Cottrell impresses as Arsenal U18s get first victory of the season against Aston Villa

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After a disappointing start to the season against Chelsea, Arsenal U18s secured their first victory of the campaign yesterday afternoon, and it was an emphatic win as they thrashed Aston Villa 5-1 away.

Miguel Azeez scored the pick of the goals, with the midfielder finding the net with a well-executed strike from distance, while substitute Alfie Matthews scored and Sam Greenwood added a penalty late on.

One of the standout players for Ken Gillard’s side was Ben Cottrell, with the midfielder, who signed his first professional contract recently, hitting a brace against Villa.

The previous night Cottrell had featured as a substitute for Arsenal U23s in their win against Brighton & Hove Albion, when he was deployed as a winger.

Against Villa, though, the 17-year-old reverted to his usual central midfield berth and captained the side as he delivered a composed performance which included him playing some excellent passes.

It is anticipated that Cottrell will flit between the U18 and U23 teams regularly, while also featuring in the newly rebranded Leasing.com Trophy.

Cottrell isn’t the tallest or strongest, which is perhaps why the club are easing him in slowly at U23 level, but he certainly possesses the technical qualities to make a major impact for the second-string.

The youngster is also becoming increasingly tactically aware, with his reading of the game having improved, leading to him making some well-timed interceptions.

Next up for the U18s is a trip to take on West Ham United, a side who have also won once and lost once so far this campaign.

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

 

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Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

Leasing.com trophy. Seriously?

Cygans Parting
Cygans Parting

Has it been named after the rogue trader that brought down Barings Bank??? 🤔😁

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

I have high hopes for Cottrell,I think he we will be a 1st team player in the next couple of seasons. Technically excellent, tenacious and an eye for goal. Only problem seems to be that we have ESR Nelson Willock John-Jules and Saka to also try and give game time to in attacking midfielder areas. Nice problem to have though

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

And I forgot about Trae Coyle too!

Goonereality
Goonereality

Let’s hope he gets a chance. Many are called but (very,very) few are chosen, so we’ll see who actually comes through.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

There are a few talented lads in the U18s. Also Azeez stands out (to me) as one of the best. Lets hope they can show that quality for the whole season.