Mikel Arteta is keen on giving the ‘kids’ a chance in the Europa League clash against Dundalk tonight.
The Gunners will be looking to complete a perfect record in Europe’s second-tier competition this evening.
Speaking in his post-match interview, the Spaniard confirmed that some kids had made the trip to Ireland while some first-team stars had been left at home.
Arteta said: “We have a few kids here. We left a few players at home as well. There are a lot of games and we need a complete training week as well, which I think is going to benefit us.” (via BBC)
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I’ve already discussed how important tonight’s game is for the north London giants. Leaving notable stars, who are lacking confidence, out of the side is a mistake waiting to happen. Players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang need the extra boost to confidence and letting him bag a couple of goals against notable weaker opposition would’ve been the right move.
The fact is Arteta is likely to start the stars in their Premier League games, and with them lacking confidence expecting to fire is increasingly unlikely.
His determination to not give the young guns chances is another reason why he could be lying about giving them an opportunity to impress. The likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson rarely get the chance to impress in the top-flight and when you consider how poor Hector Bellerin and Willian are playing it proves a baffling decision.
But, that’s the point if you’re not going to give your younger players a chance in the league, senior members of the squad should be playing against the Lilywhites in order to improve their confidence level.
Arteta’s decision-making is confusing, but, he is the manager and eventually, the buck will fall at his feet if the older stars continue to fail him.