Author: Jeorge Bird

Reiss Nelson makes debut as Arsenal overcome Chelsea in Community Shield 

Talented youngster Reiss Nelson made his official debut for Arsenal in today’s Community Shield success against Chelsea at Wembley. 

Having made a tremendous impact in pre-season, Nelson was rewarded with a place on the bench today and the prospect entered the fray in the 87th minute when he replaced Danny Welbeck. 

Victor Moses put Chelsea in the lead shortly after the interval but Arsenal seized control after the dismissal of Pedro, with Sead Kolasinac equalising and the game ending 1-1. 

Arsenal proceeded to win 4-1 on on penalties. 

Joe Willock, meanwhile, was an unused substitute. 

Stephy Mavididi ready to make an impact in the Championship after joining Preston on loan


Arsenal striker Stephy Mavididi has joined Championship club Preston North End on a season-long loan.

The England youth international impressed on loan at Charlton Athletic in League One last season before an injury cruelly interrupted his progress but he is now determined to make an impact in the Championship.

Fast, powerful and skillful, Mavididi made a major impact in pre-season for Arsenal U23s as he scored three goals in two games and the prospect had several loan offers to choose from.

He elected to link up with Preston and the 19-year-old, who made the bench for Arsenal in the League Cup last season, will be aiming to impress sufficiently to prove to Arsene Wenger that he deserves a place in the first-team squad.


Members’ Day report – Five youngsters train with Arsenal first-team at Emirates

Arsenal staged their latest Members’ Day at Emirates Stadium, with several youngsters selected to train with the first-team squad. 

Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Cohen Bramall were all involved, along with goalkeepers Matt Macey and Ryan Huddart.

With regards to first-team players, Mesut Ozil, who is carrying a slight knock, trained away from the main group along with Calum Chambers, Carl Jenkinson and Gabriel, with the latter stepping up his recovery from injury. 

Aaron Ramsey missed the session with a minor injury, whilst Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Joel Campbell and Chuba Akpom are all sidelined. 

Mathieu Debuchy and Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who have been playing for the U23s recently, both trained today. 

Zech Medley signs professional contract with Arsenal – the seven youngsters with their futures’ left undecided


Defender Zech Medley has become the latest Arsenal youngster to sign professional terms with the club.

The tall centre-back, 17, follows in the footsteps of Reiss Nelson, Joao Virginia, Emile Smith-Rowe and Nathan Tormey in signing a professional deal from the 2016 intake of scholars, while Alex Crean is also in that age group.

Signed from Chelsea midway through last season following a trial, Medley, who has been capped by England at U16 level, proceeded to establish himself as a regular for Arsenal U18s, making 17 appearances.

Medley also made the bench for the U23s against Sunderland towards the end of last season and was on the scoresheet yesterday as an Arsenal U18 side, which he captained, thrashed Luton Town 5-0.

While Medley’s short-term future is secure, there are seven remaining members of the 2016 update who have yet to be offered a professional deal.

Defenders Joseph Olowu, Tobi Omole, Daniel Ballard and Dominic Thompson, midfielders Josh Benson and Robbie Burton and attacker Jay Beckford all fall into this category, although Olowu, who has already played for the U23s, is likely to be offered a new contract.


Report: Nketiah and Mavididi score as five-star Arsenal XI thrash Leyton Orient


Pre-season friendly

Leyton Orient 1 Arsenal XI 5 (Bielik, Akpom, Mavididi, Jenkinson, Nketiah)

Krystian Bielik, Chuba Akpom, Stephy Mavididi, Carl Jenkinson and Eddie Nkeitah were all on the scoresheet as a strong Arsenal XI concluded their pre-season preparations with a 5-1 victory away to Leyton Orient tonight.

It was an impressive display by Arsenal, with Jeff Reine-Adelaide especially catching the eye, and the only negative was the injury that saw Akpom have to be substituted in the first half.

Arsenal named the same starting line-up that thrashed Boreham Wood last week, with first-team players Mathieu Debuchy, Jenkinson, Reine-Adelaide and Akpom all starting again.

The only changes to the teamsheet were on the bench, where goalkeeperRyan Huddart replaced Hugo Keto, while midfielder Ismael Bennacer, who has been linked with a loan move to Fenerbahce, wasn’t included in the squad



Jenkinson-Toral-Reine Adelaide-Bramall



Subs: Huddart, Malen, McGuane, Johnson, Mourgos.

Arsenal started off extremely brightly, with Akpom seeing a shot saved in the first minute before Cohen Bramall, who featured for the first-team in the Emirates Cup at the weekend, caused Orient some difficulty with a dangerous cross.

With just three minutes gone Arsenal were in front through an unlikely source as Bielik finished well from six yards out.

The young Gunners, if they could be referred to as such, were relentless in their approach and soon doubled their advantage courtesy of Akpom, who applied the finishing touch to a slick passing move in which Reine-Adelaide was heavily involved.

Jenkinson then shot over from a free-kick, with Orient subsequently starting to impose themselves on the game, calling Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Macey into action.

Arsenal started to create chances again, with Mavididi coming close to scoring, but their momentum was disrupted a little when Akpom hobbled off and was replaced by Donyell Malen.

Before the break, though, it was 3-0, with Mavididi scoring his third goal of pre-season with a fine finish.

There was another change for Arsenal at the interval with Chiori Johnson replacing Bielik.

Orient were impressive early in the second half and Debuchy had to be alert to cut out the danger on one occasion.

However, it was soon 4-0 to Arsenal, with Jenkinson scoring from close range.

To their credit, Orient continued to push forwards when the opportunity arose and they were rewarded when Macauley Bonne scored a consolation goal.

Arsenal then made two more alterations as Marcus McGuane and Savvas Mourgos replaced Reine-Adelaide and Bramall.

Bonne headed over as Orient sought to reduce the deficit further but Arsenal remained in the ascendancy and it was 5-1 when Nketiah reacted quickly to score after his initial back heel was saved.

The win rounds off an impressive pre-season for the second-string, although it remains to be seen where many of these players will be playing during the campaign.

via @AFCFixtureNews and @LeytonOrient


Bramall and Willock feature as Arsenal win Emirates Cup despite loss to Sevilla

2017-07-30 18_22_44-Cohen Bramall Photos Photos - FC Bayern v Arsenal FC - 2017 International Champi


Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by Sevilla in the Emirates Cup today but still managed to win the tournament by virtue of goals scored.

Sevilla took the lead through Joaquin Correa, and, although Alexandre Lacazette equalised for Arsenal, the La Liga side won the game courtesy of a fine strike from Steven N’Zonzi.

With regards to young players, Joe Willock started the game and played 61 minutes but, despite showing some encouraging signs, the midfielder was unable to make a major impact.

Cohen Bramall entered the fray at the start of the second half and was a little tentative with regards to his distribution but did make a crucial block late in the game to help Arsenal win the trophy.


Reiss Nelson assists and impresses as Arsenal beat Benfica in Emirates Cup

Reiss Nelson enhanced his reputation further still with an excellent performance in Arsenal’s 5-2 Emirates Cup victory  over Benfica today. 

Again deployed as a right-wing back, Nelson worked hard defensively but most of his good work came going forwards, especially when he provided an assist for Olivier Giroud. 

Nelson was confidence in possession and showcased his excellent technical ability as he surely convinced Arsene Wenger that he is worthy of more chances. 

Talented winger Emile Smith Rowe signs professional contract with Arsenal

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Emile Smith Rowe has signed his first professional contract with Arsenal.

The 17-year-old, who progressed through the ranks at Arsenal’s Hale End academy, is seen as one of the club’s most exciting prospects.

Smith Rowe – part of the England U17 squad at the European Championship earlier this year – is a skillful winger and made his debut for Arsenal’s U23 side against Everton last season.

In addition he featured prominently at U18 level as he scored six goals and provided one assist in 15 appearances.


Report – Akpom and Mavididi impress as Arsenal XI thrash Boreham Wood

Pre-season friendly

Boreham Wood 0 Arsenal XI 4 (Akpom, Toral, Mavididi (2))

By Jeorge Bird @ Meadow Park, Borehamwood



A very strong Arsenal XI thrashed Boreham Wood 4-0 tonight in a pre-season friendly, with Stephy Mavididi hitting a brace on his return from injury.

Chuba Akpom, who could leave the club permanently before the end of the transfer window, was also on target, along with Jon Toral as an Arsenal side containing a mixture of players set to depart and starlets hoping to break through gelled impressively.

Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson both started but Kieran Gibbs wasn’t involved despite being named in the original squad.

Mavididi, back from the injury he suffered on loan at Charlton Athletic last season, started, as did Julio Pleguezuelo, who made his first appearance since returning from his temporary spell at Mallorca.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide received a run-out, while Krystian Bielik, Eddie Nketiah and Donyell Malen, who were involved with the first-team earlier in pre-season, were all on show here.

This game was notable as it marked the first occasion that Arsenal have deployed a 3-4-2-1 system below first-team level since Arsene Wenger implemented the change in tactics for the senior squad.



Jenkinson-Toral-Reine Adelaide-Bramall



Subs: Malen, McGuane, Johnson, Mourgos, Bennacer. Not used: Keto

Arsenal adjusted quickly to the formation change and started brightly as they pushed forwards with regularity.

There were plenty of slick passing moves from the Gunners and one such exchange culminated in Nketiah playing in Mavididi, with the sprightly attacker seeing his effort saved.

It was soon 1-0, with Nketiah being fouled in the area and Akpom, as he did in this fixture five years ago, scoring from the penalty spot.

Arsenal continued to cause all manner of problems for Boreham Wood, with Nketiah and Mavididi both coming close to scoring and it was soon 2-0.

Akpom was the provider on this occasion as he dropped deep and played a precise pass into the path of Mavididi, who finished expertly.

Arsenal effectively secured their victory before the break as they made it 3-0 when Toral, who played some excellent passes tonight, reacted quickly to tuck home the rebound after Nketiah’s initial effort was saved.

The same pattern continued immediately after the interval, with Arsenal remaining in the ascendancy.

It was 4-0 when Mavididi, who produced an excellent display, got his second goal of the game after being set up by Toral.

Nketiah had an opportunity saved shortly afterwards, with Boreham Wood then having a rare effort of their own.

Arsenal began to ring the changes thereafter, with Malen and Ismael Bennacer entering the fray, while Jenkinson lashed an effort wide after Bielik had embarked upon one of his trademark bursts forward from the back.

Jenkinson was getting forwards regularly himself and found Mavididi, who just took the ball a little too far wide of the goalkeeper, which made it difficult for him to find the net.

The intensity in Arsenal’s play understandably dipped a little thereafter but there were still some notable moments, including when Akpom rattled the crossbar with a fierce strike.

There was one negative on a night brimming with positives for Arsenal, with Bielik having to be substituted after suffering an injury that stemmed from a rash challenge.

Malen had chances to increase Arsenal’s advantage further still but 4-0 was sufficient and, overall, it was an encouraging display.

It seems unlikely that many of the players who started today’s game will be regulars at U23 level this season with permanent and loan departures on the horizon, but this game may well have enhanced the chances of some individuals securing moves elsewhere.

Akpom, for instance, will surely have impressed potential suitors with his all-action display, while the experienced Debuchy was resolute at the heart of a three-man defence.

Perhaps the most intriguing case is that of Toral, who was impressive here but has never really been provided with an opportunity to break into the first-team squad.

Decisions will have to be made on the futures of several players but this was certainly a worthwhile workout.

Report: Osei-Tutu strikes but Arsenal XI are beaten by Hitchin

Football - 2016 Durban U19 International - Semifinal - Arsenal v TP Mazembe - Moses Mabhida Stadium


Hitchin Town 2 Arsenal 1 (Osei-Tutu)

Jordi Osei-Tutu found the net but an Arsenal XI were beaten 2-1 by a spirited Hitchin Town side in a pre-season friendly tonight.

With a stronger team set to face Boreham Wood tomorrow, Arsenal gave opportunities to several of their younger academy starlets tonight and, although they impressed in patches, the result was ultimately a disappointing one.

Tafari Moore, who, at the age of 20, was Arsenal’s most experienced player, captained the side, while there was also a run-out for Nathan Tormey, who signed his first professional contract today.

Osei-Tutu, meanwhile, was deployed as a right-winger, a position in which he thrived for his previous club Reading.

First-year scholar Folarin Balogun started up front with several other members of the new intake on the bench.


Moore-Olowu-Medley-T. Bola


Osei Tutu-Tormey-Eyoma


Subs: Virginia, Ballard, Burton, Benson, Omole, Thompson, Amaechi, McEneff, Clarke, Olayinka.

Arsenal created some inviting chances early on but neither Balogun or Tormey were able to find the net.

It was Hitchin, though, who were on top for much of the first half and Zech Medley had to be alert to clear one effort off the line.

Arsenal goalkeeper Hugo Keto was alert to make a good stop on one occasion but the Finland youth international was unable to prevent Liam Brooks from opening the scoring in the 30th minute with a neat finish.

To their credit, the young Gunners responded, with Osei-Tutu finding the net from a difficult angle just before the break.

The sides were level for just three minutes, however, with Dan Webb heading in from a corner to restore Hitchin’s lead.

Arsenal gradually started to make changes, with Joao Virignia replacing Keto and later new signing Jordan McEneff coming on for Tormey, who caught the eye as he looks to build up his fitness after spending most of last season on the sidelines.

Osei-Tutu remained an attacking threat for Arsenal and had a shot saved, while Charlie Gilmour’s effort was pushed out for a corner but it was still Hitchin who remained in the ascendancy and who seemed more assured.

Arsenal made further changes as the game drew to a close, with the sprightly James Olayinka causing problems for the Hitchin defence, but the hosts held on to secure victory.