Arsenal: Hector Bellerin’s one lingering problem is oddly specific

Arsenal, Hector Bellerin (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Hector Bellerin (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

Hector Belleri played one hell of a match against Leicester City, but there is one lingering problem that Arsenal really needs to sort out.

It’s at the point in Hector Bellerin‘s career when he really needs to start establishing who he is on a regular basis. He’s no longer the prospect that he long was at Arsenal. He’s a budding veteran now, and while he has grown tremendously over the years, one thing continues to baffle me.

Take the match against Leicester City. Overall, he was tremendous. He played with speed and precision like peak Bellerin. His delivery in the 39th minute was beautiful and should have netted him an assist.

His one-twos with Bukayo Saka were vital to creating chances on that right-hand side and he defended with confidence, knowing that he was guarded if he drove out of his position to close down Leicester’s wingers.

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But none of that existed in the first 15 minutes. In fact, he was awful in the first 15 minutes and this wasn’t the first time.

Yet again, Bellerin was damn near detrimental in the early parts of the match. His passes were telegraphed and easily picked out, his speed wasn’t there, his combination play was laughable and I was about ready to lose my mind with all the predicaments he was putting Saka in.

Everything changed really quickly. Like a flip of the switch, Bellerin was in his prime and firing on all cylinders.

But why is it that he manages to start nearly every match like he’s wearing ankle weights? Like I said, this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned this being the case. It feels like he isn’t ready for the match, or maybe he’s nervous or something. I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t seem to afflict anyone else.

The only thing I can think of is that it’s a lingering effect of the old Arsenal. It wasn’t that long ago that this entire team struggled coming out of the locker room. Maybe Bellerin still has that lingering lethargy that accompanied his old team. I don’t know. It;’s a nit-picky thing to single out of his game, which was overwhelmingly positive, but it’s a consistent part of what problems remain in his overall game.

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Maybe it’ll just take time to settle into the new regime. He hasn’t had that much time to do so. He’s also one of the few holdouts from the old Arsenal. Who knows.