Arsenal U18s suffered a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup on Friday night, with Ken Gillard’s side exiting the prestigious competition at the quarter-finals stage despite Miguel Azeez’s penalty.
The young Gunners didn’t play particularly badly overall but they weren’t as ruthless as Liverpool and also made some costly defensive errors.
In addition, the absence of winger Omari Hutchinson, who missed out through injury, was keenly felt.
Although it was a disappointing night for Arsenal, there was one major positive to take from proceedings in the performance of Kido Taylor-Hart.
The 18-year-old has enjoyed an impressive season at youth level during which he has mainly featured for the U23s despite still being eligible to play for the U18s.
In recent weeks Taylor-Hart has often been deployed in the number ten position, but at Anfield he was back on the left wing and demonstrated his excellent technical ability as he caused problems for the Liverpool defence.
Taylor-Hart’s Arsenal future is still uncertain. His scholarship deal expires at the end of June and he has yet to commit to a professional deal, but if he does end up staying he certainly appears to be a player who is capable of progressing quite quickly.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird
I think we need a new rule to make top flight football more financially viable so that big clubs don’t go off and try to do stupid things in the future. Every premier league team has to field four academy graduates who are under 25 in their starting line up. This would make the game so much more exciting and stop teams spending £50m every time they wanted a new defender. The most exciting thing about football is watching an ESR or a Saka burst on to the scene. With a rule like that, we could be constantly able to… Read more »
There should be more of an incentive to bring up quality footballers in the academy and don’t just use them as value stocks or something like that. But saying under 25 years old won’t be useful. We will probably see things like in the Baltic, where they have a similar rule, they field 17 year olds and sub them after 17 seconds. But you are right, I think there should be a bigger emphasis of bringing up your own players.
Under 25 ? that means we maybe have to sell academy graduates to get young enough academy graduates into the team for every season. A rule for a minimum number AG in the squad ? Fine, but an age limit ? Thats not very clever.
And what if all 40 AG under 25 is injured, hypothetical off course, but it is just not reasonable.