Monday, March 20, 2023

U21’s thrive against Bolton whilst U18’s falter

It was a somewhat strange experience on Monday evening as Arsenal took on Bolton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium in the opening game of the new Premier U21 League season.

The club were adhering to the rule of the newly-restructured league that stipulates at least two fixtures throughout the season have to be staged at the ground of the first-team. It certainly made for an interesting experience, with a crowd of over 4,000 packing into the East Stand, a significantly higher attendance than what is usually accrued for such games at Barnet’s Underhill.

The match itself was eventful to say the least, with Arsenal finding themselves in a somewhat perilous position midway through the first half when goalkeeper Damian Martinez was dismissed for committing a foul in the area and Bolton scored the subsequent penalty. James Shea, the substitute stopper, then enhanced his reputation with a flurry of superb saves to keep Arsenal in the game before Thomas Eisfeld drew Arsenal level and a brace from the comparatively experienced Conor Henderson, who scored with a free-kick and a penalty, ensured a winning start to the season for the youngsters.

One notable aspect of coach Terry Burton’s team selection was that he adhered to his promise of providing opportunities at this level for the club’s most promising 16 and 17 year olds. Serge Gnabry, the dynamic German winger who travelled with the first-team to Cologne but failed to make a substantial impression in his homeland, was back to his usual effervescent self against Bolton, linking up well with first-year scholar Chuba Akpom, who led the line diligently despite being just 16 years of age.

There was a start too for the technically-talented Swede Kristoffer Olsson, even if his stay on the pitch was rather short-lived as he was the unfortunate player to be sacrificed following Martinez’s dismissal. Still, Arsenal’s resilience and determination to forge a comeback was admirable and Burton will be hoping for another victory when his side take to the Emirates stage again tomorrow when they face Blackburn Rovers.

Just two days prior to the U21’s heroics against Bolton, the U18s, now managed by former West Ham player Pat Holland, hd suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the same opponents, going down 5-1 at the Trotters’ training ground.

A young Arsenal side comprised mainly of first-year scholars and deprived of the likes of Gnabry, Akpom and Olsson, who, as mentioned, featured for the U21’s, struggled to impose themselves and conceded several goals owing to lackadaisical passing out from the back which was capitalised upon by the opposition.

Goalkeeper Josh Vickers, who may miss this week’s game with Blackburn through injury, was guilty of being beaten by several soft shots on his debut at that level, whilst the promising Jack Jebb had one of his poorer games in a deep-lying midfield role. One positive to take from the encounter, however, was the fact that cultured midfielder Jon Toral, who had been out since February, marked his competitive comeback with a well-taken goal and made the bench for the U21’s a couple of days later.

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Our under 21 team won’t even break a sweat dispossing off liverpool but someone is still headed there. We should have this friendly arranged before the medical is complete.
Thomas eisfeld will make carragher shit himself as aneke and henderson dominate the midfield.

Merlin's Panini

Carragher? This is U21s mate.


he’s saying our under 21’s could beat the liverpool first team. We’ve got a shameful amount of talent coming through the youth set up.


Ha this page is mine i’ll comment what I want.
John terry is a cunt.

Don’t you dare write anything.

Merlin's Panini

Sorry to shit on your parade.


Just two days prior to the U21′s heroics against Bolton, the U18s, now managed by former West Ham player Pat Holland, *HAD suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the same opponents, going down 5-1 at the Trotters’ training ground.


Simao Segunda

Ahh, typo-hunting! Is that what you do, instead of having sex?

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