In the first half of Arsenal’s Papa John’s Trophy clash against AFC Wimbledon this week Tim Akinola produced an impressive display.
The midfielder, who was previously at Huddersfield Town, played some neat passes and also made some important interceptions.
However, he struggled in the second half. AFC Wimbledon seized upon disappointing control from Akinola to open the scoring, although it can be argued that goalkeeper Karl Hein shouldn’t have attempted to pass the ball to him in the first place given that he was surrounded by opposition players.
Akinola was booked in the aftermath of that goal and a little while later matters went from bad to worse as he was sent off.
The 19-year-old was penalised for a challenge and it was a questionable decision from the referee to award the foul. However, Akinola shouldn’t have reacted in the manner that he did as he petulantly kicked the ball away and was duly punished.
Given that red cards in the Papa John’s Trophy only apply to that competition and Arsenal are now out, Akinola will still be able to play for the U23s, so his progress won’t be heavily affected by the incident.
However, he will certainly have to learn from his mistakes and it is hoped that he can avoid similar events occurring in the future.
Akinola started slowly following his surprise move to Arsenal before gaining some momentum. It is important for him not to throw that away, and that he learns from the mistakes that he made.