Wednesday, July 24, 2024

“No issues with Arsenal” – Portsmouth downplay Azeez concerns

Miguel Azeez might have less than 90 minutes of football under his belt since joining Portsmouth on loan but manager Danny Cowley insists Arsenal are supportive of the way the 19-year-old is being utilised.

Azeez made just his second Pompey appearance in Tuesday night’s draw with Cheltenham Town, a 17-minute cameo off the bench, having not featured for the League One side since September.

Reports have suggested that the Gunners could pull the plug on the loan deal – something we’ve done before when players haven’t been played – but Cowley maintains his relationship with his Premier League overlords remains on a firm footing.

Fielding questions from local publication The News, he said: “I thought Miguel was bright against Cheltenham.

“He has worked really hard on his game behind the scenes, it’s so different to the football he knows. He’s been trying to build up physically, and build his intensity and combativeness.

“He earned it last night. Reeco [Hackett-Fairchild] was tired and it was an opportunity for him to come in and impact the team.

“There have been no issues with Arsenal. We speak to them regularly, we have very good dialogue with them and a very good relationship.

“They know we are working really, really hard with Miguel and I think they believe this has been a brilliant loan for him to this point.

“They trust me and know we are desperate for Miguel to be a success here, that’s why we have brought him in.

“We are also respectful that he’s only a young boy – aged 19 – and has never seen this level of football before. He’s just learning and working out how he can use his skill set and be effective at this level.”

Arsenal’s trust in Cowley stems from the way he nurtured Emile Smith Rowe during the midfielder’s six-month stint with the club in 2020.

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The Azeez!


Bless you!

Mr November

I have high hopes for Azeez but I trust Cowley here. It would be good for his development to fight his way into the team. If in January he’s still not seeing many minutes then we can look at recalling him.


Oh Miguel, I hope you can Hackett Fairchild, I have high hopes for you

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild sounds like a Game of Thrones character.


Wouldn’t he be better off doing his strength work at Colney?

The 49th Partey

This story reminds me of the Reese situation. It’s almost as if our young players are being readied by passing them through fire so they come out golden on the other side, like Emile. To take these kids away from posh London to all these gritty destinations and then give the trusted managers the licence to push them hard towards their peak, must feel to them more like a push off the cliff. But that is the exact point where mentality grows. Just look at the beast Saliba is becoming, I bet at a point like Azeez right now, he… Read more »

The Beast

Lucky for Emile he was taken away from the notoriously posh Croydon then


To be pedantic, it was when Cowley was at Huddersfield that he managed Smith-Rowe, not Portsmouth.


Feels like a concern in general at Arsenal. Several managers commented that the Arsenal loanees are not ready physically to play in the loan clubs. Nelson, Moller, now Azeez. And I’ve seen multiple games this season our first team can’t maintain the intensity over 90 minutes. There is no doubt they have the skills and intelligence, but it will be hard to win games if they don’t have the physicality to deliver.


He’s 19 years old and playing in a physical league, the whole point of the loan is to give him the experience. I’d rather Cowley took time and care with him than throw him in so he gets injured and loses confidence. Most young players go through a stage of getting injured at that age, Smith Rowe was an example, Saka has been an exception. Moller is still only 19 so the same applies, it takes a while for the body to adapt to men’s football.


Great comment. All phase of development take place in stages

Alan Sunderland

19 year olds in general can’t play central midfield in the premier league with a few notable exceptions. What are you all basing this azeez

The Beast

That’s the point of these loan moves though. No one expects a teenager playing under 18/23 football to match up physically with grown men, regardless of skill level. This is their chance to get that opportunity & sometimes that cant be rushed.


I highly doubt Arsenal think this has been “a brilliant loan”, they may be satisfied but come on.


There are multiple sides in player development and playing minutes is just one of them. Training hardest and earing the right to start is primary.


I get that, but still think brilliant is overselling it.

Alan Sunderland

He’s 19 and obviously not ready for a higher standard of football. You think arteta watched him in preseason and thought we could play him in January but no I’ll send him to Portsmouth instead.


Premier League overlords…!

Teryima Adi

Sounds like a fiefdom.

Mikels Arteta

Our u23s appear to struggle with the physicality that comes with first team football, no matter the level

U23s should be scrapped. Bring back reserve team football. Get these lads playing against experienced players on a more regular basis before going out on loan


The better cooperate or else we won’t loan them more of our players Azeezily

Teryima Adi

Azeez is one for the future. I believe he’d come good.


Professional footballers need to constantly reinvent themselves.

The end goal isn’t to make it into the first team, it’s just to consistently improve. I’m sure he will get past this first hurdle and keep going


Switch Aseez and Gabriel Martinelli for a change of scenery?🤣 Maybe a better effort at genuine player rotation would do both players some good. If they are so far behind the players on the field that they cannot rotate with them what are they doing there in the first place? It is better coaching that we need! Last year Saka, in particular, and others were played to exhaustion and other players particularly Martinelli sat on the bench. ARTETA says Partey, after injury, needs playing time to get match fit and Martinelli is to bide his time on the bench while… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Martinelli is far too advanced for League One.

I suspect we’ll see more of Martinelli in January when Pepe and Auba are at the AFCON.

Laca will step in for Auba but with the games coming thick and fast (League cup semi’s, early FA Cup rounds), Laca’s energy won’t last the 90 minutes every three days, Martinelli/Nketiah should see more minutes.

The Beast

Martinelli’s made 7 appearances so far this season. At least have a quick google before going on nonsensical rants.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

And Martinelli has scored only one goal less than Harry Kane in the Premier League this season.

Cranky Colin

If he nurtured ESR, then I love and trust him this man they call Danny Crowley.

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