Tuesday, December 7, 2021

McGuinness shows that persistence pays off

Mark McGuinness could have been forgiven for not being too optimistic with regards to his chances at Arsenal.

Last season he played just four times for the club at youth level, and, even though he missed a significant amount of games due to injury, he was often not called upon when fit.

The recent surprise signing of former Tottenham youngster Jonathan Dinzeyi has added to the considerable amount of competition for places at centre-back, but McGuinness received a major boost last night.

The Republic of Ireland U19 international, was amongst a host of youngsters included in the Arsenal squad to face MK Dons in a friendly.

McGuinness was brought on for the second half and he certainly seized his opportunity as he scored an emphatic header, while he also helped to ensure that Arsenal didn’t concede while he was on the pitch.

Even with Zech Medley out on loan, Arsenal still have the likes of Harry Clarke, Daniel Ballard and Dinzeyi to consider at U23 level and that is before we even get to the many first-team centre-backs.

However, it appears that, initially at least, Arsenal U23s could start the season by playing a three-man defence, which would boost McGuinness’ chances of being involved on a regular basis.

Tall and an impressive reader of the game, McGuinness helped Arsenal U18s to win the southern section title a couple of seasons ago and progressed to professional terms.

There have been suggestions that he could be sent out on loan this season and perhaps such a move could prove to be hugely beneficial to him.

The impact that McGuinness made against MK Dons, however, will certainly have boosted his profile and could lead to him enjoying a much more satisfying campaign than he did last season.

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

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Paul Roberts

Cracking header!

Johnny 4 Hats

Loved hearing from Jeorge on the podcast! More of that please Blogs. You’re doing gods work Mr Bird!


I’m always extra excited (that sounded dirtier than I meant it) when I hear Jeorge Bird on the podcast! I live hearing what youth prospects coming thru!


No pressure on the young lad, but that header last night reminded me of Tony Adams. Thumping!


It actually reminded me of lord bendtners goal against the spuds.

David C

Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud of that header. So powerful.

And really bad eggs...

When he scored, the commentator kept going on about him using the strength of his neck muscles to direct the ball. I guess I can see why from that picture. Damn!!


Is been a long tine since we had a player that can head a ball like that! It’s only a friendly but I hope he keeps up the good work.




Exactly. It reminded me of the old days. We don’t score goals like that anymore. Maybe we just had tons of space, because, you know.. MK Dons.. but still. That’s a real header by a big solid defender. Absolutely loved that!


Like Andrew, I just love a thumping header. Something so satisfying about it. That’s why Martinelli’s goal earlier in the season was one I enjoyed the most.


Just watched our new CB Gabriel score against PSG last year, Pepe with the assist. Not as thumping as our young lad McGuinnes though.



Text book header from Gaby! Down and into the side of the goal at pace. Near impossible to save for any goalie! Let’s hope we see lots of this with a change in the colour of those shorts from blue to white!!


Good news, let’s hope that our youngsters continue to be given a fair chance before any decision on their future with the club is made. Bringing on more of them is probably the way that the club will have to go as we can’t compete with the “usual suspects” in the transfer market, even a depressed one.

Mick Malthouse

He is a proper unit!


He can take over bodyguard duties for Mesut if Kola leaves!

Bai Blagoi

What I don’t understand is why he was wearing number 27 shirt — clearly a first team number.

Hail Gus!

Always nostalgic when no names on shirts. Those were the days.

Merlin’s Panini

It was a great header. Here’s hoping he can carry on his progress with us.
In other news, I’ve just seen a headline describing Bellerin as a “stalwart”. I don’t think that really applies just yet. He’s not old enough. Also I hate the word stalwart. It looks and sounds gross.

Toure Motors

With a total Irish bias, I would love to see this lad make a career at arsenal. It’s been too long since the majestic days of Eddie mcGoldrick (Graham Barrett doesn’t count)


Ah .. for the days when Eddie McGoldrick was our big summer signing.

Naked Cygan

I hope our center backs take a not from McGuinness on how to head a ball in an attacking position. I watched his goal 6 times.

Naked Cygan



Big Mac


Speaking of youngsters, anyone knows what happened to the promising young DM who played in a couple of games with the first team last season before getting injured?
I can’t remember his name (something like Burton?), but I remember I quite liked the way he played…


Robbie Burton – joined Croatian side Dinamo Zagren on a permanent. Shame to lose him as he was class.

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