Friday, February 23, 2024

Arteta on young players: We need to produce the talent

Over the last few weeks there have been discussions about Mikel Arteta and young players, with some suggestions that the Arsenal manager isn’t as keen to give them a chance as some other Premier League managers.

This, despite the fact the Gunners had the second youngest team in the Premier League last season, and can count on four Hale End graduates as part of the first team squad.

It was a question put to him today in his pre-Liverpool press conference: about whether or not that was something he and the club were keen to do.

His answer suggested that the focus of this discussion should be more about what we are producing at Academy level right now.

“Yeah, we certainly want to do that,” he said. “First of all, we need to produce those talents and then they have to earn it.

“Secondly, when we produce them, they have to be in the positions that we need fulfilling. Everything has to come together. We are working on that. We have a few prospects which are not far, but the reality is that we want more.

Asked if he felt the talent was there for him to use right now, he continued, “Today? To give the opportunities and to play in the first team at the level that we’re required?

“We are a bit short.”

Reuell Walters has been part of the squad for recent matches, but has yet to play a professional game in his career, while perhaps the most well-developed Academy player right now is Charlie Patino who is out on loan at Swansea City.

After that, 16 year old Ethan Nwaneri is a name on everyone’s lips, but he remains hugely inexperienced, while the same applies to 17 year old Myles-Lewis Skelly. Both require significant development, and possibly loan moves, before being integrated into a team which has loftier ambitions than even just a couple of seasons ago.

What’s clear is that there is a talent gap at youth level, but with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson, the club have shown there is a pathway from the Academy to the first team.

And the salutary tale of someone like Miguel Azeez should remind people this step-up is considerable for even the most highly-rated young talent.

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Well play them then Mikel .. like when we are 3 0 up at home


You do realize we have squad members who need those minutes?


So if the result is that we lose control of the match and win 3-1 or 3-2 what will that accomplish? And if we lose the title on goal difference who will you blame?

Keep in mind, if we finish 5th or 6th this season there will be a fan meltdown and mass calls for Arteta to be sacked (perhaps justifiably) whereas noone called for Klopp to be sacked last year after they fell out of the top 4. The pressure and expectations are different.


klopp won titles.


Exactly, hence different pressure/expectations as I said.


Just stop dreaming about us winning PL title. We’re nowhere near with the form and the squad. Which both draws back to a same person. I am not saying Mikel is bad. He has made a spkendid job im last four years but he is nowhere near level of a top manager and his financial and squad management abilities still leaves a lot to wish for. For my part I’ll be happy if we make top 4 and secure CL money for the next season which would enable us to continue with the development.


“I am not saying Mikel is bad”

You’ve made a spkendid job with this comment, sir


It’s always a difficult one especially when you are a team challenging at the top. That said you can give minutes in games against teams in the lower half of the table when we are ahead. Also top players generally come through early and you need to assess them in competitive environments to see how they perform. Look at Saka he was 17 and given minutes in games. I’m also not sure how useful players going on loan is especially if it’s different footballing styles and philosophies. I always feel that loan to West Brom cost us Gnabry.

A Different George

Can anyone think of a single youth player (whether from the Academy or otherwise) except Gnabry who left Arsenal and has played at a high level afterwards? (Obviously not counting players who became established at Arsenal and were sold for decent money, like Iwobi and Willock.) If Gnabry’s the only one, then maybe his example proves nothing about Arsenal. It only proves that top German players are often determined to play for Bayern.


Most recent I would say is Yunus Musah but you could also count David Bentley, Harry Kane…

David Hillier's luggage

What are we counting as a high level? Yunus Musah, Donyell Malen, Nathan Tella and Ismael Bennacer are all internationals playing for major clubs challenging for honours in Italy & Germany. Might not be Arsenal level, but the likes of Josh Dasilva, Stephy Mavididi and Glen Kamara have all carved out good careers in top divisions too. Sure, more players don’t make it than ones that do, however it’s unfair to say Gnabry is the only player that has prospered having left Arsenal


Connor Bradley currently wowing it at Pool was on loan at Bolton – Div1. Norton Cuffy has been on loan in the Championship for years it seems, give him a go or sell?

LB Gooner

Szczęsny, Nico Yennaris and Emi Martinez come to mind. Hector was technically a youth player at the club as well. Don’t know why you’d exclude Iwobi and Willock from being suitable answers when breaking into Arsenal’s first team should be considered the highest level for a youth player to perform at.

Another Paul

Donny Malen, Chuba Akpom, Mavididi scoring with Leicester and going to get promoted this year

Death by 300,000 Passes

The problem with Gnabry was not the load, but the fact that we didn’t know what to do with him after that.
Same will happen with Patino now (nobody expects anymore Arteta to integrate him, right?).


Partey has suffered a setback? I’m short of words.

Brazilian Gooner

I think there is a big difference between youth and senior level indeed, but you’ll only spot the real deals by giving them a chance to show the difference doesn’t matter. It’s like asking for an university graduate to have 10 years of working experience, you’ll only know how they perform by making they perform. Training is not playing and sometimes the environment of a match makes a player better, sometimes they crumble, and that’s all part of it, but that’s a part you’ll only see experimenting Cedric has minutes this season and Reuel has not, and for me that’s… Read more »

Death by 300,000 Passes



We have 4 academy graduates in the 1st team, we have the youngest squad of all the top teams and we have everything to prove with a young manager in trying to overtake absolute PL titans in Pep’s City and Klopp’s Liverpool.
Meanwhile we also have squad members not getting as many minutes as they might like.
So your managerial wisdom is to throw more academy kids onto the field?

Brazilian Gooner

My point is, what is our benefit giving Cedric minutes that could have gone to Reuel? Or giving Havertz, a player who plays very often, 5 minutes from the bench in a decided match over giving it to Nwaneri or something.
I understand your point, and I think is all about balance, and this is why is so difficult to do what Klopp does. I don’t think Arteta is against youngster or anything like that, but I think academy is an area where he needs to improve


Trust me I would love to see the kids play but see my point about Klopp on another thread.
He finished outside the top 4 last season and his job was safe because he has already won trophies. It also doesn’t account for the talent at one’s disposal.
I don’t see people talking about this about in Liverpool who are they competing with for the top local talent? Everton? Who else?
Whereas there are 13 clubs in London including moneybags Chelsea and Spurs. Look at what happened to Omari Hutchinson.


The telling thing is that not one single youth player has come through the ranks and established themselves in the first team under MA.
He just spends and spends.
Saka was introduced by Emery.
Martinelli was signed by Emery.
Saliba was signed as a youngster by Emery.
In fact, Emery has had more involvement in signing top class you players than MA has.
But strangely you mention Emery and its met with scorn and laughter..

Death by 300,000 Passes

You are right of course, but still, I I wouldn’t change Arteta for Emery. I may criticize him for his reluctance to develop young talents, but I still think that everything else he does with the team better is offsetting that flaw.


So by this definition you are saying you know that we have players as good as these in the academy right now and 17+, but Arteta refuses to give them a chance? Btw Saliba was a club-level signing and was sent out on loan for a reason.


Also we were in a different position with different opportunities and pressures then. How about some context?


We were in the same position for the first eighteen months after MA’s appointment.
Some managers give young players opportunities and some do not. Even the cheque book manager himself Pep Guardiola has allowed Foden and Lewis to become first team players – who can we say has been given that opportunity in the four years Arteta has been at Arsenal?


For years Man City have been at the top of the foodchain in Manchester for enticing local talent. On top of that we know they have been breaking rules in that area. Meanwhile Chelsea have been at the top of the foodchain in London.
Top players are not “produced” by clubs, they are nurtured and developed. I.e. talent is first and foremost and we have been at a disadvantage for years regarding attracting local talent relative to the likes of City, Chelsea and Liverpool.


The question is, how many academy graduates did Pep give chances in the first team in his first few seasons at City before he started winning the titles and in his first coaching career at Barcelona???

LB Gooner

The telling thing is that we’re trying to win a title now, not later. Higher standard set at the club than during previous eras


I am rolling with laughter. 😂 Somebody posted online the actual numbers the other day: prior to Arteta taking over the first team, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli, and Nketiah had 9 premier league starts between them; since Arteta has taken over, they have 272 between them. I know it is not based in fact, but I just think that Arteta played a significant part in these young players establishing themselves in the first team. We have one of the best young teams in the world, considered to be one of the most valuable in the world, and yet somehow people are… Read more »


2024 is not likely to be a vintage year for common sense or critical thinking.
Not that any year in the 21st century has been really.




So playing your debut under one manager but being developed for 1st team football under another means the man who gave the debut gets the credit…?
Ok then…


I’m not saying he hasn’t played a role in their integration I am just saying he cannot take credit for it. It is fair to say he continued what Emery introduced. Now it would be good to say that Nwaneri or Walters were young players developed and introduced by Arteta but I suspect he will always be happier signing players instead just like Pep himself..


“Arteta but I suspect he will always be happier signing players instead just like Pep himself..”

So basically, you want Arteta to compete with possibly the top manager that’s ever been in the game, with a club that has a bottomless pit of money and can circumnavigate any spending rules and has signed the best players from all over the world for more than a decade. And you’re pissed off because Arteta isn’t doing that with academy players???

Fuck me. Do you hear yourself?

Spanish Gooner

I remember Van Gaal saying that the decision to give youngsters a chance happens in Summer. He gave Rashford his debut because he’d got rid of Van Pers*e, Chicharito, Nani And Falcao that summer, meaning their 3rd choice striker was a kid with no senior appearances rather than somebody who’d won the league 2 years earlier. United came 5th and got knocked out of the CL in the group stages that season. If you want Walters to play, pick which of Tomiyasu, Saliba, White or Timber we should sell in summer, and please don’t complain if we drop points a… Read more »


It’s as simple as giving the kid Cedric minutes.
That’s all.


I’d sell Zinchenko. Play Tomi and Timber on the left, White on the right with Walters as backup.


And would it be a comfort to you that arsenal blooded young players if they finished outside the top 4?

The G

I think there is a case to be made that MA can be better in blooding youngsters. That however does not mean he does not give youth a chance. I personally would love him to give youngsters more of a chance but as many people are saying he is doing a great job and I trust the process.


There was a pathway…
Now the youth development is not our strongest department.


I think you mean “cautionary” not “salutary.”

Top Gun

It is a difficult one especially when they are very young because they have to have minutes they need game time to develop themselves and they obviously won’t make the jump into regular first-team football fresh from the academy. They’ll need to look good when they’re out on loan and then brought back home to see if they can take up a squad place


We need you to exit pronto


Did I miss Amario leaving us? Is he injured? Or Arseblog just constantly forgets that we’ve got wonderfully talented 18yo young winger in Amario Cozier-Dubbery.

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