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ABN AMRO Future Cup Report and FA Cup Semi-Final preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

An Arsenal U17 team took part in an international club competition in Holland this past week playing against the likes of Anderlecht and Barcelona to win the ABN AMRO Future Cup in dramatic fashion via two penalty shootouts.  The squad was a mixture of players from the U18, U16 and U15 teams.  My thanks to Jeorge Bird for his summary of the competition.

In the group stage wins over Red Bull Saltzburg, Right to Dream and hosts Ajax saw Arsenal into the semi-final and a meeting with Barcelona.

During normal time neither team scored although Edward Nkeitah had the ball in the net but it was disallowed.  The game went to penalties where Arsenal prevailed 4 – 2 thanks to goals by Nkeitah, Dragomir, Willock and Tormey.  Goalkeeper Joao Virginia made two saves and was the hero of the hour.

In the final we played Anderlecht who beat us at U19 level in the UEFA Youth League recently.

Again the game was scoreless at the end of normal time so penalties again the order of the day.  Virginia again rose to the occasion with no fewer than three saves enabling Emile Smith-Rowe to score the deciding goal.

Highlights Ajax B1 – Arsenal – Duration: 4:54. AFC Ajax 29,538 viewsNew

Arsenal Squad

U18 players

  • Eduard Nkeitah – striker (Untold tip – a player to watch out for in the future he has scored 16 goals at U18 level so far this season)
  • Nathan Tella – right winger
  • Joe Willock – attacking midfielder
  • Vlad Dragomir – Romanian youth international attacking midfielder

U16 players

  • Joao Virginia – goal keeper Portugal U16 International
  • Josh Benson – midfielder
  • Toby Omole – Centre-back
  • Nathan Tormey – winger
  • Robbie Burton – Welsh midfielder
  • Joseph Olowu – Centre back
  • Emile Smith-Rowe – winger (second Untold tip as one to watch out for) likely to feature at U21 level next year if his current progress continues
  • Dominic Thompson – left back
  • Jay Beckford – attacker

U15 Players

  • Xavier Amaechi – attacking midfielder
  • Mark McGuiness – Centre-back
  • Olujimi Olayinka – midfielder
  • Trae Coyle – attacking midfield
  • Daniel Barden – Goalkeeper

FA Youth Cup Semi-Final

We start the FA Youth Cup second leg against Manchester City with a 2 – 1 deficit to overcome.  There is no weighting given to away goals so we need to win by 2 goals to progress in normal play.  Should the scores be level after 90 minutes then extra time and penalties await.

We are likely to have a strong team tonight with several members of the U21 squad not playing on Friday to enable their participation.  We can expect to see Chris Willock, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Kaylen Hinds, Marc Bola, Reiss Nelson, Chiori Johnson, Kristopher da Graca, Stephy Mavididi and Tyrell Robinson all being part of the squad.

The team is likely to be similar to that from the first leg


Johnson – Bielik – M Bola – Robinson

Sheaf – Bennacer

Reine-Adelaide – Hinds – C Willock



Virginia (GK), Da Graca, Nelson, McGuane, Malen

In the first leg Arsenal got off to a flyer with Reine-Adelaide scoring with just 4 minutes on the clock and nearly doubled the advantage shortly afterwards with Hinds hitting the post.  City weathered the storm and gradually came into the game Nemane in particular causing problems.  City had the ball in the net but were offside, Reine-Adelaide hit the crossbar bot the second goal came from City.  Their main dangerman, Nmecha beating Keto and Buckley-Rickets added a second in the 39th minute.  The second half saw City with the best chances, Johnson clearing off our line and an effort from Nmecha being deflected wide following a Keto save from Nemane.

Interviewed for, Attacking midfielder Kaylen Hinds said :-

“We are still in this tie and we are at our home ground….Every time I have played at the Emirates Stadium we haven’t lost….It is a good luck thing for me as well.  Even when I was playing with the U15s, I never lost there…..I have scored at Emirates Stadium three times too.  We have to score first on the night, that is all it is…..We learned from our mistakes last time and know what to do differently in this tie….Their wingers are their greatest threat and they have a good No10…..It’s nothing we can’t handle”

Let’s all hope that his confidence is well placed.

The game is live on Arsenal Player from 19:45 UK time, it is also on ITV4 so no excuses for anyone not watching the game

If you are quick you might still be able to get a ticket for the game to print out yourselves.  £4 adults and £2 concessions.



Recent Posts

More anniversaries

  • 4 April 1993:  A Tony Adams header won Arsenal’s 18th F.A. Cup semi-final, in this case against Tottenham.  See also here   And here This was Cup match 14 of the Cup Double Year
  • 4 April 1997: Fever Pitch, the movie about supporting Arsenal, based on the novel of the same name, was released.

29 comments to ABN AMRO Future Cup Report and FA Cup Semi-Final preview

  • WalterBroeckx

    I hope to be back in time this evening as I have a few things to do this evening…
    Love to see the “kids” play and certainly at the emirates

  • Fantastic result, well done the young gunners.

  • Gord

    Just checked the twit feed, and the starting lineup not yet released.

    In the Ladies news, the birthday girl (Sari van Goalkeeper) has signed a new contract.

  • Thanks for the tip it is on TV. I’m supposed to know this stuff, what with being publisher of Untold and all, but actually I don’t know where I’d be without Andrew and the rest of the crew keeping me together.

  • Gord

    And the twit feed has lineups now.

    Starting XI: Keto, Johnson, Bielik, Bola, Robinson, Bennacer, Reine-Adelaide, Nelson, Hinds, Willock, Mavididi

    The beach: Virginia, Sheaf, McGuane, Da Graca, Malen


  • Gord

    For those of you who don’t get the TV, Arsenal Player or twit feeds, the Manchester Evening News is going to have a text commentary.


  • Yes 1-0 superb Arsenal display so far

  • Gord

    We are 4 minutes into the game.


  • Jambug

    1-0 Willock. Nearly 2.

    Great start.

  • Gord

    Hmm, Tony and Jambug have better feeds than me. 🙂


  • Jambug

    HT 1-2 in City’s favour. Don’t know how as we are by far the better side.

    Not out of it by a long shot.

    Commentators are just as dumb at this level as they are at senior level.

  • Gord

    We are in 2 minutes of time added on to the first half. Arsenal have a little bit of work to do, trailing 1-2.


  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I wish someone would teach our defenders how to tackle. Bielik getting caught out of position far too often. He’s supposed to be playing centre back not midfield. Plenty of time but we need to start the second half as we did the first. Plenty of people here in the stadium but precious little vocal support.


  • Andrew Crawshaw

    At least I got the starting lineup right!

  • Gord

    Hey, my feed caught up to Jambug’s!

    The only good part, is that my feed seems to be missing the dumb commentator. Perhaps I am making up for that?


    Will a joke help?

    Q: What’s the difference between a box of sellotape and Phil Neville?

    A: One’s a glueless kit!

  • Gord

    Sorry, I hadn’t checked that Andrew.


  • WalterBroeckx

    typically bad refereeing from the ref who was letting too much go and the final result is an Arsenal player getting send off when being 2-2 the score

  • Jerry

    Looks like the officiating incompetence is much deeper than just PGMO officials.

  • Gord

    Bummer! Nice try young gunners.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter, thanks for confirming that my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Isn’t a keeper picking up the ball outside his area a sending off offence? Ref totally incompetent from start to finish. Happened yesterday in the ladies Match as well. Definitely a bigger problem than just the so called select group.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yes it is Andrew… I actually first thought he didn’t even book him at all… LOL I didn’t even expected him to take a card out…

    The sending off was really harsh itself. Bola came in frontal, played the ball and then his movement took him around 1-2 meter further where he ended up against the foot of the MC player. Yes his studs were showing but he was sliding over the grass and had played the ball earlier. No problem with calling that a foul but a red card…. LOL…

  • Menace

    The red card to the Arsenal player was an absolute abuse of the Laws. The player slipped after passing the ball & caught the City player. It was at worst a yellow if it was a foul.

    The goalkeeper pulling the ball into his area with his hand is a red card as it prevented the Arsenal player from a goal scoring opportunity.

    The commentators were prize prats & in all honesty should never be allowed to commentate on youth football. They cheat the game of honesty.

    Officiating at this level by similar cheats to the Premier League is no surprise. They all swill from the same trough.

  • Mark

    I turn the sound off nowadays as the constant babble is boring and as said above ill informed. I wondered if the ref had swallowed his whistle as he let so many shirt pulls or dragging of players back, where there could have been several yellow cards. Then to send our centre half off for playing the ball and then slipping into the forward was yellow at worst. Could have won the game at the death, not sure how the header was missed and then the tap in volley at the far post. Extra time would have been interesting. However there are some exciting players coming through which is great to see.

  • Jambug

    I’m not a referee but the second the keeper picked it up I said to Mrs Jambugs ‘That’ a red, 100 %’

    Then he only booked him.

    The commentators concurred.

    I thought I must be wrong.

    Did I f**k.

    Anyone who has half an idea on the rules knows it’s a sending off, so how the f**k did the ref not send him off?

    Cheating, again, plain and simple.

    And how the f**k did the dumb commentators not know the rules? Answer is they did, they just chose to forget.

    Cant even get away from cheating refs and biased commentary at youth level.

    Honestly it’s beyond a joke.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I gave up early in the second half with the ref when an Arsenal player was away on the flank and was brought down and… no yellow card given…

  • Jambug


    Have to agree, despite losing, that looked like a good bunch of players to me. Full of much more quality than City, despite the commentators fawning over everything they did.

  • Menace

    Jambug – just posted this on a different thread –
    Lord Moynihan – ‘there is no sports specific legislation to deal with fraud in sport.’

    We need some fraud investigation by the Police to clear the PGMO before we can accept the volume of inhuman error.

  • Rantetta

    Well, if you wanna make it in your chosen field….