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Arsenal and WHU could use some of their U23 teams tomorrow. So how have they been doing?

By Bulldog Drummond

Let’s look at West Ham’s under 23 side and its results, as the members of this squad will, I suspect, make up some of the team against Arsenal, although of course there is always the chance that WHAM will simply put their first team out, knowing we will play the Arsenal II side.

Date Competition Home team Res Away team
31/08/17 PLI Tottenham Hotspur 7 – 2 West Ham United U23
11/09/17 PL2 Leicester City U23 3 – 1 West Ham United U23
18/09/17 PL2 West Ham United U23 0 – 2 Liverpool U23
24/09/17 PL2 Sunderland U23 1 – 2 West Ham United U23
04/10/17 PLI West Ham United U23 0 – 3 Villarreal U23
15/10/17 PL2 West Ham United U23 4 – 2 Manchester U U23
22/10/17 PL2 Chelsea U23 0 – 0 West Ham United U23
28/10/17 PL2 West Ham United U23 2 – 1 Manchester City U23
17/11/17 PL2 West Ham United U23 1 – 5 Derby County U23
21/11/17 PLI West Ham United U23 0 – 2 Benfica U23
24/11/17 PL2 Arsenal U23 3 – 0 West Ham United U23

PLI is the Premier League International cup in which West Ham are in a group with Benfica, Tottenham Hotspur, and Villarreal CF.  As we can see they have lost all three of their games.  Arsenal also compete in this competition in a group with  FC Bayern Munich, FC Porto, and perhaps surprisingly Reading.

Here are Arsenal’s ten most recent under 23 league games.

Date Comp Home team Score Away team
25/9/17 PL2 Everton U 23 4- 2 Arsenal U23 
16/10/17 PL2 Arsenal U23 2 – 0 Sunderland U23
23/10/17 PL2 Tottenham U23 3 – 2 Arsenal U23
28/10/17 PL2 Chelsea U23 2 – 2 Arsenal U23
17/11/17 PLI Arsenal U23 1 – 0 Porto B
20/11/17 PL2 Swansea U23 3 – 1 Arsenal U23
24/11/17 PL2 Arsenal U23 3 – 0 West Ham U23
30/11/17 PLI Arsenal U23 0 – 0 Reading U23
10/12/17 PL2 Manchester City U23 1 – 0 Arsenal U23
15/12/17 PL2 Arsenal U23 3 – 3 Derby U23

As a result of these few matches in our PLI group the table looks like this.

# Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 2 1 1 0 1 0 +1 4
2 2 1 0 1 2 1 +1 3
3 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 3
4 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

As we can see West Ham’s u-23 squad has not been doing too well, having won three of their games listed above and drawn one.  Seven have been defeats.  And as for the domestic under 23 league here is the table, with us in third and West Ham in sixth, with games in hand.

# P W D L F A Pts
1. Liverpool U23 13 10 0 3 30 13 30
2. Leicester U23 12 7 3 2 17 8 24
3. Arsenal U23 13 7 2 4 27 22 23
4. Everton U23 12 6 2 4 18 12 20
5. Swansea U23 12 5 2 5 23 22 17
6. West Ham U23 11 5 2 4 18 21 17
7. Derby U23 12 5 1 6 20 22 16
8. Manchester City U23 12 3 4 5 20 20 13
9. Chelsea U23 11 2 5 4 13 19 11
10. Manchester Utd U23 11 2 4 5 10 18 10
11. Sunderland U23 12 2 3 7 9 21 9
12. Tottenham U23 11 2 2 7 19 26 8

Of course the under 23 games are indications of the strength of the squad in depth, but not much more.  Some players are brought forward quickly into the full squad – players such as Iwobi and Maitland Niles for example.  Sometimes first team players get games in the under 23 matches to regain their own match fitness.

But looking at what we have here, Arsenal seem to have the edge, and quite a few of the Arsenal II team are players with first team experience.

We have obviously lost Wilshere from Arsenal II as he played against Newcastle and I would imagine he will play against Liverpool.  But otherwise, among the youngsters we will have quite a smattering of first team players.  Indeed given what Mr Wenger has said we could see youngsters only on the beach.

Speaking to Mr Wenger said that Ramsey will not be back until January, and Mustafi is fit but will not be used against West Ham in the League Cup.  That suggests he will get a match on Friday against Liverpool.

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Walcott we are told is 100% fit and will definitely play against West Ham.  He also suggested that virtually everyone who will play is an international which again seems to suggest that some of the promising youngsters will only make the bench.  There is also a suggestion in what Mr Wenger says that Mertesacker will also play.  I would also anticipate Elneny who is looking to me to be ever more purposeful and assured when he plays, will also get a full game, perhaps alongside Coquelin.

Danny Welbeck, Sead Kolasinac and Olivier Giroud look quite likely to start with a bench that includes  a selection from Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Josh Dasilva, Eddie Nketiah, and Matt Macey, with a couple of those dropping out to make way for established players, just in case we get an early injury.

Last, if we take a look at West Ham’s last ten matches what we find is the typical new manager bounce…

Date Match Res Score Competition
04 Nov 2017 West Ham United v Liverpool L 1-4 Premier League
19 Nov 2017 Watford v West Ham United L 2-0 Premier League
24 Nov 2017 West Ham United v Leicester City D 1-1 Premier League
28 Nov 2017 Wycombe Wanderers v West Ham L 2-0 League Trophy
29 Nov 2017 Everton v West Ham United L 4-0 Premier League
03 Dec 2017 Manchester City v West Ham L 2-1 Premier League
05 Dec 2017 Luton Town v West Ham United L 4-0 League Trophy
09 Dec 2017 West Ham United v Chelsea W 1-0 Premier League
13 Dec 2017 West Ham United v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
16 Dec 2017 Stoke City v West Ham United W 0-3 Premier League

Six defeats and a draw in the last seven and then two wins and a draw, including an impressive win against Chelsea.  This is the sort of thing that makes people say that all you need is to change the manager if there are problems.  The only problem is, over time, it generally doesn’t last.  Occasionally it does, but mostly it doesn’t.

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3 comments to Arsenal and WHU could use some of their U23 teams tomorrow. So how have they been doing?

  • para

    Looking forward to this game, if not to probably see some more of the youth get a game. WH does not play til Sat against Newcastle, so who knows who they will field.

    You know this thing about changing managers, just does not apply to Arsenal’s situation, this is a completely different situation.

    After so many years of AW, everyone now knows his weaknesses and strengths, but the fact is, he was the best we could have ever got considering the money and status of Arsenal, and he is still the best we can get considering the money and status of Arsenal club today.

    That said, in the previous few years, Arsenal and AW has become stagnant, and in the last year we actually lost ground, not competing against top sides, and starting to lose ground against lesser sides.

    Many fans think that AW has not grown, after all, after all these years, he should have masses of experience that can be used to take the club forward, but the experience the fans are seeing that has affected Arsenal, is his economical experience, which has done Arsenal a world of good.

    On the footballing side, not so much, hence the team getting worse, or to put it another way, the team standing still, while most other teams have caught Arsenal, and the top teams are starting to run away leaving Arsenal in the dust when it comes to achievements and performances.

    So no wonder that some call for change.
    But there is no one available who would fit Arsenal’s requirements.
    It looks like Arsenal will try to train a manager/coach under AW(lawd help us, i do not rate AW training methods today)and try to battle through, until a manager/coach who suits Arsenal becomes available, but who knows, they may only have managers lined up in case of something unforeseen happening to AW.

    So we have to accept what the club is, moan a bit when things don’t go well, scream with joy when they do, and try to enjoy our life outside football.

  • para

    OK, i’m off for xmas to slightly warmer climes so here’s a translation of one of AW comments.

    “I wouldn’t like to compare. You want nobody to leave and see where we stand on that. But at the moment, it’s very difficult. Until the end of the season we know what he is, but after that I cannot tell you.”

    In Jamaican
    “Mi wouldn’t like fi compare. yuh wan nobody fi lef an si weh wi stand pon dat. But at di moment it very difficult til di end of di season wi kno wah him is, but afta dat mi cyaan tell yuh.”

    Some may deduce that i am off to Jamaica, but sadly i’m only off to Southampton(which is slightly warmer than here, at least in summer).

    Think is, I understood what AW said in both languages, but i still did not get the full meaning.

    I think it is a result of AW thoughts being in French and then he tries to put them into English, this just does not compute in the most cases.

    Anyway, for all those who go mad at this time of year, be careful, have fun and do not endanger others.

  • porter

    It was the mantra of my French teacher many years ago that to speak a language properly you have to think in that language. So I don’t buy the lost in translation tag . Wenger knows the language well enough and his thoughts are not betrayed by his vocabulary.

    On to tonights team , I would consider Macey as the keeper . As we are likely to be facing Carroll for this one . Carroll is 6 foot 4 , Ospina 6 foot and Macey 6 foot 6. Only Mertesacker is tall enough to compete in the air and as we all know despite his positional nouse his jumping ability is not his best suit. They will be crossing and slinging high balls in at every opportunity. ” Keepers ball” should be the cry of the night. On top of this Cech wont go on forever and can we really consider Ospina to be the number one for a whole league programme.
    Macey is a good keeper , he has the potential to be one for the future and he is good at penalties and tonights game does not have a replay and could easily go to a shoot out.