Mikel Arteta shocked the majority of Arsenal supporters with the selection of Charles Sagor Jr. against Brentford in the Carabao Cup. Many had been claiming that the Spaniard “did not trust” the youth enough to give them chances.
These claims come despite of course developing the likes of Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson into players withy three of them having been called up to the England national team under his tenure. No, he didn’t give them their debuts but my goodness did he elevate their games.
Furthermore, he has given chances to youngsters and played Ethan Nwaneri in the Premier League and countless senior friendlies with the likes of Reuell Walters and Myles Lewis-Skelly. He started Charlie Patino in an FA Cup third-round tie at Nottingham Forest having already granted him a debut in the League Cup.
However as Sagoe Jr. came onto the field on Wednesday night, it was great to see yet another kid getting a chance and perhaps proving more doubters wrong about him as a coach. It’s a misconception he doesn’t trust the young players, the reality is some fans want it both ways which simply for a club like Arsenal in the current context isn’t possible.
Clubs like Manchester City, with their depth and dominance, can chuck in the likes of Phil Foden, Cole Palmer and Rico Lewis at younger ages and win leagues, cups and trebles. Arsenal simply cannot do that as we have, until now at least barring injuries, lacked the competitive quality.
There’s been an emphasis on Arsenal’s strengthening the depth of their squad and having at least two competitive options in each position. How can we promote this as a priority and scrutinise for not throwing more inexperienced youngsters in?
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