Arsenal U18s February Update – 13 Matches Unbeaten

by Andrew Crawshaw

On Saturday our Under 18s extended their unbeaten record to 13 matches with a 6 – 2 win away to Reading despite six members of the usual squad being away on England U17 duty.  Here is the story of this run.

Ref Game Result Competition Goalscorers
1 Reading v Arsenal 2 – 6 U18 PL South Swanson (2), Folarin Balogun (2), Benson, Burton
2 Middlesbrough v Arsenal 2 – 3 FA Youth Cup Emile Smith Rowe, Tyreece John-Jules, Ballard
3 West Ham v Arsenal 1 – 5 U18 PL South Folarin Balogun (2), Harry Clarke (2), Armstrong Okoflex
4 Arsenal v Norwich 4 – 4 (5 – 3 pens) U18 PL Cup Folarin Balogun, Trae Coyle, McEneff, Bukayo Saka.  Penalties from Dominic Thompson, Clarke, Saka,Trae Coyle and Swanson – Joao Virginia with 2 saves
5 Liverpool v Arsenal 2 – 3 FA Youth Cup Robbie Burton, Bukayo Saka, Tyreece John-Jules
6 Arsenal v Fulham 2 – 2 U18 PL South Xavier Amaechi, Robbie Burton
7 Aston Villa v Arsenal 0 – 2 U18 PL South Trae Coyle (2 x pen)
8 Arsenal v Sheffield Wednesday 2 – 1 FA Youth Cup Xavier Amaechi (2)
9 Swansea v Arsenal 0 – 3 U18 PL South Xavier Amaechi, Tyreece John-Jules, Bukayo Saka
10 Stoke v Arsenal 2 – 4 U18 PL Cup Xavier Amaechi, Emile Smith Rowe, Robbie Burton, Matt Smith
11 Arsenal v Spurs 6 – 0 U18 PL South Bukayo Saka (2), Xavier Amaechi (2),Trae Coyle, Matt Smith
12 Arsenal v Norwich 3 – 0 U18 PL South Folarin Balogun, Ballard, M Smith Smith
13 Arsenal v Wolves 4 – 2 U18 PL Cup Tyreece John-Jules (2)

So 13 games from November to date, one draw and 12 wins (one cup game won after a penalty shootout).  We have scored 43 goals and conceded 18 during this run.  Principal goalscorers are Xavier Amaechi with 7 (8 games), Falorin Balogun with 6 (7 games), Tyreece John-Jules and Bukayo Sako with 5 each (from 6 and 8 games).

Player Status Age Player Started (X) or was a Sub (S) in the match referenced above
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Joao Virginia (GK) YP 18 X X X X X X X X X X X
Zech Medley YP 17 X X X X X X X
Xavier Amaechi YP 17 X X X X X X X X
Trae Coyle YP 17 X X X X X S X X X X
Emile Smith Rowe YP 17 X X X X X X
Daniel Ballard Y2S 18 X X X X X X X X X X X
Tobi Omole Y2S 18 X X S X S X X X X X
Josh Benson Y2S 18 X S X X S X X X X X X
Robbie Burton Y2S 18 S X X X X X S X X S
Dominic Thompson Y2S 17 X X X X X X X X X
Jay Beckford Y2S 18 X X S X S
Harry Clarke Y1S 16 X X X X X S X X
Matt Smith Y1S 17 X X X S X X X X X
James Olayinka Y1S 17 X
Jordan McEneff Y1S 17 X S S
Zak Swanson Y1S 17 X X S S X
Folarin Balogun Y1S 16 X X X X S X X
Bayli Spencer-Adams Y1S 16 S X X X S
Vontae Daley Campbell Y1S 16 X X X X X X X
Tyreece John-Jules Y1S 17 X X X X S X
Daniel Barden (GK) Y1S 17 X
James Olayinka Y1S 17 X X X X S
Mark McGuiness Y1S 17 S
Bukayo Saka SB S X S X S X X X
Armstrong Okoflex SB X
Miguel Azeez SB S
Matthew Dennis SB S
Arthur Okonkwo (GK) SB X

Please note in the status column that YP indicates the player has already signed a professional contract. Y2S indicates that they are a year 2 Scholar, Y1S shows that they are a year 1 Scholar and SB indicates that they are schoolboys under 16 years old.

Here is the current PL U18 South table

Team P W D L +/- Pts
1 Chelsea 15 12 2 1 32 38
2 Arsenal 15 9 3 3 25 30
3 Southampton 15 9 2 4 13 29
4 Swansea 16 8 2 6 -7 26
5 Fulham 16 6 6 4 6 24
6 Leicester City 16 6 6 4 4 24
7 Tottenham Hotspur 14 5 3 6 1 18
8 Aston Villa 14 4 3 7 -3 15
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 14 3 6 5 -5 15
10 Norwich 14 2 4 8 -18 10
11 Reading 16 2 4 10 -22 10
12 West Ham Utd 15 2 3 10 -26 9

Once all clubs have played their 22 league games, the teams will be split into top 4, middle 4 and bottom 4 and then grouped with the the equivalent teams in the North division, the title winners being decided on the results of a single game against each of the other clubs in the top grouping either home or away.  Currently the top four clubs in the Northern group are Man United with 30 points from 15 games, Everton 29, Liverpool 26 and Man City also 26 points (all from 14 games).

Ten youngsters so far have been offered 1st year scholarship deals for next season :-

  • Goalkeepers Arthur Okonkwo and Tom Smith
  • Bukayo Saka
  • Armstrong Okoflex
  • Joshua Martin
  • Ben Cottrell
  • Alfie Matthews
  • Matthew Dennis
  • Ryan Alebiosu

This means that there remain between three and five places still available.  None of those listed above are defenders so I’m sure that we will be looking to recruit them from other academies unless any of our schoolboys really impress over the next few weeks.

The players listed as second year academy graduates have not yet been offered (or possibly accepted) professional contracts are now literally playing for their Arsenal future.  If a contract offer is not forthcoming between now and the end of the season they will be released.  It is interesting to note that they have already fallen behind others who have already secured their first contracts.

The six players called up for England U17 duty in the Portugal Tournament were Goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, defenders Vontae Daley-Campbell and Bukayo Saka, midfielder Trae Coyle and forwards Xavier Amaechi and Tyreece John Jules.

The three matches in the tournament were Portugal (4 – 0 to Portugal) last Friday, Germany last Sunday (one all draw) and the Netherlands on Tuesday.  I’m afraid that apart from the scores I have been unable to find any website saying who played in any of the games.

As ever my thanks to Jeorge Bird whose site is far more informative about players at this stage of their careers than

Our next three U18 games are:-

  1. Home against Brighton Friday Feb 23 in the U18PL South
  2. Away against Southampton on March 3 in the U18PL South
  3. Home against Chelsea on March 7 in the U18PL South

Come on you Gunners lets keep the unbeaten run going.

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11 Replies to “Arsenal U18s February Update – 13 Matches Unbeaten”

  1. Spurs really are such a cynical team (both tackling and diving). It’s great watching them try to employ their usual tactics and getting punished for it, which they so very often get away with with PL referees.

  2. The difference in how matches are commentated between Arsenal and Spurs really is quite extraordinary.

  3. Spuds, the new media “darling” all because of the one called “Kane”, (did he not murder his brother? Oh, that was the other one. 👿 )

    ManU has lost that honour(recently), as the Pool(long ago), Arsenal, well they never got it really, even when Arsenal were dominating, it was probably given with more grudging respect than with agenda based honour( i would take the grudging respect any day though).

    Let’s see how long the Spuds can retain that honour 😉 when they are (perhaps)forced to sell Kane to the highest bidder.

    But the media will already have the next one lined up for that dubious glory anyway.

    In a cynical mood today. 😳

  4. Credit where it’s due, Spuds were a better team than Juventus last night. They should have won the game but they now celebrate this draw with two away goals as a great success.

    Which will make a late 1:0 victory for Juventus with a goal from Dybala even sweeter.

  5. The way the wanky press are going on I thought they were already through or won 3 nil away. The two away goals trophy, video out shortly. Joke

  6. @Markyb

    Their trophy haul – Putting The Pressure On 2016-17, Beating Real 2017-18, Two Away Goals V Juventus 2017-18 – is unstoppable! Next one in line will be “Almost Knocking Out Juventus 2017-18”.

  7. Thanks for all the news. has the report of the Holland game, and all our boys played, with the exception of Arthur Okonkwo, who remained on the bench.

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