Arsenal are known for having several England Youth internationals in their ranks but their are also several Gunners representing the Republic of Ireland- with goalkeeper Sean McDermott and midfielder Callum Webb being called into the Irish u-16 squad for the double-header with France last week.
McDermott, who is currently with Norwegian side Vag FK but is due to link up with the Gunners in the summer when he turns 16, kept goal as Les Bleus ran out 3-0 winners on Tuesday. Despite conceding three goals, McDermott ensured that the scoreline wasn’t any higher with some superb stops. He did well to block Yaya Sanogo’s testing effort and then guessed the right way when faced with an Anthony Koura but unfortunately couldn’t keep it out. Ibrahima Tandia and the aforementioned Sanogo then both got on to the scoresheet to extend the lead. Webb, a dictator of play in central-midfield and a late call-up to the squad, replaced Leicester’s Shane Byrne on 64 minutes.
It was a similar story when the two sides faced eachother again on Thursday, although Ireland did at least get on the scoresheet this time. Webb started the game in central-midfield whilst McDermott had to be content with a place on the bench. He watched on as Les Bleus raced into a 3-0 half-time lead with an Anthony Koura brace and a further strike from Geoffrey Komdogbia. McDermott replaced Alan Smith between the sticks on 57 minutes and Richard Bryans pulled one back for the hosts. However, Bryan then went from hero to zero as he inadvertenly coverted past McDermott for an own-goal. Jean-Christophe Bahebeck’s expertly-struck free-kick also got the better of McDermott, although Chris Lyons salvaged some pride with a late penalty. Webb watched the finale from the bench having been replaced by Byrne.