Nelson: I need to take my chances when they come

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Reiss Nelson says that he’ll have to work hard to earn a regular place in Unai Emery’s starting lineup but he’s up for the challenge and excited about what a new-look Arsenal can achieve this season.

In the absence of senior teammates who are still getting up to full fitness, the England under-21 international produced a composed performance in the opening weekend 1-0 win over Newcastle; his first start for the Gunners in 16 months.

Having been on loan at Hoffenheim for a year, the winger, who was this summer promoted to the first team, was pleased by the trust shown in him by the boss and is now hoping for more minutes by impressing in training.

“For me, I just want to take things as they come,” Nelson told the Evening Standard. “I went away in Germany and I think I did well. But the main goal for me has always been playing in an Arsenal shirt week in, week out.

“The boss told me on Wednesday I would be starting and to get mentally prepared. It was a great gesture from the boss and I’m just happy to be back playing in Arsenal colours.

“I need to be prepared all the time for whenever I get the call-up because I know it’s not guaranteed I’m going to be starting week in, week out with the team-mates we have.”

Nelson also spoke about the arrival of Nicolas Pepe who arrived from Lille for a club-record fee of £72 million. It looks as though the Ivorian will operate on the right side of attack with Nelson challenging Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the opposite flank. The club’s attacking options are a reason for excitement said the 19-year-old.

“We have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette. They are great stars and I’m still only young so I need to sit back and when I get my chance take it,” he said.

“He’s (Pepe) been such a great addition. We’re so happy to have him. He’s always scoring or creating goals, but off the ball he’s also working very hard for the team and as a striker that really helps people like me and everyone else alongside him.

“He’s settled in well and he looks a really good addition. We saw little glimpses on Sunday on the pitch and you could see he has the flair we need on the right-hand side. He can cut inside and shoot as well, so he’s a great addition.

“I think this season can be very exciting. We have all the new additions and that can only help us in the long run.”

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Prakhar
Prakhar

We need to give this guy more starts and minutes in the PL. Just his sheer agility, pace and dribbling adds so much to our attack. And in an attacking role he wouldn’t be a big defensive liability due to relative inexperience.

I am liking what I see there.

Dave M
Dave M

He should get plenty of chances in the Cups and in some EPL rotation. Fingers crossed he has the confidence in himself at this level and kicks on because he has the talent and physical attributes to be a big star.

Santori
Santori

He’s not going to be second string now that we inexplicably got rid of Iwobi.

We will need him in first choice set up now to balance off Pepe.

Sure Auba can also function left side but one sustained knock to say Laca and we are narrowed in our options.

Dave M
Dave M

He’s still not a #1 option (nor he should be at this stage – he still has a lot to prove), he’s a rotation piece right now, but if he steps it up he may force himself into more game time and secure a spot. He has opporunity, but he has to seize it. Martinelli and Sahka are both vying for the same spot so he also has competition, which should drive one, two or even all three to step it up and take their games to the next level. I think it’s great that we have these young talented guys that are knocking at the door, showing they have the quality to be rightfully in the first team squad and that opporunity is not being squashed by some old stalwart whose better days are behind him. I love that balance about this years squad over some of the previous seasons. I fully expect these three young guys to force Mihki into being an after thought sooner rather than later, and allowing us to rely on Auba and Laca much less than last year.

Der32
Der32

Great point. Perhaps this is why Emery okayed the Iwobi deal too.

Dave M
Dave M

Gonna be interesting to see how a front three of Pepe, Laca, and Auba old up defensively. Gonna need them to put in a shift when we’re off the ball too otherwise we’ll get shredded on the wings. But with the ball…woooo-nelly! That is a spicey attacking lineup.
In terms of out peak peak team I’d go with this:
Leno
Bellerin, Luiz, Holding/Papa, Tierny
Torreira, Ceballos/Xhaka
Pepe Ozil Auba
Laca

Not let me premise that with peak Mesut. Remember peak Mesut is one of the best attacking footballers in the world, especially counter-attacking. With that team we could play some serious counter attacking football. If Mesut can bounce back to his peak he might have some of the best forwards you could put on a pitch for him to play with. Now I understand it’s a big if at this stage. If not you could probably go with Ceballos further forward and Wilock/Xhaka in the 2nd holding role. Then is also Guendouzi to throw in the mix too. Nice options all around, just a matter of finding the midfield balance.

Right now that IMO is the biggest question our squad faces. Who to play and how to balance them to get the most out of both the attack and defense, as like many others I don’t think the defensive problems are just personnel based. I think our midfield has caused our defense too many problems and exposed them too often. Hopefully we see that addressed this season.

Rich
Rich

I’m not sure anyone would question the defensive work rate of Aubameyang and Lacazette, they were relentless last season, and Aubameyang on the weekend ran Newcastle’s back 3 ragged with his off the ball movement.

I can’t remember what peak Ozil plays like? It was the first half of the 2015/16 season the last time we seen anything consistently good from him.

I’d be surprised if this season amounted to anything other than a battle for 4th, with a fair few bumps along the way, along with the usual competition on AFTV about who can have the biggest mental breakdown after a defeat….

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

He had his moments last year, eg

https://youtu.be/vVkpzsSI-TQ?t=334

Dave M
Dave M

Amazing how quickly people forget who flipping good he can be. He hasn’t forgotten how to play its just mental right now. Maybe he bounces back. Maybe not. If he does he’s the best attacking midfielder we have by a long way.

Santori
Santori

If we can afford to, surely better to have him than not.

There is NO perfect solution in midfield.

On the attacking end, currently Ceballos hasn’t found his feet and much is more on promise.

Mhkitaryan is hit and miss. frankly why we bought him instead of Mahrez is another question. But he does somethings good then follows up with somethings bad.

Smith-Rowe again a developing player.

Willock is energetic and forward thinking but still some times naive as expected.

Sure we can survive without Ozil but prob on balance better to have him as a weapon than not. Trick is to play him at our needs and convenience. He doesn’t have to feature beyond what he can’t sustain.

Santori
Santori

And there is no first choice team (bar maybe the keeper, Cbacks and Granit)

Everything-else is circumstantial.

Even at fullbacks, we will rotate. Frankly AMN and Kolasinac (if kept) better as wing backs with a 3 at the back set up.

3 up top OK for some occasions but clearly in other instances 4-2-3-1 culd be better caution away.

It all depends.

Wehave the tools to be flexible not rigid in thought.

Dave M
Dave M

Yeah I agree on Ozil, but we really need to find a way to get him fully engaged. Unfortunately these off-field dramas are not helping that, but that is awful stuff and he is clearly being targeted in some dark twisted stuff. Hopefully that gets sorted, he gets his head back into football and realises that he has the perfect attacking partners to exploit his skills. A focussed Ozil along with our attacking trio of Auba, Laca and Pepe and a more solid holding midfield and defensive setup and I think we can work our way into challenging for the title. We shouldn’t settle for Champs League qualification.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Ozil? Torres was the best striker in the world when playing for Liverpool then he went to Chelsea then as a footballer he seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

Eddie
Eddie

Dribble?
Sorry, Nelson isn’t really a good dribbler, not even close to how Sancho is with the ball at his feet.
I watched him play while I’m Germany, he might’ve scored a few goals but I’m yet to be impressed or see anything spectacular about him.
I’m willing to watch him play him with us so we know what he can bring, but I think honestly, the boy is over hyped by us Arsenal fans

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Most of our youngsters are overhyped. I don’t think they are good enough (currently) for where we want to be. Which is finishing 3rd at the minimum.

Khells
Khells

You’re right.. He’s good but overhyped

AlexNuggz
AlexNuggz

Bore off you negative nancies! I’ll be happy to see our young guns prove you both wrong.

Santori
Santori

I don’t think they are over hyped outside the club.

Some people within the club may be guilty of that but in general, they are decent prospects and very exciting (albeit in context that other clubs also have very good talents on hand)

It has become the battle ground over last decade to scout and take these players early with clubs like City and Chelsea inflating that end of the market so all things considered, we have done well to be producing these players.

Willock, Nelson fully deserve feature and have been buoyed by the example of Guendouzi, to some extent even AMN who has not bothered with this hackneyed line of “Natural position” and just got on with whatever task on hand that has been available.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

I thought he was excellent against Newcastle.

TorontoGunner
TorontoGunner

Wishing you turn into my second favourite Nelson.

Dave M
Dave M

Nelson Muntz number 1?

Cygans Parting
Cygans Parting

TorontoGunner please forgive my ignorance but who is your favourite Nelson???..,. Sammy Nelson???

Dave M
Dave M

Mandela is my real guess…

VAR will solve the problem
VAR will solve the problem

Nelson Vivas I am guessing?

Mark Harrison
Mark Harrison

Stella?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Full?
🙂

Glass half Nelson
Glass half Nelson

Half Nelson. Great film.

Tapps

I’m going Nelson Piquet

GoonerMonkey
GoonerMonkey

Admiral Horatio Nelson?

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

He seems to play it a little too safe whenever he plays for us. Doesn’t demand the ball too much, doesn’t take too many players on or try high risk passes. He seems content to hold his position, recycle possession and keep it simple – which is fine in a lot of situations and understandable for a young player. But when you’re facing a conservative side and not a lot has been created for the first half an hour or so, players with his talent (and now importance in the squad) should be a bit more proactive.

He’s almost certainly a better footballer than Mkhi at this point physically and technically, and probably in terms of final 3rd decision making too. But for all his sloppiness, Mkhi still looked far more likely to make something happen on Sunday.

I didn’t watch any of his full games at Hoffenheim, but given his goals and assists to minutes played ratio there, he must have played with more freedom. Here he seems to play a little bit with the handbrake on.

myrtle
myrtle

He was effectively playing upfront as a second striker at Hoffenheim, hence the goals. Nearly all were scored running onto the ball in the box. Rather than cutting in from the left as he was on Sunday. I agree he seems to be playing it far too safe at the moment though. Almost like he needs a 1st team goal for some confidence.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Agree with that assessment, he looked neat and tidy without doing too much to influence the game. But I’m sure he’ll grow in confidence as the season goes on and start making more of an impact.

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

Yeah, agreed it’s most likely a confidence issue, he certainly has the skill and pace to scare defenders shitless as well as the intelligence to pick a good option at the end. It was like he was playing not to lose his squad place, rather than playing to grasp it.

I’ve no doubt he’ll grow into the role over time, and his talent certainly merits many more opportunities. But being an unknown quantity in the first 10, 20 games can be such a powerful advantage for wingers and forwards – there are countless pacy forwards who, in hindsight, were mediocre or worse but were nevertheless very effective when they first broke onto the scene. I’m worried he’s wasting that by not asking enough questions of his markers whilst they’ve yet to develop a plan to nullify him.

Santori
Santori

Its fine to play it safe.

The important thing is to make good decisions and protect the ball. Better than just wanton give away and being wet behind the ears.

No issue with how Nelson is playing. Its evident he has so much more maturity from the strong loan away last season.

Goonereality
Goonereality

I’ve a feeling that he will get chances under Emery but, as always, he’ll have to make the most of them when they do arise.

There does seem to be a different attitude from management regarding younger players and, if it continues, it should bring dividends. Very few actually make it in the end but we do need to be more careful about what to do with them than we were under the previous management team.

Santori
Santori

We have no different attitude.

Wenger famously relied on younger players before but realise (belatedly) they were half baked and the rest of the league had caught up in terms of technical quality.

We are in a better position to rely on youth bc of some academy changes made during Wenger’s last years plus the painful transition he embarked on 2013 adding Arteta and Metersecker to first steady the ship with experience then slowly cull and rejuvenate.

I think Emery wants now to not rely on youth but have a healthy dose of younger legs to add vigour and dynamism to our play which has become cautious.

BUT the other side of the coin is our addition of technical players which has accompanied the changing of the guards in terms of home grown ranks.

We added Pepe, Ceballos, Martinelli for a reason. Rather than us lacking bottle, we actually lack sufficient technical ability in the squad.

Wenger (mslintat) had over the years failed to replace adequately with the rest of the league again spending and catching up on technical ability (I’m talking Wolves, Leicester, Everton even Palace)

We now have added potentially more control and the younger crop of players coming through at Arsenal and England in general (see Sancho) are also technically more adept bc of Wenger’s revolution way back in the early 2000s

Without the success of Wenger’s more technical continental additions (remember the xenophobia back then), we won’t have had the sort of shake up in England across academies.

Also we have shed many older players which I suppose is one up side in adding Sideshow bob. Some element of experience will still be necessary to balance out the eager enthusiasm.

The right blend is critical but this is something Wenger had strive for albeit at point of his departure, the fruits of his labour in the Academy were just coming through and maturing.

Dave M
Dave M

Seems to me the problem we had during Wenger’s waning years was as follows:
(1) The stadium years: We relied too heavily on youth, but had little choice due to funding a huge new stadium internally. We had some good teams, but they got bullied a bit and we usually fell away in the crunch. Wenger did great during this era, but the pressure began to mount (not entirely fairly) due to the trophy drought.

(2) The “we’re as big as any club years”: this was the years we were promised we’d be back to the top and due in part to pressure from fans, but also a shift from coaching and management the squad went noticeably older. Unfortunately, it still lacked quality as our best players from the stadium era disappeared (cesc, RVP) and we got stuck instead with the middling guys, we didn’t always buy well during this time, we aimed to buy established players more, and the good purchases (early Ozil, Alexis) we did have also got isolated by lack or surrounding quality and injuries (those hurt, but aren’t really an excuse). Again we still lacked spine and leadership – it was pedalled hard by the tabloid press, but hard to argue when we keep falling away when it mattered. The biggest thing was though our rotation pieces weren’t young guys and we lost our “Arsenal Character” a bit, we weren’t the youth development team anymore and we lost a lot of young guys because they couldn’t find space in the club anymore. Unfortunately this was Wenger’s worst spell as manager, but also the worst spell of club management too, which likely played a role in Wenger’s tough times too (there were clearly some falling outs between him and the board at times).

(3) Current times: It “seems” as though we are shifting back to “The Arsenal” a team of quality, fast, technical players, that can play multiple tempos (fast-direct and slower build up depending on needs) surrounded by youth. Our rotation gives opportunity to quality young guys. Our buying strategy has this summer gone younger again (Saliba, tierny, Pepe, Ceballos, Martinelli) with one establish edition in Luiz, who fits perfect with the youth policy anyway given the circumstances of the Saliba transfer. I really like this. It’s who we are as a club and how we have had our greatest success. Per, although only being in the job one year deserves some credit as it seems our youth setup is already looking stronger. Let’s hope this new era brings a new dawn of success. Arsene is an Arsenal legend, but father time is undefeated and Wenger was never going to last forever like many poetically believed and he was done by the end, physically, emotionally and mentally. I hope he stays out of football and enjoys the rest of his life in retirement, he’s earned it and he doesn’t need the stress.

goonero
goonero

I think this kid has all the tools to be a real success story here. He’s very accomplished technically but he also seems to work very hard off the ball and he seems to have a natural offensive spark to his game, the kind that tells you he’s going to score goals and grab assists because he’s just got that killer instinct that you either have or you don’t.

Santori
Santori

…and bearing in mind again, all these players are incredibly young.

When you consider Walcott, Jack, Coquelin, Iwobi, only started to play with more effective consistency at 22/23yrs, these younger players are potentially doing it at a much younger age.

Perhaps its something to do with the way we are working at the Academy, maybe better management, better loans.

Maybe they are inspired by Guendouzi, AMN.

BUT they are young players Willock, Nelson, Guendouzi, Martinelli even AMN.

So naturally we should temper our enthusiasm a little.

They are already putting in a great show IMO.

I hope Saliba will prove the same (bc of price tag)

Mavropanos, should go out on a strong loan to accelerate his development.

All in all its positive but we must be careful not to over expect or over hype.

They will make their fare share of mistakes and lose consistency at some point.

Cacho
Cacho

Saturday can’t come fast enough. There are so many attacking options and it will be fascinating to see how Emery employs them. Fun times ahead

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

Good English

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I love the fact he is happy to wait, Aubs will move aside after a couple more seasons.

On another note when all of our players are fit I think we are going to have one hell of a side this season!
COYG

Santori
Santori

Nelson won’t need to wait.

With Iwobi (short sightedly) sold, we will need him now.

Auba and Laca – one may move next summer which is another reason why we bought in Pepe as insurance and to develop for up top PLUS Martinellis as a younger hedge to develop (and potentially…Nketiah who seems to have a knack for knowing where goal is)

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Oh ok, he’s starting every game this season is he? I didn’t know mate.

Santori
Santori

I would have still kept Iwobi for one season.

Nelson is good but even with Pepe, would like to have 3 for depth in wide areas.

Auba can play there too but one knock to one of the strikers and our options are limited.

Mhkitaryan is a waning force and not entirely a good choice for wide position.

Martinelli is developing, looks useful but we could do with the experience.

Iwobi was just at the age he knew when to commit wide or hold deep etc.

30m is tempting money but I think we’ve again been a bit pennywise pound foolish.

I have every confidence Nelson will be immense for us but its the depth that is at issue always on multiple fronts and we we come to crunch time id season with injuries or suspensions piling up.

Prefer to sell Mhki (where we have cover at AM with Ozil, Smith-Rowe, Ceballos)

Santori
Santori

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/49319480

An interesting article on BBC on MONEYBALL value of players we brought in and sold.

Of course whether you fully subscribe to this American approach is another thing and there are intangibles to weigh in beyond stats.

BUT as I mentioned, even on intangibles, I think we got rid of Iwobi too early.

And Saliba is a risk we paid too much over for (eventually)

All the cost kicked down the road is also an intrinsic danger should we again fail this season and have to be saddled with pre-set cost committed to these assets the following summer.

Again on Pepe, the question would also have to be asked on whether we could have brought in an equally effective player at lower eventual cost at 30m mark in Fekir or Ziyech but this has to be weighed against the efficacy of installment plan freeing money up for us to do other business which we eventually neglected at Cback and instead brought in a band aid.

Then that has to be weighed against Tierney, bringing a Lback replacement in early since we could not figure a way to commit enough money on a better solution at Cback (having erroneously considered another season with Koscielny)

Also with the Pepe cost, although more than say a Fekir or Ziyech (never mind the installment), there may be other intangibles in establishing our intention to compete by signing one of the hottest price players on market. It may have also provided for better ability to retain/convince key assets (Laca and Auba) from bigger predators.

Interesting all the same.

Dave M
Dave M

Those numbers are bollocks IMO. The price for Pepe compared to what the market has been dictating for such players seems a steal. Comparing him to Fekir and Ziyech? Are they really on his level? Fekir doesn’t have his pace nor finishing in the same league. Ziyech has put up some nice stats in a very weak league, I don’t know too much more about him, he sounds decent, but I can’t see him being on Pepe’s level, which I guess is why some of the world’s biggest clubs were sniffing around Pepe and not Ziyech.

And from all reports the Iwobi deal will end up closer to 40M quid. I mean it values a broken and old Ko$er at 28M quid?! How? Saliba, had some risk, but Arsenal scouted him heavily, as they did with Pepe and Tierny (the latter for a long time). I can’t see how it was an over pay for any of them. Pepe was hugely sought after and one of the best up-and-coming wingers in world football – he’s now at Arsenal. Saliba is a highly-toughted CB, scouted heavily and we hedged the fee heavily in future payments and performances (why do those count against his fee, but not Iwobi?) so if he works out we pay the full fee and its worth it anyway. And Tierny is someone we wanted for a long time and (finally) got. The Luiz deal was a straight steal and fills the needs perfect for a year before Saliba comes in and our young CBs (hopefully) starting kicking on.

IMO it’s the best transfer window we’ve had in a long long time. Just because it was a computer generated model doesn’t mean it is in anyway correct. A model is only as good as it’s inputs and those are subject to the programmer’s own subjectivity if they do not run a suite of simulations. Perfect trash for the modern tabloid press to feast upon really.

GoonerUpNorth
GoonerUpNorth

Some of the shit I read on here is hilarious. It’s like most fans think they’re experts in economics/running a corporation. Back in the day it was just about watching our 11 lads try to win against another 11 lads on a Saturday afternoon. Crazy times we live in.