Ryan Babel, the Dutch international who was allowed a second chance to establish an international career by Ronald Koeman, said something recently that made me think: this group of Dutch players do not have many egos amongst them and so there is a better chance for success – or something down that line. I am with him all the way re this: the era of big, self-celebration egos of Sneijder, Van Persie and Arjen Robben is luckily behind us, and the current Oranje are much more of a team with players working hard for each other rather than for their own glory.
Why am I writing this on an Arsenal blog? Well, one of the highlights of the season so far have been the selfless and yet very effective performances of the likes of Saka and Nelson on the left wing. Ryan Babel tends to play there too and, now in his early thirties, he really plays for the team and has become an automatic starter in Koeman’s Euro 2020 hopefuls. For six years he was not selected by Koeman’s predecessors so that is quite an achievement by the purple-haired former Liverpool player.
I like a player who is humble, works hard and likes to be part of a team. Players like Giroud and Mertesacker, Flamini and Ozil, Coquelin and Xhaka, Auba and Laca are the ones that make me really proud of our club.
On the left wing we have had some very talented players since the departure of one of our Invincibles, the one and only Robert Pires, in 2006. Reyes was phenomenal but did not stay long enough due to this homesickness for us to properly judge him. Arshavin could be unplayable on the day and Sanchez was close to world class in terms of raw talent and ability, but both players were never really part of the team and were mostly interested in their own glory, key stats and weekly wages. And when they left us they were quickly forgotten, and not really missed, despite their considerable contributions in terms of goals and assists. Football is of course a team game and really successful teams are much more than the sum of their individual talents and skills.
I don’t think Auba is used at his best on the left wing, and although I liked Iwobi a lot I don’t think he was best used there either. So the really, really good news is that we have two very talented youngsters on the team now who thrive on the left wing and work their socks off to get into the first team: Saka and Nelson.
It is early days to judge both their talents and personalities but they both look to me the real deal. Both have impressed me a lot with their team play and individual talents and they have given us a real edge, especially in the Cup games. It will be good to see who of these two will establish themselves on the left wing or whether they can both push themselves into the first team this season. I have no doubt that Pepe does not only feel pressure on his shoulders from his summer-sale price-tag but also from the fast emergence of two very talented and hungry young wingers.
To have at least three quality wingers on the team after years of make-do is music to our ears. Let’s see how they develop but hopefully the wait for quality and effective team-wingers is finally over.
12 thoughts on “Do Arsenal Finally Have Again a Team Winger Like Robert Pires? Two Options.”
Interesting post Total.
Youngsters like Saka, Nelson, Smith Rowe, Willock rarely display ego when they first get into the first team as their main goal is to keep their place both on the field and in the dressing room. However their ego’s will swell if they become a permanent first team player and start receiving praise in the press and from the terraces.
I have no problem with either certain type’s of attitude or ego as I believe that a players confidence grows when they have a high impression of themselves.
My ideal player is one who displays his skills on the field and shows a passion for his club.
My least ideal players are mercenaries who are only interested in their own self worth – the most extreme examples being Sanchez and RVP – both were incredible players who had crappy attitudes and were consumed with self interest.
TA, the kids have always excited me though experience has taught me to always temper it ….. Vela. Walcott, Merida, Oxlade, Wilshere, Zelalem, Iwobi …. I remember the high hopes invested on so many of them never came to be. It’s overdue that another Cesce should show up. Saka, Willock, Nelson and ESR look the resl thing. Maybe its best not to demand too much from them too early.
TA, it is easy to get Saka and Reiss Nelson as wingers, but i have another name in mind, which is Willock. He looks physically and technically like Pires, and Saka reminds me of Reyes. Reiss Nelson, meanwhile, can claim to be the new Ljungberg.
I think Pepe is best started on the left wing, instead of the right, and Ozil is the number 10. Suits him to feed Auba, Pepe and Laca, when they all are in red hot form. Who doesn’t dream of that?
Anyway, i went for the stadium tour yesterday, and oh boy is it great to see the stadium in flesh. The surrounding Islington is also very clearly in my mind, as it is where the lads celebrated their trophies in front of the Armoury. The tunnel and the dugout, the state of the art changing rooms and the view from the directors box are so brilliant that i have no words that can describe them. I hope i can come back to London to catch a home game, but the stadium tour is currently sufficient for me.
Victoria Concordia Crescit.
Glad you enjoyed the tour njk, I know the surrounding area like the back of my hand – it’s where I spent my youth.
GN5, it is a very nice neighbourhood. Am intrigued by the closeness of the stadium to the houses in the neighbourhood. Our neighbourhood stadiums are similarly close to the neighbourhood, but none with that size.
Ours is a maximum of 4000, depends on the number of stands that they deploy. However, as us Singaporeans mostly watch EPL, local football is only watched by few hundreds to a thousand at max.
Our culture is greatly influenced by the British colonialists, and when you come to Singapore, and visit the City Hall and Chinatown areas you will see that you haven’t really left London at all.
Very interesting njk, I’ve been to many different countries – but never any Asian nations and i don’t travel too far these days.
My maternal grandparents lived on Stavordale Road which is just across from the Emirates Stadium (google it) I was born on Avenell Road where the Highbury ground used to be.
N5 … you had no choice.
I can’t believe football is back!
SENT A MAIL TO YOUR BOX
New Post New Post 🙂
PE, I just issued a post but will issue yours (soon).
GN5 are you still planning to do a historical preview (no pressure of course but there are still two days to go so both posts can be issued..)?
Yes Total – it’s in process…………Late today or early tomorrow.
Great, thanks GN5