Uncategorized

Willock debuts whilst Akpom and Reine-Adelaide impress as Arsenal thrash Forest


Arsenal commenced their EFL Cup campaign in fine fashion as they thrashed Nottingham Forest 4-0 at the City Ground.

Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a long range strike, with Lucas Perez hitting a brace before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added further gloss to the scoreline. 

As far as The Gunners’ youngsters are concerned, this was a very good evening against a Forest side containing two players from Arsenal’s League Cup teams of yore in Nicklas Bendtner and Henri Lansbury. 

Ainsley Maitland-Niles coped well at right-back on his first senior start for the club and won his fair share of aerial duels, while Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who was also involved from the outset for the first time, linked play intelligently and came close to scoring what would have been a fine goal. 

Meanwhile, Chuba Akpom was excellent on the left flank and tormented the Forest defence, suggesting he may have found his best position. 

There was more good news for the Arsenal academy, with Chris Willock making his competitive senior debut late on, whilst Gedion Zelalem and Krysitan Bielik gained further experience with late run-outs. 

Stephy Mavididi and Josh DaSilva were rewarded for their progress at youth level as they made the bench for the first time, where they were joined by Matt Macey and Ben Sheaf. 

Report- Concern as depleted Arsenal U23s are thrashed 5-0 by Everton

 

Premier League 2

Arsenal U23s 0 Everton U23s 5

By Jeorge Bird @Meadow Park, Borehamwood

ismael-bennacer

A heavily depleted Arsenal U23 side fell to a 5-0 defeat against a ruthless Everton team at Meadow Park tonight, with the young Gunners delivering an inept performance.

A whole host of players weren’t available to feature as they trained with the first-team today ahead of the EFL Cup fixture against Nottingham Forest, while Arsenal’s coach arrived late for the game against Everton, meaning there was limited time for a warm-up. Everton, meanwhile, have started the season extremely well and were able to call upon players such as Oumar Niasse and Tom Davies who boast Premier League experience.

Even in such circumstances, however, Arsenal’s performance was pitiful. Their defending (the hard-working Chiori Johnson aside) was woeful once again, while their approach play in midfield was non-existent, with Ismael Bennacer, one of the more experienced players in the team, struggling to keep possession.

Up front Edward Nketiah, who has been prolific for the U18s, worked hard but was starved of service, and, other than a brief period early in the second half, Arsenal posed very little threat to the Everton goal.

As noted, there were a horde of absentees, with Matt Macey, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Krystian Bielik, Chris Willock, Gedion Zelalem, Ben Sheaf, Stephy Mavididi, Marc Bola and Josh DaSilva all in contention to be involved with the first-team tomorrow night.

Steve Gatting called upon several members of the U18 squad, with Tolaji Bola, Reiss Nelson, Nketiah, Vlad Dragomir and Emile Smith-Rowe featuring, the latter becoming the first player to represent the club at this level who was born this millennium.

Gatting also gave a chance to Savvas Mourgos, while Tyrell Robinson was back on the bench after failing to secure a move away from the club during the transfer window.

Keto

Johnson-Da Graca-Pileas-T. Bola

Bennacer-Nelson

Smith Rowe-Dragomir-Mourgos

Nketiah

Subs: Eyoma, Malen, McGuane. Not used: Robinson, Virginia.

It quickly became apparent that Everton were the stronger side, with the visitors calling Arsenal goalkeeper Hugo Keto into action very early on.

Keto’s next involvement was to pick the ball out of the net as Everton opened the scoring through Kieran Dowell, who slotted in with just four minutes gone.

Arsenal attempted to respond instantly, with Dragomir sending in a free-kick that couldn’t quite locate Nketiah. However, the Romanian was still able to win a corner and from a move that emanated from the subsequent set-piece Nketiah had an effort saved.

At the other end Niasse, the most experienced player on the pitch at the age of 26, twisted and turned before shooting over, and Keto then had to be alert to make a fine save to prevent Everton from doubling their advantage.

Everton continued to dominate as the half wore on and there appeared to be no cohesion about the Arsenal team, with Gatting’s side finding themselves overrun in midfield with alarming regularity.

Arsenal just about managed to keep the score down before the break but after the interval Everton finally made it 2-0, with Liam Walsh getting the better of Keto with a sweetly struck free-kick.

Dragomir then had a weak effort saved, but Everton continued to cause problems for the Arsenal defence and even the introduction of Donyell Malen couldn’t get Gatting’s side back in the game.

Keto made another fine stop, but he could do little to prevent Niasse from making it 3-0 shortly afterwards, with the forward finishing adroitly as Arsenal’s defence was torn apart yet again.

Then it was four, with substitute Calum Dyson heading in to inflict further damage upon the young Gunners shortly after his introduction.

Everton continued to press for more goals and hit the post with one effort before Dyson score again.

Nelson hammered an effort wide in frustration in the dying moments and relegation back to the second tier is looking an increasingly realistic possibility for this Arsenal side unless matters improve dramatically.

There were certainly mitigating circumstances tonight, but some of the more experienced players involved, Bennacer in particular, were disappointing, while several of the defenders are clearly out of their depth at this level.

Tomorrow night could well turn out to be a glorious occasion for Arsenal’s academy if several youngsters make their debuts, but the events this evening suggest that problems still exist within the set-up.

The lack of a bonafide defensive midfielder across the age groups is one of the most significant problems with the Arsenal youth system, while defensive issues, which were similar to those that were in evidence in the U18s’ defeat to Chelsea, were on show again.

Next up for Arsenal U23s is a trip to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, although it remains to be seen what type of side Gatting will be able to field in that fixture.

Chris Willock amongst 10 youngsters to train with Arsenal first-team pre-Nottingham Forest

willock

Arsenal held their final training session ahead of tomorrow’s EFL Cup tie away to Nottingham Forest, with several youngsters in attendance.

Matt Macey, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Gedion Zelalem, Krystian Bielik, Ben Sheaf, Chris Willock, Stephy Mavididi, Josh DaSilva, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe all trained with the senior squad. The latter is set to be part of the Arsenal U23 squad for the game against Everton tonight.

With regards to first-team players, Mathieu Debuchy is back in full training after injury, while Emiliano Martinez, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rob Holding, Gabriel, Chuba Akpom, Lucas Perez and Jeff Reine-Adelaide all trained.

Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson, Yaya Sanogo, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud are all still out injured.

 

 

Loan report-Campbell subbed at half-time; Nwakali makes Maastricht debut

nwakali

Wojciech Szczesny played the whole game as Roma lost 1-0 to Fiorentina.

Takuma Asano made his first start for Stuttgart and played 78 minutes in the 1-0 victory over Kaiserslautern.

Jack Wilshere started for Bournemouth, with the midfielder playing 68 minutes of the 4-0 loss to Manchester City.

Joel Campbell started but was taken off at half-time in a tactical change as Sporting Lisbon lost 3-1 to Rio Ave.

Glen Kamara came on as a substitute in the 34th minute as Colchester United drew 1-1 with Barnet.

Tafari Moore made his senior debut as he was brought on in the 66th minute of Utrecht’s 5-1 defeat to Groningen.

Kelechi Nwakali was introduced as a substitute in stoppage time as he made his first senior appearance for Maastricht in the 1-0 win over Ajax II. Stefan O’Connor was an un-used substitute.

Calum Chambers was an un-used substitute as Middlesbrough lost 3-1 to Everton.

Dan Crowley was an un-used substitute as Oxford United drew 0-0 with MK Dons.

Ryan Huddart was an un-used substitute as Eastleigh beat Macclesfield Town 1-0.

Jon Toral didn’t feature as Granada drew 2-2 with Real Betis.

Julio Pleguezuelo didn’t feature as Mallorca beat Girona 1-0.

Osei-Tutu and Benson goals not enough as Arsenal U18s lose to Chelsea

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

©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Arsenal U18s saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an end today as they were beaten 4-2 by their Chelsea counterparts at Cobham.

The clinical Martell Tyler-Crossdale scored a hat-trick for Chelsea, for whom Harvey St Clair was also on target, with Jordi Osei-Tutu’s first Arsenal goal and a strike from Josh Benson not sufficient to enable the Gunners to take anything from the game.

Virginia

Osei Tutu-Olowu-Ballard-T. Bola

McGuane-Burton

J. Willock-Malen-Smith Rowe

Nketiah

Subs: Benson, Coyle, Omole. Not used: Okonkwo, Thompson.

Chelsea made a scintillating start, with Tyler-Crossdale opening the scoring by slotting past Joao Virginia after pouncing upon an Arsenal error.

With just ten minutes gone Chelsea doubled their advantage from the penalty spot, with Taylor-Crossdale scoring again after Jacob Maddox was brought down in the area.

At this stage there was a concern that Chelsea could put the game beyond doubt very early on, but Virginia did well to thwart the opposition and Osei-Tutu then reduced the deficit as he found the net following impressive work in the build up from Joe Willock.

However, any chance that Arsenal had of getting into the game was soon eradicated, with St Clair making it 3-1.

Edward Nketiah, who joined Arsenal from Chelsea as a schoolboy, worked hard up front, but it was the Blues who continued to dominate.

Chelsea were awarded another penalty in the second-half, with Taylor-Crossdale stepping up to complete his hat-trick.

Arsenal, to their credit, continued to battle in adversity, and substitute Josh Benson scored an impressive goal to make it 4-2, but it was Chelsea who emerged victorious.

Next up for Kwame Ampadu’s side is a home game against Leicester City next weekend.

Bielik helps Arsenal U19s keep clean sheet in Youth League draw with PSG

bielik

UEFA Youth League- PSG 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal U19s got their UEFA Youth League campaign underway with a creditable goalless draw away to Paris Saint-Germain today, but their overall performance left a lot to be desired as they were overrun in midfield.

Arsenal had a presentable chance to take the lead in the first-half, but Donyell Malen was unable to find the net. For the most part, though, it was PSG who were the dominant force, with the French side forcing several good stops from Hugo Keto, whilst Krystian Bielik and Kristopher Da Graca defended well.

The young Gunners struggled to keep hold of the ball in midfield, with Marcus McGuane and Josh DaSilva often unable to cope with PSG’s technical wizardry, rendering the decision not to include the likes of Gedion Zelalem, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Ismael Bennacer in the squad rather baffling.

Arsenal were also without Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Ben Sheaf, with Stephy Mavididi operating in the number ten position. Schoolboy Trae Coyle made the bench, an indication of how highly regarded he is within the club.

Keto

Johnson-Bielik-Da Graca-M. Bola

McGuane-DaSilva

Nelson-Mavididi-C. Willock

Malen

Subs: Dragomir, Nketiah, T. Bola. Not used: Virginia, Osei-Tutu, Mourgos, Coyle.

PSG kept the ball well in the early exchanges and that set the tone for what was to come, with Arsenal unable to establish any sort of momentum.

For all their possession, however, the hosts struggled to carve out many clear cut chances, although Ikone shot wide.

It was Arsenal, though, who would create the two most inviting openings of the first-half. First Chris Willock, who was impressive on the right flank, saw his shot saved after good work in the build-up from Mavididi.

The next opportunity fell to Malen, who found himself in front of goal after he was located by Willock. However, the Dutchman, to widespread bewilderment, shot wide.

Mavididi then did well to work space for himself but his subsequent effort lacked conviction, much like PSG’s build-up play as the home side continued to spray neat passes around without hardly ever threatening the Arsenal goal in the first period.

The second half was slightly more open, with PSG eventually deciding to go for goal with greater regularity. The majority of their attempts went over the crossbar, but there was also some noteworthy defending from Bielik and Da Graca, who frequently got in the way of PSG’s shots.

PSG continued to dominate, with one cross hitting the woodwork, and Arsenal attempted to gain a foothold in the game, with Vlad Dragomir and Edward Nketiah, who have both been impressive for the U18s, entering the fray.

Mavididi had an attempt kept out from a difficult angle, but PSG still looked far more likely to score and they came extremely close to doing so in the closing stages.

Arsenal had a chance of their own through Nketiah, whose effort was saved, but in the end a hard-fought game ended goalless.

The young Gunners will certainly be happy with the point, but there is much work to be done if they are to go far in this competition.

Arsenal pre-PSG training report: Maitland-Niles and Ramsey involved


Arsenal held their final first-team training session today ahead of tomorrow night’s opening Champions League group stage fixture away to Paris Saint-Germain, with youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles in attendance. 

The prospect was hugely impressive for the U23s against Derby County on Friday and could feature in the EFL Cup fixture against Nottingham Forest next week. 

Chuba Akpom was also back training with the senior squad, while Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Debuchy have returned to light training. 

Gabriel continued to train with the squad and Laurent Koscielny was fine to participate despite suffering an injury against Southampton. Former player Robert Pires also trained. 

Yaya Sanogo is still out injured, along with Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck. 

Players in training today: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Perez, Ospina, Holding, Elneny, Giroud, Xhaka, Iwobi, Sanchez, Martinez, Gabriel, Akpom, Maitland-Niles, Pires, Gibbs. 

Light training: Ramsey, Debuchy. 

Jeff Reine-Adelaide didn’t train with the squad today as he is instead set to play for the U19s against PSG in the UEFA Youth League tomorrow. 
Freddie Ljungberg coached the U19s in training today. 

Possible U19 team:

Keto; Johnson, Bielik, Da Graca, M. Bola; McGuane, Sheaf; Nelson, Reine-Adelaide, C. Willock; Mavididi. Subs: Virginia, T. Bola, Pileas, Malen, Nketiah, DaSilva, Mourgos.