Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Arteta: We’re all so happy for Nelson

Mikel Arteta said everyone at Arsenal was happy for Reiss Nelson after the winger came off the bench to bag a brace and assist to help Arsenal to a comfortable 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

The 22-year-old – a first half replacement for Bukayo Saka – came to life after the break neatly converting two opportunities before turning provider for Thomas Partey who curled home spectacularly.

Having played only 72 minutes of football all season prior to today, this was a performance that Nelson won’t forget in a hurry.

“I think not only me but all his teammates and all the staff are so happy for him because he’s a kid that is really changing, really evolving, really maturing and he’s showing every day how much he wants it,” said Arteta in his post-game press conference.

“He had an opportunity today and he did extremely well because he helped us to win the game.”

Pressed on how Nelson has changed, Arteta continued: “How mature, how focused he is in his profession, the way he talks, the way he reflects, the way he respects decisions, the way he challenges everybody every single day, he’s a joy of a kid and we all want him to be successful and do well. What he’s done today for the team is something he really merits.”

Arteta also touched on the injury picked up by Saka that gave Nelson his chance after 27 minutes.

The England international was subdued for some time before he went off but still registered an assist for Arsenal’s opener with a fantastic cross that was headed home at the near post by Gabriel Martinelli.

Asked if Saka’s chances of playing at the World Cup are in doubt – the tournament begins in three weeks – Arteta sounded pretty relaxed.

“Hopefully not. It was a bad kick right from the beginning, he was limping but I don’t see anything further than that. Let’s see how he is in the next couple of days.

“I think both,” when asked whether his foot or ankle was the main problem. “I think he got kicked a few times and he wasn’t comfortable to continue.”

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Let’s hope this will kick start Nelson Arsenal career. We all know there’s a player in there, especially if he can get the mental side of his game nailed. COYG!


Nail on the head there bud👍


So so happy..more than you believe, more than you believe .


You can see a change in him. Hopefully this maturity leads to him fulfilling his potential and a new contract.

Our academy has produced some gems recently.

Iwobi, Willock x2 and our boys making it at the top level.

Skinny Ricki

The lack of protection Saka gets from refs is a disgrace – as is the extent to which teams deliberately set out to kick him out of the game. This has to change – not just for Arsenal’s sake, but for world football itself. He is one of the game’s brightest young stars, and so brave too. (At risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, I know.)


I agree with you. If Kane got kicked the way Saka does, questions would be asked in the House of Commons and the media would go on the war path.

Leon Banquo

Yeah but Kane is white. England’s golden boys are always white. We saw how Andy Cole and sol Campbell (and to a lesser extent Emile Heskey) were treated by This country. There is an intrinsic racism that runs through this country and white privilege is huge in this country.


Well said.

I too made this point on my post match analysis.

There’s an all-too-familiar pattern developing and the longer it gets brushed under the carpet, the more danger our players will be in.

At the moment the consensus seems to be “It’s Ok: kick Arsenal up in the air: it doesn’t matter, because nine times out of ten, the ref waves Play On.”

If I was Arteta, I would be having a word in my pressers, big time.


It sounds like he wasn’t injured too badly, but the same bravery that drives his game meant he tried to keep playing as soon as he got injured, rather being substituted almost immediately. Which could have made things so much worse.


That’s sincerely high praise from Arteta. Very exciting to see what comes of this.

Greg in Seattle

Admit I had my doubts about Nelson’s mentality, less so than his talent. The first half after he came on I was kind of thinking that way again. But with the goal his whole demeanor changed and he became a confident, tricky winger seeing the game and flowing. It was something to see.

I give a lot of credit to Arteta’s ability to show faith in players who have real ability but need a little more patience on the mentality side. If I’m a young player arsenal is looking like a great place to be.


Great call by Arteta to send him on, he could have played safe with Vieira.

Dave Cee

Very true. I actually thought Marquinhos would get the nod. Reiss must be impressing in training

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Vieira doesn’t look like a winger at all, he definitely appears made to play centrally.

timorous me

True, but I was thinking that at least he’s similarly left-footed (to Saka) and with so much possession he could be useful. Silly me to doubt Mikel! So glad it came off the way it did and Nelson gets to enjoy this.

Spanish Gooner

I really wish Arteta had pointed out that this is the cumulative effect of Saka getting kicked every week. Our starboy needs protection!


Great stuff.

Immediate back up for Saka – and spot on time by the looks of it.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

He slotted right in and played like an Arsenal player. Retained the ball well, kept it moving but also brave enough to create chances. He’s had this player in there, great to see him taking his chances.


I’ll always remember when we played city and after the game Pep had his arm around Nelson. Arteta was at City during that game. He’s always known there’s a player there and despite his failed loans and Nelson dropping his professionalism during one of those, what a sign that MA can turn him around. What a manager!

Dave Cee

It seemed that Reiss was out the door this summer until he picked up an injury. If he can kick on from this performance it might be the most serendipitous injury we have had in a long time. Fingers crossed he can

timorous me

I’m not entirely convinced it was just the injury that kept him with us–I think it also depended on us bringing in another winger; even if Smith-Rowe had stayed healthy, that would’ve still left Nelson as one of the two deputy wingers, considering Marquinhos was such an unknown quantity at the time.

Giuseppe Hovno

I cannot believe that after q long time of believing in Reiss Nelson, I missed the game where he shined !!!

Mukhtar Saeed

Hopefully Saka will be back agains Chelsea and wish Nelson to be continues with bright performance
Like today.

Guns Up

Even without the goals and assist, he played extremely well! Very happy for him, and hopefully this is just the start of something. Still plenty young enough to develop into a very good player.

Granit(e) hard!

Well, one thing I can say for myself, and I’ll bet, for the whole of the Arsenal fan base is we love to see one of our own succeed, and he, definitely is one of our own that’s lost his way because the first thing he did after both goals was to kiss the badge. I remember all the rave about him as a teenager, plus we know Arteta don’t call any player a special talent unless you are, what he said was now he needs to show it day in day out and tonight’ he showed us he does… Read more »


Bit surprised he’s not getting more Europa time

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He was injured for the first Zurich game, and had a poor game in Bodo, so I’m not too surprised he didn’t start either game against PSV.

He should start Zurich this week though, and if he plays well again, maybe Brighton in the cup the following midweek.


I love Odegaard to bits, and as captain, he clearly believes in leading by example. But I really think he needs to get in the ref’s face a bit more. At Southampton, Jesus was being garroted every few minutes by that neanderthal of a centre-half. If the ref had gotten an earful from the skipper after the first choke hold, maybe that cunt would have remembered his responsibilities.

Jean Ralphio

Let’s have more redemption arcs. I love them.

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