Arsenal down Leeds
Arsenal’s latest outing would see them face off with a very weak Leeds United side.
Owning to covid, injury and fitness issues, Marcelo Bielsa was forced to field a makeshift side that had a number of young stars on the bench.
As a result, a win for Arsenal who had close to a full squad available was expected. And, not too surprisingly, the Gunners would come away with a 4-1 win on the day.
Leeds’ only goal of the clash came in the second half when Ben White gave away a penalty, which Raphinha stepped up to convert.
Following the game, Arsenal legend Ian Wright took issue with White for his challenge, stating that a more experienced defender stays up in his position.
He also labelled Arsenal and as an inexperienced, young team:
It’s a poor challenge. Stay on your feet there, Ben. You don’t need that kind of pressure. Don’t go to ground, did he slip? I don’t know. This is what I’ve said about the inexperience, a young team. A more experienced defender stays up.
Arsenal’s biggest issue
And, though Wright probably did not mean it as too much of a dig, his comments about the inexperience of Arsenal’s young team also show their biggest weakness right now.
In their backline, for example, Aaron Ramsdale is 23, Takehiro Tomiyasu 23, Ben White 24, Gabriel 24 and Kieran Tierney 24. Ben White also only had one year of experience in the Premier League before 2021/22.
Elsewhere, their main attacking options right now; Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli are only 20, 21, 23 and 20 years of age.
Whilst the aforementioned players are sure to serve Arsenal well in the coming years, relying too heavily on them now is likely why the Gunners still often end up on the wrong side of a questionable result despite having a quality squad.
But, unless Arsenal change their transfer policy and start to sign older stars, something they will likely wish to avoid given they have been burned by the likes of William and Sokratis in the past, this is an issue they can do little about right now and will simply have to wait for their stars to gain the required experience.
But it will also require some patience on the part of the fans, who are no doubt eager to see their side back in the Champions League as soon as possible, but probably do not want to wait another 2-3 years to allow Arteta to carry this young squad forward.
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Premier League table
|5||West Ham United||17||7||28|
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||16||-3||20|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||15|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||9|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||7|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||7|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||7|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||7|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||7|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||7|
|Silva, Bernardo||Manchester City||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||6|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||6|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||6|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||6|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||5|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||5|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||5|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace||5|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City||5|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||6|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||6|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||1||5|
|Salisu, Mohammed||Southampton FC||6|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||1||4|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||1||4|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||1||4|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||5|
|Canos, Sergi||Brentford FC||5|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||5|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||5|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||5|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton & Hove Albion||5|
|Lascelles, Jamaal||Newcastle United||5|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United||5|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion||5|
|Firpo, Junior||Leeds United||5|
|Ward, Joel||Crystal Palace||5|
|Romeu, Oriol||Southampton FC||5|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||8|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||8|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||7|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||5|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||5|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||4|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||4|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||4|
|Redmond, Nathan||Southampton FC||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||3|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||3|
|Maddison, James||Leicester City||3|
|Foden, Phil||Manchester City||3|