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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta accused of 'mismanagement' for playing Ethan Nwaneri

Ryan Sidle

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta accused of 'mismanagement' for playing Ethan Nwaneri

Mikel Arteta has been accused of 'mismanagement' after brining on 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri, in Arsenal's win over Brentford on Sunday.

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Arteta has been riding the crest of a wave this season with the Gunners, as their form has far out done what was expected of them so far.

Their only loss in the Premier League so far has come to Manchester United, in a game they may have won on another day, and they currently top the table.

Manchester City's win over Wolves on Saturday, thanks in part to Erling Haaland's strike from outside the area, took the north London team off the top but they returned the following day with a win over Brentford.

Whilst Fabio Vieira's first league goal for the club was the highlight moment of the game, it was perhaps most notable for the introduction of teenager Nwaneri off the bench.

The midfielder broke Harvey Elliott's record of being the youngest player in the Premier League's 30 year history, smashing it by some distance.

Whilst most people seem to think that it was a good thing, Danny Murphy has gone in completely the opposite direction, criticising the Arsenal head coach.

Nwaneri applauds the fans at full time. Image: Alamy
Nwaneri applauds the fans at full time. Image: Alamy

"I am not convinced it is the best move for a young player, I am really not," the former Liverpool player said on talkSPORT.

"I have seen superstars come on the scene at a young age and thrive and go on and carry on, but there has also been a lot who have fallen by the wayside.

"He is obviously a super-talent, doing well in training and impressing everybody, but surely they have got other 18, 19 and 20-year-olds who are further ahead in their development who could have gone on the bench.

"I think he is probably trying to keep a young superstar happy."

Before Nwaneri's cameo off the bench, making his appearance well into injury time, the club's record youngest player in the league had been Cesc Fabregas.

The midfielder didn't exactly do badly in his career, performing incredibly well for the north London team, and winning the FA Cup, before moving on to Barcelona and Chelsea.

He had unbelievable success with the latter two, winning three league titles and having success in Europe and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Whilst there's no guarantee that Nwaneri will go on to have similar success in his career, it does suggest that Murphy could also be wide of the mark.

Nwaneri encouraged by Gabrielle Martinelli after the game. Image: Alamy
Nwaneri encouraged by Gabrielle Martinelli after the game. Image: Alamy

Arteta said the decision came down to a 'gut feeling' as well as conversations with academy coach Per Mertesacker and director of football Edu.

"It was a pure gut feeling. When I met him, when I look at him, I had that feeling. I really liked what I saw," the former Manchester City assistant boss said after the game.

"Per Mertesacker and the academy staff are giving me really good information, Edu as well. I met him, he's trained a couple of times with us.

"He had to come because we have injuries, especially the injury of Martin [Odegaard], and then I had that feeling from yesterday that if the opportunity could come that I was going to do it and I just [did] it."

However, Murphy wasn't having that either, dismissing the 'gut feeling,' claiming the decision was a 'slap in the face' to everyone one else in the academy and even wondered how Nwaneri's friends would handle the situation.

I'm sure Danny Murphy knows how the manage a young player than Mikel Arteta...

SPORTbible Stories is the brand-new podcast from the SPORT team at LADbible. The first episode features a chat with former Burnley manager Sean Dyche as he opens up on his departure from Turf Moor, what the future holds and the amazing story of the spin wheel for fines while in charge of the Clarets. You can watch the first episode here.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, Premier League, Danny Murphy, Brentford

Ryan Sidle
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