Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Crowley’s refreshing attitude bodes well for Arsenal

“I don’t think I played well enough. I wasn’t very good but it’s always nice to get a hat-trick. I thought I should have kept the ball better.”

Most players would be satisfied at scoring a hat-trick, but Dan Crowley, speaking after Arsenal’s 4-3 defeat against Anderlecht in the UEFA Youth League this week, was adamant that there is room for improvement in his game.

That is the very nature of Crowley. The diminutive midfielder, despite being one of the club’s most promising players, is always looking to develop further.

Just four days prior to the Anderlecht game, Crowley had delivered a virtuoso performance, particularly in the second-half, as Arsenal U21s were held to a goalless draw by Blackburn Rovers. Crowley did everything in his power to attempt to score and came perilously close to making the breakthrough on several occasions.

Unlike some of his team-mates at youth level, Crowley is yet to be called up for the first-team, even for a friendly, and doesn’t regularly train with Arsene Wenger’s squad.

However, particularly if he keeps his humble attitude intact, he will get to the top eventually. His game intelligence and ability to pick a pass is far superior to many of the other players playing at U21 level, for Arsenal or other clubs.

Most at home as a playmaker in the number ten position, Crowley has tended to be deployed on the left flank for Arsenal U21s this season. Although it is not his best position, the 17-year-old has still delivered some excellent performances, frequently roaming inside to devastating effect.

Crowley enjoyed a stellar pre-season that was saw him score several goals. That proved to be a pre-cursor for when the real action got underway, with the former Aston Villa player having scored five times so far this campaign.

One element of concern regarding Crowley is the regularity with which opponents are quick to lunge in on him with rather dangerous challenges when they are unable to rob him of possession.

Crowley has drawn comparisons to Jack Wilshere owing to his style of play, but the similarities do not end there. As Wilshere has a tendency to do, Crowley is also unafraid to offer his opinions on matters to team-mates and referees alike and is certainly one of the more vocal Arsenal youngsters on the pitch.

Off the pitch, however, to judge from the aforementioned quote, Crowley is very much aware that hard work and dedication are needed to achieve success. At Crowley’s age, Wilshere was already a regular fixture in the first-team. There is no rush, though, for Crowley to follow in Wilshere’s footsteps. He will get there eventually and, to judge from his performances in the opening months of the campaign, it would be preferable to allow him to develop and learn in the youth teams this season rather than rushing him into the senior squad.

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



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Number 10 played out of position… That’s the arsenal way, but it does seem that in every youth team report his name is heavily mentioned and always seemingly positive can only be good for the future


Get him in the first team. Left wing or centreback?


Arsene would probably play him as goalkeeper


Player who will dispace jack

teddy salad

Dressing up for Halloween this year as Satan Kroenke eating donuts. He loves donuts. Cider donuts especially. One time, he bought a dozen donuts to bring in for the gang (the ones on the 4th floor who organize that March madness pool every year) at work and wouldn’t you know it, he finished each and every one before he made it in. He’s a peach of a guy so he made sure to grab a few cookies and an elephant ear in the lobby on the way in, though. Wouldn’t you know it, that old rattlesnake ate them all, too.… Read more »

Jamaican Gooner

Great attitude!

Alright Mate

A Robert Pires style left winger?


Why not have him train with the senior squad? After all, we’ve been giving Zelalem chances. Maybe if we were still in the Mickey Mouse Cup.

Anyway, I’ve been hearing Zelalem has stalled recently, so how does the progress of the two compare?

Daft Aider

Two years of playing with the senior team as a defensive-striker-come-fullback and he’ll be making as much of an effort as the rest aren’t putting in (ie sickbay)


he’s too slight at the moment which is why he is kept so far away from first team activities. When he develops physically he will be a great player. Definitely technically the most talented in our academy since Jack wilshere.

bergkamp's hooped sock

I think Arsenal like to play their most skillful and intelligent players on the flanks in order to create some uncertainty in the opposition’s defense while they cut inside, while also allowing for other Arsenal players to make runs into the spaces vacated by the opposition. So I guess there is some method to the madness, but I agree that this tactic doesn’t always work out :\

Dr. Funke

Good to hear, looking forward to seeing him play some first team ball in the future.


Comment:No tactic always works out.

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