by Andrew Crawshaw
As Tony pointed out in his brief report on our U23s latest win on Monday Night we are really doing rather well this year. We had a 4-0 win over last year’s league winners Everton, with a hat-trick of goals from Eddie Nketiah and assists for Joe Willock.
Our matches since the start of November have seen seven wins, two draws and a single loss across both League and the Premier League International Cup. We have scored 25 goals and conceded nine. Highlights for all of these games are available on Arsenal.com and if you are not used to seeing the U23s in action I would urge you to spend a few minutes to check out some of the games.
|1||Arsenal v Everton||4 – 0||PL2 (div 1)||
Eddie Nketiah (3)
|2||Sunderland v Arsenal||1 – 3||PL2 (div 1)||
Emile Smith Rowe,
Tyrece John-Jules (2)
|3||Arsenal v Bayern Munich||5 – 2||PL International Cup||
Jeff Reine-Adelaide (2),
Emile Smith Rowe
|4||Arsenal v Man United||4 – 0||PL2 (div 1)||
Eddie Nketiah (2)
|5||Arsenal v Derby||3 – 3||PL2 (div 1)||
|6||Man City v Arsenal||0 – 1||PL2 (div 1)||Jordi Osei-Tutu|
|7||Arsenal v Reading||0 – 0||PL International Cup|
|8||Arsenal v West Ham||3 – 0||PL2 (div 1)||
Vlad Dragomir (2)
|9||Swansea v Arsenal||3 – 1||PL2 (div 1)||Charlie Gilmour|
|10||Arsenal v Porto||1 – 0||PL International Cup||Reiss Nelson|
Our main Goalscorers have been Eddie Nketiah (6 goals in 5 games), Vlad Dragomir (4 in 10 games), Jeff Reine-Adelaide (3 in 4 games), Jordi Osei-Tutu (3 in 9 games – not bad for a full back), and 17 year old first year scholar Tyrece John-Jules has two from his three appearances.
Here is a listing of the 31 players who have featured (either as a starter or as a substitute) with their ages – remember that a goalkeeper and up to three outfield players are allowed to be over the age of 23. This is to allow fringe players or those recovering from injury, game time. Please note that there were a number of transfers and loans affecting some of the players in the above list, I have summarised these in the January Window column.
|Name||Age||January Window||Played in Match Reference (From Table above) X or sub S|
|Ben Sheaf||19||Loan to Stevenage||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Christian Bielik||19||Loan to Walsall||X||X|
|Chuba Akpom||22||Loan to Sint-Trudinese||X||X||X|
|Constantinos Mavopranos||20||Arrived from PAS Giannina||X||X||X||X|
|Deyan Iliev (GK)||22||X||X||X||X|
|Emile Smith Rowe||17||X||X||X||S||S||X||X||S|
|Hugo Keto (GK)||19||X||X|
|Jeff Reine-Adelaide||20||Loan to Angers||X||X||X||X|
|Julio Pleguezuelo||21||Loan to RCD Mallorca||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Marcus McGuane||18||Transferred to Barcelona||X|
|Mathieu Debuchy||32||Transferred to St Etienne||X||X|
|Matt Macey (GK)||23||X||X||X||X|
|Tafari Moore||21||Loan to FC Utrecht||X|
The January window has meant a number of changes will be imposed on Steve Gatting for the rest of the season.
- Centrebacks Ben Sheaf and Julio Pleguezuelo have departed on loan, Constantinos Mavapranos arrived from Greece and has immediately settled in at the heart of the defence as though he has always been there alongside Zech Medley or Rob Holding, so there seems to have been no deterioration at the back.
- The one midfielder I was sorry to see go was Marcus McGuane who was something of a specialist Defensive Midfielder; long term I fear that we may miss him.
- Jeff Reine-Adelaide is probably more of a first team player than U23 these days. His four games were a block to get him back to fitness.
- Vlad Dragomir (who usually captained the U18s last year) has taken over the captaincy from Julio Pleguezuelo. He has been the only player who has started all ten of the recent games and he is now showing real progress. He always gave glimpses of his potential but is now delivering far more consistently.
- With our main goalscorer Eddie Nketiah now spending more time with the first team squad it looks like Tyrece John-Jules and Emile Smith Rowe are quite capable of picking up the slack so I see no cause for concern there either.
Our next games are :-
- Monday February 19 19:00 kickoff – PL2 away at Leicester Holmes Park ground
- Saturday February 24 14:00 kickoff – Premier League International Cup against Dinamo Zagreb at Meadow Park Borehamwood
- Friday March 2 19:05 kickoff – PL2 against Chelsea at Borehamwood
- Monday Mar 12 19:00 kickoff – PL2 against Spurs at the Emirates (provisional date depending on Europa League and FA Cup matches)
- Friday April 6 19:00 kickoff – PL2 against Liverpool at Prenton Park
- Friday 13 April 19:00 Kickoff – PL2 against Swansea City at Meadow Park
- Friday 20 April 19:00 kickoff – PL2 against West Ham at the London Stadium
Finally a quick reminder of the Premier League 2 Division 1 Table
Six games to go and all to play for, one point behind Liverpool and a game in hand over Leicester in third place. No reason at all why we shouldn’t win this league even if the main Pl title is beyond us this year.
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- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?