Boadu returns to haunt Arsenal as Manchester City triumph in U18 clash

U18 Premier League- Game 10

Manchester City 2 (Nitcham 45, Byrne 83) Arsenal 0

Despite fielding a considerably more experienced side than usual, Arsenal U18s suffered their third consecutive defeat today as they lost 2-0 to a determined Manchester City side.

City were inspired by Denzeil Boadu, the talented midfielder who left Arsenal last year amidst a dispute over his contract, with the England U17 international setting up goals for Olivier Nitcham and Jack Byrne.

With the majority of the club’s schoolboys away at the U16 Premier League Cup, coach Carl Laraman was forced to call upon several second-years for this fixture, including striker Austin Lipman, who yesterday joined Boreham Wood on a short-term loan but is still eligible to play for Arsenal when required.

Alex Iwobi and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill were also included, whilst goalkeeper Matt Macey made his first appearance since completing his transfer from Bristol Rovers. Alfred Mugabo was absent after suffering a recurrence of his injury last weekend, whilst winger Jamaal Raage, who has made an impressive start to the season, also missed out because of a problem sustained in the defeat to Reading last week.




Dawkins-Iwobi-Ormonde Ottewill


subs: Moore (for Dawkins, 60). Not used: O’Connor.

City were the dominant side from the offset, with Nitcham and Brandon Barker coming close in quick succession, before another Nitcham shot provoked an excellent reflex save from Macey.

Tafari Moore's return from injury was one of the few plus points for Arsenal  (Ben Hoskins/Getty Images Europe)

Tafari Moore’s return from injury was one of the few plus points for Arsenal
(Ben Hoskins/Getty Images Europe)

Arsenal weren’t able to keep the hosts at bay for much longer, however, as, just when the referee was poised to blow the whistle for half-time, Boadu delivered an inch-perfect cross into the area that Nitcham latched onto to beat Macey and open the scoring.

Arsenal found it extremely difficult to create any clear-cut chances for the majority of the game, aside from when Lipman came close with a free-kick with twenty minutes remaining. City confirmed their victory when Boadu played through Byrne to make it 2-0, and, although Arsenal did come close to finding the net in the closing stages, there were very few positives to be taken from today’s encounter.

One bright sign, however, was the return of Tafari Moore, who made his first appearance since August when he replaced Tarum Dawkins on the hour mark. Arsenal, though, are still without a win since the opening day success over Liverpool, and return to action against Southampton in a fortnight.



    1. He’s just a coach isn’t he? They seem to be doing pretty well now but they’ve invested an insane amount and that barca scout they recruited seem to be pretty important factors. Regardless let’s wait and see how much they make of it as Chelsea are pretty dominant at this level too. Having said that from our perspective that’s a strong u18 line up so something’s definitely wrong. I’m not one to be bothered by u18 results too much but anyone consistently expierencing losses week in week out would probably have a shattered confidence.

  1. Jeorge, is there any possibility of Hayden/yennaris going out on loan to crewe. Am just asking because Crewe manager had been speaking of being close to bring a young midfielder from premier League team and the way he had described that young player, I got a feeling that it could be Hayden/yennaris

  2. Jeorge i know you’re a youth blogger and like to see the youth players given chances but surely you must be dreaming if you think Maitland-Niles could be in consideration for midweek. its one thing to have one sixteen year old around the first team its quite another to have two. Are you seriously suggesting that he’s done so well as a first year scholar born in 97 to leap frog the likes of Jebb, Iwobi and Kamara, 95s who haven’t gotten a chance yet? i know we might be a bit short on wingers, but by god against Chelsea i’d rather see Park be in the squad then a first year scholar! and i know Zelalem is too but he is an EXCEPTIONAL talent, and nothing Maitland-Niles has done has indicated that he’s anywhere near that level.

    1. It might be quite unlikely that he’ll make the squad, but he is very highly regarded by the coaching staff and has already trained with the first-team. He also didn’t play for the u18s yesterday when most of the other first and second years did. i’m not saying he’ll definitely be involved, but i think he has a chance. Ryan Smith and Frimpong both made the bench at 16.

      1. sure but BOO trained with the first team as a schoolboy as well, and its seems like every player gets the “highly regarded by the coaching staff” tag, so i don’t read much into that. most likely he trained with the first team as a reward for good form, its a policy that Wenger and a lot of coaches do often, to keep players motivated and give them hope that if they keep working hard they will get a chance, but surely this is a stretch too far. i could see maybe if the competition was in the lower leagues or if we weren’t desperate for a trophy then he could be included on the bench, but against Chelsea its just wishful thinking.

    2. Niles is not playing in the same position as zelalem or jebb. Zelalem will not be in the team for sure. That makes it one 16 year old. Considering how many wingers we have out its not impossible to have him in the team but I have to admit its kind a hard to see. Mostly because he will be out muscles physically easy.

      For a 16 year old paying against much older players and actually play well is kind of a big deal. But Akpom, Lipman, Gnabry, Iwobi and probably a few more should be in consideration too.

      It will probably be a strong team vs Chelsea.

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