Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Arteta: Nelson is doing all the right things

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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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.


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


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.


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

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

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..


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… Read more »


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!)


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.


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

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!!)


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

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.


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

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

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

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


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

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


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… Read more »


You clearly have no clue about football.


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.


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.


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!).


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.


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.


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… Read more »


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


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… Read more »


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.


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

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… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

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


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… Read more »

DB10s Air Miles

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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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

Martinelli fanboy

Giroud ❤️


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


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


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.


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… Read more »


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.… Read more »


How did u forget gabbi???


Do you really think people actually read all this?


He wants his own blog.

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

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

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!

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