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October becomes Rebotco, Keown’s son plays, as trends reverse at Arsenal

Arsenal Reserves are not having it all their own way in the new under 21 league (they are currently second in the league by my calculations – the league table page won’t load on my machine so I can’t be sure) but they are certainly gaining more interest than ever before.
Part of the added interest comes from the under 19 Next Gen where we’ve won one and lost one of the European games so far, but it is also because of the team.  Here’s the team against Reading which won 2-0

James Shea

Bacary Sagna, Sead Hajrovic,  Ignasi Miquel, Andre Santos

Thomas Eisfeld,  Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere   Emmanuel Frimpong,

Serge Gnabry, Chuba Akpom

Even the subs are starting to look familiar, the bench being
  • Reice Charles-Cook
  • Jernade Meade (80)
  • Nico Yennaris (74)
  • Kristoffer Olsson
  • Hector Bellerin (61)

Akpom, in case you have not tracked him, is an England under-19 forward.

It was Sagna’s first game since his second leg break, and he played 61 minutes.  This is where the arrangement of the new league really scores for us, because it allows returning players who are over 21 to get games.

Meanwhile Wilshere and Frimpong came back, Frimpong playing the whole game.

Such was the interest that even the national press have covered the match – the Telegraph for example raving over, “One especially delightful backheel (from Jack) to Thomas Eisfeld also seemed to suggest that he has lost none of his confidence during more than a year on the sidelines….

“Another positive for Arsenal was the performance of Serge Gnabry, a 17 year-old winger in the mould of Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. With Wenger watching, Gnabry opened the scoring in the 42nd minute following a move that involved both Wilshere and Frimpong. Arsenal’s second goal was scored in the 59th minute by Chuba Akpom.” have Wenger calling him a “star of the future”.

Arsene Wenger is quoted as saying,

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“Jack is doing extremely well, the situation looks very good.  We have to be cautious, not crazy, because of his talent you are always pushed in a situation where you would like to rush him back, and we have to resist that.”

So it is just possible that Jack and Bac will play in the league cup match against Reading at the end of the month.  There is also talk of Frimpong trotting back to Wolverhampton, where he was on loan when the injury occurred.

And just to add to the fun Reading had Stuart Taylor in goal and Niall Keown (son of Martin) in their team.
So while October is traditionally the moment when we lose half the squad, this season it looks like being the month when we get some rather important players back.


7 comments to October becomes Rebotco, Keown’s son plays, as trends reverse at Arsenal

  • Dewunmi

    The name Chuba Akpom sound Nigerian, can anyone tell me if his parent are from Nigeria.

  • Adam

    @Dewunni, I cannot find too much info on Akpom but he turned 17 today according to, so yesterday a 16 year old scoring against Readings reserves. Impressive really.
    I can tell you he was first scouted as a 6 year old playing sunday league boys ball in England but do not know if he was born in England or elswhere, but the club has been aware of and training this youngster for 10/11 years.

  • Mayowa.

    Dewunmi, he is of Nigeria descent. Parents are emmigrants that have nationalized in England, and I read sometimes ago he is a nephew of the great Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha. He has represented England in the minor age group tournament though.

  • Emmanuel

    Dewunmi, Chuba Akpom is a Nigerian. Both names are Igbo names. Happy he is developing fast and adding to the presence of Nigerians developing the Arsenal way. Want to know of others? They are Chuks Aneke, Alex Iwobi who are both Nigerians and Igbos like Chuba. The next person I am not sure of in the Academy is Arinse Uade. By Nigerians, I am about 70% sure he is one. Gunners 4 life.

  • Timmy

    @Mayowa, Dewumi Chuba Akpom is actually of Nigerian decent but not the nephew of Jay Jay. Alex Iwobi is the nephew of Jay Jay (check it out here

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Selection headaches of the very good kind for Wenger in nearly all positions; very keen competition for starting places all season long…good blend between youth and experience….a new era is berthing in Arsenal right before our eyes.

  • rusty

    It seems like the addition of the NextGen series this year is allowing Arsenal to get everyone some games to help with their development (or injury rehab) — between the reserves-U21s, NextGen-U19s, and the academy league-U18s, young players are getting a mix of teammates. So we have someone like Bellerin playing a game in Europe with same-aged players, then coming off the bench to play alongside Santos and Frimpong… then potentially being picked for the league cup? It certainly smooths the development curve.