Finton’s Frolic: Stop casting negativity onto Arsenal youngsters, immediately
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
Welcome one and all to the 13th instalment of the Finton’s Frolic right opinion, and slightly angry, zone. Today I will be discussing how a host of Arsenal supporters are taking their anger out on the wrong players in the squad, the youngsters. Here’s a spoiler: It does my nut in.
Obviously, it all started after a humiliatingly comprehensive defeat that came at the hands of Manchester City. I’ll avoid all of the gorrie details of the depressing fixture because it has already been well covered by our Editor, Alfie Culshaw, and our Tactical Analyst, Vinay Shankar. Basically, due to the loss, even though it was a predictable one, Arsenal fans completely unsurprisingly sprung into meltdown. Players like Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah and even Bukayo Saka were scorched on social media because of the defeat. There are many issues I have with this. The first being, the loss wasn’t any of our younger player’s faults, and David Luiz could easily be classified as fully culpable. The second is, well... they’re fucking kids.
At Arsenal we are blessed with a flurry of incredibly high ceilinged youngsters and casting negativity onto them after such an embarrassing loss is one of the worst things you can do. A great many cubs do not have any impressive young talent at all, we should be grateful. Calling them “shit” and saying they are “championship level at best” can really get under their skin and burn down any confidence that was once sprouting within them. I know the kids are ‘big boys’, but they haven’t been in the realm of professional sport long enough for that not to bother them. Social media is huge for all players, but a well-seasoned and experienced individual like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is used to abuse, guys like Willock aren’t yet.
I get it, the loss was infuriating, but cursing players who are in the earliest stage of their career and blaming them for a loss to a side that we were never going to realistically beat is not only wrong but is also just flat out fucking stupid. Even if a youngster or youngsters were at fault for the loss (which again, I reiterate, they were not for the city one) it would still be wrong to attack them and honestly, it will always be going into the future.
If supporters want a team that youngsters can excel in, they are going to have to accept that in some games such baby faced talent will fail to make a mark. Mikel Arteta opting for such a young side was ballsy from the off and as we saw, this time it did not pay off. But with that being said, the kids and also Arteta himself do not deserve the relentless flack they’ve received for the loss. We cry that we want them to play, but when Arteta plays them we go off and cry anyways.
So anyways, if the young players are to have any sort of chance at the club we have to back them. Stop rushing to social media to call them out and instead show patience and support for them. They’re young and impressionable, they do not want this blatant pettiness to persist either, in fact if there are any players the average supporter can resonate with it is in fact the ankle biters.
Sorry for the ranty tone of this, but honestly the slating and furthermore, belittling of the youngsters I have seen has thoroughly pissed me off. The fixture congestion going into the rest of the season is going to be ever present and for that reason young players will be given game time. When they inevitably make errors and perform inconsistently, please, for the love of God, lay off, no matter how upset you are.
Thanks for reading and it’s nice to have football back. I sincerely hope our fortunes alter for the better and the negativity starts to subside, because as of now things already kind of suck, the divide is already starting to make its unwanted return. Catch you on the next one and with that I bid thee the sincerest, toodloo…!