3 positives & negatives from Arsenal's 1-1 draw at PSV 

  • Eddie Nketiah scored his first Champions League goal
  • Disappointment for the academy stars
  • Favourable opponent in the knockout stage?

PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / BSR Agency/GettyImages
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Positive #2: Nelson covers well

Reiss Nelson, Ricardo Pepi
PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Fantasista/GettyImages

Reiss Nelson seems like a guy who has always done enough to merit more minutes in the team than he has done thus far. But we know Arteta prefers to have his first-choice players on the pitch until the game is 7-0 with 10 minutes remaining. Part of the reason why Nelson is not playing more minutes is due to the presence of Bukayo Saka.

Reiss came in, covered well for his compatriot and provided an assist for the goal. He had a few attempts and came close to finding the back of the net. He was positive and always looking to beat his markers. Maybe he could have been more precise with some of his final passes or should've been less greedy when he had opportunities to play a pass to a teammate. But for me, he did okay and should be in the manager’s thinking going forward.


Negative #2: Disappointment for academy stars

UEFA Champions League 2023/24PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal FC
UEFA Champions League 2023/24PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal FC / ANP/GettyImages

With several reports suggesting that Arteta has been impressed by the youngsters in the squad, academy defender Reuell Walters was touted to make his senior debut for the club against PSV at right back with Takehiro Tomiyasu injured and Benjamin White needing to be properly managed, it was a good opportunity to give Walters a go in the team, but Arteta opted for Cedric Soares.

Walters was joined in the team by two other academy stars Ethan Nwaneri and Lino Sousa, but none were able to get on the pitch due to the "game state". It would have been a proud moment for the young guns to get a run in the team if the game had gone Arsenal’s way, but it seems Arteta did not prepare to lose the game and it reflected in his substitutions with Rice, White, Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Jesus all coming on. 

Arteta also spoke about the experience the youngsters have garnered from being involved with the first team, especially travelling for an away fixture in Europe. The three of them are well thought of and we will be hoping to see them get their chances when game state allows Arteta to do so.

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