Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Crowley injury a concern whilst youngsters hope for Coventry involvement

It was all going so well for Dan Crowley, with the technically-talented central-midfielder earning praise from all quarters following his scintillating performance against Peterborough United in the FA Youth Cup.

That display saw Crowley, who does not turn 17 until the start of next season, propelled into Arsenal’s U21 set-up, with the youngster handed his debut at that level against Middlesbrough this week. Then, midway through the second-half of a disappointing 3-1 defeat, disaster struck, with Crowley the victim of an over-zealous challenge from an opponent which forced him to be stretchered off and replaced by Alex Iwobi.

The prognosis for Crowley’s injury is yet to be revealed, but it is hoped that the former Aston Villa player will not spend too long on the sidelines given that he has already missed over a month of the current campaign as a result of an ankle problem sustained whilst playing for the U18s in August.

At present it would appear that injuries are the only obstacle to Crowley’s development, with the midfielder excelling in terms of ball retention and passing ability, whilst also, as he demonstrated against Peterborough, being capable of scoring goals himself.

His slight frame does generate some concerns, however, particularly against more physical opponents, and it is perhaps for that reason that the club held back on calling upon him at U21 level until now. Just last month, in another comfortable Youth Cup victory, this time against Torquay United, Crowley, given his technical wizardry, was evidently targeted by the opposition on every occasion he seized possession. Thankfully he did not pick up an injury that day, but now he will be hoping to return as quickly as possible from the setback sustained against Middlesbrough.

In more positive news, several of the club’s youngsters will be hopeful of being involved against Coventry City in the FA Cup a week today. It is unclear exactly what type of side Arsene Wenger will deploy in this fixture, but this could well be the game in which Gedion Zelalem finally makes his competitive debut for the club.

Benik Afobe, Thomas Eisfeld and Nico Yennaris will also be hopeful of inclusion and the trio are also candidates to depart the club on loan later this month. Afobe now seems to be fully over the injury problems that have plagued him in the recent past, with the striker having scored in the aforementioned defeat to Middlesbrough.

Yennaris, meanwhile, has impressed for the U21s since returning from a rather frustrating loan spell at Bournemouth during which he didn’t receive a single minute of game time. Eisfeld has scored frequently for the second-string since joining from Borussia Dortmund two years ago, but, given that he turns 21 tomorrow, is now at the stage of his development where he needs regular competitive action.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Just a thought, but maybe the English aversion to diving is seriously inhibiting the technical development of our players. If players dived a bit more, maybe there would be less trying to kick players off the park; if your opponent knows you go down at the slightest touch, maybe it would stop the repetitive fouling… (I’m being mischievous here, obviously, but I do believe that our insistence on “being a man” and acceptance of robust physical contact does not serve our players well in terms of technical development).

the only sam is nelson

whilst you may be right, the solution does not lie in the hands of the victims of fouls but with the perpetrators – whilst players are coached to kick the crap out of skilled opponents, we’ll always have this problem, and that’s the mentality that needs to be eradicated


Yeah that’s right the English have a huge aversion to diving. I’ve never seen Rooney, Young, Welbeck, Gerrard or Owen dive. It goes for British players as well, Gareth Bale has definitely, 100% never dived


Not sure diving is the answer (though it does seem to be increasingly the case that refs are now primed to only deem a lot of niggly kicks as a foul if the player goes down. A real shame, particularly as teams are quick to pick up on the referees approach in each game). The sad fact is that ,common as it is the world over to try and use physicality, including fouls, to stop talented opponents and influence matches, we tend to draw the line a little further out than most. No doubt Messi, Iniesta and every other great… Read more »

Jack's Right Foot

That 16 year old Crowley probably earns more money than I do. Little prick. He better be good.


I can say with huge confidence that he is much better than you….

Jack's Right Foot

My mother would argue otherwise.

Samir Gelb

For some reason in every digital career (ie FIFA, Football Manager) I embark upon with Arsenal Eisfeld gets released. Really hope that doesnt happen in real life

Jack's Right Foot

Completely off topic, but I just purchased FIFA 14, Wilshere handed in a transfer request on the first day, I told him to fuck off, the board sell him for £8m! Stupid games.

Samir Gelb

In FIFA 13 Jack used to get sold to Bayern for £40m in 14/15 and then to City in 17/18, in every single save, despite turning down every transfer request. It happened to lots of my friends as well. Weird glitches with Arsenal transfers.

Mallu Gooner

In mine, Man City buys Wilshere, Ramsey and Walcott after one season. So I just raid Barcelona and Madrid.


How about we teach players to just respect their compatriots on the field of play? After all, when it’s all been said and done, its a game. I am football player, and I can proudly tell you that despite standing my ground on pitch, receive kicks here &there, I never feign injuries, nor do I set out to injure opposing teams’ players. Its a cultivated discipline


Seen the highlights against Peterborough and this guy looks extremely talented, some of the touches and passes were cesc-esque. The future’s bright!


Get real, these kids are desperate to make it to the big time. Of course they will kick shit out of someone who is better than them.
Hope he is not too badly injured. Going by the photo he looks about twelve years old. He is going to do some serious weights to bulk himself up to take the knocks that will come his way.

A different view

Being from Germany and watching Bundesliga as well as the PL, I can say that there is a difference in mentality (PL = going in hard to get respect/ fear – no matter what) as well as a difference in refereeing standards and the application of the rulebook, which seems a little bit more protective in Germany). Bottom line: it’s a culture thing (fuelled by media and the marketing people)


Get well soon mate. Put a £100 bet at 20/1 at ladbrookes he will one day play for England. Don’t let me down Danny.


This is probably why England have produce so few players comfortable on the ball in the past. Young players were fearful of getting injured by bad tackles so tend to give the ball away instead of developing good dribble techniques.


Worth remembering , mind, that when Wilshire was coming through he had pretty decent protection from his team mates- there was Frimpong and Coquelin who were both very strong tacklers, the cbs, Ayling and Bartley were also tough and then there was Jay Emanuel Thomas who was as strong as anyone I’ve seen at that age. They were an unusually settled group and, I think, probably backed each other up very well. I doubt it was deliberately done- we don’t tend to think that way (though Bould, who was in charge of that lot, may be a little different)- but… Read more »

Hoosier Gunner

Really wish Eisfeld can make the grade. That kid has quite an eye for goal. I really liked his performance against Reading in the capital one cup last year and also in the preseason tour of Asia in the summer before that.
Hopefully the boy has a future at Arsenal.

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