Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Bellerin backs kids to fill the void

Hector Bellerin believes Arsenal’s ever-worsening injury crisis can be eased by the club’s latest generation of Academy graduates.

The Gunners travelled to Norwich on Sunday without six first team players and saw Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny and Santi Cazorla pick up new problems just as Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made their respective returns.

With six games in December the situation threatens to inflict serious damage on Arsenal’s title credentials, however, Bellerin – who benefitted from a similar injury situation last year – believes the quality coming through the ranks can lend Arsene Wenger a helping hand.

“I have said it before, there is great depth in the team,” the Spaniard told Arsenal Player. “There are a lot of young players in the team waiting to come through, and we have a lot of quality training with us every day.

“They are ready to step up so obviously every single player on the bench can do the same job as every single player in the starting XI. We don’t need to worry about [the injuries to Alexis and Koscielny].

“The only thing we need to do is go out onto the pitch with the right mentality, it does not matter who we play.”

Reflecting on a difficult afternoon at Carrow Road, Bellerin added: “The conditions weren’t the best but Norwich are a well-organised team who were very solid at the back and dangerous on the counter. We should have played our game better than we did.

“We made some mistakes that cost us the game and we need to look at ourselves and realise that this is not the way. We need to push ourselves a bit more and play better football if we want to be at the top.

“What happened on the pitch was not a great experience but we need to try and bounce back so we are ready for the next game.”

While we admire Hector’s optimism, it’s far from ideal that we’re weighing up the use of kids in the place of a £32 million star striker. Four youngsters – Alex Iwobi, Kystian Bielik, Ismael Bennacer and Glen Kamara – were handed first team debuts against Sheffield Wednesday…and the manager made clear he was far from impressed.

The Jeff – a fixture on the bench in recent weeks – and the highly-rated Dan Crowley are further options, but after that our ‘teenage’ options are limited.



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He is too optimistic, replacing a seasoned international with a kid will work if the kid is exceptional but isn’t going to work with more than one.

Even replacing with another international eg Gibbs or Campbell isn’t a guarantee that the team won’t be weakened.

Just have to hope the injuries are better than expected or recovery times are short.


He is talking about his friends, he thinks they are great.


Yeah I totally agree.

No way can you get away with having a load of kids playing these types of matches that essentially are all must win games. Arsene even said post match that the kids that played away at Sheffield aren’t even Championship standard.

Jeremy Del-Guidici

The great thing is with kids though is that they give you hope and inspiration. I think someone like the Jeff could really refresh the fans optimism, who would of course really get behind him. No miracles expected, but every positive would be a wonderful thing.I feel like I would rather see this ‘gamble’ taken, than when we inevitably fall short with our conservative selection of inferior and patched together squad players anyway.

Ozil's eyes

Time to recall Zelalem and Serge Nagbri from their loan spell at Rangers and west Bromwich respectively. And if Jordan Ibe can get games at Liverpool I’m sure Iwobi can get a game at Arsenal and do a job


Wenger himself said none of them are ready.

Good ol' 1 nil to Woolwich

Have to say teams who have suffered losses or are in relegation scrap are quite difficult to play. Having said that, too many youngsters in the team may not help. Maybe one to start (the Jeff?) And another to join in (Crowley to sub off Ozil when the game looks in the bag) but really its not a video game so it may not just turn out nice.


Let’s face it. It would have been almost impossible for Alexis to go through the whole season without missing a few games. So with the squad as depleted as it is I think they are capable of getting the job done against the likes of Sunderland and villa. I know, I know that the same could be said about west brom and Norwich. There are no easy games in the premier League but these are relatively easier fixtures and honestly if we can’t get the job done against these teams without Sanchez then our title hopes were never genuine. Things… Read more »


Agreed. Last couple of games have been rough, but one look at the table will tell you the teams around us are on a similarly bad run. Leicester will falter, the red part of Manchester aren’t going anywhere with their squad, Liverpool and Tottenham don’t have the quality. The only true team to beat are Manchester City, and if we just buckle down and start winning games the ugly way, they won’t run away from us. Anything is still possible in my opinion.

Anonymous Physicist

I agree with your assessment of the league: United have barely played two good games all season, and will continue to drop points at their current rate, while Leicester are bound to drop off, and Liverpool and Sp*rs don’t have the quality to come back. How hard the league is going to be to win this year is going to be all down to City. So far, they’re not making it very hard (they’re on course for 79 points at the moment, which hasn’t been enough to win the league since the ’90s). However, they do have the squad to… Read more »


Would it not have been better to rest him for one game, rather than risking it and losing him for 6 or 7? I do not understand the logic behind it…


Like we rested Cech in CL? Look how the fans and media reacted to that one. But we do need to start winning these games against ower half teams if we’re going to have a go at title.


Ospina is perfectly capable of playing against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos and, as I recall, played very well for us while Szczesny was being disciplined. So, yes, I completely agree with Wenger resting Cech for those games… The Sanchez situation was a lose lose for Wenger. Play him and risk injury, don’t play him and suffer backlash from media and fans if we don’t get the right result..


I’d say that Ospina showed that he is not perfectly capable for Dinamo or Olympiakos, and such level of competition… Despite some spells of good form last year, I am still not sure at all that he is the right guy to for Arsenal, def not for the 1st choice, a backup, not sure even for that.


Thank you

Man Manny

The reality on ground is that Arsenal is vulnerable if the 1st team is incomplete.
Playing kids is a different ball-game altogether. This doesn’t fill me with much hope, I am afraid.

Man Manny

One more thing; do we have another set of kids apart from the ones who played the COC? If no, you can draw your own conclusions.


We could recall some of those on loan.


Coq is broke, Flamini strapped on but now there’s no Alexis to throw in.


Atleast Alexis gets his rest. He’ll be like the hulk when he returns. I think our youngsters can help us. Should we now recall Toral? The Jeff and Crawley can help us. They have the element of surprise.


The 20 year old Hector is obviously a role model for youth team to inspire them…which is fine, but that is it.


Laughing now because Wenger is compelled, forced, has no choice, is obliged to buy during this window.

kez wants wenger out

He won’t buy anyone. I don’t give a fuck about the transfer windows anymore because 9 times out of 10 we end up disappointed in the activity by Wenger.


Except the ones where we bought Alexis, Ozil, Cech??

kez wants wenger out

Yes mate. Great windows. But I think we all could agree on that Özil and Cech was signed in windows where we still expect a larger amount of players to be signed. Was it great signings? Yes. Was it good transfer window in regards of getting the players you need to challenge? No..

Gooner Smurf

at some point, AW has to shoulder responsibility. it borders on negligence that Alexis had to be rested only after injury. I appreciate that there might not be a suitable and healthy substitute at the moment, but the outcome is the same, rest him and put in a “lesser” individual or wait till he is injured and forced into playing a “lesser” player. great as AW is a manager, he is should not be immune to criticism. on the whole, two points off the top with half a season still to play is not disastrous. the top three will have… Read more »

kez wants wenger out

AW is a great manager but the transfer windows are beyond a joke now. Either the man is ignorant and naive or the board is restricting us. So many players that could have strengthened the team last summer. Nothing done. Only investing money on keeping some of the players we have here. Like handing Giroud a £140k/week contract. He’s worth half of that amount. Not even Lewandowski earn that kind of money at Bayern Münich. Absolutely ridiculous.


Source for OG’s and RL’s salaries please. Thanks.

kez wants wenger out

Actually, I was wrong. Giroud’s new contract was somewhere between £90-130k depending on different sources. Anyhow that’s way above his actual value. Lewandowski however is around £140k. But still Giroud isn’t worth anywhere near that kind of money. He is an average premier league striker and should not be one of the top earners at the club.


Actually sick of this now. How can Wenger keep trusting the same players who are always injured for long parts of the season EVERY YEAR. The players we have “coming back” will probably be injured again within a month.. I hope everyone is braced for this disappointment. It could still happen but the game in Olympiacos was always going to be tough to win.. let alone with our best CB, best CM and best winger potentially all out. It’s actually a farce I’ve never known anything like it at other clubs. Klopp said it how it is the other day… Read more »

Naija Gunner

In Wenger we trusts…can’t we have a season without a whole lot of good quality players getting injured?


Thanks mate. I actually agree with the article. This is the best part: “Management is not blindly giving in to the demands of a player who is desperate to play in every minute of the campaign. Management is not leaving a squad so short of options that key players are worked to the point of exhaustion. Management is not telling Wales manager Chris Coleman to rest Aaron Ramsey when you show no sign of doing the same with your own jewels.” Also, I don’t understand why didn’t he put Gabriel to play in WBA game, Kos was obviously shaken up… Read more »


Unfortunately the ones that could help us out are all on loan other than the Jeff, but Wenger hasn’t rotated at all really this season so certainly won’t start now even with the injury crisis we have. The only rotation really is bringing in Debuchy, Gibbs and Ospina, but those are the areas where we are the deepest right now. Giroud already seems to be hitting the wall and the only real replacement for him currently had been Alexis and now he is out so if anything happens to him we are looking at Iwobi or Campbell playing there. Not… Read more »


He needs to focus on his own game. He’s still young and learning and has a few sloppy games recently.


Every one keeps talking about the “players” or the “game” in fact they have not played a game of football since they were young lads. It’s not a game, it’s not a play it’s a contest between two squads of contestants. It’s not that we lose but the way we lose. As Bobby Robson once said, It’s the first ” 90 minutes” that count.


I want to be a in a squad of footballing contestants when I grow up.

kez wants wenger out

Well, I hope none of the kids actually gets the opportunity as none of them are premier league quality. Wenger has once again shoot himself in the foot and are getting away with it as usual..


Maybe all other teams are all on gear and our players are playing on natural strengths, hence why we get so many injuries.


The Jeff – a fixture on the bench in recent weeks – and the highly-rated Dan Crowley are further options, but after that our ‘teenage’ options are limited. Let’s face it, they are non existent – rather than just limited. I’m all for giving young players a run but the domestic cup games are the ones for that. We’ve got Sunderland next week and by rights that should be three points. But they’ve just won two on the bounce and will put everything into this. So experience is a must. And we’re just running out of players. But this is… Read more »


Bellerin managed to replace Debuchy but Bellerin exceptional for his age.


Not all that optimistic after the Sheffield Wednesday debacle. He didn’t mention Santi which is a bonus but the other two have become irreplaceable within the squad. Theo supposed to be due back soon but as always you wonder how long before his next bout in the treatment room. No point everyone harping on about the transfer window. It’s still a month away and we rarely sign anyone straight away.


No offence to the guy who posted that Giroud is on 90-130k a week but I refuse to believe that. Naive and ignorant Wenger may be at times, but he’s an economist. Complete nonsense that Giroud is on that much. Maybe some sources quote it as that much but it’s bollocks, I’m willing to accept he may be scraping 90k tops with bonuses but 130k?!? Have you smoked anything today??? If a player like Ozil is on 120k (apparently) and we’re offering him a new contract, what kind of salary do you think we’d have to offer him to get… Read more »


Maybe we will see Ramsey in the middle and Campbell and the Ox on the wings. Thankfully the injuries seem like a revolving door. We lose players as we get some back.


Injuries are part of the game and there is nothing more Wenger can do about it. With so many players out which game did you expect Wenger to rest him and who would have taken his position?


I back one of our youngsters to come in and do a job

Liam Bergkamp

How many more times is Blogs gonna repeat the ridiculous line that the kids aren’t ready because they played terribly against Sheffield Wednesday!?
You can’t judge players on one game!
I’m amazed that someone as intelligent as Blogs keeps peddling that same line in so many of his posts.
Given the chance we have kids that can certainly make the grade just as Bellerin and many before him have done. It certainly helps if luck is with them which inspires confidence and that’s what the game revolves around.
It’s pretty foolish to write players off based on one poor game!


I didn’t write them off, I simply said that they’re just not ready for top flight football. Of course they’ll get better if they play more, but that doesn’t mean they’re at the right standard yet. I don’t understand why that’s difficult to grasp.


Giving the kids a shot would be a good idea, look at Coq, we don’t know what we have until we give them a chance. Maybe we can recall a loanee or two, would love to have seen Gnabry in Alexis’ spot while he’s out. Bigger issue to me is why we gave out contract renewals to Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini. Two of which are injury prone and all taking up non-homegrown spots. I can see keeping one for veteran stability in the room, but not all three. Even if we didn’t replace them with top quality but instead younger… Read more »


Spot on with contract renewals for Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky.

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