Arteta: Youngsters prove everybody can contribute

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Mikel Arteta says the 3-1 win over Chelsea is proof that Arsenal’s youngsters can make a vital contribution to the club this season.

At an average age of 25 years and 42 days, the Gunners starting lineup on Boxing Day, which featured the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka was, according to Opta, the youngest to win a Premier League game in more than eight years.

While the boss was coy on whether the performances of the trio sent a message to some of his underperforming experienced stars, he did take the opportunity to highlight the importance of every member of his first team squad.

“I think there’s a message within the squad that everybody’s important here, everybody’s here to contribute, and everybody’s useful,” he told his post-game press conference.

“It doesn’t matter if you are young or a senior player, everybody’s here to contribute.

“And I think it’s a great message for everybody that when we have to rely on them, we know that we can rely on them and we don’t have any doubts about them.”

It remains to be seen whether Arteta keeps faith with youth for the trip to Brighton, but he’s certainly hoping the win against the Blues serves as a blueprint for the level of performance required.

“I’ve seen a lot of things that I really liked from the start,” he reflected.

“One of them is the courage that we have to play and the energy that we showed and how aggressive we were with the ball and the energy that the team was transmitting in a football match.

“We were very direct, we were playing forward and we were really attacking. There was a lot of movement, the spaces were always occupied and we were a threat in behind. There were a lot of things. But it depends on the players, it depends on the opponents but on Saturday it was close to a lot of things that we want, for sure.”

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Clock End 20

We just beat one of the best teams in the league, off the back of one of our worst runs in living memory. What reason on earth is there to change the team now?

Stick with the kids Mikel.

Disarmed Gunner

Stubbornness would be my guess. He doesn’t want to admit his signings were flops, so will keep playing them until proven otherwise. Arteta does seem arrogant enough to believe otherwise. The guy looks like he spends more time on his picking his designer outfits rather than the right first XI.

Diaby's Left Peg

Martinelli and ESR have both just come back from pretty much a year out. Along with already being young you have to be careful how quickly you put minutes back in them.

Tanned arse

Better be careful about when you take those minutes away too. There’s absolutely no good reason to take them out after that match and tons of reasons why you totally don’t take them out.

Comedian

Just wish to see Saliba being given his chance. With Gabriel out… Please dont play Mustafi or Luiz, give the kid a chance.

Filsuf

Hes not eligible to play in epl

A P

But Saliba was able to play in the Cup, and Arteta chose not to use him. Makes the everyone can contribute rhetoric sounds hollow.

Ray's ice cream Parlour

Suspect he already has a loan move lined up for Jan 1st – so don’t want to balls that up by him getting injured on Dec 31st – maybe Edu & Arteta have actually sorted themselves out on this one.

sami

He wasn’t registered for the Europa. He’s eligible to play everything else.

Tanned arse

YES HE IS…..the only competition he can’t play in is the europa league. Arteta can involve him whenever he likes. He doesn’t want to give him a chance? Why do we think that is? Not even a game? Saliba will be sold if arteta gets his way, there’s no doubt in my mind and he doesn’t want to give him the chance whereby he gets dissuaded by supporters. Not one SINGLE MINUTE. Hate his sly mentality

Nico

When we’ll beat relegation opponents maybe I’ll stick to him. So far he’s doing a reverse Arsene: beating Top 6 teams and getting abused by the average ones

A P

Of the current top 6, we lost to 3.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Fitness would be a reason.

I’d rather Martinelli and Smith Rowe start as well but Arteta would probably rest one or the other as both just returned from injury and playing 2 games in 48hrs may be too much.

Hopefully Arteta learned something from rushing Partey back too quickly.

Tanned arse

They demonstrated their fitness the other day. When they need a rest you’ll see it. They’ve literally just got into the team. Don’t wish it away or stop their momentum. So much over analysis and assumption about what’s best for them. Let them play and judge game by game

Andy

If Martinelli and ESR don’t start i’m moving to Nepal and living as a goat

Dondada

Living as the Greatest of All Time in Nepal sounds cool..

SarcasmB0t

Not to take away from our victory, but Chelsea is not one of the best teams in the league at the moment.

Their form is actually pretty abysmal, with calls for Lampard’s head mounting by the day.

The reality is, we beat a team in crisis.

Not that we should go back to Willian.

Serpent

Maybe we could give Willian back to them, as they’re in crisis?

Reality check

Playing the young trio, he has created a rod for his own back. Everytime he goes with failed senior players and loses, fans fill have a field day against him, thats if he’s allowed to carry on.. imo, its not just young players, Arteta is defensive by nature, he can play the young trio in his 343 and they will be shit at attacking again, the system really stifles all the creativity.

Clock End 20

I know what you’re saying here and I agree to a certain extent, I think Arteta has been quite defensive and we might get a completely different sort of game against Brighton and WBA. But I do think it made a big difference having an actual no.10 in there to link midfield and attack, and Gabi is just way, way more dangerous than Willian.

bendtnerschristmastree

To be fair, he is way more dangerous than auba too, although auba obviously is the better finisher.

Martin

I love Martinelli but it’s still far too early to compare him to a seasoned world class striker.

bendtnerschristmastree

Gabi is much more of a creator than Auba.

Sure, you’ll want Auba at the end of a play to finish it off.

But give Gabi the ball, anywhere on the field, and something positive will happen.

The Arsenal

Gabi is too good. Chaos footballer, even when it goes wrong for him his pure tenacity and will makes things happen. The goal when he destroyed Kante last season for example.

The Arsenal

Auba is one of the greatest goalscorers in the world but his all round game isn’t great. Its not criticism just a fact.

Marco

Well said my fellow. Auba couldn’t lace Alexis Sanchez boots while he played for Arsenal.The decision to make Aubameyang captain is ludicrous .Never says a fucking word on the pitch Sanchez will to win would of shook some of these players out of their slumber.

Naija gooner

This is one of my main issue during this spell, the way our captain stays quiet during games, I always expect to see some form of communication to the boys even if it is encouragement but man just stays aloof

Qwaliteee

But he’s a striker – it’s not his job to have a great ‘all round game.’ His job is to stick away the chances that are created for him.

And – largely due to Ozil’s absence – Aubameyang has had bugger-all created for him.

It’s hardly rocket science as to why his figures are so poor. When Ozil was in the side, he was scoring for fun.

Tapps

Yeah! Just like Henry. He never created anything.

Qwaliteee

No of course he didn’t.

He’s just got one of the highest assists totals in the history of the Premier League.

Still, you believe what you want to believe in your sad little anti Ozil world.

Voldermort

Where we are at right now, you don’t have to be world class you just need to put a proper shift in. I would take hard work and effort over some of the lazy uninterested performances of our established stars any day

Tanned arse

Nor sure why it’s obvious auba is a better finisher

Reality check

Exactly my point. Without an attacking midfielder this team doesn’t function atm. Even Willian looked alive when playing in no10. The passing combinations are just not working in the 343 anymore, we are not building from the back as efficiently. I hope he sticks to 4 at the back and press the opposition in the right areas of the pitch, just like Chelsea.

The Arsenal

I agree but. For some reason Chelsea and Fat Frank decided to try and battle us out on the wings, But Tierney and Bellerin along with Saka and Martinelli won their battles and destroyed them. We are poor in the middle and weak at the back..3-4-3 is designed to combat this and it worked at first but got found out this season. Partey and Gabriel Should be great assets to get us back to a 4 at the back.

Tanned arse

It’s not willian he should be compared to, it’s auba and he’s a far better player

The Arsenal

Both Emery and even Wenger had to go to 3-4-3…We are that bad in the middle of the park and defensively in comparison to other teams.

OhRockyRocky

“Apart from Saliva”

OhRockyRocky

Saliba!

bendtnerschristmastree

Sativa?

The Arsenal

Hope he recovers from that particular Strain.

DB10s airmiles

At least he won’t get couch-lock from a sativa strain…. That could keep him out for weeks.

Far East Stand

This worryingly sounds like he still hasn’t realised it’s the younger players who are going to dig him out of trouble.

gooner

You expect him to go full blown Thierry Henry “You can’t win anything with Giroud ” on TV and then show up all smiles to the training ground? I am sorry but at times we read too much or expect too much from a manager. Obviously some cunt like Mourinho will come out and say player this or player that is shit, if things get heated he asks the club to sell him or if they become one too many the players get him sacked. I love the way Arteta protects his players irrespective of how good or bad or… Read more »

Far East Stand

I didn’t say he needs to point fingers at people who aren’t pulling their weight. I’m saying it sounds like he doesn’t appreciate who his best assets are.

We’ll have to see whether he does or doesn’t with his team selection over the next few games.

NaanBread

Well, I am curious. How would you phrase a response that appreciates the youth without making it sound like your seniors are second rung?

Far East Stand

I think we’re getting a little far away from the original point, which is there’s a reasonable worry that Arteta was forced into playing more younger players than he would have liked to and his comments here may be priming everyone for the fact he doesn’t necessarily see this as a long term strategy. As for your question, I think it’s possible to be more forthcoming with praise for team members who put in exceptional performances without making the rest of the team feel bad. You’d hope that this actually encourages people to up their game. If the manager feels… Read more »

Daveo

Simple…
“these young guys be excelled in their chance, they deserve their place. I’m really pleased with the work they have been doing and we are well positioned for the future. They’re also now contributing to getting us back on track in the now. Exactly what we need. I be nothing but praise for their Talent, application, and effort. “

Tanned arse

The standards and level of performances have slipped so low this season and by those senior players that if you don’t jump on a performance that is clearly a considerable improvement on what’s come before then the messages aren’t just piss poor but expect a return to those levels pretty quickly

Ali Kamal

I believe unwell senior’s came as a blessing, tied Arteta’s hand and he had to play the youngsters. Youngsters are the future and should be give more chances

Qwaliteee

‘Protects his players’…..?

His criticises them publicly. That’s not protecting them. That’s just instilling a sure fire way of losing the dressing room.

attuhs

By protecting the players, do you mean complaining about the squad quality in the media week in, week out and exclyding 3 players from all competitions?

czerwonadupa

Watch & see if they want to play football in January or pocket their £350K or £100K a week & spend another 6 months twittering away on their sofa or sitting on the bench until 30th June 2021

Qwaliteee

Well, that all depends on whether or not they are given the opportunity – one person in particular – to play, doesn’t it…?

Who selects the team? Arteta or Ozil?

Tanned arse

Unless it’s a player he doesn’t like so much.

Disarmed Gunner

Sounds like he is gonna drop them for the has beens… Lots of words but always the wrong actions from this manager. Gonna have to learn the hard way

czerwonadupa

Arsenal fans need to be less gung ho & have patience. Martinelli & ESR are coming back from long term injuries & Saka still young is being over played & could end up like Wilshere who, Wenger now admits, he over played him when young & we all know the consequences of doing that for his long term fitness.

Mentalista

“And I think it’s a great message for everybody that when we have to rely on them, we know that we can rely on them and we don’t have any doubts about them.”

It’s much more a message to Arteta himself, isn’t it?

Grumbleduke

I just want Arteta to say ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’
Stick with the younger gunners.

Malaysian gunner

There are no easy games in the epl as Big Sam nicked a draw.Against
the seagulls and especially with BS, expect robust tackles.
It would be physical. Thats where the ref must dish out cards for knee threatening challenges.
Thats why the epl is no place for diminutive guys . Yeah I know Messi and Maradona are of similar built. But they are different.
Hopefully Arsenal have learnt their lesson and get players of at 175 cm .

Filsuf

How big is Kante or aguero you reckon?

Dave cee

I know ESR has had injuries but man he looks like a tough guy, didn’t shy away from any tackles and so composed. I hope his fitness issues are in the past and he can start to play on a regular basis

Arsenio

Maybe Arteta kept playing Willian/Pepe/Co. due to political crap that’s still going on behind the scenes…

Until the “these aren’t my players/the right players” bubble burst and he was finally allowed to pick who he wanted?

I mean, why else would you continue to do it… Because the bloke does well in training? I dunno…

Disarmed Gunner

I’ve heard every excuse in the book for Arteta. It’s funny that these same fans never tried as hard to find explanations or get out of jail cards for Emery and Wenger during their rough periods. Yet, for unexplained reasons fans think this rookie has untapped potential that is being restricted by this squad. Every manager has to get on and work with the players at his disposal. If said manager keeps playing the wrong players then he should be held fully accountable. Arteta is no exception

Qwaliteee

Top top post. Very well said.

When I think of the abuse that Wenger used to get – after all that he had done.

Can you imagine Wenger ostracising Bergkamp in the final season of his contract?

No, me neither….

Dave cee

Lol, don’t try to compare Bergkamp with Ozil. One is an Arsenal legend, the other I wish had never signed for us

Qwaliteee

Well, it’s pretty obvious to everyone (except, of course, you) that at no point in my post was I ‘comparing’ Bergkamp to Ozil.

I was using Bergkamp as an example of Wenger’s best creative midfielder – in the same way that Ozil is STILL Arteta’s best creative midfielder.

Your powers of comprehension are exactly the same as your continued hatred of Mesut Ozil.

Brainless.

Alex

Irrational hate.

czerwonadupa

Arteta has already matched what Wenger achieved in his last ten years – win the FA Cup. Emery is doing well in Spain. So you have to ask yourself why he, Freddy & Arteta had & are having such trouble with practically the same group of players? Maybe it’s because there’s a none covid very destructive virus in the dressing room that bragged it would last longer than Emery & that won’t be eliminated until June 2021

Qwaliteee

Has Arteta managed to get us into the Champions League for nine out of ten years?

Has Arteta won three FA Cups in four seasons?

Under Wenger’s watch, we’re we ever in danger of being relegated?

Take your time, mate….

Qwaliteee

*were

Tony 2

Err Arsene’s last 10 yrs..2008 to 18..8 out of ten top 4 +3 fa cups. No m8 MA dont even come close and AW won Charity shield more than once in that time

Ordnance Dave

I’m not going to roast Mikel if the same players don’t start against Brighton. Gabi and ESR have just come back from long term injuries, they can’t play 3 games in a week and not risk getting injured again.
I will roast Mikel, if somebody isn’t playing as a nominal number 10 and we don’t press with the same intensity.

Qwaliteee

If he brings back Willian and Co and Brighton win, then he does need roasting. Like a KP nut.

Tapps

Absolute spot on post!

The Arsenal

WE knew that, YOU didn’t seem to.

Cultured Determination

put it this way. we’ve been known as the sucker’s club for a while now thanks to Raul and the Milanese Godzilla. shady deals – paid double for Pepe, paid wages for an injured and not good enough Cedric, provided retirement homes for Luiz and Willian. It’s Edu’s job to build a style of play for us- set the club’s image. We play fast ground passing with movement. That’s been the Arsenal image for the past 20 years, and should continue this way. This is so that our academy can plan towards this, and our transfer business should move towards… Read more »

Qwaliteee

‘Everybody’…?

Really…….?!!

Voldermort

I think all it proves is that some are clearly not contributing

Qwaliteee

And one person is not being allowed to contribute at all – despite what he can contribute being the very thing we’ve been desperately in need of.

A criminal waste of resources.

Alex

Yeah, being the best creator means not contributing for you and the coach.

Billy bob

I think we should be including more youngsters more frequently – I think AMN and Nelson should both be getting more game time!!!

Naked Cygan

Yes, Nelson should be getting some game time in this busy period. Is he Injured?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I reckon they have a loan arranged for Nelson in January so he’s not playing at the moment to avoid injury.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Everybody can contribute.

Except Willian.

C.B.

Thats unfair, reports say he is great at putting out the cones on the training ground.

Qwaliteee

It probably takes him all day to do that.

Cultured Determination

both of you are being unfair. we need to include the rest in this. we know too well who those players are .

Naija gooner

Definitely obvious that we felt Martinelli’s absence more than we felt pepe’s presence when he came on against chelsea but arteta would be wary of his fitness and having just returned from injury would need to be careful with martinelli but i think ESR should start against brighton

Frankie

You can’t really compare Pepe and Martinelli. As one is a luxury player and the other I’d anessential hungry will not except defeat give 110% warrior… as for William he has no hunger and just wants to do enough to get by… William was never needed and should never have been signed

Biggles

I’m not sure how many players MA has used in the PL so far but it must be almost everyone in the squad. He should have a fairly clear idea by now who is “contributing” and who isn’t. Clearly, the players and/or the tactics used prior to the Chelsea game weren’t effective so let’s see how we go with a better balance between “established” players and youngsters. Come the end of the season, wherever we are in the PL by then (and I think we’d be doing very, very well indeed to squeeze into a Europa League place) we’ll be… Read more »

Qwaliteee

We’ll be doing ‘very very well’ to avoid the drop.

Naked Cygan

Headline should be “Most ofour first team is sh*it and our youngsters are better.”

Tanned arse

The only person who has been sending messages to certain players that he doesnt feel they can contribute is this guy. Can’t stand him and he makes me angry just listening to him now. Never felt this way about our previous managers. Had the team been set up and trying to play with that fluidity months ago I would still be on board but I don’t believe he’s been working towards that. I think it just happened with those youngsters against Chelsea and had auba been fit and willian be available then at least 2 of them wouldn’t have started.the… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Well said.

He did it with Ozil – what’s to stop him doing it with ESR…?

It does indeed remain to be seen whether the result against Chelsea was a fluke, both in terms of the result, how we were set up and how we played.

If we revert back to LEGO ball, with the same useless cretins wandering apathetically around, then the man needs to go.

Cultured Determination

not so sure if auba might start, but we all know all too well there’s not a chance in hell Willian the Great would not start if he was available for selection.

Tete a rteta

Just sitting here masticating…it might be that there is ONE reason to possibly change things up would be 1) the previous game was 2 days ago, players get injured/tired. 1) opponent will play a much much different style offensively 1) players can get sick, especially during a global pandemic 1) sometimes a player who is struggling needs some playing time to get going again 1) promises may have been made to some players 1) some players may be coming back from injury and care is needed 1) sometime changing one player can be seen as a reason to change another… Read more »