By Tony Attwood
Arsenal have two players in the England under 21 squad to play in the Czech Republic: Calum Chambers and Carl Jenkinson.
It is interesting to be reminded of Jenkinson after his season with Fat Sam. He was injured at the start of the season, but got into the team and stayed there, and got good reviews, playing over 30 league games.
Whether he will come back to us next season or not is another matter. However we can get a look at him through the under 21s.
This hasn’t been the best of hunting grounds for England. We were knocked out of the Group Stage in both of the last two competitions (2011 and 2013), and in 2013 suffered the ultimate humiliation…
And yet curiously England are top seeds in this year’s tourney.
There are in fact only two top seeds – England (presumably a reward for the “nil points”) and Czech Republic, for being hosts. Second seeds are Italy and Germany. The rest of the tournament is made up of Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Serbia.
Meanwhile there is an under 20s competition going on – the regular Toulon Tournament, and there we have Chuba Akpom doing his thing.
Chuba has two careers in football running at the same time. His Arsenal and loan career…
|2014||Coventry City (loan)||6|
|2015||Nottingham Forest (loan)||7|
and his international career
Rather impressive for a 19 year old, and it looks like he could be one of the few who will make it through. (If you read yesterday’s article on the Youth Cup winning side of 2009 on the Arsenal History Society blog, you’ll know, if you didn’t already, just how high the failure rate is, even after reaching that level of excellence).
The final game of the group stages against Mexico is on tonight at 6.30pm, and victory will take England into the final. It is live on BT Sport.
England started with a 3-3 draw with Morocco, with Akpom scoring the equaliser for England with two minutes to go.
Then England beat Ivory Coast – and that maintained a season long unbeaten run.
That game was played on Cup Final day, and rather curiously Chuba Akpom and Aston Villa forward Callum Robinson each scored in the 2-1 win.
Chuba Akpom then showed that he can not only play football but also talk football saying, “It’s always good to score goals for my club and country not just for myself but most importantly for the team, goals are what makes the team win so if I can contribute more goals that would be nice.” Yep he’s got it.
“The tournament has been good so far, each game has brought different challenges and experiences for the team. I am happy to score a couple of goals already in the first two games. We struggled a bit in the first-half against Morocco as we were still adapting to the conditions but the lads managed to bring it back in the second half and it was good to score in that game and then again in the second game against Ivory Coast.”
So TV tonight, next season… another loan or some more games for Arsenal?