Stop putting average players on a pedestal

The current trend at Arsenal seems to be a childish hyping up and rating of players who are set to leave us. The only explanation I can think of is because it is Arsene Wenger no longer fancies the players, so suddenly certain fans start rating him highly. After all, they can not bring themselves to agree with Arsene Wenger.

In the polar opposite direction, and a good place to start this blog, is deadwood.

For years we have moaned about certain players being deadwood. Surplus to requirements. Not fit to wear the shirt. Confused as to why Wenger signed them. More confused as to why they were kept and played so often. And in many of the cases, the criticism was justifiable.

But it seems as soon as we come to decide to move on these players, people start moaning. They never got their chance they complain, even though they were also moaning every time they got their chance.

I have always called it The Michael Carrick Affect – a syndrome caused by rating a player because he is not playing, and the less he plays, the better he gets. Both for England and Manchester United, Carrick got better when he was not playing, to the point where during one absence, people were labelling the average midfielder as world class.

A first example of this happening at Arsenal was with Joel Campbell, and the infamous get out whilst you can Joel at an away game against Swansea.

At the time, Joel Campbell was the poster boy for those that hate everything about Wenger. He was not getting game time, and they demanded that he should. By not playing, he was getting better. They were ignoring the fact that he was average, they felt he should be in the first team.

A few years on from that, people are still saying Campbell never got his chance at Arsenal. Yet in 2015, he played 30 games for the club, scoring 4 goals, and proved that he was not good enough. Interestingly, in the same season, Theo Walcott, a man fans love to have, scored 7 goals in 21 games. Always baffles me when fans rate a player above another player just to suit an agenda.

Even now, people are calling for Joel Campbell to return to Arsenal. This is a player who started just 7 games for Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese League.

Joel Campbell is not good enough.

Lukas Podolski is another who many labelled as not good enough but as soon as he was loaned out to Inter Milan, the tide of opinion changed. He is now in Japanese football and people are still moaning that he should be at Arsenal.

Labelled as deadwood for many years, Wojciech Szczesny suddenly became everyone’s favourite goal keeper when he joined Juventus as their number 2. Suddenly everyone loved the Pole, who they had spent the last 4 years criticising.

I really did not understand the love in with Wojciech Szczesny.

Lucas Perez is another whose stock has risen dramatically purely because he is not fancied. I see people saying he was not given a chance last season. Yet he was simply not as good as players who started ahead of him.

People act like Lucas Perez was a superstar because he scored a hat trick against Basel, a brace against Nottingham Forest and miss hit a cross which went in against Sutton. OK, he scored a great goal against Bournemouth, but that is one goal, in 21 games.

The joke with Perez is when we signed him, we were competing with the likes of West Ham and Everton for his signature. People commented if he was any good, other top sides would be chasing him. 12 months on, he is being linked with a move away from Arsenal to either Everton or West Ham, and everyone is saying how great a player he is – even though other big sides are not interested.

Another is Calum chambers. 12 months ago it was he has been a flop, we would be lucky to get back half of what we paid for him. Now that we are attracting bids for more than what we paid for him, people are saying we are crazy to sell him.

I have even seen people complain that the very average Mohamad Elneny has not been given a chance.

This situation just highlights the agenda driven opinion of some fans. Arsene Wenger could go and buy Lee Trundle, and those fans would moan we were signing an old, overweight player who is clearly not good enough. But in a year, after he plays just 4 games and we sell him, they would say he was a great player who was never given his chance.

Be consistent in your opinion. Players we are clearing out this summer are just not good enough. Question why we signed them in the first place – criticise Wenger for wasting money on them – but do not question why we are selling them, just as a stick to beat Wenger with.



12 thoughts on “Stop putting average players on a pedestal

  1. Sean Vassallo

    Well written article.All I can say is I’ve grown tired of our fellow supporters consistent nagging.These people need to get off their high horse and live in the real world instead of always saying what needs to be done as if they’ve been there and done that!!Living in their own little worlds unfortunately and will continue to do so just to further their own pointless agenda.

  2. Gambit

    Agree with some parts, but you can change an opinion after a whole season. Especially when there is a progress with the player like Chambers. I don’t want him to be sold, would give him another season long loan, maybe 2 years and track his development. I don’t agree with Perez statement at all, he has 7 goals + 5 assists in 21 matches for us, yes, but he played around 950 minutes, so like 10 matches? That is brilliant conversion rate. And every time I saw him, he was dangerous and looked better than Walcott, far better. So I would sell Walcott instead, had more than 10 years to prove himself, but didn’t do it. Elneny can go, average player for me, we need another CM signing though

    1. keenosafc Post author

      I do not disagree with wanting to keep Perez. The problem is as it stands he is behind Lacazette, Welbeck, Sanchez and Giroud up top, and if we continue with 3421, we do not play with wide men. In that formation, even Walcott is surplus

  3. Alex overrated Chamberlain

    Good point. But to be fair to those average players the fan’s anger comes from shitter players playing ahead of them.

    You mentioned Campbell but how shit was the overrated chamberlain starting ahead of him and Theo on the right? Even this season Theo as a sub scored double figures in the league while the Ox, rather the Ov, scored what 2 or 3?

    Giroud who was a sub last season scored double figures in the league too while the headless chicken much loved welbeck scored close to 5.

    Doesn’t mean Perez Theo and Giroud are MSN. It’s just that fans feel an injustice based on the overrated crap starting ahead of them.

    I hope the Ov gets sold and if some crazy club can be blindfolded into saving us from welbeck and we stay with Giroud and his goals I’d be ok with it


    lol dude…

    Football is like the worse possible thing together with Politics to care too much about when those spouting their opinions are completely clueless.

    So seriously, do not care about it… find it amusing, thats what I do.

    “Be Consistent in Your Opinion”….. hello? this is the internet… you must be new here. lol

  5. Dammy

    Well said. There is a lot of deadwood that needs clearing out. Although I think the moans are more emotional than a means to attack Wenger. Some players are average when signed but improve. Compare the League Cup final where Koscielny and Szczesny conspired to gift Birmingham the cup. One is a vice captain mainstay today and the other shipped out after 2 years on loan. A good clearout will free up the wage bill and give the next Bellerin or Iwobi a chance to be discovered. Perez is trying to force a move to favour his potential employers, but he is contracted until 2020. He has never been in the Spain squad yet all of a sudden it is a World Cup year? I sat a few feet behind the goal in freezing November as he put in a lacklustre performance at the Emirates when we crashed out of the League Cup last season. He is being well paid and should shut up. If Deportivo or any other club meet the valuation, he can do one. Other average Joes- Jenko, Gibbs, Debuchy, Campbell, and Wilshere (not average) can all go imo.

  6. allezkev

    Interesting point of view, which I broadly agree with.
    The scenario surrounding the No.9 shirt is hilarious, considering that Perez has been wanting to leave since January.

  7. arulviv93

    Somehow you managed to forget what some of these players did on loan? Okay, I can agree with you on Campbell, Podolski and maybe even Perez. But the the comments you make on the rest are quite stupid. Lets take Szczesny. He was having a stinker of a season and was rightly dropped by Wenger and then sent out on loan. He went to Italy and has improved. Going away from Arsenal and Arsene and getting older have all made him a better keeper than he was at Arsenal. Now that he is back, why not give him a chance? If Ospina leaves and we are left with Cech and Martinez, wouldn’t you want Szczesny? If you can sell Szczesny, why not sell Ospina and give a better keeper a chance? He loves the club, is passionate about us and we sorely lack such characters in the team. And he’s being earmarked to take over from Buffon? Isn’t that proof enough that he’s pretty good? Why is Wenger so stubborn and doesn’t give a second chance to a brilliant player who made some mistakes at a young age?
    As for Chambers, the fact that he was struggling so much is down to the manager. He was shuffled between RB, CB and midfield. He didn’t play many games after a bad night at Swansea. He is so young for a defender. He went out on loan, played very well in a back three and now that we have a similar system, he becomes a very useful option. Per is retiring in a year, Laurent needs to manage his workload, Gabriel often struggles and that leaves just Holding and Mustafi as good long term options. And Chambers kept Holding out of the team for the U21s. Where is the patience with young players? When the likes of Ox are rightly given time to develop, why not back Chambers? Why sell him when all the proof is he will develop into a good player?
    And Elneny is as good a squad player you can ever hope to have. He’s decent, efficient, can do a job. No one wants him to play every game, but have such players in the squad.
    In most cases, this isn’t just about opposing Wenger. This is frustration with Wenger giving up on players too early while backing some infintely.

    1. keenosafc Post author

      And you seem to be forgetting that Szczesny only had 12 months left on his contract and did not want to sign a new one.

      I have written a blog on chambers / Holding. I would rather we develop 1 world class CB than 2 half decent ones (like Man U did with Smalling & Jones)


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