Arsenal U18s – early December update, 100% home record, no wins away!

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

Pos Team W D L +/- Points
1 Arsenal 2 0 1 3 6
2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 0 1 0 6
3 Manchester United 1 0 2 -1 3
4 Stoke City 1 0 2 -2 3

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)

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 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

Club P W D L +/- Points
1 Chelsea 10 9 0 1 24 27
2 Leicester City 10 6 2 2 7 20
3 Arsenal 10 6 1 3 16 19
4 Fulham 10 5 3 2 4 18
5 Southampton 10 5 1 4 6 16
6 Swansea 10 4 2 4 -5 14
7 Tottenham Hotspur 10 4 0 6 -2 12
8 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 3 3 4 -2 12
9 Aston Villa 10 3 2 5 -1 11
10 Norwich City 10 1 4 5 -14 7
11 Reading 10 2 1 7 -14 7
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
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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6 Replies to “Arsenal U18s – early December update, 100% home record, no wins away!”

  1. This home away imbalance is just about the most extreme I’ve ever seen. Six wins out of six at home, one draw and three defeats away.

    Can anyone tell me, is this how it normally goes at this level? Or are they putting something in the youngsters tea when they go on their travels?

  2. Do all teams have something unique about the fields they play on? Do they typically practice on the fields they play on? That would tend to produce results like this.

    Being much better at playing offense versus defense might lead to this kind of result, as playing offense for a home crowd would draw more praise than playing offense away from home. But that is a kind of social answer, which you have more knowledge of than I do.

  3. On a very cheerful note Gooner has grabbed best fanzine award. Well done to Kevin and the lads.

  4. The only answers I can suggest for the imbalance are :-
    1 – at home we play on a Desso pitch, away we might not.
    2 – we have to remember that these are all very young players, a number of our players are actually only 16, it might be that they still haven’t got used to travelling yet (although probably none of the games would actually require an overnight stay due to the geographical nature of the league)
    3 – crowd numbers are unlikely tobe significant as the vast majority of games at this level are invitation only.
    4 – in truth the results are probably no more than a statistical quirk
    5 – they could just be following the first team whose away results have been much worse than those at home

  5. The losses were at Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester, who with us make up the top four in the league, I’m not sure that there is actually anything terribly significant about those games other than us needing to try harder next time. Hopefully our home form will continue and we will reverse the results when we play them at home.

    As usual Chelsea seem to be the class team in our league, not a lot to chose between us, Fulham and Leicester.

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