Arsenal are constantly putting out the youngest team in the League. Is that a good idea?

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Here’s a strange statistic.  For six of the seven league games played this season, Arsenal have put out a team younger than any other team used by any other club in the Premier League.

For the only exception to this approach this season Arsenal put out a team that was notably older, and perhaps as a result or perhaps by chance, we lost heavily.  True that was to Manchester City, but the teams for the other games have been doing well – and those teams have been very young.

Through these games Arsenal’s average player age has ranged between 24.1 and 25.1 years.  For the defeat to Manchester City the average age was 26.3.

The ages of the youngsters are

  • The 20 year olds: Bukayo Saka, Folarin Balogun
  • The 21 year olds: Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Gabriel Martinelli
  • The 22 year olds: Takehiro Tomiyasu, Martin Ødegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah.
  • The 23 year olds: Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Gabriel
  • The 24 year olds: Kieran Tierney, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles

So not surprising  that for six of the seven games we have been the youngest team on this or are any other pitch.

This compares with some of the oldest teams as reported by Transfermarkt.  Everton, Newcastle, Manchester City, Brighton and Hove, Leicester City, and Manchester United have all been putting out teams with an average age of 27.7

But of course there are always the naysayers, and John Barnes, no less, “has warned Arsenal that Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka may not yet be consistent enough.”

I am not sure if Arsenal need or indeed would heed a warning from a man who has worked for Haldia Heroes, Tranmere Rovers, and Jamaica as coach for a total of 21 games and who across his time at Tranmere had a points per match average of 0.83.

What does surprise me however is not that national newspapers will continue to give the time of day to the comments of the constantly failed manager, but rather than we still haven’t finished pulling young players out of the ranks of the youth team.  There’s Charlie Patino at the top of the table, and several others who are being mentioned in dispatches, such as Tyreece John-Jules.

Patino certainly looks like the next name to come forward, as he’s being talked up as a new Jack Wilshbere and who is already playing in the under 23s.

And the fact that there is still more to come from the under 23s and under 21s if we take a look at the league tables below following wins for both the under 18 and under 23 at the weekend.

The Under 23s…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 7 5 2 0 19 9 10 17
2 Arsenal 7 5 1 1 21 13 8 16
3 West Ham United 7 4 1 2 17 12 5 13
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 7 4 1 2 14 10 4 13
5 Leeds United 7 3 2 2 18 14 4 11
6 Tottenham Hotspur 7 3 2 2 18 15 3 11
7 Manchester United 7 3 2 2 12 11 1 11

The under 18s…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 6 5 0 1 16 5 +11 15
2 6 4 2 0 17 9 +8 14
3 6 4 2 0 14 9 +5 14
4 6 4 0 2 19 8 +11 12
5 6 4 0 2 9 7 +2 12

And I guess while doing the tables we ought to include the women’s team as well although I know Andrew will want to be quoting this in his next report.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 4 4 0 0 16 2 14 12
2 Chelsea 4 3 0 1 15 5 10 9
3 Tottenham 3 3 0 0 4 1 3 9
4 Aston Villa 4 2 1 1 4 6 -2 7
5 Brighton 4 2 0 2 8 4 4 6

Of course not every player makes it at Arsenal and many leave to play elsewhere.  One who has been noted of late is Krystian Bielik whom many of us thought would make it at Arsenal.

He didn’t and went to Derby where he has had a really bad time of it through injury.   And he is a player who Derby have, apparently, not paid for, because of their significant financial disasters.

I think the rule within football that football debts are paid before other debts is still in place, despite the fact that it horrendously affects small businesses who supply the club with services and products and can themselves go out of business if the clubs that go bust don’t pay up.

But that is how it seems to be, so Arsenal can expect the outstanding debt on Bielik to be paid by the administrators now running Derby.

Personally, I find this youth development programme rather exciting.  I can only hope  that the changes made last year to talent spotting and recruitment, does not bring this development to an abrupt halt.

13 Replies to “Arsenal are constantly putting out the youngest team in the League. Is that a good idea?”

  1. It’s such a pleasure to watch Pigob in it’s full Liverpool glory.

    Is it actually against the law to send players off at Anfield ?

  2. Tony,

    To me the actual situation is fantastic. The young players are getting an accelerated ‘training’ in matters PL. They are in the thickest of it. Game after game. This is a priceless possobility to grow, to learn, to understand the responsibilities, the pressure, the way it works. Normally, you’d only have 3 or 4 young players. Here almost more then half the players on the field are in the ‘young’ category.

    if you add the players on loan, some of which will some day come back to the team, we are seeing a ‘teamforming’ on a large scale, I would say probably unique at present in the PL. This promises for an interesting future.

  3. Nitram
    I guess you are referring to the failure of Paul Tierney to issue the chief Liverpool thug Milner with a second yellow card. If anyone can show me a more blatant example of a foul that warranted a yellow card I would like to see it. Paul Tierney is either a cheat, scared stiff of Klopp or the Liverpool crowd or simply stupid. I do not blame Pep Guardiola for being apoplectic with rage, Milner should have got his marching orders end of story. Instead he remained on the pitch to help the scousers score their second goal moments later.
    This comes a couple of weeks after Fabinho got away without a red card for a tackle worse than the one Xhaka got sent off for.
    Red cards for Liverpool players are definitely not allowed in the eyes of the PIGMOB.

  4. Tierney’s failings go a long way towards explaining LiverPool!’s fantastic tackle/foul/card statistics.

    LiverPool! are as dirty as most other teams in the Premier League. The referees are assisting them in this endeavour. Without their help Liverpool! would have lost this game.

  5. Milner not getting a red card is absolutely proof that the premier league is nothing more than a pro wrestling competition. What a joke.

  6. Yes lads that’s the one. As you all say, an absolute joke.

    I was also going to mention yet another on field brawl that was totally ignored by the referee in the Man Utd v Everton match.

    Most of the players on the field were involved in pushing, shoving, grabbing, and yet I don’t believe a single card was issued.

    Will there be a post match investigation ? Hardly likely.

    And this is where I maintain the media have such an influence over these type of events.

    If Arsenal had been involved the commentators would of been banging on about ‘loss of discipline’, ‘players out of control’, ‘You cant do that on a football field’, ‘shame’, ‘this will have to be looked at’, Blah Blah Blah.

    Oddly enough the commentators didn’t see it like that. These are some of the excuses we heard from them amid much mirth and giggling. Yep that’s how seriously they were taking it !!

    “There’s lots of tension out there”

    “It’s all a fuss about nothing”

    “The referees rightly just having a firm word”

    Honestly the massive disparity in the way referees treat almost identical infringements and events has never been so starkly exposed as this weekend.

    The same can be said of the way the media react to these events.

    When it suits it’s actually all a bit of a giggle.

    On another day it’s shameful behavior deserving of a forensic investigation, followed by punishment befitting of such heinous crimes.

    These double standards from the officials and media alike clearly expose the corrupt nature of the premier league. It makes me sick to be honest.

  7. @Nitram,

    made my day !!!!!!!

    We ought to stick with it the same as with the PIGMOB acronym…just this time using the full description as above instead of the acronym….Words as weapons

  8. Jurgen Klopp was asked about the Milner foul and he claimed that he did not see it.
    I wonder will Klopp get the same ‘I did not see it’ piss taken out of him that Wenger had to put up with all those years.

  9. Chris

    Glad I could brighten your day 😊

    mick shelly

    Another good’en

    Regarding Klopp, they might mention it, but sometimes it’s more about how they mention it and for how long.

    In other words rather than just mentioning it will they turn it into a weapon with which to beat and ridicule him from now and forever, as they did Wenger ?

    We’ve had others admit how top 4 finishes are crucial but none endure ridicule as Wenger did.

    We’ve had others, Klopp being one, moaning about the way the referees are allowing more brutal tackles to go unpunished. He’s also moaned about the penalties given to United, as we know with some justification over the years, does he get Whinging Klopp thrown at him day after day ?

    As I keep saying time and time again, it’s not necessarily what Managers say or do. It’s not what players say or do. It’s not what Clubs do. It’s not what referees do. It’s about how the media interpret it.

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