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The U18 team – mid-February update

by Andrew Crawshaw

The U18s have now played 19 of their 22 League games and sit in third place in the Southern Group table.  Chelsea have already won the Group but second is still ‘up for grabs’ with Reading, Ourselves and West Ham in the fight.

Pos Team P W D L +/- Pts
1 Chelsea 20 14 4 2 31 46
2 Reading 20 12 2 6 14 38
3 Arsenal 19 10 5 4 17 35
4 West Ham 20 10 4 6 12 34
5 Fulham 20 8 5 7 4 29
6 Aston Villa 19 7 5 7 -10 26
7 Spurs 18 7 4 7 11 25
8 Norwich 19 7 3 9 4 24
9 Brighton 18 5 6 7 -8 21
10 Southampton 19 4 5 10 -19 17
11 Swansea 17 2 5 10 -29 11
12 Leicester 19 2 4 13 -27 10

If we win our game in hand over Reading then we move into second place.

Who have we used so far this season?

Of the 32 players who have been used (including those named as substitutes) Right Back Jordi Osei-Tutu has been the only ever present member of the team.  Joseph Olowu at Centre Back has played 16 games.  Striker Donyell Malen and Kostas Pileas (at LB or CB)have each played 13 Marcus McGuane (DM) and Tolaji Bola (LB/CB) have each played 12 and Striker Eddie Nketiah, GK Joao Virginia, Joe Willock AM/Winger and Josh DaSilva AM/Striker have each played 11.  Trae Coyle, Daniel Ballard and Vlad Dragomir are the only others who have featured in 9 or more games.

Top Scorers are Eddie Nketiah (11 goals from 11 starts), Donyell Malen (7 goals from 13 starts), Trae Coyle (4 goals from 10 starts).  Joe Willock and Emille Smith-Rowe each have 3 and Jordi Osei-Tutu, Josh DaSilva, and Vlad Dragomir have two.

It has been particularly pleasing to see schoolboy Trae Coyle scoring at this level.  At 16 years of age he is regularly playing against boys 2 years older than himself.  We have been sent the following video clips by FFDTV Online highlighting some of his skills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bezomWUjAw

and here is an older tape from when he was only 15

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNEwjjCYTUs

Here are links to the videos on Arsenal Player of the four games we have played in 2017

Note if you haven’t got an account for the Arsenal Player you may need to set one up before being allowed to watch the videos.  It is free and will give you access to a phenomenal range of games, interviews and comment.

Norwich U18 FT Arsenal U18

Fulham U18 3-2 Arsenal U18

Southampton U18 0-1 Arsenal U18

Arsenal U18 3-1 Reading U18

between them these brief videos highlight both our good and not so good play,  we are still much better going forwards than in defence and we still get caught out by a well placed through ball.  We do, however tend to score more goals than we concede and are good value this season for our much improved place in the table.

What happens next?

Our remaining games in the U18 League are

Arsenal v West Ham Sat Feb 18 11:00 at Colney (access by invitation only)

Arsenal v Swansea Fri 24 Feb 11:00 at Colney (access by invitation only)

Arsenal v Spurs Sat 4 Mar 11:00 at Colney (access by invitation only)

On the conclusion of these games the two halves of the U18 Leagues (North and South) are each split into three groups those finishing in positions 1 to 4; 5 to 8 and 9 to 12.  The teams then play each other in the 3 combined groups once with the winners of the top group being crowned champions.  More details later once the Group games are completed.

10 comments to The U18 team – mid-February update

  • Thanks Andrew I do appreciate these updates – especially when as far away as I am now.

    Especially the videos.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Andrew.
    some big talents on their way. I hope they can make the final steps in their progress to becoming top players.
    But as we know those last steps are the most difficult to make

  • Rich

    I like everything I see of Ampadu.

    You mention defence, and I might be wrong but have impression we’ve done better in that department than in recent years.

    I watched a couple of games from that Dutch tournament they won last year- think that was Ampadu and Van Loon in charge- and the defensive play was impressive.

    Trae Coyle has caught the eye right from the off, and Smith-Rowe looking good at the moment

  • Andy Mack

    There’s a lot of potential in the U18s, just like the U23s. Lets hope they can keep their focus on football and make the step up to the 1st team in the future. Rather than letting their egos and social life get in the way like so many of the talented lads we’ve had to let go of in recent years, only for them to appear in a much lower league after they realise they let their dream job slip through their fingers.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The match against West Ham has been won 3-0

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Yes the latest game against West Ham ensures that we will finish in the top four of the Southern League and we will play against the other 3 teams from our league and the top four from the Northern League in the second phase of the season. Our final two games are against Swansea next Saturday and Spurs the following Saturday – both are home games at Colney but access is by invitation only.

  • WalterBroeckx

    They should invite you Andrew. For all the hard work you have done with the ladies, the young gunners… if there is one who would deserve it, it is you.

  • Andy Mack

    Walter, I’ve done loads of work with ladies as well…. OK it usually ends with them slapping my face, but it was loads of work.
    Can I get an invite as well… 😀

  • Rantetta

    Thanks Andrew.

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL Andy, well you could always try 😉

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