The Arsenal youngsters did well – Play them on Thursday….

Everyone expected Arsenal to be soundly beaten when Wenger named a side full of youngsters and second string players for todays game at Old Trafford, but we actually came surprisingly close to getting our first away point from our last six games until being undone by Fellaini in added time.

It was a surprise that Wenger played the rookie Mavroponas instead of Holding in defence, and Maitland-Niles and Nelson were also given rare run outs in the first team, but all three were very impressive considering our opponents and the opposition. Okay we lost in the end but Wenger was very pleased with the way our reserves played, and even Iwobi looked impressive after being out of form most of this year.

“It was a good performance,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “It reflects a little our away season. We had chances and on the counter we did not use our opportunities as well as we could have.

“It was very positive for the young team, but it is very disappointing in the dressing room and I think in the last 20 minutes you can see that some of the players are not used to that pace and intensity.

“It is good to see them in this atmosphere – who can win challenges.

“You can know their level, but you see what they can produce. It was hard to name a bad performance in our side.”

It is unusual for us to praise our players in yet another away defeat, but looking at how these youngsters played, and I include Chambers as well in the praise being given out. The defence looked much stronger than we have with Koscielny and Mustafi have this season, and perhaps Wenger should be brave on Thursday and play them again. If they can perform like that against Man United at Old Trafford, why not against Atletico in Spain?

Sam P


  1. John Wick says:

    Everyone raves about Reiss Nelson but in my opinion Maitland-Niles is head and shoulders above any other youngster at Arsenal that boy has some real talent finally an academy player to be excited about! Also that Greek kid was outstanding not getting carried away by one performance but he does look quality already, he made Lukaku look invisible! Overall I was impressed with Arsenal yesterday but really annoyed losing at old Trafford again just losing to man utd anytime ruins my day ? but onto Madrid Thursday I just really hope we can do it, surely something has got to go our way this season it’s been a miserable one, we deserve to smile for once. COYG

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      John, agree with you on Maitland-Niles and Mavropanos. We are in good company as I just watched the Arsenal Fan TV interview with Arsenal great Kevin Campbell, who was glowing in his praise for both Mavropanos and Maitland-Niles. He also said Arsenal would beat not draw with Atletico Madrid on Thursday.
      COYG must give everything at Atletico.

      1. John Wick says:

        Ozziegunner let’s hope KC is right I still believe we can do it if we’re at it, it will be tough against that juggernaut defence but stranger things have happened. Let’s believe ?

    2. gotanidea says:

      So much hype on Nelson previously, some said that he has the same talent as Mbappe. But in reality, he sucked again as an inverted left winger, he might only be able to play in the right side like Walcott

      Maitland-Niles might be better in the wings

      Mavropanos looked good, as what Holding was when he appeared initially. We should see him play in the next season, before deciding to replace Mustafi with him

      1. frank says:

        i think many of this kid come wen they are gud only to be wengernized.personally i think was a gud thing he introduced them wen he was leaving.under new manager they will shine.maitland and mavropanos.

    3. Kedar91 says:

      20 year kid was really impressive… I think we should give him a chance against AM… It is really unusual that he actually had strong challenge on Big Strong and Powerful Lukaku and sent him out injured… Its not easy put strong physical performance against Lukaku… And AMN… Well he was really impressive against Pogba… Very impressive… He went shoulder to shoulder and head on head against Pogba…

    4. Midkemma says:

      For me it isn’t a case of this or that with Nelson and AMN, they are both exciting and I feel AMN is a bit ahead in his development which isn’t surprising as Nelson is younger and has a bit more time.

      I hope Nelson can keep developing, not saying he can be better or worse as they are different style of players and it is exciting to see both of them, I hope they can grow to compliment each other as they have very different traits.

      I agree with you thought that AMN gets me more excited currently, I have been dreaming of a Vieira replacement and it would be perfect if AMN can grow into that, the pride of having developed the next Vieira would be better than buying it ^.^

  2. Arsene is Out says:

    I think if we have the funds available we should sell Mustafi and Xhaka and replace them with much better options like Fabinho and Koulibally. We could probably get 40-50M total for these mediocre players together. And then spend about 100M -120M for the other two.
    Jack is also probably out of the door. Per is out Cazorla is out. Koscielny looks like he cant really play at this level consistently anymore. So that’s 3 defenders and 3 midfielders out the door. If we could get Max Meyer on a free then we should be ok in the middle of the park and in Defense.

    Central Defenders: Koulibally, Mavros, Chambers, Holding, Koscielny

    Central Midfield: Ramsey, AMN, Meyer, Elneny, Fabinho

    Attack: Auba, Laca, Ozil, Mhiki, Welbeck, Iwobi, Nelson, Nketiah

    I would rather get rid of Welbeck and Iwobi and get Martial or Dembele there but that’s probably highly unlikely.

    We also need a new GK and although Oblak would be the ideal keeper, I think we will probably get someone like Leno.

    That is why Enrique is asking for 200M because we need that much to be competitive in this league.
    Sell: Mustafi, Xhaka, Welbeck, Iwobi, Ospina
    Release: Wilshire
    Retire: Per, Santi

    Buy: Oblak, Koulibaly, Fabinho, Meyer, Martial/Dembele
    Promote: AMN,Nelson,Nketiah, Mavros

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      Oblak would cost close to 80m to fend off other competitors

      quality centreback and DM would cost at least 50m each….

      we still need a quality RB to compete with Bellerin….and that would cost close to 50m….

      A speedy and creative winger like Martial or Sane is also required….that would cost at least 50m

      its likely we need 300m to spend….Xhaka and Mustafic sales would probably bring in 50-60m …

  3. Innit says:

    If they are mediocre, how will we get £40-50?

    We definitely need to UPGRADE Xhaka and Mustafi. They def are not good enough to take us higher. They are not Top players.
    I think they are better than mediocre personally. To me the word “mediocre” has a negative connotation to it. I don’t think they are below average. I think they are average and even quite decent on occasions

    If we can get £40-50 mil then YES of course sell them. But we paid £70 mil for them and if we can’t get at least £40 mil we might as well keep them and use them as backups Or loan them out. Instead of selling them for a great loss. Again they aren’t bad players and useful as backups. They also have room for improvement.

    1. Arsene is Out says:

      I think we can get about 20M for each of them. Add another 15-20 for Welbeck and Iwobi each and a few million for Ospina and we can have about 75-80M from player sales.

      Oblak is probably out of our reach at 80M

      But Leno has an 18M clause.
      A good CB should be about 50M or so same for a good DM – So about 120M covers those 3 positions. That’s about 50M net spend if we can flog the deadwood. We still need a Left winger and a backup RB. NO matter how you slice and dice it we need over 100M net spend at least to become competitive again or Sven has to pull a couple of gems out of his hat.

    2. frank says:

      with mustafi i dnt agree,how comes wen we bought him was lyk this.why does he play 4 germany,does it mean if he was poor there is no other better player than him in germany?its how they r trained at arsenal.i rem,wen he arrived we went many games undefeated,he got injured on way back he become wengernized.its abt arsene methods.mustaf is a beat of player trust me

      1. frank says:

        i meant …..wasnt lyk this….

  4. tony says:

    we can sell them to buy new proven players.thats what chicken farmers do.they grow chicken then sell em.
    why play them on thursday?send them to world cup directly.even better they can stat their own world cup

  5. Phil says:

    @Lexynal-firstly may I offer to you my sincere apologies for not replying to you on Sunday evening.I was unfortunately driving back from Manchester and we all know the problems we face getting away from Old Trafford and out of Manchester itself and that’s before we have to tackle the M6.We all done it so many times haven’t we?Im sure you have.Anyway getting home at just before 11.45pm and having to leave Home at 4.00 am to get to Heathrow ready for my flight to Madrid I trust you will accept my reasons for lateness of reply.
    Anyway now sat in Business Class Lounge in Terminal 5 I have time to offer you my thoughts on your comment calling out among others Sir Jon Fox and myself.Getting rod of us as supporters I believe was the basic message.Why?I can only believe it’s because we differ in our opinions from you.
    So I believe it’s fair to say that both JF and myself wanted Wenger out.I believe we have along with many others on this site posted this fact on many numerous occasions.Well he is now gone.He was SACKED.The reason he was SACKED is because he was not capable of doing his job.Its as simple as that.It was pretty much obvious to every supporter whether pro or anti Wenger(note I have refrained from the AKB’s & AOB’s titles) that his time was coming to an end.Am I pleased? Oh yes.Do I blame him for taking our club to the SECOND TIER OF PREMIER LEAGUE AND EUROPEAN FOOTBALL STANDINGS?Yes.Was he capable of reversing the Club from the downward spiral we are in due to the embarrassing performances and results HIS TEAM have delivered this season.Did he earn the right to finish the final year on his contract following the results HIS TEAM have produced?Obviously not.Plaese remember it was not Sir Jon Fox or myself or the many others that SACKED Wenger.It was the Owner and the Board of Arsenal Football Club.Why did they SACK him.Because they too arrived at the very simple conclusion that Wenger could not manage the Club to a level where we could compete at the top level of domestic and European football.And they were right.There is absolutely no argument.Wenger was given a Two Year contract at the end of last season.He more or less held the Board to ransom by not confirming whether or not he would sign his contract.This in itself led to turmoil and unrest within the Club.This is the arrogance of the man that I despise.This man actually believed he was bigger than Arsenal Football Club.Well I wonder how he feels now don’t you?He deserved no new contract last year but the Owner and the Board gave him one.It apparently was not a unanimous decision as Board members wanted change and it was finally Kronke that gave Wenger his contract.Results and performances have proved that decision wrong.
    So I could now destroy you over your pathetic childish and small minded continue comments of ANYONE who seems to have a different opinion to you of being Spuds fans.Its not just you so you have obviously delighted yourself that you do have other posters on this site who feel they have made an important statement and you probably wet your pants laughing at what you wrote and believing others laughed along with you.So you have your little chuckle at my expense.If you feel good with yourself making these comments then who am I to argue.
    So I’m off to grab a breakfast before my flight and will over the course of the next few days be joined by a now confirmed total of 14 pals to enjoy a few days on the lash in Madrid where I’m sure we will toast the fact Wenger is finally gone.
    You I suppose will be watching at home on the TV?But then I do what all true Spuds do-I meant Gooners do.


      Phil, you are lucky and a true fan for being able to watch all the games live in person unlike many who either couldn’t afford it or leave too far of a distance. I can tell you one thing for sure though, majority of arsenal fans around the by far are celebrating that Wenger is finally leaving. At the moment am residing in Kenya, and every arsenal fan I see is full of joy and hope that next season we’ll have a new manager.

      1. Phil says:

        @InternationalSrdensl-I do consider myself fortunate to be able to indulge in what I love doing which is following Arsenal around England and Europe and I do appreciate an awfull numbercof fans either can not afford to attend games or simply live outside the Country.To me this makes them no lesser fan.We all support our Club.We all love our Club.
        We all have different views on players, managers , tactics ,and everything else regarding our Club.
        But I simply have to react when someone posts that as my views differ from theirs I am or should be a Spuds/Chelski/Citeh fan.How childish is that.Its never been in my dna to avoid confronting individuals who wish to say anything to both myself and others that insult or annoy me.Its just my nature and upbringing.
        So enjoy the game Thursday and keep the faith.Now Wenger is finally gone we might just get our Football Club back


          Phil, I completely agree. No one should accuse an arsenal for of not being a ‘real’ fan just because their opinion might be different to your own. Especially when they are the majority by far. Yes majority of arsenal fans worldwide wanted Wenger to be sacked.
          Enjoy the game.

    2. kklin says:

      Banter, banter, banter!!!

    3. Lexynal says:

      @ Phil: Thanks for your response and I applaud your commitment to the cause of team going by your travels.
      I just can’t still believe board was held to ransom last season by a man they could easily sack. It’s unthinkable. Nonetheless, I believe AW has his values and standards which he would not compromise. And if he is willing to go rather than change…and SACK is the name for it – so be it. While you may be toasting in Madrid, we will be toasting that AW left legacies that we will wait for the new manager to beat. Not many….if any…for a long time…we beat his legacies. The football achievers are already celebrating him…and many and bigger will follow suit. So, I dont care if some are toasting elsewhere because I care more about the opinions of true achievers; and achievers recognize what it takes to do what AW accomplished under those conditions. That is the “club” i want to identify with. Not be disrespectful to a man that did so much and achieved so much. Anyways, I have made my points; until another manager achieve equal or MORE than AW did under SAME operating conditions….there will be nothing NEW (strings of victories, good team goals, trophies etc – we have seen all of that with AW – including the INVICIBLES feat which Pep and Mourinho are admiring but couldn’t yet achieve)
      We can change manager – BUT we also need MUST review and change certain policies; that will make a whole lot of sense and we can expect to see different results in the face a lot more competitive leagues (with heavy spenders now coming into play). BUT we must not be disrespectful to an achiever that Wenger is. That’s my point.
      When the new manager arrives and now has bigger transfer funds (and boards does better job in transfer marker and contract negotiation), it will be nothing special if they go ahead to win EPL or UCL. Havent other clubs done that (and more)? TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN……

      All the best to my darling team in Maldrid come Thursday. And thank you Wenger…you did your best (perhaps more than best) wihin the circumstances and resources. We are yet to see your equal under that same conditions…NO WONDER YOU WILL BE CELEBRATED AND HONORED “NOW” AND IN THE YEARS TO COME. No one can change records and history!

  6. Sergio says:

    “It was hard to name a bad performance in our side.”

    Xhaka. I know his game improved second half but he was still awful.

    I think we should be coaching AMN in the DM role to replace Xhaka – he’s agile and quick, tenacious, has good positional awareness and passes well.

    1. Phil says:

      And he stays on his feet,Looks for forward passes,Is inclined to pass to players wearing the same shirt as him and looks more assured and comfortable with the ball.

  7. Phil says:

    Admin-I seem to have had quite a few posts come under “Comment is awaiting Moderation”lately.There have been posts you have allowed that have come from both sides of the divide that have carried far greater insults and venom than anything I have written in with.Not bothered but seems you pick out individuals rather than content

    1. Phil says:

      See what I mean

      1. Admin says:

        Check your email address!!!!

    2. Admin says:

      Phil, you may blame me for everything but yet again you are wrong!
      as you know all now commentators are moderated until comments are approved, but you have logged in with a changed email address which makes the site think you are new….

      1. Phil says:

        Ah yes just noticed-apologies Admin.

        1. Admin says:

          No problem mate. Just please don’t always assume it’s my fault!….

          1. Godswill says:

            Admin finally what do you say about the thumbs?
            Remember it was interesting and helping throw out any comment that escaped your moderation.

          2. Lexynal says:

            @ Admin….THANK YOU. Your responses speak volume about Phil and you are not alone. I can’t be more justified. I rest my case!

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