Dinamo Zagreb vs Arsenal: under 19s report and full preview of the evening match

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal won the under 19s game against Dinamo Zagreb 2-0.  The team was

  • Keto
  • Moore
  • Bola
  • Pleguezuelo (C)
  • Bielik
  • Willock
  • Nelson
  • Iwobi
  • Sheaf
  • Hinds
  • Mavididi

Chris Willock and Ben Sheaf scored the goals, to win the under 19s first Uefa Youth League game this season.

Arsenal.com report the first goal thus: “Willock collected the ball just inside Zagreb’s half and left three Croatian defenders in his wake as he burst into the box and found the bottom corner to put Andries Jonker’s side ahead.   The tricky midfielder then beat another two players before he was brought down in the box, allowing Sheaf to score from the spot.”

The back four of Tafari Moore, Julio Pleguezuelo, Krystian Bielik and Marc Bola have been playing in the under 21s, and have conceded just three goals in four games for the under-21s this season while the front men have knocked in 11.  Hinds got the second goal with four minutes to go.

So now it is over to the stadium where Theo scored a hat-trick when England beat Croatia in the 2010 WC qualifier in September 2008.  It is also the stadium that was shaken on Tuesday night by an earthquake that measured 3.2 on the Richter Scale: the tenth in Zagreb this year.  The whole place is falling apart!
“It’s Wenger’s fault as the earth moves”  (sorry that was my audition for a column in the Telegraph).
As for today’s team, there has been some talk of changing things and giving a rest to a few players, plus letting others know they are not forgotten.  So, bearing that in mind I would suspect we might see
Alexis Ozil The Ox
Arteta Santi C
Monreal Koscielny Gabriel Debuchy
Gabriel as we have noted has played in three consecutive no goals against games.  In his 11 appearances so far for the first team Arsenal has conceded four goals with him on the field winning ten drawing one.  And according to the aaa we need a new player in the heart of our defence, but I put it to you, members of the jury, is this not a sign of managerial genius in spotting this player and getting him a work permit.
Héctor Bellerín and Aaron Ramsey have not travelled, in order to give them a complete chance to rest, the former because he is young and with this being his full first season is liable to burn out, the latter because of the extra stress of the high expectations of playing for Wales.

Oooooooooooospina, Chambers, Gibbs, Flamini, Coquelin, Walcott, Campbell – unless of course Gibbs starts instead of Monreal.

What this team selection and those left at home means is that we do indeed have a squad of some depth – even with the first big injuries now in full swing.

75 Replies to “Dinamo Zagreb vs Arsenal: under 19s report and full preview of the evening match”

  1. I thought the arrangement was you played a champion’s League on Tuesday then you played your Premier game on Saturday.

    You played on Wednesday then you played on Sunday. Not this week!

    We play on Wednesday and Chelski will also play on Wednesday. We play each other on Sunday no Saturday and the early kick off at that!

    Mancs played Tuesday will play on Saturday.

    Manure Played on Tuesday and will not play until Sunday 4pm KO.

  2. BBC Radio 5:

    6.58pm – having been talking about Chelsea since the start of the programme at 6.30 the programme anchor says, “And we’ll be talking about Arsenal after 7pm”.

    7.20pm. It’s been non-stop Chelsea all the way.

    And they wonder why we draw the conclusion that they are biased!

  3. Tony

    I think you must have missed the bit where 5 Live’s Jermain Jenas was absolutely drooling over Girioud.

  4. shit! That will get “them” moaning about Giroud now. COYG!!!!!!!!!!Dig deep lads!!

  5. Giroud sending off, predictable prior to the foul. Not sure about the team selection and certainly wondering why Giroud was not taken off earlier. Mountain to climb now, be lucky to get a point.

  6. Giroud was acting like a disaster waiting to happen prior to red card. Constant dissents to referees, using elbows and finally incredibly stupid red card.

    Anyway, with Theo in the second half we can reach a come-back. Coquelin’s drive in the middle is missed as well as Bellerin’s pace to complement The Ox.

  7. Giroud lost his head eer….

    We still have enough quality on the pitch to win it. Come on gunners,

  8. Why do our players not know the game is doctored to get us weak? Giroud was stupid & should have been taken off after the first card. They have got away with all their fouls & we have not been ruthless. The substitutes that I would like to see is Theo for Arteta & if we are looking weak in midfield, Coquelin for DeBuchy. But I’m no Wenger!!

  9. Must admit it looks like we’ve under-estimated the opposition. They’ve been undefeated for 11 months and we leave Coq on the bench. Not good.

  10. Those were nothing fouls from Giroud. I’ve seen Diego Costa get away with fouls 10 times worse than this. Bussaca I say too.

  11. For those who say Arsenal should stand up for themselves on the pitch, stand up for each other, demand penalties, surround the referee, argue with the referee etc etc – remember Giroud, Zagreb, September 16 2015.

  12. I’m a fan of Giroud but we certainly look a better team in the second half without him? It was clear Giroud’s head was not in the game, we should have subbed him when we had the chance.


    “This just sums up Arsenal. No defenders. No leaders. No points.”

    Have to agree. Utter rubbish

  14. As much as it bites me to say it but Giroud cost us the game tonight. However I have to say Arsenes team selection undermined the opposition.

  15. think Walcott should have played from the start. He needs this kind of space behind to fully flourish….

  16. With Bayern in our group we have a mountain to climb but we can still do it. Just hope Arsene doesn’t tinker with the team selection because tonight could have been avoided IMHO.

  17. Wonder who we upset in Europe,these refs seem to have it in for us; was it last season where we had 2 or 3 games we went down to 10 men with Ramsey and Debuchy sent off for imaginary fouls too? Could it be the Marseille thing when Wenger was still at Monaco?

  18. Strange decisions all round, our players, the referee’s team and our management. Zagreb got away with far more than we were allowed to (maximum punishment for about every single offence). It will be hard from here but we should have the quality to get through. Will someone please search Giroud’s luggage and locker and flush his STOOPID pills down the toilet. Getting a booking for dissent early in the game is just plain daft.

  19. Can somebody please tell me what if anything Joel Campbell brings to the team? We can’t be that thin on the ground for talent, tell me it ain’t so!
    Hope we get the big boys out on Saturday.

  20. It’s not party time for genuine fans, nor blind idiots who keep dreaming this team is capable of winning anything substantial.

    A cheksea win on Saturday will hopefully be another nail in the coffin for 9 million pound a year man

  21. Obviously, I am in a really bad mood. So…

    – By the law of averages, Zagreb will beat Arsenal occasionally.
    – A red card will increase that significantly (reminds me of QPR at home last season. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Although I don’t think Giroud saw the Zagreb player for the second yellow).
    – I thought the rotations were correct given the upcoming programme.
    – A typical “take the sting out of the home fans” performance until the goal (unluckily conceded, but Ox at fault for not tracking).
    – Gave it a good go in the 2nd half.

    Not the end of the world. Some positives. Biggest negative is that the red card will have knackered players prior to Chelsea. So stupid.

  22. To finish my ragged thought process, I am not in a mood to tolerate negativity and slagging of players/management based on one unfortunate result. Per above, I still rate Giroud and Ox – and the rest of them. We’ve all had “bad days at the office”.

    If you can’t retain your focus on the longer term big picture then I’m really not interested in reading your comment.

  23. What an infuriating match! Even Keown remarked early on that the ref “had it in for Giroud” (although quickly changed his tune, after getting a nudge from the producer no doubt) and “disrupted Sanchez’ rhythm” before a free kick, which is outrageous in my opinion. I can understand the ref giving the second yellow, but the first one was stupid. Sure, Giroud shouldn’t have dissented, but the ref could’ve just taken him aside instead of ruining it as a contest. It really seemed like he was a ‘home ref’ combined with an ‘underdog ref’! He missed so many fouls by Zagreb. The replay for Ozil’s offside goal also didn’t pause as the ball was passed, rendering it inconclusive, which is frustrating for me sitting at home as there were a couple of other dubious calls from that linesman.
    Despite that, we could have won. Let’s just hope it doesn’t have too much of an effect on Saturday. Bah… COYG

  24. Pat

    You reckon blaming the refs is always the best solution to overcome our own shortcomings? If so, then just get on with it and we’ll be ok…


    It has to be more than about time to close down this ludicrous AAA-watch. Fans are expected to get critical when their team underperforms. Please make up something different for a change.


    I’m afraid it’s the management and the players who can’t retain their focus on the longer term big picture. Don’t you?

  25. dieter,

    I’m afraid it’s you who can’t keep focus on the overall picture. Why do we see you and the likes of Laen commenting only after a bad result? And not with good words, might I add.

  26. Just so weird to stay away from the site for a few weeks, then, bam, a bad result and it’s time to comment again.

    Tonight was just a poor night.

    Weirdly, it makes me feel quite good when I can get over my disappointment and see it like that (while still analysing the night’s action). A bit of reassurance that some aspects of my character are in working order. Sooner the better

    Different subject : just heard Keane saying : he liked the challenge on Shaw, because he loved the physical side of the game; he’s surprised there aren’t more injuries like that.

    You just have to hope there aren’t that many like Keane- ignorant of the rules where recklessness is concerned and, via a neat trick of the mind, pre-absolved from any sort of guilt if what they like to do- hit people hard at pace- ends up causing bad damage.

    I’ve always wanted a bit of insight into the minds of players who unthinkingly make challenges which could cause a lot of harm, even though they themselves would hate to see their careers jeopardised by injury, and there it was.

    If you’re Keane, and think you can get your touch on the ball, you fly in and nothing else matters. Conscience clear. Unfortunately, Howard Webb, highest rated ref in England for many a year, agreed last night on that challenge. Got ball, bad luck that leg was planted, etc.

    Got some insight,then, but I’m not sure I was right to seek it. Quite clear that anyone with Keane’s mentality is, thanks to that mental habit of freeing themselves in advance from responsibility if things go wrong, never going to feel the need to weigh up if it’s a safe challenge or not. Damn.

  27. Blaming the referee for the defeat against one of the worst teams in the Champions’ League history is…well, wrong. After all, Campbell could have easily received a second yellow card for a sweep in the final minutes and Giroud was looking for a second yellow card from the moment he had received the first one. Ospina made a foul outside the box on Ćorić that wasn’t given, for instance.

    Not to mention that Theo’s goal should have been ruled out – it was offside.

    We lost because we were poor. Because we had none of our fluency and brilliance from the Saturday clash against Stoke.

  28. I think we need to have a sense of balance after that match, there are too many of the doom mongers gleefully coming out of the closet.

    The team selection was sensible & we have to rotate just now bearing in mind the fixture glut coming up. So lets stop the crap about team selection.

    We were easily the better team until Giroud was sent off, even then we still almost got the equaliser.

    The first yellow on Giroud arose from his reaction to an alleged foul, I would need to see it again but the foul looked like an imaginary one to me. A yellow re the protest would surely have depended on exactly what was said, none of us know that hence we do not know whether the card was or was not justified. So lets lay off Giroud.

    Overall the ref and his two visually challenged assistants seemed out to get us at every opportunity – three brown envelopes?

    But, what a great finish by Walcott and full marks for the team for trying right to the end!

    And, lets beat that pack of playactors when we get them at the Emirates!

  29. bjtgooner,
    Speaking about brown envelops…

    the Croatian league has had a few scandals (and still have even surrounding Dynamo Zagreb) and also involving bribing referees.
    I quote from what I read about it:
    “Last year, Željko Širić, the former president of The Referees’ Committee) was found guilty for corruption and was sentenced to four years in prison with an eight-year-ban in football after he serves his sentence. He has appealed and it’s yet to be decided on his appeal. Širić was found guilty for taking money in order to arrange „a fair refereeing“ in the second half of the season 2011-12. Hrvoje Maleš, president of Hajduk, a club that has been on the wrong end of the referees’ decisions for some time, did a brave job and helped the investigators by giving Širić 30.000 euros that were marked by the police. Širić asked for the money in order to secure Hajduk a fair refereeing in the second half of the season by not delegating the referees Hajduk don’t want at their games.”

    The president of Dynamo Zagreb was arrested a few weeks ago for all kinds of wrongdoings…

  30. Tony, I fully agree and I wouldn’t do that.
    I just can’t recall ever thinking ‘oh great Joel’s involved, that’ll increase our chances’ or ‘that lad did really well today, hope he plays next time’.
    I’d genuinely love to, but it’s a bit like good old Super Nic or Carlos when they played. Just without the attitude.
    Of course Le Boss knows best, has vastly more info and who am I to argue but for the life of me I can’t see it. As for tonight, he was not alone in having a bad performance, a few players owe us one after that.
    What’s the bets Joel plays on Saturday and has a stormer ?
    Hope so.
    Allez les Gunners.

  31. Why we performed poorly is clear but, unfortunately that will not be the focus of the angry blogs and “fans”. We performed poorly because Wenger took a risk playing five/six and non-regulars in the team (Ospina, Gibbs, Debucy, Gabriel, Arteta Ox and Campbell who came in as a sub.). Ideally these should also be able to do the business but maybe due to match rustiness, they didn’t.

    In view of the list of critical games ahead of us, Wenger has to take the risk at some point. Sorry, it didn’t work out. It means that we will have to be more serious about all our outstanding games in the group…but rather that than be planning to play the same players against Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester over the next two weeks.

    It also means that the quality of our bench is not as great as we thought.

    I hope that people will be more supportive of Giroud or that he has a strong constitution because he is not as bad as the people’s comments over the next few days will paint him to be.

  32. Pete
    I couldn’t help to notice the unfortunate ” bad day at the office ” phrase in your post.
    Considering this is Arsenal’s second poor performance out of six ( West Ham being first) and the fact that most office workers work six days a week, that’s like having two bad days at the office in one week.

    I think that might be a cause for some evaluation from the office manager. Don’t you think? 🙂

  33. Bjtgooner

    Regarding team selection – yes we needed rotation but wholesale changes are always a recipe for disaster.
    We can always second guess the manager but I bet if asked ,Wenger would admit he got it wrong.

    Here’s the thing. One of the most difficult aspect of playing an away game is the pitch size and its surroundings.
    The distance from the bylines to the stands that creates a different depth perception for players to adapt.
    Players have their favorite away stadia they like to perform in , while others they dread going into.

    Depth perception affects your passing and shooting as well.
    Why do I bring this up you may ask, well , only because we started Giroud who’s not exactly been on fire lately , while Walcott who scored a hat trick for England on the same pitch was left on the bench.

    You can say I’m nitpicking here but unfortunately games in Europe are decided by small margins. Walcott should’ve started if for no other reason that he played well in Zagreb before.

    Also , it doesn’t matter what Giroud might’ve said or not to the ref, his remonstrating was enough to warrant a yellow.
    It was stupid of him to do it period.

    Having said that, Arsenal will qualify from the group in 2 nd place so this game really doesn’t matter that much in my opinion.
    The Chelsea game is more important.

  34. Tom

    The inference of your suggestion that team selection should be based on previous experience of statium geography is one of your less viable nitpicks.

    So – extrapolating your (illogical) reasoning to a conclusion – international players cannot adjust to new venues – so they should only play at home? Total bollocks!

    You almost answered your own inferred question re team selection – it looks as if Walcott was being saved for Chelski.

  35. Hindsight managers. AW should have, could have…

    Defeats on CL day 1 and EPL day 6(Assuming Chelsea thought we are Macabbi Teal Aviv)are not fatal but EPL defeat to Chelsea this weekend would be more damaging.

    Sad to note that the usual suspects are here to ‘celebrate’ this defeat to Dinamo Zagreb. Sad because they thought every Arsenal defeat proves them right. Well, Arsenal have won more matches than they lost so I can say these ‘sad souls’ are more wrong than right. LoL

    Bring on Chelsea. COYG!

  36. Have been reading this site for a few months and first time poster.
    It’s amazing the negativity from some suppose Arsenal fans every time the team loses, it’s in most of the news sites. It’s only the first game and there’s 5 to go, it’s not the knock out stage. ManC and ManU also lost and look how much they’ve spent. These anti-arsene jibes are getting pathetic.

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