Sunday, December 4, 2022

Bellerin, Bellerout, shake it all about

Good morning to you.

My routine for the last 10 years, at least, has always been the same. Wake up, make coffee, ‘do’ Arseblog. Over the years that has changed slightly, but not much. Part of that morning routine now involves checking in over at Arseblog News to see what comments are waiting moderation overnight.

I deal with those in line with our comments policy. For example, if you use text speak, saying ‘u’ instead of ‘you’, you don’t get your comment approved. If it’s racist, sexist or homophobic – and there’s a surprising amount of that – it won’t get published.

And if you’re a troll, if your comment is aimed solely at winding people up, then tough luck fella (and it’s almost always a fella so that’s not sexist). Anyway, this morning I had to deal with a chap who had left what can only be described as an essay. At first you think if someone put that much time and effort into a comment they must be trying to make a point as well as possible.

Instead it was an admittedly well-crafted wind-up which a) wasn’t funny b) would only get people’s backs up and c) broke almost every single one of our comment policies. So, this morning, I like to think about the twenty minutes or half an hour that he spent writing it, checking it, re-editing it to make sure it did exactly what he wanted it to, and then on his death bed, just before he expires, he’ll think ‘That was a real waste of my time, I should have done something much better with my life’.

I mean, it probably won’t occur to him but I like to think it will as the prison governor gives the order for him to be put to death for murdering his entire family because they annoyed him slightly. I could be extrapolating too far from his comment, but I don’t think so. I suspect he needs moderation in his life and I’m actually helping him here.

Meanwhile, in matters actually Arsenal there’s some good stuff on Hector Bellerin in this morning’s Telegraph. He talks very well about his taking his chance in the team when it came to him, and his rise from early summer as 4th choice right-back to competing for the spot in a very serious way now is fantastic to see.

There are few industries as sink or swim as football. Very often you don’t get a second chance to make it at a club, even with all the talent and potential you might have. Countless players at Arsenal, and at clubs everywhere, have the door opened for them briefly but let it close again and find their opportunity just doesn’t come again. It can be ruthless, perhaps unfair at times, but that’s just the way it is.

Now, there’s even a debate as to whether or not Mathieu Debuchy comes back into the team ahead of the young Spaniard. I think he will, and I think it’s probably the right move for all concerned for a couple of reasons. Firstly, young players find it hard to maintain a level of performance when they first break through. There’s a big improvement as they play regularly, then they tend to plateau a bit before kicking on again.

We’ve seen that a bit this season with Calum Chambers who looked sensational at the beginning of the season, but found it tough going after a while. I’m not saying that’s exactly what would happen to Bellerin, but it’s worth considering.

Secondly, I think the manager will look to Debuchy’s experience over the final stages of the season as we look to secure a higher Premier League finish than last season, as well as trying to retain the FA Cup. But he’ll know that there’s a young man waiting to take his place. It means he either plays well enough to do that, or Bellerin plays knowing he’s got to play as well again to keep the Frenchman out. It’s healthy.

I also liked when he talked about the support he got from the more senior players:

The back-up of the players we have makes you look good as well. They have helped me since the beginning and are my family. They have been young players as well so they help you in everything they can. They make you feel like one more in the dressing room. We are lucky in this club, we young players get the opportunities and it is important when you get them that you need to take them.

Even yesterday Per Mertesacker was extolling the virtues of the younger members in the squad and the impact they’ve had. You don’t want to lay out the red carpet for them or make them think it’s easy, but it can be intimidating for a kid to come into group and thrive. Much of that is down to the character of the player, but it’s good to know that they’re also given as much assistance as possible from the players who they’re, ultimately, looking to usurp and replace.

Although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, the word is that a new four year deal is done and dusted, which is great news. It’s also interesting to look back to last September when Mikel Arteta wrote about him in the programme notes, saying:

I think he’s a top player. He’s going to be the right back of Arsenal for many years, in my opinion – providing he continues to progress in the way he has been doing.

Mikel knows? There’s no doubt that if he does stay on this path then we’ve got a very exciting player on our hands. And I’m slightly in love with his Spanish/London accent so I’m looking forward to hearing plenty of it over the next few years.

Right, that’s that. We’ll have any breaking news throughout the day over on Arseblog News which you can follow on Twitter here. Remember, if you’re a Facebook type, you can find the Arseblog official page here so any likes and shares are always very much appreciated.

Back tomorrow with an Arsecast. Until then.

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