by Andrew Crawshaw
It has been a while since I did an update on our junior teams and I thought I would start with the U18s. They have been active on two fronts so far this season – the U18 League and the Premier League U18 Cup. They start in the third round of the FA Youth Cup later this month.
PL U18 Cup – this is a new competition this year alongside the U18 premier league. The 24 eligible teams were split into 6 groups of four with each team playing the other three in their group once either home or away. The six group winners and the two best runners-up decided first by total points and then on goal difference (finally by head to head record if appropriate) then proceed to the knockout stage quarter finals. Knockout matches are all one-off matches with extra time and penalties if necessary.
Arsenal were drawn into Group F with Manchester United, Stoke and Wolves and played their last group game on Saturday at Stoke where we ran out winners by four goals to two. That result means that we won the group and have therefore qualified for the quarter final knockout round,
Final Group F table after 3 matches
Winners of the other groups are –
- Group A : Everton,
- Group B : Chelsea,
- Group C : Norwich,
- Group D : Liverpool and
- Group E : Fulham.
There are still two group games to play which may well affect the final two places for the highest second placed teams. In group D Middlesbrough have still to play West Ham but as both of those teams have lost their opening games neither can possible proceed.
In Group E Spurs are still to play Aston Villa. Currently on 3 points and a goal difference of 0, should Tottenham win they will join Sunderland who are second in Group D with a goal difference of +1 in the last eight. If Tottenham fail to win their remaining game the final place will go to Brighton over Wolves – both teams have 6 points and a zero goal difference but by virtue of having scored one more goal than Wolves my reading of the rules is that Brighton will proceed.
Our three games were :-
Man United v Arsenal 16 Sept (4 – 3)
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Arsenal made a brilliant start, were two goals up in 12 minutes and three up at half time. United made substitutions at half time which rejuvenated them and they got two goals back from open play before two penalties enabled them to pinch a victory which looked extremely unlikely at half time.
Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers
On November 4th we were at home to Wolves and ran out the winners by 4 – 2. Another quick start saw us two nil up after 7 minutes, then we were given a penalty which we converted and Clarke made it four in min 36. As we also had two shots come back off the woodwork it was a dominant first half. We relaxed somewhat in the second half and Wolves came into the game more but in the end a comfortable win.
Stoke v Arsenal 02 Dec (2 – 4)
Another quick start with us scoring in the third minute, Stoke made it all square only a few minutes later though. Stoke started the second half even quicker than we did in the first making it 2 – 1 only one minute after the restart. Smith-Rowe then stepped up and took control of the game for Arsenal, scoring the equaliser in Min67 and having a blocked shot which Burton fired home in Min 75 and finally with only 2 minutes remaining beat a number of defenders before laying on a great assist for Smith who made it 4 – 2.
Please note the News and Video links are to the main Arsenal.com site and you may well need an Arsenal Player log-in to access the videos. Well worth getting if you don’t already have one it’s free and gives you access to an immense volume of interviews and match videos.
In the league, Arsenal are competing in the Premier League South we have now played 10 matches and the current table is
|8||Brighton and Hove Albion||10||3||3||4||-2||12|
|12||West Ham United||10||2||1||7||-19||7|
Meanwhile, the top four clubs in the Northern Division are
- Man City – P9, W7, D1, L1, GD 15 and points 22
- Everton – P10, W6, D2, L2, GD 11 and points 20
- Man United – P10, W6, D2, L2, GD 11 and points 20
- Liverpool – P9, W5, D4, L0, GD11 and points 19
Our 10 matches have been :-
|date||Match||Result||Link to Arsenal.com|
|12 August||Fulham v Arsenal||4 – 1||NEWS & VIDEO|
|19 August||Arsenal v Aston Villa||1 – 0||NEWS & VIDEO|
|26 August||Arsenal v West Ham||6 – 1||NEWS & VIDEO|
|9 Sept||Chelsea v Arsenal||2 – 0||NEWS & VIDEO|
|23 Sept||Arsenal v Reading||4 – 0||NEWS & VIDEO|
|30 Sept||Brighton v Arsenal||2 – 2||NEWS & VIDEO|
|14 Oct||Arsenal v Southampton||5 – 1||NEWS & VIDEO|
|21 Oct||Leicester v Arsenal||2 – 0||NEWS & VIDEO|
|17 Nov||Arsenal v Norwich||3 – 0||NEWS & VIDEO|
|25 Nov||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||6 – 0||NEWS & VIDEO|
So we are unbeaten (and freescoring) at home but not so good on our travels.
Our next games are :-
- Sat 9 December – Swansea City v Arsenal PL U18 South
- Wed 13 December – Arsenal v Sheffield Wednesday FA Youth Cup third round.
NB this second game listed above (against Sheffield Wednesday) is at Borehamwood and so available for all to go and watch this group of youngsters. Kickoff is at 19:00.
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