Youth football is inevitably focused more on the development of individuals rather than how teams perform as a unit, but winning is always a good habit to get into and Arsenal U23s are starting to excel in that regard.
Steve Bould’s side struggled for consistency in the early stages of the season but they have now won their last three games in succession, which included a 3-0 triumph against Villarreal in the Premier League International Cup last night.
What’s more, those three wins have come without Folarin Balogun, who was Arsenal U23s’ standout performer in the opening months of the campaign but is currently out injured.
Bould has managed to make his side more resilient at the back, with Harry Clarke marshalling the defence well and full-backs Zak Swanson and Tolaji Bola showing signs of improvement.
There are midfield options aplenty, with Matt Smith and Robbie Burton working well together, while wingers Trae Coyle and Nathan Tormey have both been amongst the goals of late.
The aforementioned players still have much work to do before they are anywhere near being ready to step up to the first-team on a regular basis, but it is encouraging that they are developing well, with the younger players in particular starting to find their feet at U23 level.
If Arsenal manage to secure qualification to the Europa League knockout stages tonight then there is a possibility that some members of the U23 squad could play a part in the final group stage fixture away to Standard Liege, which would be a suitable reward for their recent performances.