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February 2021

Premier League 2 – Arsenal v Reading Friday 12 August 19:00 Meadow Park – Preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

Arsenal and Reading start the newly named Premier league 2 with a game at Meadow Park Borehamwood at 19:00 tonight.

The first bit of good news is that entry to the ground is absolutely free and there is no need to download tickets or anything – just turn up.

The second bit of good news is that the catering at the ground is not at all bad, queues can be a tad on the long side but get there ten minutes earlier than you would at the Emirates and you should be fine.  If you don’t want to eat at the ground then Borehamwood High Street will cater for virtually all tastes with a good mix of chain food outlets and local restuarants.

With the changes to the competition this year – moving from the old U21 to an U23 format and still allowing an over-age keeper and up to three outfield players per game it is difficult to know what to expect from Arsenal .  The season also sees Arsenal returning to the first division at this level after a few years in the second tier.  We will therefore be playing against better opposition than last season.

The manager Steve Gatting stated :-

“It’ll be a challenge for us this year,” he told “Last year we found the games difficult but it was a different sort of game.

It’s a learning curve for us all and for the players it’s a step up from last year.

“We played teams that were stronger and more powerful than us but this year we expect the teams we play against to be more technical. In that way, it’ll be a good challenge for us to see how we compete with teams who can play the ball really well.

“It works both ways. How do we defend against sides who are technically very good and how do we beat them? It’s a learning curve for us all and for the players it’s a step up from last year.

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“It’s nice to be in the top division and playing against the so-called bigger clubs, so we’re looking forward to it.”

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The U19s only got back from their successful tournament in Durban, South Africa on Tuesday and many of the older players have been training with the senior squad prior to the Liverpool game on Sunday so the squad as a whole haven’t had much opportunity to practice together.  It will be interesting to see what sort of team Steve will be able to put out.

I would expect the squad to contain some or all of these players

GK – Deyan Iliev or Hugo Keto (Macey is being linked with a loan move and may not be available)

RB – Chiori Johnson, Aaron Eyoma

CB – Kristopher da Graca, Marc Bola, Tolaji Bola

LB – Kostas Pileas

MF – Marcus McGuane, Ismael Bennacer, Ben Sheaf, Vlad Dragomir, Tyrell Robinson

Attack – Stephy Mavididi, Chris Willock, Yassin Fortune, Edward Nketiah and Donnyell Malen

Doubtless there will be some I’ve missed.

According to the Reading U23 squad is

GK – Stuart Moore

RB – Tennai Watson, Robert Dickie

CB – Zak Jules, Dominic Hyam

LB – Shane Griffin

MF – Aaron Kuhl, Andy Rinomhota, Liam Kelly, Jake Stoppard, Josh Barrett

Attack – Seid Behram, Lisandro Semedo, Harry Cardwell and Andrija Novakovich

I wouldn’t be surprised if they are better drilled than we are bearing in mind our somewhat disruptive pre-season.  I hope our players will gell quickly and produce the kind of results that gained them promotion last season.

Im expecting to be there and will put up a first hand report on Saturday (I’m sorry but I’m not as quick as Walter)!


Recent Posts

The Untold Preview of the Under 18, Under 19, and Under 21 squads.

16 comments to Premier League 2 – Arsenal v Reading Friday 12 August 19:00 Meadow Park – Preview

  • Gord

    Not meaning any disrespect to Iliev or Keto, but with the preseason screwing things up so much, I wonder if it might not be better to have Martinez or Ospina in goal for this game? And maybe we play for the (dreaded) scoreless draw.

    Whatever Arsenal do, is fine with me.

    Enjoy the game Andrew, and thanks for the write up.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Ospina will definitely be needed for the bench on Sunday. Martinez could play but I can’t see it.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hope our younglings step up and get their season going with a bang. Thanks again , Andrew , for keeping us all informed.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Ubuntu to that!

  • Gord

    Am I supposed to respond Debian (or maybe even Devuan) Kenneth?

    Sorry, I’ve been a Linux nerd for a long time (1.2.13).

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    No idea Gord, Bricks wrote an articles a few weeks ago based on the idea of Ubuntu-so was merely echoing the sentiments of that.

  • Gord

    Sorry, I was being facetious. No reason to expect you to be a Linux person.

    Ubuntu is a popular distribution of Linux, nominally based on the “unstable” version of Debian. Devuan is a recent “fork” of Debian, nominally to produce a system that doesn’t use systemd.

    All of which may be Greek to you, but might b understandable to some. 🙂

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    I had no idea Gord.Will do a bit of research on it though.
    But it is fascinating but way to complex for me-I dont know anything about Linux-and any programming I did was over 30yrs ago in basic-before the sophisticated games came in.All respect though that you know what youre doing! Computer software programmers/people who know the language are smart people for sure.

  • Gord

    I started with computers in grade 11, which would have been 1977. Going through engineering (and not electrical or computer engineering), the only formal course I have is FORTRAN (FORTRAN-IV, WATFOR, WATFIV, SWATFIV). To me, a computer is just another tool, like a hammer. But, I do know about 60 languages and 10 OS by now.

    I sure hope the U23 do well tonight (tonight? it is tonight in England). I think even getting a tie with no time to prepare, would be a good sign.


  • Andrew Crawshaw


    Macey, Johnson, Pileas, Bennacer,Da Graca, Sheaf,Nelson, Zelalem, Mavididi, Maitland-Niles and Chris Willock

    McGuane, Keto (GK), Dragomir, Kamara and Tolaji Bola

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    Bond, Stacey, Griffin, Kuhl, Jules, Gravenberch, Tanner, Rhinomitota, Barrett and Fosu


    Oho, Southwood, Hyam, Bennett and cardwell

  • Gord

    Sorry, I don’t know the Young Gunners as well as I should. But both Zelalem and Maitland-Niles in midfield sounds formidable.

    Is that James Bond (007) in goal for Reading? 🙂


  • Gord

    Lovely. The page at tells us to look at some twitter page, the game should be near the end of the first half. All that is there, is the lineup. No commentary. Bleech!

    And looking at Google News, no medja outlets are covering the game.


  • Gord

    Twitter feed came alive, midway through 2nd half. Still 0-0.


  • Gord

    Thirty or so minutes later, nothing else added. I guess someone had “technical difficulties”. Doesn’t seem to be anything at PremierLeague.con either.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The young ones lost 0-2 to Reading I found on the Reading twitter feed