Arsenal U23s starting to excel under Bould’s guidance

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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.

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

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Goonerific
Goonerific

What if, just what if, Steve Bould wasn’t the problem with the defence after all???

GMR
GMR

I’m not sure how many times it has to be repeated, but Steve Bould was never the defensive coach. He never wanted to be assistant manager either, he was virtually forced into it. It was also his idea to swap with ljungberg last summer.

Goonerrific
Goonerrific

That was the point of my comment mate – years of people slaying him for the defence being poor…

Steve
Steve

It proves one thing, put the right man in the right job and….bingo, things start to turn around….
BOARD TAKE NOTE…

Frank
Frank

Is Dinos still playing for the U23’s? If so any news on how he’s doing? I still have a hope that he’s a Sven finding that will turn out to be a gem despite some iffy moments in his Arsenal career so far

T.A.
T.A.

A couple of months ago I came back to London and since I couldn’t make it to the Watford match (thank goodness for that) I went to see the U23’s vs Everton. It was one of the most enjoyable matches I ever attended. Not quite like the old Highbury days but the level of play was good, the support was great and there was something just more authentic and familiar. I think the U23’s are much more deserving of our support than the 1st team.

OdalGooner
OdalGooner

Don’t forget the girls! I watched a few international matches, and it was quite enjoyable. Sure, the technical level wasn’t exactly stellar – but it was somehow refreshingly honest and entertaining.

Grumbleduke
Grumbleduke

I’ll put my hand up and admit I was one of the grumblers about Steve Bould and our defensive inadequacies. Happy to be proved wrong on this and looks like he’ll be a great benefit to the progress of the future Arsenal.

G-Man
G-Man

Good. Very good. Nice. A fan is happy.