Why faith in youth won’t help Mikel Arteta get Arsenal back to top four this season

Youth will not be enough to help Mikel Arteta get Arsenal back among the elite.

Mikel Arteta takes over an Arsenal team that is very short on confidence and one which has relied on youngsters for much of the season.

The last team that Freddie Ljungberg put out had a midfield/forward trio of Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Riess Neilson.

That line up showed how unreliable senior players like Mesut Ozil have become, but I believe those youngsters can’t help Mikel Arteta as much as he would want.

Arteta managed alongside Pep at Manchester City and he must have seen how City struggle when they had to play without senior figures like Vincent Kompany.

While Arsenal have some of the most exciting youngsters in their ranks and some may argue that players like Trent Alexander Arnold are also teenagers, we have to consider the fact that these Arsenal youngsters have been playing alongside bad senior players and they have hardly learnt anything worthwhile.

In a perfect situation, the likes of Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka would have moulded the likes of Joe Willock and Nelson into good midfielders, but the youngsters seem to have been relied on even more than their supposed mentors.

Martinelli may have also hardly learnt anything new from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang so far.

I strongly believe that Arsenal has to bring out the cheque book and back Arteta to sign some passionate experienced players and ease the transition of our young players into the first team.


  1. It should be a mix of young and hungry players with senior players with passion and commitment. Not senior players with lazy care a damn attitude. Certainly Arsenal will have to dwelve into the transfer window, because we badly need one proper CB, one proper DM, one attacking midfielder and one forward if Auba and Laca are unsure about their future with Arsenal. With this , and with the energy and passion injected by Arteta, Arsenal will be a force to reckon with.

  2. It shd ba mix of experienced guys snd kids. To go 100%for kids will result in disappointment.
    I am Arteta knows the epl is a tough
    baptism ground for kids who need

  3. Given that we have money or budget to speak of particularly now we look likely to miss out on even EL football and revenue next season, I don’t expect much from transfer activity.

    It became clear last summer that players like Mustafi, Ozil and perhaps Xhaka were not easy to sell.

    We will likely only be able to buy new players if we first sell current players.
    IMO we should sell Xhaka, Mustafi and Sokratis and Luiz is we can but we should not expect crazy prices for these average or worse players.

    Then we should consider selling Aubamayang if he wants to go. We should get a bundle for him. Hopefully, we can convince Laca to stay otherwise we have to sell him as well.

    If we do sell Laca and Auba, we need an other striker with experience to come in and then if we manage to seel Xhaka and the CD we need one or two midfield players and at least one CD.

    But we have stop thinking we have money to spend before we sell. FFP is restrictive.

  4. The article argues for necessary big signings and that is undoubtedly the case. No rational Gooner could possible dissent. However I as have millins of others too, well know through our own personal life experience that when a special mentor, school teacher or whomsoevr comes into ones life a major improvemnt foit the bertter canoftern be swiftly accomplished . THE ONE RIDER IS THAT ONE HAS TO HAVE THE INNATE TALENT IN THR FIRST PLACE; if THAT is absent , no person on earth cam achieve miracles. In Arsenals case, most of our youngsters on thr brink of being regular first eleven choices DO possses such talent, though clearly the actual degree of talent varies with each individual. A top coach who gives belief , techniques and dedicationto his job can very often achieve gret improvements.

    Now, to achieve the standard we once regularly attained will take far more than merely talented and newly motivated youngsters. It will take, as this article correctly argues, a number of top standard imports too. But do not overlook the huge improvement in standard a top coach can make. I say that Arteta IS such a coach. I do not and never have forgotten the huge hindrance of our appalling owner and his wilful neglect and meannness. But given that depressing fact, let us stay hopeful. Things will, I firmly believe, get better. When and by how much, is for the future.

    1. Jon, I agree that Arteta gives reason for optimism. However, I do believe that we should be patient and realistic. If we finish in the top 7 this season I think that will likely be because of improvements made by Arteta. Some dream of a top 4 finish. To avoid unreasonable expectations we should give Arteta at least 2 full seasons IMO.

      A change in attitude and mentality can be expected soon and this will hopefully elevate us from the bottom half of the table back to the top half. But as you point out not even Arteta and can make champions of the likes of Sokratis, Mustafi, Xhaka, Luiz, Kolosinac, Ozil etc. This bit will take time before it is sorted out IMO.

      We have to hope things will start to go our way. The new CD we bought looks injury prone and fragile. We have to hope that once he arrives next season he turns out to be a Van Dijk like signing. Ceballos has had little impact and is on loan. We have to hope that either Arteta makes a star out him and we manage to sign him on a permanent basis (both unlikely IMO) Or we have to hope we manage to find an affordable Santi Cazorla like creative midfield player because we lack creativity in a big way. We have to hope Holding start being available for selection regularly and turns out to be a star. We have to hope Mavrapanos is also going to turn into a sold CD. We have to hope Chambers will develop into Mr solid and consistent.

      On our budget, we need a lot of things to go our way to get back to a top 4.

      Arteta is a big step in the process of rebuilding but he too has to show his potential is actualized.

      For the first time in a while, I am optimistic but I do hope the Emirates will be a kind place for our lads to play in. And I do hope everyone will be patient and realistic about what can be done with this squad.

  5. We cant rely on youth but like on Saturday, our youths gave us energy but lacked that experience to win the game. The blend is the secret and also good experienced pros to learn from and play with. Arsenals problem is the young players are learning from the likes of xhaka, ozil, bellerin and mustaffi, that is scary.

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