Clarke benefits from playing with first-team defenders

22

Harry Clarke has yet to make a first-team appearance for Arsenal, but the talented young defender has already gained valuable experience of playing alongside senior stars.

In recent weeks at U23 level, Clarke has played with Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos, something which will surely stand him in good stead in his quest to eventually make the breakthrough at the club.

The centre-back has also taken advantage of Zech Medley’s injury to get much playing time in the early weeks of the season and has produced some encouraging performances, which have included him making timely interceptions with regularity.

With a host of players ahead of him in the pecking order, it seems unlikely that Clarke will get a look in for the first-team this season, but next campaign he could well have a chance of featuring in the Carabao Cup and perhaps the Europa League.

Signed from Ipswich Town as a schoolboy, Clarke is capable of playing in midfield or at right-back, but he has now settled at centre-back and helped Arsenal U18s to win the southern section title last season.

Now a fully-fledged member of the U23 side, he has demonstrated that he possesses natural leadership skills and has also proved adept at helping to start attacks with precisely-weighted passes.

Clarke will now be looking to continue to gain as much experience as possible at U23 level as he aims to improve further.

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

22
Leave a Reply

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Cygans Parting
Cygans Parting

Thank the lord that he hasn’t played along side Sokratis, Mustafi or David Luiz yet!

C.B.
C.B.

Always useful to see what not to do…

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

Hey, Mustafi was in the team that kept it’s only clean sheet since opening day!!

Are Sokratis or Luiz any better than Mustafi? I’m not so sure. Statistically better than £75m Van Dijk & £85m Maguire last season 😳

C.B.
C.B.

Which stats?

Reality check
Reality check
C.B.
C.B.

Interesting and show Maguire isn’t worth that much.

The link also says: However, Arsenal fans are unlikely to be swayed by the statistics, after a spate of errors led to crucial goals shipped last season as the Gunners missed out on a spot in the Champions League.

Reality check
Reality check
C.B.
C.B.

No player has successfully dribbled past Van Dijk in the last 12 MONTHS, but nine have skipped past Mustafi. Per your link.

Reality check
Reality check

The stats don’t prove Mustafi is a great defender but the stats do point to a much wider problem. They show that Mustafi is a highly active, front footed defender making considerably more tackles and interceptions than many of his colleagues, so when he misses one and there is no one to cover him, we get screwed. His numbers also show that he has to contribute defensively quite a bit. Our defense is put under pressure a lot more than other defenses. There is a reason he’s not in the team but things are still the same, worse if you consider that more then a year has gone by without any defensive improvement.

C.B.
C.B.

It’s a good point, if Vieira and Petit or Gilberto played in front of him I’m sure he would be regarded differently.

Xhaka wouldn’t my choice to play behind if I were a C.B.

Reality check
Reality check

Loll.. You just mentioned 3 world cup winners, how audacious of you.. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to buy them after the tournament. Xhaka is very much like Petit who thrived next to a beast of a midfielder that Vieira was. He was a perfect bob-to-box midfielder. We have failed to replace not just his footballing ability but his leadership too. He use to tackle, win the ball, pass it forward or carry it himself. He was an alpha male who looked after his pack but also made sure they do their job properly or.. ask Anelka.. loll. There aren’t many people in the world that have earned the respect of a nutter like Roy Keane.
Sure a competent DM will improve our defensive setup but the system and personal Emery plays will still need to be looked at. He insists on playing two ball hogging play-makers (Xhaka and Guendouzi) together who are also suspect defensively. The defensive balance is totally lost when you add an AM in Ceballos or Ozil instead of a more defensive minded player. This often results in conceding open spaces in our final third which the opposition uses to torment our defense.

C.B.
C.B.

Some good points but Petit was a lot better than Xhaka. And Guendouzi is doing great for a 20 year old.

Alex
Alex

Our Pepe did.

Man Manny
Man Manny

Keep that young man as far away from our current CB pairing, please.

Boom Saka Laca
Boom Saka Laca

Our U23 defence seems to have considerably more quality than our first-team one!

Santori
Santori

What gives you that false impression?

We ship goals at U23 too.

In fact if you bother to watch the matches, Holding was responsible for two of those goals in recent games.

Gooner95
Gooner95

“next campaign he could well have a chance of featuring in the Carabao Cup and perhaps the Europa League”. Jeorge bird has already lost all confidence in Unai Eemery

PeteyB
PeteyB

I noticed that too. To be fair Jeorge’s heroes in the academy probably gain the most from our Europa league mediocrity

BKK Gooner
BKK Gooner

So you think we’ll play in EL next season?

Santori
Santori

I expect we will rotate heavily for Forest.

BUT not sure if we will risk a green Cback.

……………………..JohnJules……………………….
Nelson………………………………………Martinelli
………………………Ozil……………………………..
………….Willock……………Torreira……………….
Tierney………………………………………..Bellerin
…………….Holding…….Mustafi……………………
…………………….Macey…………………………….

As much as some like to imagine things, none of the young Cbacks including Medley or Mavropanos are as good as Mustafi even.

Saliba (IMO we over paid for) and is unavailable. Again a risky buy with only 19 senior games last season under his belt.

We mucked up in the summer.

We really needed to put main resources into the Cback.

Instead Sanlehi brought the wow factor with Pepe. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the signing but we could have had close to equal output with a cheaper Ziyech or Fekir and then channeled the money into the Cback.

The intention was instead again to cut corners and extend on Koscielny yet another season too long. he did us the favour and decided not to carry on.

BUT we had committed to Saliba for some inextricable reason. Even in installments, we were looking at at least 25m out for Saliba and Pepe (Eventually 99m)

When you add our panic buy Sideshowbob at 8m, that’s 33m.

Add on Tierney (also IMO a decent signing but one we could have waited on) at 25m, that brings the total up to 58m which we could have used to got a more complete answer at the back.

Either of the Liepzig pair of more ready made youngsters (at 20yrs) Upamecano or Konate would have been fine. Or maybe Adama Soumano from LOSC.

They were fishing for a high price but had redundancy to sell plus we could have been aggressive sent Mavropanos on loan their way (to learn the dark arts of defending, Liepzig having conceded a mere 21 goals all last season)

Maybe even offered Mhkitaryan as make weight (The German side more lacking going forward)

Instead we had the usual fans who prefer to see what they want to believe (currently its Granit the scapegoat), trumpet Luiz like he was a great plan all along other than being the new Squillaci.

As mentioned, our summer was mixed. Sanlehi got away with it with the high spend on Pepe pulling the wool over the all too ready to be fooled fanbase.

We could have IMO allocated resource better and addressed key problems still NOT fixed at cback.

Spursarewank

Santori RINSING continues

Spursarewank

Also “Saliba who we overpaid for.” Well great analysis and conclusion of an 18 year old who has yet to play a single game for the club