Friday, December 1, 2023

Reserves continue lightning start as under-18s falter

Arsenal’s Reserves and under-18s could hardly have the started the season in more contrasting fashion.

Whilst Neil Banfield’s second string maintained their 100% start to the campaign with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Wigan yesterday, the under-18s were rather slack as they went down 2-1 to Barnsley last week, suggesting that it may be another season of inconsistent results at that level.

As far as the reserves are concerned, though, there is much to savour at present. Although Banfield was shorn of the services of Ignasi Miquel and Henri Lansbury yesterday after they trained with the first-team, his side, whilst not yet at peak fitness, demonstrated impressive levels of work ethic and commitment to come from behind against a spirited Wigan outfit.

After the hosts had taken the lead early in the first half, Arsenal were dealt a further blow when goalkeeper Vito Mannone was forced to withdraw through injury. They responded, though, with Sanchez Watt epitomising that aforementioned commitment and desire to pressurise a Latics defender into squandering possession before finishing calmly.

Watt would then combine with Chuks Aneke for the latter to put Arsenal ahead and, despite some valiant attempts by the hosts to restore parity, the Gunners were out of sight when Japanese starlet Ryo Miyaichi, who was playing in order to build up his fitness, finished sweetly.

Miyaichi, in truth, did not have the most memorable of games overall and was a peripheral figure for much of the afternoon but he continued to get into the right positions and eventually got his reward.

There were other positives, too, with the all-Dutch defensive-midfield pairing of Kyle Ebecilio and Oguzhan Ozyakup continuing to blossom. Ebecilio provides steel and Ozyakup craft, but Ebecilio is also rather skilful himself and is benefiting from Lansbury’s absence as he attempts to become a regular fixture in Banfield’s line-up.

Diminutive Jernade Meade, too, is fast becoming a key figure at this level and has performed well enough in recent weeks to keep George Brislen-Hall, his rival for the left-back spot, out of the side.

For the under-18s, though, it is a slightly different story. Last season was, to put it mildly, an inconsistent and incoherent campaign for Steve Bould’s latest crop of players and it was expected that this season would be rather different with many of the second years now pushing for professional contracts.

However, the defeat to Barnsley suggested that little has changed over the summer. Defensive mistakes were made with Elton Monteiro, whose acquisition from Sion two years ago becomes more puzzling with every performance, culprit-in-chief. Bould is currently without Josh Rees and Alban Bunjaku, by and large his two most impressive players last season, because of injury and the new foreign recruits including Hector Bellerin, Jon Toral and Kristoffer Olsson are yet to be called upon.

Bould did take solace, however, in the performance of schoolboy substitute Chuba Akpom, who recently impressed for England under-17s. Akpom possesses an interesting and varied skill set and a unique playing style and, judging by the effusive nature of Bould’s comments, he could be set for several more run outs this campaign.

Bould will be hoping that the rest of his squad will soon follow Akpom’s example.

Jeorge Bird is the author of,  follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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cool… i guess

Ticking Clock

Future looks good….what about the present!!!


future’s looked good for 6 seasons

Lord Teddy Ears

We have a player called Chuba how cool is that !!!!


And one called Chuks!

Midfield Corporal

Very cool. The premier league is old hat this year, the reserve league is where it’s at. I for one will be diverting all my attantion to it, and of course the ladies league.

On a separate issue, can anyone tell mr if Newcastle and Sunderland have been charged for failing to control their players on Saturday. It was far worse than anything that went on in our game against the toon. Surely the FA aren’t going to have double standards, that would be most unlike them.

Midfield Corporal

Me not mr.


Corporal I’m still waiting for the fa to charge Steven Taylor for conning the ref suggesting gervinho elbowed Barton. As we know the fa are consistent and fair I’m sure something will happen soon.


If you wanna watch a successful arsenal side this year the ladies are the ones to watch.
Ps I’m shitting myself about tonight

Lord Teddy Ears

The thought of watching women in Arsenal tops is make me a little aroused


The thought of watching women without their Arsenal tops even more so


Sorry Arsenal Ladies, with all due respect I just couldn’t help myself

micky readman

women in arsenal socks is a good luck lads!

just the socks mind! 🙂

micky readman

***retard here!!!


i think my head is so concerned with luck atm i forgot how to spell look!



Surely we could’ve used Miyachi tonight!?

Midfield Corporal

Mmmmmmm, me too.

I was thinking, if we signed Adebayor back, we would own him, right? Now I’m not a lawyer but can’t we just then just kill him as he’s our property. I bet there’s something in that bloody european bill of human rights that prevents this. Political correctness gone mad.

Lord teddy? You not call nasri a cunt today? You not feeling well?

Lord Teddy Ears

Nasri has gone and I am no longer interested also and more importantly we are talking chick in various states of undress in Arsenal attire

Midfield Corporal

If I was in charge of marketing for arsenal ladies I’d have them all painted in that body paint so it just looked like they were wearing a kit. Attendances when rain was forecast would rocket. I don’t think it would detract from the game would it?

Lord Teddy Ears

I would buy a family season ticket for that fella

PS Nasri is gone


All very good stuff indeed.

We could field a whole team of anagrams from this lot.

Lord Teddy Ears

I think BLOGS should give a free t-shirts for the best anagram made from the under 18’s names

Really we have a guy called Chuba I love it

Midfield Corporal

George Brislan-Hall, isn’t he my local Tory MP?

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