Calamitous error sees under-18s lose North London derby

It is now mathematically impossible for Arsenal under-18s to retain the Premier Academy League title, an honour they had won in the previous two seasons, after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to their Tottenham Hotspur counterparts in a tempestuous encounter at Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, this morning.

Coach Steve Bould was forced to make several changes from the side that went down to Watford last week. Sean McDermott is on international duty and was replaced in goal by Reice Charles-Cook, whilst, with Martin Angha also absent, second-years Sead Hajrovic, Daniel Boateng and Jernade Meade came into defence, with the latter making his return from injury.

Charles Cook






subs: Vickers, Akpom, Hayden, Rees, Jebb.

After a sluggish start to the game which saw several full-throttle challenges committed, both sides struggled to create clear-cut openings early on. Kyle Ebecilio’s teasing cross from the left was well dealt with, whilst Zak Ansah was presented with a half-chance but couldn’t direct his effort on target.

Charles-Cook was then called into action after Jamie Edge was robbed in possession, with the goalkeeper doing well to parry from a Spurs breakaway. The hosts squandered a headed opportunity from the resultant corner.

At the other end, Sead Hajrovic did well to get forward down the right and picked out Ansah, but the striker, who was surprisingly omitted from the recent England under-17 squad, couldn’t exert enough power behind his effort.

The best chance of a fairly mundane opening period came when a neat sequence of passing culminated in Ebecilio curling a lashed effort into the side netting. Elton Monteiro did well to clear a potentially dangerous situation at the other end but, if truth be told, the first half was forgettable fodder.

The second period was considerably more sprightly, with both sides creating several attacking opportunities. Alban Bunjaku, who had been quiet up until that point, saw his corner punched away, with Jordan Wynter trickling the knock-down wide of the target.

Ebecilio then found Ansah, who had another shot parried, before Boateng was in action at both ends, first coming close to opening the scoring with a header before making a vital interception when Tottenham looked threatening.

Spurs had a couple of chances of their own, but neither really troubled Charles-Cook, whilst the nasty side to the game reared its head again when Tottenham felt a foul should have been awarded for a challenge by Meade. Play was waved on, and the Gunners very nearly capitalised, with both Ebecilio and Meade having shots blocked before Jeffrey Monakana fired wide.

Charles-Cook made a couple of simple saves, but Arsenal were creating plenty of chances of their own. Meade, who was dangerous going forward from left-back, picked out Wynter, who saw his effort pushed round the post. Then a fine move involving a Wynter back-heel and a cross from Hajrovic resulted in another chance for Bunjaku, but again he fired wide.

Bould responded by making a triple substitution. Josh Rees came on at right-back in place of Monteiro, with Hajrovic switching to centre-back, whilst Jack Jebb and Chuba Akpom, who were both mightily impressive for England under-16s in midweek, replaced Edge and Monakana.

Ebecilio received a yellow card for an exceptionally late challenge, before Tottenham proceeded to score the only goal of the game in bizarre fashion. Nothing seemed on when a long punt up field from the hosts saw the ball fall to Meade, but he headed the ball across the face of goal towards Boateng who, in turn, headed back towards Charles-Cook. It was a dangerous move and proved to be a costly one as a Spurs player stole in to score.

Boateng was visibly distraught and it was definitely a throwaway goal, but, up until that point, the defender had been one of Arsenal’s most promising players.

Meade then had to clear off the line when Kudos Oyenuga got the better of Charles-Cook, with the latter making a superb save shortly afterwards to prevent Arsenal from slipping further behind.

Jebb and Bunjaku, two of the most technically skilful players on the pitch, then combined, but the latter shot wide again. Arsenal then had a seemingly legitimate claim for a penalty turned down when Ebecilio’s cross appeared to hit an out-stretched arm, before Bunjaku and Ansah both had shots blocked.

Ansah came close with another effort, Meade had a free-kick saved and Bunjaku fired wide again after good skill from Akpom had conjured up an opportunity but, ultimately, this proved to be another example of an Arsenal side not taking their chances.

Player comments:

Reice Charles-Cook- Blame for the goal laid with his defenders, and made some important stops throughout.

Sead Hajrovic Seems more comfortable at right-back and got forward well early in second-half.

Daniel Boateng An impressive, sold performance up until his involvement in the farcical goal.

Elton Monteiro Some good interceptions but can appear too causal in possession.

Jernade Meade Left some gaps defensively, but dangerous going forward.

Jamie Edge Has improved technically but still dithers for too long in possession.

Jordan Wynter Made some important tackles and contributed to the attacking movement.

Kyle Ebecilio Caused several problems with good balls into the box.

Alban Bunjaku Involved in several good passages of play, but should have taken his chances.

Jeffrey Monakana Worked hard up front seeking openings, but only had one real chance.

Zak Ansah Good link up play, but could have been more clinical.


Josh Rees (for Monteiro) Added urgency at right-back, although didn’t get forward as much as he would have liked.

Jack Jebb (for Edge) Ability is plain to see, although couldn’t quite find the right pass on this occasion.

Chuba Akpom (for Monakana) Struggled to get into game, but one superb piece of skill after drifting out wide.


* Jeffrey scored twice as the under-16s beat Spurs 4-1.



  1. Good report Jeorge, looks like you were at the game? thats actually a pretty strong side so dissapointing result. Nice to see Jebb and Akpom rewarded for their performances.

    1. I make it 11 out of the 14 that can represent England. Do a bit of homework before critisising next time please.

      1. Manuel almunia can represent england so whats your point? How many of those were born in england is a better gage. Are we grooming another generation of “please dont tackle me hard its not fair” type players?

      1. Ooh. Sensitive little fellow aren’t you. Beat your France ‘B’ team 2-3 at the immigrants as well. Mug.

  2. Jeorge do you think the U18s will be better with the Barca kid Harper and the 2 German signings as well will all play for U18s with Jebb and Akpom starting more as well. And Bunjaku as well?

    1. they should win more games next season as many of the players will be more experienced. The new foreign signings will take time to settle and will be bedded in slowly, probably starting in the under-16s first, but should be regulars by the end of next season. This under-18 team contains some good individual players but, as a team, they just do not seem to click at the moment.

  3. fair play to the lads it looked like they turned in a hard working decent performance but just unfortunately lost to an ‘arsenal like’ defensive error

  4. Thanks. Remarkable individual talent coming through. I am sure Jeorge’s right that they need to play better as a team. I wonder if not having a truly dominant (18-19 year old) play-maker like Aneke or Emmanuel Thomas wouldn’t make the difference. That way the rest of the lads could focus on playing as a squad rather than individually trying to force things. They could leave the odd moment of brilliance to the play maker and keep it tight, and then — once the game opens up (either b/c the defense is tired or overcompensating for that play maker) — the other talented players could then make something happen – presto 3-0 just like two years ago. Just opinionat-ing after reading match reports on U-18 for the last 3 years.

    1. I know very silly but what do we expect. The first time they beat us THEY PUT OUT A DVD with a gold cover (Mugs). If thats the Arsenal went my house would crammed full of DVDs but then again we are not the classless spuds. spuds bout to find out what Europe means. No CL next year, and no money but yeah you are doing just great.

      1. Who did you get in the round of the champions league? Oh no, you’re not in it are you. What a silly little boy you are.

  5. The U18s should be much stronger next season, many are still young and it doesn’t help that we have so many players out on loan and some of the best U18s are needed for the Reserves. I agree with Sam, at this level just having one special player can make all the difference. Next season the U18s might have a handful of special guys with Jebb, Toral and Gnabry.

    Off topic: what a goal from Botelho! Playing at left-back, he intercepted a loose pass in his own half, took it all the way into the penalty box and slides it under the ‘keeper. All his own work, and made to look so simple.

  6. Josh Victers, who is he, a goalkeeper or what, could someone inform me? Thanks.

    Austin Lipman, Will he be given a contract or a scholarship, what’s the latest on him.

  7. Enjoyed your report – I’ll be writing one from the Spurs perspective tomorrow morning.

    I actually thought Edge was one of your better players, and was quite surprised when he was taken off.

    The game was quite even, but I felt Spurs had the two best chances (McBride header unmarked and McBride again volleyed over when the ball was headed down to him in the 6-yard box).

    Arsenal’s approach play was often pleasing on the eye, but they lacked cutting edge – partially due to the good performances of the Spurs centre backs.

  8. I was at the game 1st half bunjaku was quiet but 2nd hald he was immense he lit the game up missed some chances but made the chances for himself on one occasion doing 3 one two’s goin forward in to the box and technically dont compare anyone to him coz he is levels above anyone i’ve seen at he’s age believe me. Sead hajrovic was solid in right back and winter done very well aswell.

  9. All these half cocks on here chirping make me laugh, one season in the Champions League and one win on our turf in 17 years. When you have done 14 consecutive seasons in the Champions League and won the title TWICE at our ground then and only then will you have something worth chirping about. In a few weeks you will be out of the Champions League and hoping Man Utd win the FA Cup so that you can qualify for the Europa League, that is a measure of how great your season is and how far you have come.

    1. It may be one season, time will tell, but we’ve got further than you, and it took you three seasons to even get out of your group from when you first entered the competition let alone reach at least the quarter finals. You goonies really are foolish fellows who ain’t won shit in years.

      1. Hey I do not like you. Your logic is crap. AFC has the most consistent CL CV in England, it is fact. You made it great, good. You will not be there next year so it does not matter. You have helped the English CL composite, so thanks. How can you talk so much crap? Do it ten years in a row, or when the league. The rest is pure tosh. So in closing I do not like you, you do not use any logic in your comments and you are spoiled spud.
        @ the person who made Jew comment. That was tired, stupid, and racist. I did not comment on it originally. I figured it was some 16 year old on mommies computer. I do not feel that way and I bet 99.9% of regular posters here do not either.
        This also a youth forum (which you pathetic spud made me forget).
        back to business…. Wellington will receive WP before the start of season.

  10. afc :Look at these sad little spurs fans actually getting excited at the result hahahaha Jews

    Is that you Holocaust Denier? Changed your name? I was wondering what happened to you.

    1. Yes, I noticed that blatantly racist comment yesterday. Obviously endorsed by this site otherwise it wouldn’t still be carrying it. Shockingly ignorant, especially from a ‘fan’ of a club like arsenal who have had more black and foreign players than most clubs.

  11. Parks :I make it 11 out of the 14 that can represent England. Do a bit of homework before critisising next time please.

    Interestingly he said English “names”.Not players eligible for England.

  12. Jeorge big fan of your blog its great to read. Chuks Aneke only 17 why does he not play in U-18s I know he starts for reserves but an extra game would not hurt him. I know he was injured by Wilshere in training and missed the last reserve game. Which he could help the U18s start winning again? Cant wait to read your new posts on Arsenal Reserves Vs Wigan Reserves next Tuesday. And Afobe Huddlesfield live of skysports at 4.

  13. Chandler. I don’t like you either. You’re gooner scum. Just about as low as you can get. Only a tad higher up the scale from that racist fool. And by the way, logic and fact are different things. That’s a fact. Oh yeah, your grammar and spelling is shocking too.

    1. oh shut up, gooner scum? arsenal fans are no better or worse than tottenham fans, it just happens we support a better club

      1. If youre the better club then why are 5th whilst were 2nd. Your a small club with no international presence a shit stadium and an overhyped history. Your only in the 1/4 finals of the CL because youve played a washed up AC milan team in the last round who anyone could of beaten. Weve had more success, more fans and will always have a better team and we never make a fuss over beating you beating because arsenal fans are too used to it, remember when fab ran through your whole team and scored that goal straight after kick-off! You will never be seen as a big club and will forever get snubbed by top player with guiseppe rossi being the latest in line to do so..

    2. agreed, but i am rich and running businesses, so I really do not care.
      Good luck and hold Ole ‘erry accountable when it is done

  14. Stoney :

    Ooh. Sensitive little fellow aren’t you. Beat your France ‘B’ team 2-3 at the immigrants as well. Mug.

    Mate it was like the first time you beat in like 3 seasons but i bet your gonna make a dvd of that now arent you

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