There may be still be around two months of the season remaining for the first-team but, as far as the club’s youngsters are concerned, the end of the campaign is rapidly approaching, with both the Reserves and under-18s having just two games left to play.
The under-18s are still in the hunt for the Premier Academy League title, and currently sit top of their section by four points, although their nearest challengers Southampton do have a game in hand. Arsenal surrendered a two goal lead in their most recent fixture, against Coventry last weekend to eventually draw 2-2. Josh Rees and Kyle Ebecilio had put Steve Bould’s side two goals to the good, but some lapse defending allowed the visitors to snatch a point. Nonetheless Bould declared himself pleased with the performance and remains hopeful that his side can reclaim the title that they last won in 2010, with their final two games coming away to Watford and Birmingham City.
As far as the Reserves are concerned, silverware seems unlikely, with Arsenal now five points behind leaders Aston Villa having played two games more. The second-string saw a run of five successive wins come to an end yesterday as they drew 1-1 away to Liverpool in Kirby. Abou Diaby scored on his return to cancel out a sublime Raheem Sterling strike, with Arsenal dominating the second period without creating too many clear cut opportunities.
Striker Benik Afobe started up front for the first time since recovering from a long term injury and showed some promising signs, striking a post after harrying a Liverpool defender, whilst Nico Yennaris impressed with his tenaciousness in midfield. The Reserves next travel to face Newcastle before hosting Everton at Underhill in their final game of the season.