An experimental Arsenal U18s side that contained seven schoolboys in the starting line-up suffered a 6-0 defeat away to Newcastle United today.
Ryan Huddart, Aaron Eyoma, Kristopher Da Graca and Ilias Chatzitheodoridis were the only full-time players who started, with Toby Omole making his first start at centre-back and Marcus Tabi and Josh Da Silva forming an unfamiliar defensive-midfield partnership.
There were more schoolboys on the bench, with right-back Rob Howard and attacker Emile Smith-Rowe earning their maiden call-ups at this level. The latter became the first player to be called up to the U18 squad who was born in the 21st century.
Nelson-Gilmour- J. Willock
Subs: Keto, Benson, Howard, Smith-Rowe.
Newcastle started brightly and took the lead through Jamie Holmes with 20 minutes gone.
It was 2-0 18 minutes later, with Luke Charman finding the net from close range, with Holmes completing his hat-trick to give the hosts a seemingly unassailable lead before the break.
The damage was far from over, however, with goals from Jamie Cobain and Kyle Cameron inflicting further damage on the young Gunners.
Quite why Arsenal chose to leave out the likes of Chris Willock, Savvas Mourgos, Harry Donovan and Ben Sheaf is unclear, but the decision to play a team with so little experience of U18s football certainly backfired.
Frans De Kat’s next game is at home to Southampton.