Sunday, January 16, 2022

Arsenal U18s face final test against Derby

It required much hard work for Arsenal U18s to be crowned champions of the southern section, but their season isn’t over yet, with Ken Gillard’s side now set to face Derby County as they bid to become the overall league winners.

Derby will have home advantage, with the game taking place at Pride Park tomorrow night, but Arsenal will be determined to prevail and they certainly possess the quality to do so.

Arsenal will be without the services of Sam Greenwood and Miguel Azeez, who are representing England at the U17 European Championships, but they could have some excellent replacements, with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Xavier Amaechi in line to feature given that the U23s have already concluded their campaign.

Tyreece John-Jules, who has flitted between the U18 and U23 squads in recent months, may also be called upon as Arsenal look to win the overall title for the first time in nine years.

It could be a final appearance in an Arsenal shirt for right-back Vontae Daley-Campbell, who was offered a professional contract a year ago but has still yet to sign it amidst interest from other clubs.

Daley-Campbell forms part of what has been a resilient back four for Arsenal recently, with centre-backs Mark McGuinness and Harry Clarke working effectively together, while Zak Swanson has filled in admirably at left-back.

In midfield Arsenal must wait and see whether Ben Cottrell, who suffered an injury in the title-clinching game against Fulham, will be available.

Gillard also has a significant selection decision to make in goal. Tom Smith has been excellent of late, but Arthur Okonkwo, who has caught the eye at U23 level, is available again.

Whoever features, Arsenal know they will face an extremely difficult task against a very talented Derby team. It will be an intriguing encounter, but Gillard’s side have already overcome many hurdles to get to this stage and should be able to secure victory.

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


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Cygans Parting

Are the club going to show the match live on Arsenal Player???
It would be great to see what a successful Arsenal defensive unit coupled with a dynamic midfield and a potent attack looks like after the first teams shambolic league form of late.

Crash Fistfight

Watch the women’s team.


Hi Jeorge.

I wonder if you could do a season’s round-up on our loan players. Youtube reels of Krystian Bielik and Nwakali make them look better than Xhaka in midfield and we could be served better if we can re-integrate these young gunners with massive talent into our first team.

Chambers might have played well, but he isn’t as aggressive as Bielik in central midfield. We apparently have a beast of a player on loan. I would like to hear your thoughts.

Faisal Narrage

He does it every season, so I don’t imagine it will be different this time.
I always look forward to his loan reports.


Nice try hope for better luck next time..

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