Thursday, July 18, 2024

Arteta’s advice should encourage Arsenal U16s to reach even greater heights

Mikel Arteta may not have been heavily involved in the Arsenal first-team this season as a consequence of injury and the form of Francis Coquelin, but the club captain is still making an important contribution for the Gunners this season.

This week the Spaniard, who has less than a year remaining on his current contract with the club, coached Arsenal’s U16 squad at Hale End as he passed on his wisdom to the club’s latest crop of promising schoolboys.

Arteta also coached other groups of Arsenal schoolboys towards the end of last season and the signs suggest that he is setting himself up for a career in coaching once his playing days are behind him.

There has been a positive vibe about the U16 squad all week, especially after they thrashed their Swansea City counterparts 7-1 last Saturday.

Even though they have been deprived of the services of their star performer, Reiss Nelson, who has already featured at U19 level as well as stepping up to the U18 squad on a permanent basis, the youngsters have fared well this season.

There are some promising talents to watch out for in this group, such as winger Emile Smith-Rowe, who featured for the U18s last season and has also been capped by England at youth level.

Right-back Rob Howard has also developed well of late, whilst midfielders Josh Benson and Robbie Burton will no doubt have benefitted from Arteta’s tutelage as they seek to earn scholarships at the club for next season.

There is also an intriguing battle for places occurring in goal, with three players in contention for promotion to the U18 side next season.

Joao Virginia, a promising Portuguese shot-stopper who was signed in the summer, is very highly regarded, whilst it seems the club will eventually have to make a decision between home grown prospects George Phillips and Jordan Perrin, both of whom have been named on the bench for the U18s at times this season.

Whether any of the aforementioned players will go on to enjoy sustained careers with the club remains to be seen, but, regardless of whether they do or not, they will surely have benefitted from being coached by Arteta, who has always come across as very knowledgeable in interviews.

It remains to be seen how long Arteta will continue playing given his recent injury record, but it is becoming increasingly clear that, when he does eventually retire, he is set to turn to coaching, with Arsenal’s youngsters the first to benefit from his insight.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


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Ozil's eyes

Of everything he possess his hair is of exceptional quality


A specialist in coiffure, one might say.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

I am convinced smooth, glossy, and well groomed hair adds an extra half-yard to a player’s speed. If he can pass his expert knowledge of 1st Team grooming on to the U16s then in seven years we could have the fastest team ever seen.


Their hair will almost certainly improve under his guidance. Jokes aside I love Arteta hope he stays as a coach for years to come.


I remember Arteta talking about coping with being a captain while being out for majority of the time. I always thought he’s going to go into coaching considering how active and positive he seems as captain.

I don’t mind having him as captain at all, but I love the man so I’m biased.


The guy is pure class.


He really does seem like the kind of down to earth, determined and and astute character the Club should be looking to get involved in our coaching set up. I likr seeing our former players (sorry mikel) still active within the club, it has done Bayern, Ajax and many other clubs no harm at all


That should really say former great players. I.d shit if i saw Stepanovs come back to coach tje defence ?


Cygan – ultimate defense coach


Good for Mikel- and the U16’s!

He’s developed into quite a leader and that (along with learning the trade at the Arsenal) should put him in good stead for a career in coaching.


I hope he when he retires he transitions into our version of Pep Guardiola.

Bendtner's Ego

We picked him up on the tail-end of his career and he in turn lifted us up as well. He modified his style from an attacking player and winger to a holding midfielder who dictated the pace of our play.

Utmost professional and I hope we give him the chance to transition his career. The young players learn many things from him.

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