Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Arteta: The boys believe in Eddie

There was a lot to like about Arsenal’s performance against Fulham, not least the impactful introduction of Eddie Nketiah. While the striker didn’t get on the scoresheet, his 30-minute cameo kept the visitors on the back foot as the Gunners, courtesy of goals from Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Magalhaes, came from behind to seal the three points late on.

“You looked in his eyes before he came on and said ‘He’s ready for a fight,’” remarked manager Mikel Arteta afterwards.

Given his performances at the tail-end of last season – subsequently rewarded with a new long-term contract and the number 14 shirt – Nketiah probably feels a little hard done by not to have featured more for Arsenal this season.

Unfortunately for him, the blistering form of Gabriel Jesus has left him with slim pickings; just 29 minutes against Crystal Palace, Leicester and Bournemouth combined.

All the same, he continues to receive high praise from Arteta who changed to a 3-5-2 formation on Saturday to accommodate the striker.

“He is a threat that we see every single day in training,” the Spaniard told his pre-Aston Villa press conference.

“You ask him to play, and immediately the boy is ready. He has no fear. He’s all confidence, he’s all power, he’s all qualities, and the boys really believe in him. So the moment that happens, he wants to get involved in the game.

“It’s true we changed the formation to play in a different way that I believe suits and gets the players in better connection and spaces to interact with each other. He was very useful on Saturday.”

Whether from the start or off the bench again, Nketiah’s fighting spirit will need to be replicated by his teammates when Villa visit the Emirates tomorrow. While Steven Gerrard’s side have only picked up three points so far, the boss expects a physical battle.

“I was watching the Premier League teams and how physical they are. It’s a battle for everyone, and we won’t expect anything different from Villa. They are a top team with a big squad, top quality players and a good manager. We expect a difficult game here.

He added: “We have played each other, they have not changed that much. We need to prepare as well as possible. But they are a really physical team, a lot of presence and very good and dangerous in the box. It will be tough.”

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Zadok the Regular Dishwasher Salesman

If there’s one thing you can always say about Eddie it’s that he doesn’t doubt himself. When he came on against Fulham and had that chance where he chopped onto his left and fired wide, a lot of players (especially right footers) would have been tempted by a pass in that position, but not him. Sometimes it might be frustrating, but I think in many ways that single-mindedness can stand him in good stead – I’d rather have a striker who will blast relentlessly at the goal than a shrinking violet who lets a couple of misses get on top… Read more »

C.B.

He’s young too, has a lot of years in front of him. If he improves further (which is highly likely) from the good form he showed at the end of last season he will be a strong player and scorer.

soccerfreak

We should give him more starts.
Bench Jesus / Martinelli if that’s required.
And rotate players more often.
Not wait for them to get injured.
Wouldn’t mind seeing Eddie and Martinelli start at Villa.

Boy Bastin

Sounds like a film title. Perhaps it will be one day.

Heavenly Chapecoense

To get the best out of Nketiah when we play at the Emirates, Arteta needs to put some training equipment around the pitch to make him believe he is in training.

The Beast

Support from the fanbase might also do the trick. No doubt the Emirates will be rocking again tomorrow

Dlo

Villa have a great manager?

A Different George

The secret translation: “Gerrard did okay in Scotland, but I’ve seen nothing from him that shows he can manage in the Premier League. We’ll see, but so far he has been pretty poor. Not as bad as Lampard, but certainly not as good as Howe or Potter, who obviously deserved big jobs well ahead of those two.”

Tankard Gooner

I’ll add Thomas Frank to that list.

Tankard Gooner

The 2nd list I mean.

A Different George

Only Englishmen need apply.

Tankard Gooner

I won’t lie, at the time of commenting I honestly thought Frank is British.

Graham

good not great

Naked Cygan

What do you want him to say? The have a sh*t manager?😂 At least he is better that Gary Neville and John Terry.

Onenil

Pretty much everyone is better than John Terry…. Apart from Richard Keys.

SLC Gooner

Eddie didn’t get to be top scorer for England U23 ahead of some guy named Shearer by being a hack.
He just needs minutes, which he should get with 2 matches a week going forward.

PTAFC

I don’t believe in him sorry, he only had a new contract because we wouldn’t have been able to buy 2 new strikers. Missing our chances is the reason we never look comfortable holding onto a lead. Heard fans say we were ruthless against Bournemouth!? Liverpool were bloody ruthless and we still need to finish teams off but we miss far too many chances

Btgooner

Go support a different club. Nketiah is an academy kid, England’s all time leader in goals at U 21. He’s a very promising talent.

Fatgooner

I’m glad that “the boys” believe in Nketiah, because I don’t. The clock is ticking away and we still haven’t bought the third striker that we desperately need. A lengthy injury to Jesus this season and we’re relying on “Super Eddie” to get top four. No chance. As I’ve said before, Nketiah is an underdeveloped rookie striker who shouldn’t be at the club right now. He should be out on loan learning his trade somewhere else. But Arteta seems to have a love affair with him and will keep playing the kid. Nketiah’s two glaring misses against Fulham tell you… Read more »

ThreadRipper

Our second choice striker is not getting minutes. Now, who wud be that quality lunatic prepared to not even make the bench as a 3rd choice? Be real!

MassGooner

Who’s Haaland back up? And Kane? Even Salah?

You’ll probably name a few players who would be a drop off in quality from these starters similar to Nketiah and Jesus. A lengthy injury to any of them would be a problem to that team. Likewise for us if that happens (and fingers crossed it doesn’t)

Determination Cultured

It’s good that we have eddie, in case we dont get another,DM for cover we could play 352

Con

I thought he showed why he’ll never be an Arsenal level striker in that 30 minute cameo. Doesn’t have the touch.

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