clubs in the world and have the most expensive ticket in England

    This should be a good news for the youngsters, because they will have more playing time. As compared to the other rich clubs’ English hot prospects like Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, McTominay, Brewster, Foden, etc

    I want to see Maitland-Niles to start more often, because he has good skills and it’s time for him to get more chances

    1. Adega Olatunji says:

      So we should now accept our mediocrity, arsenal has become academy for English team while others will be fighting for the trophies. So after the exit of Arden Wenger every other stupidity should be accepted?
      We all know we need a good and world class defender we bidding for goalkeeper. What is wrong with the management of this club?
      While can’t Arsenal football club spend money on players that will solve the problems in the the once and for all?

      1. gotanidea says:

        I guess Kroenke is more profit oriented than chasing the trophies

        But if Arsenal is truly a great club, they should be able to produce great talents and dominate EPL again. Tottenham also don’t spend a lot, but they can nurture talented players like Sol Campbell, Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, Delle Ali, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, etc

      2. jon fox says:

        A one word answer: KROENKE!!! Surprised you don’t already know!

  3. Adega Olatunji says:

    Am so sad as am watching arsenal passing ball back to goalkeeper from the midfield without any serious plan to penetrate into opposition box at all.
    The passion has gone, the aggression is dead, and the so called Emery effect is turning to be fake.
    When I watch Liverpool and Tottenham destroying teams with serious aggression and with no sense of passing ball back all the times like arsenal, I can’t help but love it.

  4. benex says:

    I don’t expect that to happen in this Liverpool match, And those that are clamouring for AMN to start every match must be joking, the guy is just an overrated English man, unable to hold a position since all this days, he was clueless in that Brighton game, can’t hold on to ball, can’t make decisions , I can’t see him in long Arsenal project.

    1. Phil says:

      And YOU have seen him play HOW MANY TIMES as a CM?If Guendouzi was played as a LWB would he have been as effective?What about if Torreira was played as a Left Winger?
      YOU say AMN is an overrated player but how do you know?If the boy is not given a chance in his natural position then what chance has he?Other than Torreira the midfield has been our problem area every bit as much as our defence.Different players,Different line-ups at the back,Different tactics.Would AMN have given us something different? I believe he would and certainly more than Guendouzi has done this last month.Do I call him just “Another Overrated Frenchman”?Because that is exactly what he has looked like this past month.
      Until AMB is given a run of games as a CM then you are hopelessly wrong in calling him out as you have.Did you even see the performance he gave at Old Trafford last season?Even Pogba made a point of saying what an impression AMN had on him during that game.But YOU know better I suppose.

      1. Th14 says:

        You see Phil, that’s the same way you hopelessly call out Iwobi when he hasn’t been giving a chance to impress in his natural position. YOU say Iwobi is a useless player but how do you know?If the boy is not given a chance in his natural position then what chance has he? But YOU know better I suppose

        1. jon fox says:

          So what is his natural position then , according to you? MANY OF US NON NIGERIANS THINK IT IS “ON THE BENCH”!

          1. Phil says:

            TH14-I honestly feel you are beginning to embarrass yourself by constantly calling out for Iwobi.Tell me his best position please.And who you would wish to see around and in front of him.
            I saw an improvement in the player early season but he is now back playing to his normal ineffective standards of the last two seasons.Ozil is slated for his first half performance at Brighton and rightly so.But the team we’re looking dangerous and we SHOULD have had more than the one goal.Iwobi is brought on at half time and did what exactly?No penetration.No passing through the lines.No bringing players into the game.Your blind faith in Iwobi is sad.If this player is your idea I Of an even half talented player then you really do need to re-assess your thinking.
            Hopeless player who will not be at the club in 18 months time

          2. Th14 says:

            That’s what you said towards the end of last season and boom…. 5 years contract !! ??

          3. Phil says:

            Yeah and what has he done to justify that contract?Honestly Pal like I said earlier-I am embarrassed for you

          4. Th14 says:

            I’ll tell you by the end on next season when another new and improved contract is being tabled. Until then just enjoy the Iwobi show ???

          5. Xxnofx says:

            I second that Phil ,iwobi is an embarrassment to our club and TH14 is either trolling or he’s related to him

          6. ozziegunner says:

            TH14 unfortunately the new contract has apparently gone to Iwobi’s head. The improvement he had shown has tanked. He is now a party boy and has forgotten that talent only gets you so far; you still have to work hard.

          7. Break-on-through says:

            How can you say, that three shots, three of them all on target. Scoring one of them, keeper saving very well on another one, and the other being saved ..though it would’ve been a beauty. How can you say that that is bad, scoring one, even though the main thing is getting them on target.

            Then back Iwobi to the hilt, when he’s really doing poorly, finding excuses for him or say that people are wrong to criticize him. I’ve praised Iwobi this season, and I didn’t turn on him the moment the first chances to came along. I done the same with Ozil. As far as I’m concerned both of them deserve criticism, if they deserve it then they deserve it. But how can anyone have a go at Aubameyang, at all, at all at all. And yet defend either of Iwobi’s or Ozil’s form. You guys are more alike than you realize.

          8. Th14 says:

            For a player of his calibre? 3 chances and one goal is very poor. If this was Welbeck I wouldn’t complain. After that wonderful pass from Torreira and the beautiful chest control, it deserves a neat finish.

          9. jon fox says:

            Can you swear an oath of honour that you love for Iwobi is not connected at all to his and your joint Nigerian nationality? I say THAT is the main reason for your obvious love of this very moderate player.

          10. Th14 says:

            Hey Jon, “very moderate” players do not graduate from the academy into the senior team, only talented players do.

        2. Durand says:

          Iwobi has had chances and failed. He came on last game for example and dribbled a lot, but created no chances. What is Iwobi’s best position by the way?

          Not as a 10, he doesn’t create enough, and his decision making is atrocious. As a winger? His finishing is woeful, and his shots have the power as if being launched by a wet noodle.

          I don’t hate Iwobi, just want him loaned out to get consistant playing at another club. Then he can show himself to be a player or a filler for depth.

  5. Ramterta says:

    I think it’s time to bring back Jenkinson to the starting 11.He has been bright in most games he has played this season and is certainly better at fullback than amn and lichtsteiner.
    When I look at our squad it almost looks like everyone has played enough games and there is a good rotation of players.
    Emile Smith Rowe (if fit) and nketiah are the youngsters I’d like to see play a bot more in the premier league

  6. benex says:

    Don’t need to argue bout it with you phil
    If he as confused Emery bout what you said, he would have start him there, but am telling you Geundouzi will always offer flexibility in the middle than what your overrated AMN will offer. The guy is clueless against Brighton, can make a good pass, I guess that doesn’t require him to play at is prefer position before he could make a good pass.

    1. Phil says:

      A yet you didn’t answer the points I put to you.What?Got no answers to simple questions that require just a smidging of football intelligence

  7. mickmematethemasterfarter says:

    daley campbell looks a player why not give him a go

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    Lich may have had a poor game against Brighton, but it’s ridiculous to suggest that AMN is a better option, especially considering it’s not even his natural position. I’ll also add, that AMN has been awful playing in that position lately.

    I do agree on using youngsters, but in their best positions, so that they can learn that role asap, which will quicken up their progress.

    1. Phil says:

      Exactly-AMN is being used as a stop gap at the moment and he has had little or no chance to style into CM role.If we are struggling at RB surely Jenkinson is a better option?

  9. jon fox says:

    What some see as ” TINKERING”, I see as a dynamic, hungry and pro-active manager who is dead set against sterile mediocrity and the same old stale half trying overpaid favourites not earning their corn. I ALSO see that manager hampered by a ghastly non caring owner who cuts off the most of the financial lifeblood that ALL SUCCESSFUL CLUBS NEED TO RENEW CLAPPED OUT PARTS. As a realist – a word many cannot stand hearing, since they are afraid of hearing realism and would rather continue to indulge their own private fantasies – I always preach ONLY what helps our shared obsession, AFC. I have lectured long , loudly and boringly that all fantasists do is harm our club by hiding the clear solution in the sand instead of having the COURAGE to face the truth. Anyone who seriously thinks any mere mortal can magically transform a decrepit non defence full of clapped out, non real and mainly injured defenders, mostly bequeathed by the previous manager and others bought with the PITTANCE allowed, into a title challenging team in less than five months is either barking mad, wrong in the head, unfair or ALL THREE! FACT: As Benitez might say: We have averaged two points a game through a full half season, DESPITE a tsunami of a recent injury crisis which has sapped energy, sapped needed continuation of selection and sapped expectations(thus making SOME OF THEM MORE REALISTIC AGAIN).To have achieved THAT is a near miracle, yet most of the arrant nonsense I read on here is that Emery has “lost the plot” or “needs sacking” or “is making too many changes.” If players are unfit and injured, which so many are and at once too, WHAT THE HELL DO people expect a manger to do? To play injured players perhaps? The sheer regular fantasy solutions I constantly read on here and many from people who a mere month ago were singing Emery’s praise, are sickening in their sheer unfairness and hypocrisy. Engage your brains and your eyes , you silly folk and see the vast obstacles Emery has in front of him and the hindrance from the appalling “absent in body and mind” owner . And re-think the NONSENSE that SOME(only SOME) OF YOU ARE POSTING ON HERE. Try being fair. It is quite easy once you actually start !

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I was reading along, but then you lost me with the realist part, I dropped it then and there. As a realist, you put it all on Wenger, you never once mentioned anything about Wenger having one of his hands tied whilst he’s trying to juggle. Anyway, old wounds and all that, no point picking at them. This is the part I want to get across – What’s real to one person, can be unreal to another, fact. You saying “realist” as often as you do – is like what I do, when I’m constantly saying ..”I think” or …”in my opinion”. It’s my realism, yours is yours.

      1. Sue says:

        Lost me too then!

      2. jon fox says:

        I have given up writing about Wenger for one simple reason. Each time I mention his name some non realist gets upset and says “move on”. So I now try to move on. EVEN THOUGH Wenger is clearly relevant while most of our players are his. Hence I dId not mention him and NOW YOU KNOW WHY. I would also , respectfully, remind you that I am fully entitled to claim being a realist, in exactly the same way that you are entitled to dispute it , as you have done. SO I HAVE DONE NO MORE THAN YOU HAVE DONE. Food for thought perhaps?

    2. ken1945 says:

      Jon, having read your post from the beginning to the end, there is a lot to be admired, but also to be challenged.
      The injury crisis is not new, as has been mentioned before, but to lose two first team players for the rest of the season is unique to our club at the moment.
      Unai has to juggle with the players left, mostly successfully but occasionally not.

      I don’t believe any gooner wants anything more than Unai Emery to succeed and they don’t care who signed who, young or old, what they earn, if they are played out of position…as long as the club is successful.
      Different views on how this can happen are aired by gooners everywhere and what might seem nonsense to some is not so to others.

      Unai has made some great improvements in his short time here and has also made a few mistakes, as you have pointed out.
      That doesn’t mean anyone is being hypocritical or unfair, it just means Unai is being questioned, why do you think that is nonsense or a problem?

      No one, I believe, wants to go back to the last two years of rubbish we endured, You compared the game at Brighton as the worst since the 1950’s.
      That doesn’t mean your being disloyal or unrealistic does it? It means you are passionate in your desire to see the club being successful I think.

      Everyone knows that kronkie will be the issue for Unai in the future, but to sit back and not question certain areas that are down to Emery himself is equavilent to burying ones head in the sand, ignoring the situation and stiflying debate.
      In Emery we ALL have to trust, otherwise what is there to look forward to?

      1. jon fox says:

        Ken, EXACTLY. In Emery we all have to trust! Completely agree! If you now read my answer to your further comment on the POINT 13 thread you will see my full answer and to this post too (which it is pointless repeating again on this thread).

  10. Grandad says:

    Lichsteiner is finished and an embarrassment to our Club.Since his injury AMN has struggled to find form due to the fact that we are continually chasing the game after conceding goals against average sides such as Southampton, Burnley and Brighton. Emery needs to tell him to keep it simple and focus on his defensive duties if he is played at right back .The same applies to Kolasinac on the other side who is far more effective as a wing back than a conventional left back.If we play a flat back four against Liverpool our full backs should be putting Mane and Salah out of the game before they think of bombing forward otherwise we could be in for a heavy defeat.It’s not rocket science but sensible tactics against a team with top class wingers.AMN has real talent and he will come good if he is given a run in central midfield.

  11. Declan says:

    AMN, yes a very good player but as for someone calling for him to replace Guendouzi is wrong imho. Guendouzi demands the ball and gets it because he is trusted to do something with it. AMN as good as he is does not do that, he’s reactive rather than proactive.
    Play them together I say.

    1. Th14 says:

      Wenger didn’t rate him as a CM but RB. Emery comes in and see his qualities are best suited as a RB and not CM… Surely these 2 great coaching minds aren’t fools are they?

      The sooner us gooners accept the reality that AMN is not good enough for a central midfield berth, the better for us. He should accept his new role and develop accordingly. No more nonsensical excuses of where his natural position is.

      1. Gizzle says:

        I really do like AMN but
        What is a Midfielder who cant score, Cant pass , doesn’t have vision .
        Please where is AMN real playing position because he is no CM or AM neither is he a DM or a B2B Midfielder .
        AMN major attribute is his athleticism .

  12. Break-on-through says:

    You can see no reason for a 34 year old, full Swiss international, inundated with awards, no reason why he would be picked over Jenkinson or AMN. If we had sat with those two, not brought anyone in, what do you believe that the vast majority would be saying about that. The fact is, and someone touched upon this in a number of articles back. The fact is, defenders will make mistakes, and the problem is, that they are likely to be more costly than if a forward player just stood there instead of trying to stop it all before it began.

    If Jenkinson had been starting, I believe it would only be a matter of time before his confidence went. One bad mistake and his confidence is shot. Seen it too many times.

    AMN, someone also touched upon this while back, and I agree. He looked disinterested in that last game, no passion, no effort, no belief. That is not how a young player should be at this stage, he has his entire life ahead of him. He’s playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, and the manager is giving him his shot. Anyone would think that he was being forced to do something that he isn’t proud of doing. He crumbles too easily, he needs to use that youth of his, get his head up, and put himself into gear.

    Experienced players don’t allow mistakes to bother them as much as the younger ones will. Remember Oxlade, whenever he had a brain fart. He’d be on edge throughout the entire game. Bendtner, miss after miss, even if scoring seemed easier. Managers usually have good reasons for the stuff they do. They’re not always right, or it’s not always clear to the fans. This one however, should be crystal clear to AFC fans.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      ? Lichtsteiner has also brought out the best in Bellerin prior to his injury.
      Against Liverpool the players’ first responsibility must be defense and players not bombing forward with too high a line. If a player is forward in the final third, his team mates need to drop back in cover.

  13. A.Y says:

    This is my first time of commenting on this wonderful and lovely site and I have been following justarsenal for 6 to 7 years?. Thanks a lot ADMIN for doing a great job on here and shout out to Phil, Sue, TH14, Jon fox, Xxnofx( I love you guys passion and love for this great club) and all my brothers. We all are arsenal fans and we want the best for our club.
    First of all I understand that most of us don’t like the way things are at the club at the moment but I want us to understand that if we all want the coach to start using our academic players on the pitch we all know that it’s not going to work. I understand that we have so many below average players right now but what I’m going to say is that we all should support our club let’s support our club through thing and thick. Take for example, look at man city they have youth players like Foden, they have diaz and they’re playing well coz they brought them into the team when the teams are playing well but you dont expect the coach to play a youth player when the team is not playing well it’s going to be a very huge from the coach and the player himself. Even Tottenham are playing a youth player right now but it’s because they are doing well if they’re not doing well you don’t expect the couch to bring in a youth player into the team is not done that way coz we are ARSENAL and not a league one club so what I’m just going to say is let’s support our club, and see where we finish this season but I still believe this group of players will get us into the champions league at the end of the season. Either by winning the Europa league or making the top 4. But personally, I want my great club( to win the Europa league) I want to know how it feels to win an European trophy. let’s wait till next season then we will know what the coach have in store for us but right now most of us know that we have below average players majority of them are not performing well on the pitch but I believe that in the summer they will all be sold and the coach will get a proper player who is going to play the emery style coz I believe in Emery. He’s an intelligent coach and very ambitious. Even Pep won’t make top four with this group of players. so I want to urge everybody to stop insulting one and other to stop getting unnecessary angry just let love this beloved club and support the team now because I believe that we are the 12th man the Team needs so let’s support our team let’s support them now that things are not good and when things are good( which will happen in one or two seasons) let us all enjoy the moment together thank you. A.Y from Lagos, Nigeria. Btw, I’ve been supporting this great club for 20yrs

    1. Sue says:

      ? A.Y keep the posts coming!

    2. Th14 says:

      A.Y my guy ??

  14. Grandad says:

    Lichsteiner is finished.He was freed because he had not a role to play at Juventus, a club with which we should be competing.He was signed by Arsenal because he was free and accepted a one year contract.He is one of the poorest defenders i have seen in an Arsenal shirt during the past 10 years.If he plays against Liverpool God help us.

    1. Sue says:

      Spot on Grandad

      1. ozziegunner says:

        I think Lichtsteiner is being made a scape goat; yes he was signed on a free, but only as a squad player. He like most of Arsenal’s defenders has had poor games. He has been combative at least.

Comments are closed