U-18s end season with win but miss out on title

Arsenal under-18s concluded their season with a deserved 2-0 victory away to Birmingham City today, but results elsewhere dictated that Steve Bould’s side are now unable to top Premier Academy League Group A.

A goal in either half from Philip Roberts, who reached double figures for the season, and the improving Kyle Ebecilio, gave Arsenal the win and, on the whole, Bould will reflect on a significantly more consistent campaign than last year.

Goalkeeper Sean McDermott returned from his loan spell at Leeds United to start in goal in what could be his last game for the club, whilst Bould made just two other changes from last time out, with Hector Bellerin and Zach Fagan coming into the side.






subs: Charles-Cook, Glasgow, Akpom, Jebb.



  1. Next season should better keen 2 c more of akpom jebb vickers brandon lipman siemann iwobi & possibly jordan brow offload secondyrs monakana wynter bunjaku campbell glasgow & neita

  2. I know this isn’t a first team blog, but finally, FINALLY, Aaron Ramsey ran the second half against Chelsea!!! Did you see those passes??? Simply Arteta like!!! I always believed in him and would never have thought of abusing him. I’m just so happy to see that. I never said a bad word about him and I think he along with Wilshere and Song will be our midfield of the future!!! I can’t wait to see Coquelin come back as well!!! He could force Song or Frimpong out of that defensive midfield spot, he has that much talent!!! I know that he lost the ball a tonne in the first half, but Aaron really knuckled down in the second half. I know we drew, but Spuds lost and who knows how well Newcastle will do in the next few matches??? SOOOOOOOOOOO happy for Aaron though!!! He still has some things to work on, but something clicked in that second half!!! It was partly due to the tactics and substitutions but he did the hard part and he just played football the way we know he can. Come on Aaron, Come on Arsenal!!! Now I can go back to worrying about the reserves and youth teams!!! Please don’t yell at me…I am aware that this blog is about the youth teams and reserves!!!

    1. man i agree with you 100% but people are still slagging him off. I went to the game today but you should have seen how the people behind and on my left were chastising him and sighed every time he received the ball. I was so ashamed but couldn’t say anything. At least they didn’t boo him though!

    2. Spot on rambo was arsenal mom and like u i hate detest the ramsey haters. Well out of order abusing a 21 year old kid even denilson didnt deserve the stick he took.

      1. I have to withdraw that motm award for rambo i clearly forgot how good koscielny was yesterday. but nevertheless ramsey superb

      2. Yh i agree with you alot of Arsenal fans are really have a go at Ramsey and yes Denilson didn’t deserve what he got. People forget what he did against Barcelona.

  3. Well I hope they remembered how well Ramsey played, and figure out that he will be a class player!!! I can’t find Jordan Brown’s statistics anywhere, but that’s because he’s probably in a young enough age group, where they don’t record statistics just to protect the players. Good luck trying to find them LSOE. You might know someone who might know though??? Don’t know…

    1. Ramsey play well in the second half because he was moved forward. He cannot play Arteta’s role. He does not have the discipline or football’s brain to do it. Arsene Wenter tried that formula and he was forced to changed it at half time. The problem is that we then had to move Rosicky who was our best player. He had a decent second half, but IMHO a fully fit Roicky (which was not the case) is a better option.
      Ramsey is a box to box player in a team that does not play that style. In a ManUnited or Chelsea team he would be perfect. In an Arsenal team he disrupt the natural flow.
      I hope to see Coquelin in Arteta’s role associated with Song. That could be a much more balance combination.

      1. Ramsey wasnt moved forward the play just dictated that. he played the arteta role and played it well and next season that is where his future lies. unfortunately for him that is also where arteta and wilshire will be competing. song mvila coquelin for the dm role with frimpong injured then going on loan. arteta wilshire ramsey for the cm role and rosicky diaby lansbury for the am role unless we sign someone then lansbury can take another loan spell.

      2. @ valentin
        so glad u arent the manager

        sure coquelin and song might suit us in some european games but that is far to defensive for my liking and would only work if the am was someone like chamberlain or please god hazard.

      3. Atid, I have now watched the game on French and English TV, guess what both set of commentators made the same point than me. Ramsey was moved forward, Oxlade Chamberlain playing more centrally and Rosicky shunted a little on the side.
        When Diaby was introduced, he stayed deep and played the Arteta’s role. We improved because straight away as we played ten yards further up as everybody else knew that there was somebody to cover in case of counterattack. If you have not been able to immediately spot that, then you should stop passing judgement on other people posts. Btw name calling other people instead of arguing your point does not show in a very good light.
        Regarding Coquelin, having seen play for Lorient last year, he is not the typical defensive midfield player a la Makelele who does not venture beyond the half line. Yes he is disciplined, yes he can tackle, but he can attack. His passing is crisp and accurate. One of his quality is the quick switch of play, which is exactly what Lorient had been missing this season.

      4. Who is name calling?

        all entitled to our opinions and in mine it was not a tactical change it was chelseas withdrawal into their own half that brought the play forward.

        for the record i think coquelin is a superb player and would like to see him in contention more.

    2. Just by casual observation Brown does seem to score most times. But the u18s next season will be a clearer indication if he has the quality as well as the goals. From what I’ve seen of him so far he does seem to have more idea than the Liverpool signing Sinclair.

  4. I don’t know what you were looking at Valentin…Yes Ramsey was pushed higher up the pitch, BUT he still tracked back and initiated play from the midfield!!! Some of his passes were pure Arteta-like in the second half!!! No he isn’t the same player, but I thought he played REALLY well in the second half and I hope he can build on this performance. And how does he not have the brain to play Arteta’s role??? How can you assume a person isn’t smart enough to do something when you haven’t even talked to them and probably never will. He spread the play well 4 or 5 times like Arteta, he broke play up a couple of times like Arteta, and he found the forwards consistently in the second half. He’s more than a box to box midfielder, and you all will see this next season, or maybe even this one. Lampard and Gerrard couldn’t even dream of conjuring up and assist like the one he provided for Gervinho against Stoke, and some of his passes today were over 40 yards in length!!! Doesn’t sound or look like merely a box to box player to me…I could be way off though. Alex, how did you find out Jordan Brown’s stats for the year??? I couldn’t find them to save my soul!!!

    1. Milo, don’t make assumption on who I have or not met. I have met Aaron Ramsey, and he is a nice lad. Being intelligent outside the pitch does not make you a great footballer. Senderos is funny, clever, well read but on the pitch he does not naturally sense danger.
      Football intelligence is not the same than intelligence or cultural education. You can get it with experience, but some players have it naturally. Gascogne had football intelligence but nobody would call him clever outside a football pitch. The ability to spot danger or knowing where to go or be to stop the opposition is what is important on a football pitch.

      IMHO Ramsey does not have that YET. He is all action box to box player with great technique, and great passing ability, but the Arteta’s role require also some other qualities that until now he has not shown. In a 4-5-1, 4-3-3 formation teams tend to have an enforcer and a hoarder/hub pass master in the centre of midfield.
      Liverpool used to have Mascherano and Alonso. ManUnited used to have Keane and Scholes. Newcastle have Tiote and Cabaye. Barcelona have Busquets and Iniesta.
      When deep the hoarder/hub master cannot lose the ball otherwise he immediately put his team in difficulty. In the first half, Ramsey kept losing possession in dangerous places. He was not aware when somebody was trying to sneak behind him. Arteta’s is rarely dispossessed in these situations. There is a time and a place for when hanging to the ball, play the Hollywood pass. He modelled his game on Steven Gerrard, unfortunately for him that style of play Roy of rovers all action is not in fashion anymore. Until he adapts his game, he will be a sub to Arteta, Diaby or Wilshere.
      Regarding tracking, Ramsey tracks the first ten yards, but then he nearly always let his man go and venture unmarked in the defence. Both song and Vermaelen had a go at him because of that. The number of time, Wenger or Pat Rice gets infuriated by that.
      He played well in the second half, because Oxlade (who is getting experience on the wing, but will end up there) then Diaby played centrally and deeper.
      The Arteta’s role is much more complicated tactically than it appears. That why people tend to dismiss footballers who play in that role. Remember how Gilberto Silva was castigated by fans, until he was injured and suddenly they could see the Gilberto shaped hole in our midfield. Even Fabregas said that at Barcelona he realised that he was not as tactically aware than he should have been.

      1. You are absolutely spot on. I cannot figure out why so many people keep defending Ramsey. As you point out it is extremely problematic to have a midfielder who loses so many balls. He is bad at coping with physical pressure and even worse when the pressure comes from more than one player. He doesn’t possess the overview.

        “Regarding tracking, Ramsey tracks the first ten yards, but then he nearly always let his man go and venture unmarked in the defence. ”

        Bra-fucking-vo! You are absolutely right. People tend to defend his work ethics. But the effort without the ball is simply horrible. It is the same as it was with Diaby, when he filled out the spot between Song and Cesc. We cannot afford that not all midfielders help defending on our own half.

        And Cesc’s comment on this really points out what the cause is for all of this. And people who have read interviews with Winterburn and Dixon will know why: Wenger doesn’t believe in clear tactical instructions. This is also why I do believe Ramsey can be a valuable AFC player. But he needs to go somewhere where he will get those instructions and get the needed overhaul when he doesn’t track back and apply a satisfying pressure on the opponent.

      2. Just forgot….

        I’m also regarding Coquelin as really interesting for a more advanced midfield role. But I’m almost certain that will not happen. Wenger obviously likes the clear offensive playmaker type. As I see it he is behind Arteta, JW, Rosicky, Ramsey and Diaby for two positions.

        But he does have the vision and the passing ability, as well as the defensive discipline and work rate, to be a great midfielder for us.

  5. Gibbs played really well yesterday and I think he is actually quite an intelligent player. It was good seeing gervinho back playing well when he got subbed on because I felt alongside RVP he was our best player in the first half of the season and he had been slightly indifferent since coming back from the african cup of nations. I still think arsenal needs to play more players on the last defender because when RVP comes short we have literally no one troubling the centre backs or the full backs. We should do what barca does and allow the full backs to provide most of the width and let one of our wingers play off the back four, slightly more centrally. Good to see the U18s winning, their gonna have a real good team next year.

  6. Gascoigne was soooooooo undisciplined, in his positioning early in his career, so that was a poor example Valentin. He also had similar problems to Ramsey in that he was all over the place but had little influence. This is why England manager Bobby Robson was reluctant to play him at first and he had to be blooded in gradually while he learned what to do with and without the ball!!! Guess how old he was at the time??? Just a year younger than Ramsey and he didn’t start to put it all together until he was around 24 or 25!!! Aaron’s learning as we speak!!! The Arteta role is complicated tactically. You are essentially a deep-lying play-maker. Like Pirlo is, but you have a lot of defensive duties as well. I know it’s not a simple role. I still would like to know where Alex got his stats on Jordan Brown from…did he go to the matches and count himself??? I couldn’t find them anywhere on the internet!!! I’m really interested because I like to find any sites that are dedicated to the youth, to see how they are developing!!! So if someone could tell me where to get the youth statistics from, I would appreciate that!!!

    1. Jordan Brown stats are from Jordan Brown himself answering to Jeorge Bird by twitter:
      Jordan Antonio Brown ‏ @JordanBr9wn
      @jeorgebird 20 in 25
      1:29 – April 22. 2012

  7. Bould said in his interview after the game that Birmingham had a very young side out and there was even a 14 year old playing. Anyone know who he is, clearly he must have a bright future if he’s 14 playing for an under 18 side

  8. Oooooooh now I get it thanks Liam Brady!!! I’m not on twitter so i guess I’ll never know about that stuff!!! I would be curious to find out who the 14 year old boy was playing for the under 18’s but we all know we’ll never know who it was for sure, right??? We can speculate but unless someone was there or saw some highlights, we’ll never know. And that is a good thing!!! Well I think it is anyways…I remember when I was called the next big thing in my profession at 14 and I never recovered my work ethic and stopped when I was 20. People are very different though and maybe he could handle it…who knows???

  9. BD I played the violin and the viola and wanted to be a professional musician…I worked really hard until I was touted as the next big thing to come out of my community…I should have realized that my community only had 130 000 people living in it!!! hahahahahaha. I got to play in professional orchestras by the time I was 20 but I lost my drive and desire to become truly great!!! I stopped working REALLY, REALLY HARD at 15 and it caught up to me!!! I started to do the bare minimum and that is why I failed. That is why I was cautioning all the people who want to know about this 14 year old genius!!! I shouldn’t be scared though, because you know why??? He made it this far and he’s in a GREAT club, with great people behind him and around him!!! So he’ll probably make it to the highest level wherever and whoever he is!!! I’m sure he’ll be fine!!! Arsene Wenger, I’m sure, has had a talk with him!!! That would be awesome to have happen to you when you are 14. So the kid will know how hard he has to work to succeed.

  10. Sorry guys, this is not only a tangentially youth related post, but even a tangentially Arsenal related one too.

    Chelsea’s vicotry over Barca may seem astounding to many but, upon reflection, not so with Arsenal fans. In fact, Chelsea may have Arsenal to think for it. They knew how to defend Barca so effectively because they’ve regularly gone against the 2nd best team in the world at that style of play (…us). They’ve perfected the ‘rope-a-dope’ response to the sophisticated Arsenal/Barca possession passing game. Barca were completely frustrated. It reminded me of some of our matches against them in the ‘Bore-inho’ era. “Cagey and patient”… That’s what they were today and that’s what they frequently are against us.

    I hate that they won because now they have a bigger chance of winning the competition, which would mean we have to get 3rd in the League for CL qualification next year.

    I guess if there’s a youth connection, it’s that our youth are far superior to theirs. Hopefully, when our young players mature they can redress the balance vis-a-vis the results of the late 2000’s.

    Wilshere, Gibbs, Walcott, Ramsey, Szzesny, Frimpong, and Coqueline are a more promising group than McChechran, Sturrage, and …well, who else…? Chelsea’s youth < Arsenal youth.

    1. Tbh that group might be impressive but further down the pecking order their group is quite formidable with the likes of piazon, saville, RLC, Islam feruz etc and have all but clinched the fa youth cup brushing aside Manu. I wouldn’t underestimate but have high hopes for our u18s next season.

    2. when we talk youth I am imagine us to talk about U19 players at least. not 20+ players. Chelsea got a very impressive U18 side. Next season they will be even better.

      But the big different is we have a manager who can make them take the next big step. Chelsea don’t. No way in hell will those youth players get a chance if they wants to win anything or even end 2nd. While we have a manager who hasn’t lost his sense and trying to develop the club as a whole. Wenger will stay at the club even if he is not the manager.

      They will probably spend like hell this summer to make sure to take a top 4 spot next season. I am not afraid though as we will be even stronger next season will less money spent.

  11. As soon as Chelsea knocked out Napoli, I said to my father that they were going to win the whole thing. He disagreed. I correctly predicted that Bayern would beat Real Madrid in a penalty shootout and that Ronaldo would score at least once in normal time, but miss his spot kick in the shootout…I went BONKERS when he missed!!! I’m sorry to say this, but my prediction hasn’t changed…Chelsea will win the final and Newcastle will finish 3rd. I’m not usually a doom monger, and I don’t think it will be the end of Arsenal, or that we will fall in to a malaise like Liverpool have. We will finish in the top 4 the next season if we don’t win the title and we will be back in the Champions League!!!

  12. Actually, if we beat Stoke I think we WILL finish 3rd. I don’t really have a good or bad feeling about that match though to be honest. I think Chelsea will win the Champions League though. I’m still not convinced that we have to finish 3rd though to be able to remain a big club. It will happen sometime, where we won’t make the Champions League, and while competitively that would merit a “disaster” according to Wenger, we have been running the club in such a way that we won’t go totally broke or have debt by not making the Champions League. So we might break even for a year or two instead of making a profit…that could happen and it wouldn’t be the end of everything. Yes we’d lose RVP, but we’d get at least 25 million pounds for him and we’d be able to either save that money or spend it on a replacement. We’ll spend either way, not a tonne, but we will, so I’m not going to kill myself if we don’t make the Champions League next season!!!

  13. And from what I’ve heard and seen, Chelsea have a great deal of potential in their youth ranks, unfortunately. Although one of their players, Lucas Piazon was bought for 6.5 million pounds at the age of 16 or 17, so really to me that doesn’t count for as much when you have to spend THAT MUCH to bring in a 16 or 17 year old!!! It’s like saying we developed Oxlade Chamberlain and he was a youth signing.

    1. Chelsea ago far in the youth cup year in and year out because they have excellent talent in their ranks but you must all remember they invest heavier in their youth team than some premier league clubs do in their first team

  14. hahahahaha his finishing seemed to get better as the video went along!!! But in all fairness to him, it looks like he could be another Oxlade Chamberlain!!! Someone who can play through the middle or on the wing, with genuine pace and trickery. I’m talking about Gnabry of course!!!

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