Sunday, June 16, 2024

Arteta on Trossard’s debut and Nketiah’s development

The acquisition of Leandro Trossard and the return to fitness of Emile Smith Rowe means Mikel Arteta, for the first time since before the World Cup break, has options to rotate his front line. 

Whether he chooses to do so for Friday’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Manchester City remains to be seen. Given it’s the first of three showdowns with Pep Guardiola’s side scheduled for the second half of the season, the Spaniard may not want to change things too much for fear of handing his former club the initiative in what’s shaping up to be an intriguing title race. 

While Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on his plans for the lineup, he was more than happy to reflect on Trossard’s debut. Signed from Brighton last week, the Belgian was thrown into the fray in the closing stages of Sunday’s match with Manchester United and played his part in the build-up for the winner. 

On that occasion, he replaced Gabriel Martinelli, but he might easily feature on the right or spearhead the attack from a central position in the coming weeks. 

“That’s what I like about him [his versatility],” said Arteta. “I see a player that is willing to make things happen and is usually composed, especially in the final third. 

“It’s something that we needed to add to the team and straightaway he had a beautiful impact on the team to help us to win.”

The man who finally put United to the sword at the Emirates was Eddie Nketiah. Two close-range finishes took his tally for the season to nine goals and underlined the shrewdness of the decision to hand him a new contract last summer. The striker, England’s record scorer at under-21 level, now has his sights on a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s senior squad. 

The question is whether Nketiah can sustain his form. “That’s the challenge that we all have, not only Eddie,” said the manager. 

“To be not only at that level but a better level every single day. Eddie has been very consistent, I think he has surprised a few people by the way he has responded to the huge challenge and the demands that he had after Gabby [Jesus] got injured. 

“We’re positive that he can still get much better, evolve and continue to develop.”

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Boy Bastin

If Trossard does anywhere as well as Eddie has recently he’ll be a good asset at just the right time.


Never seen a player improve so much so quickly with so little playing time. Very impressive. Stronger, smarter and more skilful without losing the striker’s instinct. So much delicious humble pie for so many of us.


the impact of jesus, even when injured, is evident when you watch eddie play- he’s added things in the last 5-6 months we weren’t seeing at the end of last season (and long may it continue).

Tomaury Bischfeld

You’re saying that he’s been thinking “what would Jesus do?” ?

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

I was thinking about Eddie and his England prospects – he was linked with a place in Ghana’s squad pre World Cup. Given England don’t have much in reserve at striker level I think he has a great chance of getting into the international fold. Keep doing what you’re doing Eddie lad.
On the Trossard front I have a good feeling about this signing. Not as sexy as the mudpack, but given the current season position and the cost financially and in regards to squad dynamics, I think it’ll turn out to be an excellent piece of business


He had a good hand in our winner against ManU the other day. Massive three points. Lad is already paying off.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Mudpack will undoubtedly prove to be a thorn in our side and will raise questions why we didn’t fork out that bit extra; but trossard is oven ready, proven, brings experience and is reportedly on £90k a week – he can challenge our youngsters for that first team spot and may even secure it – but none of them will feel like their route has been blocked. Had we signed Mudpack on £100k+ I’d be worried about the impact on team spirit a lot more given likes of ESR is on £40k a week and has already proven himself at… Read more »

Boy Bastin

I agree about team dynamics and I think we’ve got that just about right judging by team spirit etc. On Mudryk, you assume that we could have outbid Chelsea – I really don’t think we could (can, if both clubs are interested again in the same player – they simply have more money). Also, Chelsea were very smart at using a (quite legal) loophole in the FFP rules about accounting for very long term contracts as expenditure – something that is now being closed. As for the potential effect of Mudryk’s salary on others in our team had we signed… Read more »


I don’t think Mudpack would have upset any dynamics. He is a
very good player who would have added to the performances. It is a huge pity Arsenal missed out as I think he would have been the icing on the cake. Trossard looks pretty handy though, contributing to the winner against Utd and could be the difference between winning the title or not.

Crash Fistfight

What I don’t understand about that tactic from Chelsea is why players would sign up to contracts that long. Unless there are inbuilt wage increases within the contract terms, the club doesn’t need to offer increased wages (in the form of an extension) for years. I wasn’t aware of this rule from FIFA that states contracts can only be up to 5 years long (hadn’t heard about it until this whole hoo-hah about Chelsea), but I don’t understand how that works, if Chelsea can offer 7+ year contracts. It seems a bit stupid that the maximum period covered by the… Read more »

Emi Rates

Mudrake is just a mercenary who is happy to take the money from a club whose fans still pay tribute to an enabler of the dictator currently committing genocide in his country. If a bit more money on top of the millions he was already going to get swayed him that quickly then what does that say about his character?

He belongs at Chelsea.

Crash Fistfight

It might not be as simple as that. Perhaps Shakhtar said he could either go to Chelsea or wait until the summer to get a move. I can’t imagine it’s nice playing in Ukraine at this point in time. I read that matches have been suspended by air-raid sirens at times, for example.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

That’s one explanation why he ended up at Chelsea. Another is his agent and the club conspired to get the biggest fee and salary for the player and concocted the pledge to give £ for the war effort. What Ukrainian player is going to publicly say no to raising money for his country that has been invaded. Lots of moving pieces on this deal. Fact is very few players that cost more than £70m are worth the fee. More often than not those deals don’t pencil out.

Emi Rates

I don’t think I’ll ever stop being disgusted by a Ukrainian choosing to play for a club with such close historical links with what’s happening in Ukraine. If that was my country being subjected to Putin’s terror I would have made a big point of why no money in the world could persuade me to go to Chelsea. I would also have challenged them to deal with their cunt fans who sing tribute songs to Abramovich and urged them to make a hefty donation to a Ukrainian humanitarian charity of their choosing in order to start redeeming themselves. He didn’t… Read more »


if england persist with kane, they’re finished- he lacks the pace and stamina to lead the line in a high energy team full of dynamic players, and he’s not going to get any faster or better with age.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

I enjoy Kane bashing as much as the next man – but from an England point of view we have very little in reserve. Kane is looking more of a complete no.9 with his link up play, which means he needs goal scoring wise men either side like Saka and rashford – it feels like Eddie is learning off the best with his link up play from GJ9, it is already visible in a short period of time since Jesus signed, so Eddie could end up being the natural successor to harry kunt at international level


Kane makes the team slow and overly reliant on him to succeed- wedding your tactics and selection to a 30 year old and a specific style of play is a way to ensure your side becomes predictable, which would be detrimental to the rising talents in the midfield and on the wings. Perhaps the manager and the tactics are to blame (I couldn’t care less really, not being english), but if I were building a side I would look to build around players who will be in the team for the next decade rather than those who are declining.


Same with S***s, but don’t tell them that… It’s too enjoyable watching them act like he’s greatest thing ever not realising it’s actually the team bending their will to his personal success (goal return). Exactly as it was with us and Auba.


I’m enjoying Spurs being shite as much as the next man, but let’s not kid ourselves. Kane is an outstanding footballer. Yes, he’s a bit slow, but he’s absolutely lethal pretty much anywhere within 20 yards, and can pick out a pass better than 95% of midfielders. A player not being utilised fully be England doesn’t necessarily reflect on the player. I hope he moves as I think he should get a chance to play at a higher level and I’m bored of Spurs getting dragged through the mud by generational talents (him, Bale), but I fear United may go… Read more »


And he’s allergic to trophies


Or the’re allergic to him. Remember when the Champions League trophy broke out in hives as soon as he got near it


Trossard just needs to give us a few extra goals and assists, the way he did on Sunday. If that allows us to win our first league title in 20 years, no one will care about the Mudpack, as talented as he looks to be.

And let’s not forget that we already have two fantastic wingers, both 21 years old – age balance in the squad matters too.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

100% – people complaining that trossard is 28 – but to the lads who are 21 or under this offers reassurance about their own long term futures

Martin R

Just a thought. Ian Wright was 28 when he joined Arsenal.


Trossard can also use Arsenal’s protracted pursuit of Mudryk as a motivation to prove to the gunners that they got the right man

Victor Olivier

Arsenals were never recognised for best they did in soccer especially for development now its proven even though every supporter from other teams are not happy i say let them go to h###

Trossard, hussard pas troussard

I think Trossard can help score goals. He is so composed in the box. This is the area where he is better than Martinelli. But overall Gabby has more in the locker

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