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Arsenal Under 23s: the extremely encouraging update

by Andrew Crawshaw

As Tony pointed out in his brief report on our U23s latest win on Monday Night we are really doing rather well this year.  We had a 4-0 win over last year’s league winners Everton, with a hat-trick of goals from Eddie Nketiah and assists for Joe Willock.

Our matches since the start of November have seen seven wins, two draws and a single loss across both League and the Premier League International Cup.  We have scored 25 goals and conceded nine.  Highlights for all of these games are available on Arsenal.com and if you are not used to seeing the U23s in action I would urge you to spend a few minutes to check out some of the games.

Ref Match Score Competition Goalscorers
1 Arsenal v Everton 4 – 0 PL2 (div 1)
Eddie Nketiah (3)

Reiss Nelson

2 Sunderland v Arsenal 1 – 3 PL2 (div 1)
Emile Smith Rowe,

Tyrece John-Jules (2)

3 Arsenal v Bayern Munich 5 – 2 PL International Cup
Vlad Dragomir,

Jeff Reine-Adelaide (2),

Jordi Osei-Tutu,

Emile Smith Rowe

4 Arsenal v Man United 4 – 0 PL2 (div 1)
Jeff Reine-Adelaide,

Vlad Dragomir,

Eddie Nketiah (2)

5 Arsenal v Derby 3 – 3 PL2 (div 1)
Chuba Akpom,

Jordi Osei-Tutu

Julio Pleguezuelo

6 Man City v Arsenal 0 – 1 PL2 (div 1) Jordi Osei-Tutu
7 Arsenal v Reading 0 – 0 PL International Cup
8 Arsenal v West Ham 3 – 0 PL2 (div 1)
Vlad Dragomir (2)

Eddie Nketiah

9 Swansea v Arsenal 3 – 1 PL2 (div 1) Charlie Gilmour
10 Arsenal v Porto 1 – 0 PL International Cup Reiss Nelson

Our main Goalscorers have been Eddie Nketiah (6 goals in 5 games), Vlad Dragomir (4 in 10 games), Jeff Reine-Adelaide (3 in 4 games), Jordi Osei-Tutu (3 in 9 games – not bad for a full back), and 17 year old first year scholar Tyrece John-Jules has two from his three appearances.

Here is a listing of the 31 players who have featured (either as a starter or as a substitute) with their ages – remember that a goalkeeper and up to three outfield players are allowed to be over the age of 23.  This is to allow fringe players or those recovering from injury, game time.  Please note that there were a number of transfers and loans affecting some of the players in the above list, I have summarised these in the January Window column.

Name Age January Window Played in Match Reference (From Table above) X or sub S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Aaron Eyoma 20 S X
Ben Sheaf 19 Loan to Stevenage X X X X X X X
Calum Chambers 23 X
Charlie Gilmour 18 S S X
Christian Bielik 19 Loan to Walsall X X
Chuba Akpom 22 Loan to Sint-Trudinese X X X
Constantinos Mavopranos 20 Arrived from PAS Giannina X X X X
Deyan Iliev (GK) 22 X X X X
Eddie Nketiah 18 X X X X X
Emile Smith Rowe 17 X X X S S X X S
Falorin Balogun 17 X S
Hugo Keto (GK) 19 X X
Jeff Reine-Adelaide 20 Loan to Angers X X X X
Joe Willock 18 X X X X X X X
Jordi Osei-Tutu 19 X X X X X X X X X
Joshua Dasilva 19 X X X X X X X
Julio Pleguezuelo 21 Loan to RCD Mallorca X X X X X X X X
Marcus McGuane 18 Transferred to Barcelona X
Mathieu Debuchy 32 Transferred to St Etienne X X
Matt Macey (GK) 23 X X X X
Reiss Nelson 18 X X X X X X
RobHolding 22 X X
Tafari Moore 21 Loan to FC Utrecht X
Tobi Omole 18 X
Tojaji Bola 19 X X X X X S
Trae Coyle 17 S
Tyrece John-Jules 17 S X X
Vlad Dragomir 18 X X X X X X X X X X
Xavier Amaechi 17 X X S
Yassin Fortune 18 X S
Zech Medley 17 X S X X S

The January window has meant a number of changes will be imposed on Steve Gatting for the rest of the season.

  • Centrebacks Ben Sheaf and Julio Pleguezuelo have departed on loan, Constantinos Mavapranos arrived from Greece and has immediately settled in at the heart of the defence as though he has always been there alongside Zech Medley or Rob Holding, so there seems to have been no deterioration at the back.
  • The one midfielder I was sorry to see go was Marcus McGuane who was something of a specialist Defensive Midfielder; long term I fear that we may miss him.
  • Jeff Reine-Adelaide is probably more of a first team player than U23 these days.  His four games were a block to get him back to fitness.
  • Vlad Dragomir (who usually captained the U18s last year) has taken over the captaincy from Julio Pleguezuelo.  He has been the only player who has started all ten of the recent games and he is now showing real progress.  He always gave glimpses of his potential but is now delivering far more consistently.
  • With our main goalscorer Eddie Nketiah now spending more time with the first team squad it looks like Tyrece John-Jules and Emile Smith Rowe are quite capable of picking up the slack so I see no cause for concern there either.

Our next games are :-

  1. Monday February 19 19:00 kickoff – PL2 away at Leicester Holmes Park ground
  2. Saturday February 24 14:00 kickoff – Premier League International Cup against Dinamo Zagreb at Meadow Park Borehamwood
  3. Friday March 2 19:05 kickoff – PL2 against Chelsea at Borehamwood
  4. Monday Mar 12 19:00 kickoff – PL2 against Spurs at the Emirates (provisional date depending on Europa League and FA Cup matches)
  5. Friday April 6 19:00 kickoff – PL2 against Liverpool at Prenton Park
  6. Friday 13 April 19:00 Kickoff – PL2 against Swansea City at Meadow Park
  7. Friday 20 April 19:00 kickoff – PL2 against West Ham at the London Stadium

Finally a quick reminder of the Premier League 2 Division 1 Table

Pos Team P W D L GF GA +/- Pts
1 Liverpool 16 11 0 5 33 17 16 33
2 Arsenal 16 10 2 4 38 23 15 32
3 Leicester 17 8 6 3 24 11 13 30
4 Swansea 16 8 3 5 32 25 7 27
5 Everton 15 8 2 5 22 18 4 26
6 West Ham 15 6 3 6 21 25 -4 21
7 Chelsea 16 5 5 6 23 25 -2 20
8 Derby County 16 5 3 8 25 29 -4 18
9 Manchester City 16 4 5 7 25 26 -1 17
10 Sunderland 17 4 4 9 13 30 -17 16
11 Tottenham Hotspur 16 4 3 9 25 35 -10 15
12 Manchester United 16 2 6 8 13 30 -17 12

Six games to go and all to play for, one point behind Liverpool and a game in hand over Leicester in third place.  No reason at all why we shouldn’t win this league even if the main Pl title is beyond us this year.

COYG

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7 comments to Arsenal Under 23s: the extremely encouraging update

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Half time here at Borehamwood, Arsenal are shrewd but only by a single goals Danny Carter tap in from a zBeth Mead cut back. More Arsenal goals to come in the second half I’m sure.

  • knobby

    What’s the world come to when even England centre halves (Smalling) get booked for diving.
    Geordies one up now and richly deserved.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Final score at Borehamwood. Arsenal 4 Yeovil 0. Two goals apiece for Beth Mead and Danielle Carter. Yeovil still to score a goal in the WSL this season.

    As Liverpool lost at Manchester City earlier today we are now up to third in the table. Full update in a day or two.

  • Henry Root

    Excellent report and helpful research,Thankyou Andrew. It’s interesting to see the bottom two in the table! What does that tell us ?
    Since Joncker left the quality of our youths and reserves has risen substantially- and tgey do get a chance for the first team as A!N has shown

  • Rich

    Been an excellent year for them and u18’s so far.

    Seriously impressed that they have kept the positive results coming without the three main defenders- Bielik, Pleg, Sheaf- and with others often missing and the jeff now gone.

    I thought it would be a shame, though understandable, if results dropped off for both age groups after the loss of 4-5 of the stronger ones from older group. So far though, they have kept going. Winning, scoring lovely goals. U18’s managed a 6-2 win yesterday despite having six players away with Eng u17’s!

    And that- this very positive season- after summer departures of Willock, Hinds, Malen, Bennacer, Crowley. Zelalem out. Bola and Mavididi on loan. Previously strong prospects like Taf Moore and Chiori Johnson being hit brutally by injury. Mcguane- who I’m a little gutted has gone- not featuring much this year.

    Whatever happens from here, it has likely been a very good development year for a number of players- Willock, Da Silva, Osei Tutu and Smith-Rowe particularly stand out in that regard- and there could be plenty more to come.

  • Josif

    @Andrew

    Any chance Osei-Tutu becomes Bellerin’s deputy?

  • Pat

    Exciting report.