By the way, has anyone managed to get their players to attain Protege team role? There seem to be none when ran the search in the Advanced search engine :no:
I've had one in my Pescara ML (Romagna) and another in my Real Madrid ML (Ruben Neves). I don't know the reasons for them to get that role but in both cases they were rated worse than the other players for those positions, but I still played them more often. After a few months they gained that role. It's like their retribution for your hope and faith in them, despite having better rated option on the squad.
Not sure if it has happened to you, but speaking of in-form players, there was a couple of occasions when my CM and CF were on top of their game for 1 match (with either Red arrow or Orange) and then the next match their condition went to either Blue or all the way down
If you have the glowing red arrow expect it to last some good 7/8 games. As for the regular arrows, as Ali says, they're almost random.