Why Arsenal should NOT rush Eddie Nketiah

A week ago no one heard of Eddie Nketiah. When he came on against Norwich, fans were ready to criticise Arsene Wenger for not having the foresight to at least have an experienced bench on hand, in case something went wrong in the League Cup. Two goals later and the teenager is having supporters demand he receives a pay rise, want him to at least be a substitute in the Premiership and with us again fielding our squad players in the Europa League an insistence that he should start this Thursday.

This was the competition which was supposed to reassure Oliver Giroud and Theo Walcott that they would still get plenty of minutes this season. Now you get the sense that if Walcott doesn’t at least score against Crvena Zvezda, demands Nketiah to replace him will intensify. Now I’m not suggesting that Walcott should not have to face competition even in a reserve team. An England international on 140-000 a week sweating for his place even when his manager makes wholesale changes from the weekend seems unprecedented. Yet it’s the latest example of Walcott being too comfortable, something which sums up his career in North London.

Instead of using games against weak opposition as a chance to help himself to a hat-full of goals, he’s looking over his shoulder at the development of an 18 year old. Yet the fact is we are talking about an 18 year old. Walcott himself knows what can happen when you have the spotlight put on you at such a young age. Our manager seems to be the only one who realises that there is no need to rush him into the limelight. He’s seem the same happen to a Jermaine Pennant, who’s mentality was not able to handle what comes with being built up as the future of such a huge club.

Of course in 2017, it’s even harder for fans not to get carried away. Thanks to social media, opinions can be shared with the world in a matter of seconds. Last Tuesday suddenly a name most were not even thinking about when they woke up that morning were predicting this was going to be the talent to solve all our problems. Now to be fair, there are hardcore supporters who follow our under 23’s and have long been talking about this hidden gem. But the majority at the Emirates have formed an opinion based on two set piece goals against Championship opposition in a mickey mouse cup. If his contribution in his short cameo was to hit the wood work upon us entering the cup, no one would care. That shows how fickle the modern fans has become.
Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to dampen what the boy achieved, His dream came true and the fact he was able to deal with the occasion already tells us a lot about him. But if we really want him to develop and be all he can be then we need to not rush him.

While people are quick to demean the League Cup it is still one of the few trophies we can realistically win. Now that we are in the quarter final why not target a Wembley final? Both Manchester clubs and Chelsea take it seriously and they have a chance of winning the Premiership and Champions League.

Ask West Ham if they would like us to play a teenager up front against an established top flight side? Being put in a role where you are responsible for firing a side to a semi-final is throwing an individual in a the deep end. If he drowns who is to say it doesn’t ruin his confidence.

Why do all that based on two corners against Norwich?

Dan Smith


  1. chris says:

    He won’t be rushed in. He won’t be more than on the bench in the Euro mickey mouse cup.

    1. Mitch Connor says:

      Dude how old are you?
      It’s comments like this that makes me hate some so called “Fans”. So immature and ungrateful that they feel ENTITLED. “We are above everyone else” “We are special”, “Only Champions League and Premier League are worth anything, everything else sucks”. Just because 2 trophies are biggest does not mean Europa, FA and even League Cups are “Mickey Mouse”. The Emirates Cup is a joke cup I suppose but I still want Arsenal to win as many trophies as possible.
      It wasn’t Mickey Mouse For Mourinho, Ibrahimovic and Pogba. They were ecstatic when they won it. Also a trophy that sends you straight to the Champions League regardless of your standing in the League means the Europa Cup has a lot of respect and power. If it was a Mickey Mouse Cup it would give you a ticket to Champions League. Yes Champions League is bigger than Europa, but we haven’t even won Europa. In fact we were not good enough to be in it. We finished 5th place. We need to be a bit more grateful for what we do win. We need to get off our high horse and be a bit more humble and appreciative of other trophies too. Then maybe we will deserve to win the big ones. I for one am really proud of winning 3 FA CUPS in 4 years.

  2. ThirdManJW says:

    I just hope Wenger uses Nketiah in his favoured position. I really am getting sick to death of him constantly not playing senior, and reserve players in their natural positions. After looking decent at CB, Wenger single-handedly destroyed Chambers, by persisting with him at RB (despite the fact every winger was having a field day against him), and he looks to be doing the same with Nelson at the moment.

    My other worry, is what kind of mentality is Wenger instilling into Nketiah, and other youngsters? We all know the coaching is poor at Arsenal, but more people need to realise that the mentality side of the game isn’t properly being nurtured as well. To be fair, some people are just born fighters (like Alexis), they have the ability to self motivate, and Eddie does seem to have a little of that, from the handful of times I’ve seen him.

    I really hope he can be success, but I am not getting carried away after just ONE GAME!

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      The Ibrahims are assuming they are used in other positions to learn how to defend

      or they will end up like Ozil that do not defend

      or Xhaka who does not know how to tackle

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        What sense is it to try and force players to learn new positions, whilst at the same time, ignoring their natural talents? Were Messi, and Ronaldo played in defensive positions, to learn that side of the game?

        Teaching players how to tackle is something every player will learn, and be coached in, regardless of position. Playing someone like Nelson at wing-back is just wasting time in the players development.

        1. jon fox says:

          Spot on. Crazy to play players out of position and as you rightly say, this often happens to young players who would otherwise improve more quickly played in their natural position. What possible use is delaying this progress by wasting their youth playing out of position? I should ask Wenger this, not you , obviously since you have the sense to see what is in front of you, which Wenger lacks.

    2. Midkemma says:

      Wenger likes his players to be as much of complete footballers as they can be, that means they need exposure in more areas than the sole single area they like.

      Perfect example is Nelson, I would love to see him start alongside Alexis (just behind Lacazette) in part of the 2 AM lineup.
      I am imagining how much better it can be if Nelson can defend like a defender from the moment we lose the ball, pressing from the attackers right back to defenders….

      Now that is something I want as well.

      Oh and regardes to Chambers, Wenger didn’t single handedly destroy him, he did step up a bit with us at CB after he spent a lot of time at RB before we bought him. Chambers can become the right sided version of Monreal with his experience at RB and CB, like Monreal has experience at CB and LB…

      Monreal is another player who was used out of position and it frustrated me at the time, now though, I am glad Monreal got that experience as he is one of the best LCB I have seen this season!

      Wenger is bad at tactics, he is terrible at training GKs… He can develop outfield players as long as they have the mental desire. He knows outfield roles. He was the one who converted Cashley from an attacker to LB, Kolo to CB, told TH14 to gain experience as a left winger. He has moved Bielik from CM to CB and he is doing VERY well in that role, developing very nicely.
      Alexis was a Right sided attacker at Barca, now he is seen as a left sided attacker.
      Cesc was a Volante (holding CM) but under Wenger he played CM and ACM.

      1. Sam says:

        Imagine if messi, Ronaldo, Neymar or mbappe etc were played out of position by their respective coaches at their young ages just to make them the so called all round players? Im sure they wouldnt have been where they are today. wenger has not been producing great players again because of this stupid reason because it affects the confidence of this young stars. The last time I checked all the greatest players that has ever played the game started their career at their very young age at 17 or 18yrs.eg Pele, Maradona, messi Ronaldinho , zidane to mention but few. So wenger should start playing these young stars at in their natural position as soon as possible

  3. Ray says:

    Walcott needs to be dropped, period! He’s not developed enough for me over the last five years. Nketiah should be given a chance to shine because he looks like he wants to shine for Arsenal!

    Maybe Walcott will push himself harder to affirm his place in the squad? The trouble at Arsenal is that some players get away average performances because the competition for the same places are not that strong.

    I personally think all this talk of “rushing” a player into the team is a little bit confusing. If a player is ready at an early age of his career then why hold him back?

    Put him in the squad and let him light the stage up. Just like Beckham and Rooney did!!

    1. Midkemma says:


      Just a couple more for your example 🙂

    2. Admin says:

      But Wenger can’t forget what happened when he overplayed Wilshere too early….

      1. jon fox says:

        Not as simple as overplaying, though he did play a lot in those days and that is too easy an accusation to make. Wilshere must accept much of the blame for his throwing himself into 40-60 tackles style when overrunning the ball. That is a key reason for his many injuries. You could have said he should have been coached to release the ball sooner and that he was not so coached WOULD HAVE BEEN DOWN TO WENGER.

    3. Twig says:

      Walcott has already been dropped mate.
      Maybe you want to see him sacked?

      1. jon fox says:

        Well I do anyway and have wanted him sacked for the last decade.

  4. Arsene can't run out of bars says:

    We are witnessing the early stages of ‘The class of 2019’

    Their achievements will blitz man united’s class of 92

    1. jon fox says:

      Surely it’s too early to say for sure. Signs are good I agree but that class of 92 were special at United. But if you are right and I cannot say you are not either , we are in for a treat.

  5. John says:

    Nketiah, Nelson, Wilcox,Nwakali, Maitland, Martinez and a few of the young gunners are ready for first team football……if we don’t give them playing time…….forget it……they will run their contracts down and leave…………NKetiah is ready…….he scores goals…………it is natural to him………..Arsenal should give renew his contract and give him some game time…….or he will leave………Mancity looks like an old Arsenal team…….a blend of youth and experience…………….

  6. Break-on-through says:

    Nketiah, sounds like a hot woman. I liked how on one of his goals, even though it was an easy chance, how he made sure the ball went between the two players nearest him. Ive seen players just swing without thinking about direction, and sometimes they make fools of themselves. It looked a simple chance but I like how concentrated he was and how he made sure of it. It was professional.

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