Héctor Bellerín, is in many ways, is symbolic of hope gone awry for Arsenal fans.
Digressing at the start itself, It has been quite a conundrum for me always. Whenever ‘young’ talents show promise at Arsenal. If they do not show progress, ala Aliadière, or get frustrated by injuries, ala Wilshire, then obviously it is a disappointment. Contrastingly, if they do achieve their potential, Fabregas, Van Persie, then a fear is that they will leave Arsenal for the ‘trophies’. It’s said those days are gone (2006-15), however the reluctance of Sanchez and Ozil to stay is very telling. In many ways, Spurs and Arsenal have exchanged places, not only in league positions, but also in standing. Spurs were the quintessential talent training academy, the supply chain to clubs of the likes of Real Madrid, and Arsenal were the incubators for world class players. Sadly roles seem reversed today
Back to Bellerin, again an import from Barcelona, came in aftermath of the Fabregas saga in 2011. Improved quite a lot in the next 2-3 years and established as a regular in the first team. Fun fact, Bellerin is amongst the top10 pace footballer in successive versions of the video game FIFA so far.
Switching to 2017, Bellerin, seems a shadow of what a modern right back should be. Defense wise, too many mistakes, made worse as those mistakes end up becoming goals mostly. Furthermore his runs are great, but the passes are not. The crosses are not that great, for a team aspiring to be Top 4 (note here, no one is talking about title winning chances of Arsenal !) . This is in stark contrast to players like Walker at Manchester City. Kolašinac’s form and performance has made this more obvious on the field. One flank of Arsenal clearly looks a bit shaky compared to the other. Agreed that Arsenal has no Sterling or De Bruyne that make solid movements in front him, but far too often Bellerin looks just an inch short from that pitch perfect pass. In a way, I feel that Ozil’s reluctance to defend has occupied prime spot, however sometimes I find Bellerin’s defense not giving the right vibes.
again, it must be said, it is easy to sit on the couch and pass judgments, but I feel as a fan, you have every right to make such sweeping statements. Especially when these statements will be of no consequence.
Concluding this, just like Ox moving on to Liverpool, and his replacement has been great for one flank of Arsenal, maybe it is time to do something similar to the other flank. At least some competition should be created for that spot, for extra motivation. Otherwise, it is just one more addition to list of woes at Arsenal !