They started off so well, with only one defeat until January. Now, the Arsenal under-18s have lost three successive games, all of which have been played at London Colney. So, what is going wrong? Well, it’s clear that the absence of the likes of Lansbury and Wilshere are key because they are the players that can turn a game around, as Lansbury showed against Burnley. Arsenal often come up against teams physically stronger than them, that knock them off the ball. Only a couple of players like Nacer Barazite and Emmanuel Frimpong have shown that they can sustain the pressure, whilst others just go flying too easily. In goal, Wojciech Szczesny can make some stunning saves but his communication with the rest of the team is poor and they don’t seem to work in tandem. Teams have found out ways to get around Arsenal, by exploiting the full-backs and by attacking from set-pieces. The next game is against Southampton on Saturday. Maybe I’m being too harsh, as the lads put in some excellent performances earlier on in the season. But now it is time to turn their season around, and that starts on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Mark Randall has said that he is impressed with Burnley’s style. It remains to be seen what will happen to him come the end of the season, but if he puts in a few decent performances in the Championship, then he might just force his way into Wenger’s thinking. He also had some interesting views on playing in the Reserves, saying
“I definitely wanted to come out on loan because playing too much in the reserves is not good, especially in the English league. I don’t think the reserve set-up is strong enough for the players.”
Thanks for reading and there’ll be more tomorrow.