Positives to take for Arsenal despite Youth Cup exit

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Arsenal saw their hopes of winning the FA Youth Cup come to an end against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but there were still some positives to take from proceedings for Ken Gillard’s side.

Winger Bukayo Saka, the most high profile member of the team, was a constant threat to the West Brom defence, even though he perhaps should have ended the game with more than one goal.

On the other flank, meanwhile, Xavier Amaechi continued to enhance his reputation and there is an argument to suggest that he is perhaps more ready for first-team involvement at present than Saka is.

Possessing speed and flair in abundance, Amaechi is an extremely difficult player to defend against, as he has proven on numerous occasions for both the U23s and the U18s.

It is a shame that a player of his quality won’t get to win the Youth Cup – he will be too old to play in the competition next year – but Amaechi is certainly ready to push on and perhaps make his senior debut next season.

There were some elements of concern for Arsenal in the 2-1 defeat to West Brom, especially defensively.

Matt Smith partnered James Olayinka at the base of the midfield but neither player was able to provide the requisite protection to the back four.

The defence didn’t help themselves, though, and Gillard’s decision to drop Vontae Daley-Campbell and bring in Joel Lopez at left-back, with Zak Swanson moving across to right-back, certainly didn’t have the desired effect.

Arsenal missed the presence of the injured Bayli Spencer-Adams at the heart of the defence and were vulnerable to West Brom’s quick breaks downfield.

The young Gunners will now have to turn their attention to their league fixtures, where they are competing with Tottenham Hotspur for the title.

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

 

 

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Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Great to see so many attacking prospects coming through.Time is just right for them as well considering our current options out wide.
If we don’t have at least one of Nelson,Smith-rowe,Saka and Amaechi starting there for us regularly in a couple years time I’ll be gutted really.

Kinghenrythe14th
Kinghenrythe14th

The defence didn’t help themselves, though… Lol

Story of our lives. The unending circle of calamitous defending continues then

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

Jeorge,
It isn’t proper to use such derogatory language as a writer. There are young kids that read this blog for goodness sake.

Tottenh*am Hotsp*r is preferred.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Ah the defence is a weak spot – you do surprise me ☹️

allezkev
allezkev

Arsenal used to have a rich tradition of developing quality center backs through it’s academy, but seem to have lost that particular art in recent years, I’m not sure why, be it coaching or scouting or just bad luck? Even Zach Medley was developed at Chelsea initially before joining Arsenal. The last one we brought through from schoolboy was probably Scott Marshall?

Santori
Santori

As Wenger mentions though, “everyone thinks he has the prettiest wife”

As much as we have promise in our Academy, so do some other teams.

The positives is we have some good Academy graduates in the first team performing well.

Both have positives and negatives.

1) Iwobi – much of our best comes down the left between him and Kolasinac attackwise. He scored his goal from right side ironically but he is better inverted on the left for some reason.

Still to improve his decision making and his shots at goal. Could have got a second but insipid effort straight at keeper instead.

But made some excellent play to bring players in with a back heel to Lacazette particularly memorable first half. Not surprising bc last 2 or 3 matches, even when he has not scored he was key in passing through to provide us with the opportunity for 2 goals at very least.

2) AMN – the good point about him is he is relaxed when he plays. The bad part of him is he is relaxed. Too relaxed. Some sloppy balls but we know he will make mistakes and he will learn. Physically he is superb and when he loses the ball he has great recovery strength.

Again both our goals came from the wingbacks including Kolasinac and AMN.

Wish Nelson was kept within the squad this season as well to balance out our right.

Santori
Santori

Thanks to City, (Arsenal players should be watching how they play), we are level with Chelsea and 1 point off United.

We need to take this as a gift (opportunity) and drive ourselves forward.

Don’t believe the pundits, we are very much in the race for top 4 trophy.

Catching Spurts is a bit more of a long shot but if we can sort ourselves quickly (IN MIDFIELD but as a whole, defense a given), we can take what Wenger was once derided for.

And there is still europa.