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Premier League Betting and Odds

The U23 Team – Who’s left and who is joining the Academy for next Season?

by Andrew Crawshaw

As Tony reported in his article What the top teams did in the transfer window and how deep fake news has seeped. there have been a large number of loan moves for some of the players who we would expect to see in the U23 squad.  There have also been a number of players who the Club has announced will be given First Year Scholarships for next season – an indication of progression to the U18 setup.

The new Loanees are:-

  • Dan Crowley – MF (Go Ahead Eagles, Holland)
  • Chuba Akpom – STR (Brighton)
  • Ismaël Bennacer – CM (Tours, france)
  • Gedion Zelalem – MF (VVV Venlo, Germany)
  • Kaylen Hinds – STR (Stevenage FC)
  • Stephy Mavididi – STR (Charlton)
  • Marc Bola – LB (Notts County)
  • Matt Macey – GK (Luton)
  • Krystian Bielik – CB/DM (Birmingham)
  • Aaron Eyoma – RB/RW (Volendam, Holland)

There have been three returning Loanees

  • Ryan Huddart – GK from Eastleigh
  • Dan Crowley – MF from Oxford United
  • Glenn Kamara – DM from Colchester

In addition the Club have announced that Left Back Tyrell Robinson (19) has left the club.  As a free agent he is still entitled to join another club despite the closure of the transfer window.

A couple of points on the new loan deals :-

Dan Crowley was previously on loan at Oxford United who cut short his time there.  He is now getting a reputation of being hot-headed and difficult to handle and seriously needs this loan spell to work out for him.  Wonderfully talented though he is, he is nearing the point where he has to show the right aptitude and the hard work necessary to become a successful top level professional.

The rest of the loans look to be straightforward moves to give the players the opportunity to experience first team football on a regular basis.

So who is left within the U23 squad?

Goalkeepers – as Deyan Iliev (21) is currently not available through injury,  Ryan Huddart (19) will probably be the first choice; he is likely to be backed up by Hugo Keto (18) with Joao Virginia (17) stepping up from the U18s if needed

Right BackChiori Johnson (19) is the first choice and will be backed up by Jordi Osei-Tutu (18)

Centre Back – this is an area where we now look short of experience  Kristopher Da Graca (19) and Ben Sheaf (18) would seem to be the most obvious main pairing although Kristopher has been out of the squad recently for some reason.  Possible alternatives are first year scholar Joseph Olowu (17) and Kostas Pileas (18).  Should he need games for match fitness Rob Holding (21) is still qualified for this level.

Left Back – Newcomer Cohen Bramall (21) will be the first choice backed up by Tojaji Bola (18)

Defensive Midfield – whenever not required for first team duties Ainsley Maitland-Niles (19) will expect to start alongside Josh DaSilva (18), back up to these two will probably come from Glenn Kamara (21) and Marcus McGuane (18).

Attacking Midfield – the three attacking mid-fielders will probably be Reiss Nelson (17), Vlad Dragomir (17) and Chris Willock (18) a very young pairing at this level.  When not required by first team duties Jeff Reine-Adelaide (19) is age qualified and may well get some game time to keep match fit.  Aaron Eyoma (19)  will be expecting to be the main back-up with Savvas Mourgos (18) and Yassin Fortune (18) will also be looking to be involved at this level stepping up from the U18s.

Striker – The two players left are the prolific Eddie Nketiah (17) and Donyell Malen (18).  I would expect Eddie to be the No 1 for as long as his goal scoring streak continues.

So who in particular should we look out  for during the rest of the season? Here is my pick and reasoning.

  1. Chiori Johnson – I know Chiori’s dad and will always pay particular attention to his progress.  Chiori is a rarity for Arsenal wingers in that he actually likes defending but is quite capable of crossing the ball as well
  2. Cohen Bramall – it will be very interesting to see if he can adjust to the higher expectations and pressures that his move from non-league football have brought.  I really hope that he is able to make the transition
  3. Vlad Dragomir – for his name alone (a truly awsome moniker) although he also happens to be a pretty good footballer
  4. Chris Willock – already making a big name for himself at the club and one who is expected to make the transition to the next level
  5. Eddie Nketiah – still relatively small and not your traditional English striker but a prolific scorer of goals at every level he has played at so far.  If he continues his current progress he has the making of a terrific future career

The Club have recently announced the first tranche of youngsters who have been offered first year scholarships for next season.  Aged 16 they will look on this as the first major step to becoming professional footballers – they will be looking to progress to signing their first contracts once they reach 17.  It also marks a change from being based at Hale End to moving to the senior training facility at London Colney.

The 9 players who have currently been offered deals for next season are :-

  • Tyreece Jon-Jules – Striker and England U15 capped
  • Trae Coyle – Attacker (already played at U18 level)
  • James Olayinka – Midfielder (one sub appearance for U18)
  • Falorin Balogun
  • Xavier Amaechi – Midfielder
  • Vontae Daley-Campbell – Defender
  • Mark McGuiness – CB
  • Matthew Smith
  • Bayli Spencer-Adams

There are still 7 schoolboys who haven’t been given the nod – some of them will probably join the other 9.  They are Goalkeeper Daniel Barden, Shae Hutchinson, Joshua Dawodu, Harrison Clarke, Jordan Rusoke, Zak Swanson and Jayden Onen.

There will almost certainly be further changes to this group of ‘newbies’ some may well get offers from other clubs which they find more acceptable and we will certainly be looking to bring in additional youngsters from elsewhere to fill positions where we feel that our intake is light – this year probably in attack and defence as we look to be well served with midfielders.

12 comments to The U23 Team – Who’s left and who is joining the Academy for next Season?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Bad timing Andrew… 😉 too many discussions about referees 🙂

  • Gord

    I thought this was a nice change of pace from the referee discussions.

    At some point, I would like to see Arsenal pick up some Canadians (especially from outside of southern Ontario). I suspect it would be the Ladies who do this first, if it ever happens.

    WRT to the previous thread, I wonder if anyone is going to figure out what game and referee I described? Not important.

    But, I think I will lean on Andrew, for analysing an entire season of games, and not just a season of Arsenal games. The questions about the officials for the EPL seem to be independent of time.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The U23s are half an hour in to their game against league leaders Everton..our starting team Martinez, Jenkinson, Sheaf, Olowu, Bramall, Nelson, Dasilva, Mourgos, Dragomir, Willock, Malen Two first team players Martinez and Jenkinson playing, I presume for match fitness

  • Gord

    Thanks for that Andrew. I just visited the twit link, and they have nothing since the lineup. Maybe they will summarize at half/end of play?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Goal-less at half time

  • OlegYch

    speaking about academies, i’d like to commend southampton efforts on u23 coverage
    last time around they streamed the game against Arsenal on their training pitch live with commentary, and without any pointless registrations
    never seen other PL clubs do that
    their website is the best i’ve seen too

  • OlegYch

    doh everton scores

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Late goal from Everton to deal a one nil win. As we lost 5-0 at home this was a rather better performance but, unfortunately, the same result in terms of points. Jeorge Bird has a report on his Arsenal Youth website.

  • Gord

    Andrew, you have probably heard of neural networks. They are in my plans.

    When I finally finish entering all this first year data, I need to read the data to see it is consistent. All the games have the score they are supposed to have, the away goals are what they should be and so on.

    Baring something unusual, I should have the name of the referee for all EPL games. Unfortunately this degrades to most FA cup games, somewhat less for League Cup games, and hit or miss for anything else. Linespeople or 4th officials? Not a chance.

    It does allow me to predict the name of the referee for these missing games (non UEFA). Which is really only useful if there is a list of who was referee at all League Cup and FA Cup games. And the predictions may not excite people anyway.

    For nearly all games, I have the times (to the minute) the goals are scored. Two goals scored within a minute? That’s a problem. For most games, I have card/penalty data of some kind. Very seldom, do I have missed penalty data. I expect that there are more missed penalties than I am seeing, but the people compiling stats don’t record it.

    Is predicting a referee when referees are not noted, useful?

    The thing everybody wants, is to predict win/draw/lose. Okay, I can do that. Predicting the score is a different problem (which probably gets different results from win/draw/lose). Predicting the number of yellow cards issued and predicting when the number of cards to both sides is the same is something a person can do.

    There are not that many penalties. Predicting anything having to do with penalties probably runs into no data (not enough data).

    I think referees trying to even up cards, ejections and penalties is natural. There are reasons for this to exist even if one doesn’t suspect the officiating system of corruption.

    There is no “foul” data. But, as we have shown at Untold, there is no reason to assume that foul data is accurate.

    For me, if I was a referee manager for a league, I would have serious problems with officials who tended to even up.

    As no end of idiots writing into Untold suggest, people make mistakes.

    Mistakes can be deliberate.

    If an honest mistake is made, there is a chance it evens up over the course of a season. If the referee gives a “compensating” foul/card/penalty to the other team, there will forever be arguments as to whether this should have been done.

    For me, I think the referee report should allow for a referee admitting to a mistake. And the responsible FA (which probably doesn’t include the The (sweet) FA) could call for a game to be replayed (which leads to fixture congestion and no end of other problems). But at the end of the day, you want the result determined by the teams, and not by the officials.

    But, the 2015/2016 (and subsequent 2016/2017 season) is the _PERFECT_ example! All leagues have strong teams. It could be 1, 2 or even 4 or 5. Out of about 20. To have a team that is not classed as a strong team, win the league is highly unlikely. To have that team in danger of being relegated the following season is even more unlikely.

    The Premier League probably has a large number of proposals to buy teams on the books. If I buy the team, can I win the league?

    And the PGMO responds. Any team can win the league.

    And the PGMO can say this, as officials can warp a game. Which they have have ample experience in doing.

    And to demonstrate to possible investors just how much control the EPL (and/or PGMO) has on results, they run an experiment. They make a mid level team win the league, and in the subsequent year we see that same team struggle to not be relegated.

    Something like this is not possible in a sport where enough goal are scored. It is only because football is such a low scoring sport, that there are so many parties (PGMO, The FA, team owners, media) who can have a “hand” in what the actual results are.

    At the end of the day, with so many dollars at play, greed has to be important. How does money flow in all of this? Which points to corruption.

    If referees are influencing results, it is very likely that money to their personal wealth is going to show up. But, there could be non-monetary rewards, for example some referees could feel that north England football teams should always win over teams who are not from north England.

    If a result of a game is biased, it is not necessarily because the officials are by intention biased.

    But, the EPL has set itself up to be the TOP league. It is open to investors from just about anywhere, regardless of problems in their history. It’s league officials have demonstrated that they can make any team the best, and to relegate any team they desire.

    What else is needed in a corrupt league?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks for the updates , Andrew . Keep up the good work.

  • Rich

    Think the flurry of loans well and truly underline how much the club prioritises player development over results at youth level.

    Quite right,too. But it does make the wins, which i admit I always enjoy hearing about, quite a bit less likely. U23’s for instance were on course for top 4 which I think meant a play off (?).

    u18’s in an even better position to make top four which puts them in top group for next stage. Will be harder for them now too if their stronger players move up to u23’s.

    Anyway, main thing is there’s no need to panic if results aren’t great from here as the teams we select clearly won’t show our full strength. I’m hoping Martinez keeps playing for rest of season. Like him a lot, and those extra games could help keep him happy enough to stay for another year.

    Trae Coyle looks a very exciting prospect, by the way.