Report – Plange strikes but Arsenal U18s start season with defeat to Chelsea

U18 Premier League

Arsenal 1 (Plange 83) Chelsea 2 (Broja 12, 79)

Arsenal U18s got the defence of their southern section title off to a disappointing start as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Chelsea yesterday despite Luke Plange’s first goal at this level.

Many members of last season’s team have moved up to the U23s, with first-year scholars Mazeed Ogungbo and Kido Taylor-Hart being given starts along with schoolboy defender Zane Monlouis.




Dennis-Greenwood-Taylor Hart


Subs: Butler-Oyedeji (for Dennis, 71), Plange (for Matthews, 78). Not used: Graczyk, Sraha, Flaherty. 

Armando Broja gave Chelsea the lead in the 17th minute and eventually doubled his tally with eleven minutes remaining.

Plange, on as a substitute, reduced the deficit after he was teed up by Taylor-Hart, but, despite their best efforts, Arsenal couldn’t get an equaliser.

Gillard’s side are back in action next weekend when they face Aston Villa away.

One comment

  1. I know that in the academy years winning each game is not the only – or not even the main – priority. The coach is experimenting with positions, lets younger players test themselves, improve defensive and offensive auxiliary capabilities, accumulate experience, etc.
    Furthermore there might be the case that some players are not available due to sickness or injury, and/or others already training with the U23 team.

    Nevertheless I believe if Arsenal U18 would play with their best XI they would easily win the league again, and it wouldn’t be counter-intuitive from the U23 and first team perspective either.

    What I mean: this starting lineup would be feared across the competition:


    with Smith/Graczyk, Straha, Flaherty, Cirjan, Taylor-Hart, Alebiosu on the bench

    That would seriously kick ass, even if a CM needs to be substituted for a CB against tougher opponents.

    Therefore to be honest I am a bit disappointed for
    – fielding a sub-optimal side against our arch-rival Chelsea
    – keep playing Alebiosu as RB and Dennis as RW (instead the other way around)
    – defending with an inexperienced young scholar
    – attacking with Matthews who – according to Transfermarkt – is a midfielder by trade, and hasn’t scored a single goal
    – “loaning” Balogun to the U23, who play only 6 days later, and probably won’t be picked ahead of Tyreece John-Jules anyway

    Let’s take this tournament a bit more seriously.

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