Arsenal fans had been enjoying watching young Konstantinos Mavropanos settle into the first team, until Leicester City. But at least it’s out of the way.
Arsenal’s defense is the talk of the town, as they are in the bottom half of the Premier League in terms of goals surrendered. Which, needless, to say, is unacceptable. Any and all possible solutions are going to be worshiped and Konstantinos Mavropanos was one such solution.
He had two solid matches getting his feet underneath him, and while he had a few shaky moments, nothing ever came back to bite him.
And then Leicester City happened. Mavropanos dallied on the ball, had it taken from him, and committed a last-ditch foul to prevent a run in on goal. He was then promptly shown red and, just like that, he can’t play next match, or the two to start next year (which isn’t going to be a problem).
Which is a bummer. Mostly just because we were all enjoying him so much. He was living up to the hype and then some and he looked to be a serious solution to the budding problem. But fret not, because this is literally the best possible time he could have made such a dire mistake to learn from. So, essentially, we should be thankful.
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Every young player makes mistakes that they have to grow from, and being shown straight red after a costly defensive mishap is one such way to accomplish a massive, immediate learning experience.
The thing about it is that there is never a good time to make such a mistake – especially on a club like Arsenal – where it won’t come back to haunt you. In fact, I would argue that this is the last possible time that such a mistake could have been made with little to no direct consequence.
The Gunners season ended a long time ago. They have nothing left to play for. It is far better, therefore, for Mavropanos to get this out of the way now then, say, next year, when he is being relied upon to play a serious role with the first team.
So in that sense, yes, we should be thankful that he’s done it. Because you can bet that he is going to be more careful with possession from here on out. Calum Chambers used to do very similar, where he would dally on the ball too long and put himself at risk. We literally never see that anymore. When in doubt, he boots the ball without a second look.
More mistakes are still undoubtedly going to come, it’s the manner in which he learns from them that we should really be paying attention to.