Just a quick post to float a controversial idea that’s been running around my head.
Much as I love the FA Cup, our priorities this season are, in order: 1) win the Europa League, thereby getting ourselves into the Champions League next season; 2) finish in the top four thereby etc etc.
The FA Cup is very much in third place so I would like us to use it as an opportunity to play an almost entirely youth based team when we visit Bournemouth tomorrow night.
Here’s my proposed line up:
Maitland-Niles – Mustafi – Holding – Saka
Willock – Guendouzi
Pepe – Nketieh – Martinelli
It would make for a really fascinating experiment, would give a massive morale boost to what is emerging as one of the most exciting groups of young players since the Beckham-Scholes-Giggs-Neville generation at Manchester United and will give our more experienced players a proper rest.
I don’t expect Mikel Arteta to put out a team anything like this (check back in tomorrow for someone else on AA to propose a more sensible starting eleven in the pre-match Post) but I would love it.
Despite our billionaire owner we are clearly never going to be a club that spends our way to success like Chelsea and Manchester City, so nurturing our own young talent is the next best way forward.
Our young players seem to have a great bond with each other. Let’s reinforce that bond and watch this group grow together.