One of the early beneficiaries of Mikel Arteta’s appointment as Arsenal manager is Reiss Nelson.

Since the arrival of the Spaniard, he has started four of the five games (inc Everton 0-0 even though Freddie was in charge for that one) and was trusted to come as a sub midway through the second half of the 2-0 win over Man Utd on New Year’s Day.

Last night, his goal was enough to send the Gunners into the fourth round of the FA Cup, and while it wasn’t necessarily the most convincing finish, he was in the right place at the right time, and they all count.

Speaking afterwards, Arteta spoke highly of the attacking midfielder, someone he had worked with during his time as a player at the club.

“I am very pleased with him, how he’s training, how he’s reacting, how willing he is to learn,” he said.

“He’s asking the right questions, I know about his ability, I’ve known him since I was here and I coached him when he was 16. I know his potential and now he needs to put things away.

“I am really, really pleased with Reiss, I think he needed that goal as well for his confidence.

“He needs to improve his end-product a little bit in the final third, but he’s doing all the right things.”

Nelson felt a little surplus to requirements under Unai Emery, and seemed to have been overtaken by some of the other younger members of the squad.

It’s worth remembering he’s still only 20, and there are definite signs of progress here.

How did Nelson rate for you? Check out the Arsenal 1-0 Leeds Player Ratings

Arsenal 1-0 Leeds – player ratings

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C.B.
C.B.

Wasn’t that impressed with him for much of the match but easy to forget how young he is. Also has competition from Martinelli and Saka.

Hope he steps up over time and succeeds in the first team.

gooner
gooner

my only concern is the strength in his shooting. It’s on Iwobi levels and needs some working on. The rest will come with experience and age.
He already looks way better than he was in the games he played in Germany last season. He seemed to be running into the box all the time to get on the end of things but now he’s much better. Picking the ball out wide and taking on defenders like he’s doing makes him more deadly and he can only improve

Mentalista
Mentalista

He scored many from 20+ yds at youth levels and at Hoffenheim. He can shoot.

He just seems very nervous and jittery every time he’s played for the first team.

Hope this consistent run under Arteta will fix that.

N5>BC
N5>BC

No all of his goals for Hoffenheim were from close range – being in the right place at the right time.

If Arteta can enhance this ability further and work on his attacking intent with ball at feet, he could be a dangerous weapon for us.

I don’t want to compare him to Sterling but there are some similarities there..

Dan nichols
Dan nichols

ive a clear memory of him smashing one in direct from a long way out wide edge of box 1 sec after coming on as sub.

Reality check
Reality check

Nelson is someone we’ll need patience for and draft him in slowly.. I think he was just keeping it warm till Martinelli returns and you can instantly see the difference. Such command and authority in his game, he can easily create space for shooting chances, what a player and still only 18.. touch wood..

Goontang
Goontang

Just needs the right pair of boots on. Seems like hes wearing ice skates every time he gets to the final third.

It’s clear why we are playing him though he gives a good defensive structure and his work rate is decent. Until you have got that part of your game down pat then I don’t think the main thing the manager will be looking at his age is triple step overs and 30 yard screamers. He has that in his locker at youth level, hes scored goals in the Bundesliga, we have players with that ability already who are proven goalscorers. I still think he has a bright future with us.

But to be honest, Martinelli seems to excite me a bit more. Does his defensive duties, clinical in the air/with his head for a Brazilian, and has that touch of magic to create a chance out of nothing like we saw against leeds with his low curled no backlift attempt to force the save.

mc1892
mc1892

Was discussing with friends at the match yesterday- I’d love to know exactly what it is Arteta has seen in him that seems to have put him ahead of E S-R and Saka. To my untrained eye both have performed better when given a chance; would love to know what his reasoning is. What’re people’s thoughts?
(note: this is by no means me saying it’s the wrong decision- just intrigued!)

Jeremy
Jeremy

It’s likely to do with how he’s training primarily, and the balance he provides. I also think that he has quite a bit more experience having played top level in Germany and being 2 years older than Saka. Also, Saka Is needed at wing back currently. ESR ideally needs a loan (not one where he is injured) to get some experience.

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Think it’s his history with us. Hasn’t exactly pulled trees this season but there have been a lot of factors for it. The missing concept under Emery, the rise of Gabi and Bukayo and a few small injuries but I think everyone within the club is pretty convinced of his potential, it’s just about getting him to deliver on it.
But that doesn’t mean that I think there won’t be enough chances for the other guys to show what they got. We really have quite a lot very promising youngsters on our hands.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

For a player who still technically isn’t part of the first team squad, Saka has played a lot this season, including a starting string of games recently out of position at left back. I suspect it’s more managing Saka’s game time to avoid burn out than anything to do with pecking order.

ESR missed half of last season through injury, and had knocks this season, so is behind in that respect. I also feel the club see him more centrally so a better comparison might be Willock in terms of who his competition is (not suggesting they can’t play together!!)

gooner
gooner

They all have different qualities. ESR is more about power and direct running. Nelson is more about tricky unpredictable dribbling. He’s more of a Sterling type but a bit inexperienced so the end product still lets him down. They are all talented but ESR looks too raw and Saka was needed elsewhere

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

End product missing and you think of Sterling not Iwobi or Ox?
Nelson will come very good. The future of this club is bright. We just can’t wait any longer.

Danno5

I think our young players have suffered under the disaster that was Emery and his methods. Nelson looks a more confident player under Arteta already. It’s going to be interesting to see how they all progress.

Dave cee
Dave cee

If you watch his finishing for the England u21s and in Germany, he has the ability. I think he just lacks a bit of 1st team confidence

Ace Boogie
Ace Boogie

He’s quite tidy on the ball and links play well with the front 3 and mf. Works his socks off too. He’s a different player to esr and saka and probably more secure in possession. When you have Pepe on the other side attempting 10+ take ons you need someone on the other who’s secure and can come in and play. Saka more of a get down the left wing cross kind of winger and esr more a mf for me. All very promising and I’m glad they differ in skill sets.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

A good question because I rate Saka and ESR over him. But I guess Arteta knows best.

Snagger
Snagger

Nelson doing all the right things but unfortunately for him Martinelli doing it better.

Granit(e) hard!
Granit(e) hard!

I love Reiss, no doubt he is a talent and i am sure he will improve under Arteta because he is just good at that, per most mancity players’ comments….but Martinelli is one hell of a player, an all rounder, defensively and attacking wise, scary, when you know he can actually get better as he enters his prime, boy!, have we got a special player on our hands?…you just know from the early signs

James

I reckon they’ll give Nelson 1 year or 2 years with Arteta to see how he progresses, and if no improvement he’ll be shipped out. People are comparing him to sterling but let’s not forget at 18 Sterling was already playing at a very high level for Liverpool under Rodgers and nearly winning the title, so lets not set unrealistic expectations for him. Personally i don’t think Nelson will be a top top player, as he looks like a rabbit in the headlights in the final third, and that composure is something you either have or you don’t in my opinion.

Who knows with some proper coaching for the next couple of years, even if he chips in with 10 goals a season and a few assists, works hard then that’s all the fans will want.

First time in a while that I’ve felt comfortbale in our players being coached to improve as all-round players!

Vince
Vince

You clearly have no clue about football.

Runzac
Runzac

At 18 Sterling could run and dribble but much like Walcott that was about all he could do. Took Sterling years to sort out his passing in the final third and have some end product to his game.

Ben
Ben

Nelson is meant to be this supreme Dribbler but i cant actually recall him beating his man? Quite often gets robbed, out muscled, out paced, falls over or last night a couple of times completely left the ball behind him. In my opinion Iwobi was a better player.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Would disagree with that actually, when he broke through under Rodgers he mostly played him at 10 behind Suarez and Sturridge. His passing and dribbling were very good, but his biggest issue was scoring goals and he only sorted that out under Pep (and Arteta!).

Rich
Rich

Sterling’s record for Liverpool

2 goals in 36
10 goals in 38
11 goals in 52

Sterling’s record for City

11 in 47
10 in 47
23 in 46
25 in 52
20 in 27

Sterling’s England record

12 in 56

Scoring 4 in his first 47
But 8 in his last 9…..

No one has a clue how far young players will go, Sterling had 200 career appearances before he became consistent, writing off a player who’s just turned 20 and just starting out is straight up idiotic.

James

Your point being re: goal stats..? I don’t care if he scores 10 goals a season but they’re all pointless tap ins when we’re already winning games 3-0 or losing 3-0. Managers like Arteta and Pep will place a lot more importance on a player who doesn’t squander possession consisently, leading us to be hit on counter attacks. So as per my point in 2 years if he hasn’t improved i’ll imagine we’ll ship him out, because we’re supposedly this ruthless club now with high expectations and can’t afford passengers.

Please explain where I wrote him off? Muppet.

Rich
Rich

You’re a bit precious….

In 2 years he’ll be 22, it’s 23-24 you usually start finding real consistency with young players, and seeing the real benefit from the time you’ve invested.

Think Gnabry, Ronaldo, Messi, Sterling, Aubameyang, Alexis.

Some players peak younger like Cesc, Rooney, Mbappe, but it’s rare, and getting rarer.

It can depend on the league, Hazard still hasn’t produced stats anything like he did in his last season in France, when he was just 20/21.

Watch a video of Ronaldo’s 700 career goals, or Messi’s 500+, you’ll be surprised how many tap in’s they score, particularly Ronaldo at the back post, if that timing is easy? Why are they the only 2 who do it with such prolific frequency?

Sterling is the same, he now gets a huge amount of goals coming in at the far post.

You’re an absolute fool if you’re predicting a young player isn’t going to be good enough after just a few games, to quote Arsene:
“So many people have gone so much further than they ever thought they could, just because someone uttered the words “I believe in you, you can do it”

Justno
Justno

Messi peaking older? He scored a hattrick against Madrid at 19

Orion
Orion

You said you didn’t believe he would be a top player because he hadn’t played like Sterling at Liverpool.

Rich then showed Sterling’s record at Liverpool. It was okay, but not great.

You are advocating writing him off after 1-2 years if you don’t see improvement. I believe Rich was simply stating with a 20 year old, 1-2 years may not be enough to truly see what a player will be capable of in his career.

If you don’t feel Rich’s comment fairly characterizes your argument, you can do so respectfully.
No need to call someone a ‘Muppet’ just because they disagree with you.

sam
sam

honestly i said the same thing about holding and chambers 2-3 years ago…too slow to make it and error prone… now we are desperate to have them fit because they’ve shown in good form they are starting 11 players.

Henrypiresberg
Henrypiresberg

We really need to be patient with young guys. Gnabry anyone and also OX.

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

Yeah partly they need patience but more than that they need real coaching and man management

I feel like if we had held on to Gnabry for the last 4 years he wouldn’t be half the player he has become by being at Werder and Bayern.

For quite a while, once a young player has established themselves in our first team, they have tended to stagnate or even regress the longer they spend here. And this goes way back to the early part of the last decade with ‘the British core’, Szczesny etc. It has gotten to the point where it’s very hard to get excited about a young player, no matter how good their initial performances

I really hope that is about to change, we’ve got such a good generation of young talent right now

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

You forgot about Bellerin who for me did not achieve his potential.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

We had different issues with both. With Gnabry wanted to leave for more first team football and was going to run down his contract otherwise so we had to sell. His injuries didn’t help the situation.

With Ox, we didn’t play him in his best position nearly often enough. We kept shifting him around and seemed to lack a long term vision for how he would develop as a player unlike Klopp. Add in his injuries and it was impossible for him to build any kind of consistency here. Early days but I think he would have benefited from playing under Arteta, and hopefully our current youngsters will.

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

Ox is still suffering from regular injuries and I fear this will be the stirybof his career.

Rich
Rich

2-3 years ago people were slating Sterling, saying not a natural goal scorer, too wasteful, blah blah blah….

Writing 20 year olds off is ridiculous, there’s nowhere near enough patience around young players.

Even Messi or Ronaldo weren’t prolific until 23/24.

There’s people at Arsenal and England, who think Nelson has the same level of potential as Sancho

No one knows if he’ll reach that potential, but I think once he adds a bit of upper body strength, his game will come along pretty quickly.

Justno
Justno

Messi had 3 Ballon d’Ors at 24… But yea not prolific

George
George

He seems to be an inteligent player but lacks the natural instinct that should come along. Something that Martinelii has. Runs himself into trouble often enough something that he can be coached out of

James

Couldn’t agree more, Martinelli 2 years younger with miles of less experience feels like a much better play to me in terms of footballing maturity. I know a lot of it coachable, but so much of it is instinctive.

srgmgooner
srgmgooner

Off topic, but it feels like its a loooooong time since we scored a really good team goal… Hope it comes soon under Arteta…

Gunnerer
Gunnerer

Ozil, to Pepe, back to Ozil, flicked to Aauubbbaaameyaaaannnggg!

Martinelli fanboy
Martinelli fanboy

Giroud ❤️

Runzac
Runzac

Gabi Martinelli is still first choice LAM or LW for me but Nelson is improving

gunnertron
gunnertron

If Arteta can get our homegrown talent to reach its potential I will be super happy with that.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Tbh I’m not sure why Nelson seems to get so much stick on here. He’s a very young player being asked to play for a top team in a challenging position, and IMO he’s making a decent fist of it. He’s positive on the ball, looks to make things happen and crucially is good in the defence transition. The key for him now is to marry his speed and dribbling technique with end product in the final third. If he can improve is composure and balance he could easily become a top player.

Santori
Santori

Happy for Nelson.

I think we need to as always be careful with players.

Pepe has thus far had sporadic form for money laid out on him.

Nelson has not played terribly much under Unai this season but has been given some regular games/start under Llungberg and now Arteta. And now he’s beginning to find his feet.

This I felt was an issue with Emery this season as he wrestled with trying to find solution with our apathy. I felt he then tried to change too many things in interest of rotation (bc of our erratic two half performances) and we paid a price.

Pepe I felt has been poor most season but I mentioned we need to play him as much as possible to get him keyed in with the front players.

His off ball work was OK this match but his retention some times left much to be desired.

So Nelson whether on right or left, is a welcome addition to give the gaffer options.

And by yesterday’s measure, it looks like Nelson is finally starting to kicik into gear, the goal will engender good confidence.

BUT we also saw Martinelli who I thought came on and got about the business very well too with that mazy tight control into the box for a good effort in goal.

The more competition/options we have in lieu of Pepe the better. Hopefully this will spur the Ivorian into greater focus and better sustained performances not just with the ball but also off it.

Nelson came in closer to Laca and dropped for the ball more second half which helped our midfield come alive. We still have obvious tendencies to wait for the ball to come to us or be too far seperated. Not everything is on the back of the midfield which can only work efficiently if space around them is also compressed or players ahead offer good movement.

Santori
Santori

Did not weigh in yesterday since I did not watch the match live and wanted to watch it on Arsenal Player first

1) Martinez – I’ve felt for this season he has been excellent and offers competition IMO to Leno. Very good save to keep us in the game, also out quick to close down the shot they had against the bar. When he gets the ball he tries to release quickly and picks out the situation better IMO than Leno. But symptomatic of yesterday’s overall stupor once when he cleared the ball too quickly up field to no one. Otherwise another decent display between the sticks.

2) Sokratis – Surprise inclusion at Rback. Can only imagine AMN is also carrying a niggle and Mustafi may be shrinked wrap for sale. Thought he struggled like everyone first half but covered Holding’s position many times with particular good presence to deny them that goalbound header that Martinez had to swipe away. Second half got forward more and got stuck into their faces. Really feel he’s good candidate for captaincy for some time now with his attitude and general consistency considering this team.

3) Holding – Thought he was in general poor. Good block early in first half but it was following his own poor pass to an unprepared Xhaka. Later several poor passes which continued into the second half. Also not tight enough many instances first half which but for Sokratis, we would have been punished. Some excuse of course since its his first full game back for a while but really we should still expect much better.

4) Luiz – OK nothing too untoward. Overwhelmed many times first half but so was the entire team. Surprised we went for HOlding-Luiz. frankly I feel we need consistency in selection in at Cback. I don’t think Luiz was anywhere near anything other than panic buy on Sanlehi’s part but if he has been regular with Sokratis, I’d much prefer using them together as much as possible. Clearly yesterday’s selection was not motivated by rotation issues bc Sokratis was still employed. We need a level of understanding between backline partnership which has not been allowed to happen this season.

5) Kolasinac – I was surprised we risked him given he has a poor ankle at the moment and there is no Tierney available to provide mythical ‘masterclass’ plus Saka as good as he has been still green in unfamiliar position. Got up much better second half and started to turn the screw for us, once on a Xhaka intercepted ball almost wriggled through in the box but for an extra touch for a good effort at goal otherwise.

6) Granit – Again there are those who prefer to single out one player for poor passes when others like Holding get away with it. I thought Granit was no more errant than any other player on the day and he picked up second half pushing forward more dynamically, if there wasn’t a hint of this already early on in first when he rampaged forward to great effect only to miscue his final ball (he should have gone for it taken a shot)

Second half he was very involved and in the battle. Thought as many would have mentioned he was in the Ref’s good books quite obviously as he got away with what would have otherwise been half a dozen potential yellows! But also was streetwise enough to win us a number of decent free kicks close to their box.

7) Guendouzi – Also muted and somewhat lost first half miscuing passes. Some wanted Torreira but frankly I don’t think Torreira would have been any much better. He has played a large spell before without Granit to similar poor results. The critical issue facing midfield is as a whole, the rest of the team need to compress space in unison and offer better outlets either high up through movement dropping to receive instead of waiting static, or if going forward to push up in numbers to add options for the midfield.

GUendouzi far better second half but I feel as well one option yet to be tried by Arteta is given Ozil’s lack of involvement at times, maybe to have GUendouzi in the high role with Torreira or Cebellos and Granit deep. I think he would be far more effective than Willock.

8) Ozil – As mentioned anonymous first half. Came into the game much better second half. It needs to come together for him, he’s not the one who will chase and harry when we are not fully synced up. BUT as always mentioned, what an asset to have for us and if we can extract his better qualities with improved performances defensively, we will reap his benefit.

He was involved in cover work at the back tag teaming with Sokratis and Pepe just before he was hauled off so good work.

9) Pepe – Another errant player first half but came alive second with some better runs and dropped deep to receive, protected the ball better. Good persistence which paid off with our goal. BUT still plenty of errant passes and not enough retention for a player of such promise. Needs to improve and start to deliver WITH consistency now.

10) Nelson – And with continued play, he is starting to find his feet. Some good runs first half did not come off as everyone seem off the page. BUT second half he cut in more and brought the ball up from deeper, went at players. Great to see hims core and it will benefit his confidence.

We will need him to provide competition to the thus far erratic Pepe. BUT… even with the goal, there was some luck however we made the luck bc BOTH Pepe and Nelson were in the box contributing numbers going forward where before we tended to be too tepid or cautious.

With extra bodies in and around, we up the potential for turn ins.

11) Laca – BUsy busy man. Just retains and distributes the ball better for us than Auba on apex. He is the battler we need up there ruffling feathers, keeping the backs occupied and acting as a distribution node.

One superb flick released nelson second half but for a slightly loose cut back, could have seen profit.

12) Willock – Came on to keep momentum. OK but as mentioned would prefer to see Willock deeper maybe or Torreira next to Xhaka and have GUendouzi push forward bc he goes at players and frankly makes them uncomfortable. One decent effort at goal. Difference is he and most of the team engaged much tighter man to man second half.

The moment Leeds were put under better duress, they were a much different side as their work crumbled around them.

13) Saka – not on for long.

Gaffer – He likely possesses a very powerful hairdryer on account of his hair. BUT he will need it to sustain the performance of this team. As mentioned we’ve been there before with BOTH Wenger and Unai with wins over Chelsea, Spurs and now United (with Arteta) but then we have slumped to abject string of form against Soton, or Blades or even Norwich…

So jury still very much out and as yet, he has yet to resolve our issue replicating performances over BOTH halves of a game let alone over 7 or 8 matches unbeaten.

Ref – I thought he had himself a good showing refusing to get worked up about VAR reviews over frankly unnecessary issues that had too much attention. And he let a lot go (Prob felt it was a cup tie and too much attention would have been poor for the competition. And in general he got it right. Except for Granit where he showed an undue amount of leniency to our benefit. Someone however should remind Xhaka that he may not necessarily lead as charmed a life with the next Ref in PL.

Tinman
Tinman

How did u forget gabbi???

Suhas
Suhas

Do you really think people actually read all this?

DeezNutz
DeezNutz

He wants his own blog.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I did today. I didn’t even get bored or particularly angry.

I thought that in the first half Ozil looked like he wasn’t really keen to overcommit himself to push up on their defence when the players alongside him weren’t really doing it. He looked more willing to press when he wasn’t worried about doing it alone. After all, his true talent is getting clever balls through the crowd to players in front of him, so he’ll only really be the player we want him to be if our front line are getting into half-decent space up front.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Leeds instruction to their players was that if Xhaka got close behind them just stop running and stick a leg towards him. His reputation does the rest.

Maybe for once this ref didn’t see every tackle he made as an act of attempted murder.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

What was with that gloomy blog post?? The world is so much better than it was in the 70/80s. There was so much more global hunger, suffering and strife back then. Cheer up mate!