Loan report – Crowley assists; Bielik features

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Birmingham Mail

Dan Crowley provided an assist, was booked and played the full game a Go Ahead Eagles lost 3-1 to PSV Eindhoven.

Wojciech Szczesny played the whole game and kept a clean sheet as Roma beat Palermo 3-0.

Krystian Bielik played the vast majority of Birmingham City’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff City, being withdrawn in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the end of the second half. The Polish youth international, who played in a three-man defence, was booked just before half-time.

Kelechi Nwakali played the vast majority of MVV Maastricht’s 1-0 victory over Dordrecht before being replaced by Stefan O’Connor in the second minute of stoppage time at the end of the second half. It was O’Connor’s first appearance in 14 games.

Marc Bola played the entirety of Notts County’s 2-1 victory over Hartlepool United.

Matt Macey played the full game as Luton Town lost 2-0 to Stevenage. Kaylen Hinds was an un-used substitute for the visitors.

Ismael Bennacer played 70 minutes in Tours’ 3-1 win against Orleans.

Takuma Asano played 66 minutes as Stuttgart drew 1-1 with Bochum.

Gedion Zelalem came on in the 61st minute as VVV-Venlo beat Fortuna Sittard 4-1.

Jack Wilshere was brought on in the 85th minute as Bournemouth beat West Ham United 3-2.

Joel Campbell came on in the 86th minute and was booked as Sporting Lisbon beat Tondela 4-1.

Chuba Akpom was an un-used substitute as Brighton & Hove Albion beat Derby County 3-0.

Tafari Moore was an un-used substitute for Utrecht II in their 1-0 defeat to Achilles’ 29.

Calum Chambers missed out through injury as Middlesbrough lost 2-0 to Manchester City in the FA Cup.

Jon Toral wasn’t involved in Rangers’ 1-1 draw with Celtic.

Julio Pleguezuelo wasn’t involved as Mallorca drew 1-1 with Lugo.

Aaron Eyoma wasn’t involved as Volendam beat Helmond Sport 1-0.

Report – Dragomir provides two assists as Arsenal U18s secure point against Reading

U18 Premier League – Merit Group

Arsenal 2 (J. Willock, Smith-Rowe) Reading 2


Vlad Dragomir provided two assists as Arsenal U18s came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Reading today in their first Merit Group fixture, with Joe Willock and Emile Smith-Rowe both on the scoresheet.

Coach Kwame Ampadu made three changes to his team, with Hugo Keto, Tolaji Bola and Dragomir coming in for Joao Virginia, Kostas Pileas and Tyreece John-Jules.


Osei Tutu-Olowu-Medley-T. Bola


Smith Rowe-Dragomir-J. Willock


Subs: Benson (for Dasilva, 62). Not used: Crean, Omole, Ballard, Thompson.

Arsenal got off to a disappointing start, with Danny Loader putting Reading in front after just four minutes, but the young Gunners managed to equalise through Willock, who was teed up by Dragomir.

Although he has mainly been playing for the U23s in recent weeks, Dragomir still appeared determined to make an impact upon his return to the U18s and the Romanian certainly did just that.

Reading, though, posed a threat of their own and the Royals restored their advantage courtesy of Ramarni Medford-Smith before the break.

Arsenal refused to give up, however, and managed to secure a point when Dragomir found Smith-Rowe, who has been excellent of late, with the winger making it 2-2 in the closing stages.

Loan report – Toral scores first Rangers goal; Asano and Nwakali feature


Jon Toral scored his first goal for Rangers in the 6-0 Scottish Cup win over Hamilton Academical, with the Spaniard playing the full game.

Wojciech Szczesny played the whole game as Roma lost 2-1 to Napoli.

Takuma Asano played 70 minutes as Stuttgart beat Kaiserslautern 2-0.

Joel Campbell came on in the 66th minute as Sporting Lisbon drew 1-1 with Vitoria Guimaraes.

Dan Crowley played the full 90 minutes of Go Ahead Eagles’ 2-2 draw with Heerenveen.

Ismael Bennacer played the full game as Tours drew 2-2 with Gazelec Ajaccio.

Kelechi Nwakali played the entirety of Maastricht’s 2-2 draw with Almere City. Stefan O’Connor wasn’t involved.

Marc Bola played 66 minutes as Notts County lost 3-0 away to Stevenage. Kaylen Hinds came on for the hosts in the 85th minute.

Matt Macey kept a clean sheet as Luton Town beat Yeovil Town 4-0.

Jack Wilshere was an un-used substitute as Bournemouth drew 1-1 with Manchester United.

Krystian Bielik was an un-used substitute as Birmingham City lost 3-1 to Leeds United.

Gedion Zelalem is likely to be in the squad for VVV-Venlo’s game away to Utrecht II tomorrow. Tafari Moore is doubtful for the hosts due to injury.

Chuba Akpom wasn’t involved a Brighton & Hove Albion lost 3-0 to Nottingham Forest.

Julio Pleguezuelo wasn’t involved as Mallorca drew 1-1 with UCAM Murcia.

Aaron Eyoma wasn’t involved as Volendam drew 1-1 with Dordrecht.

Calum Chambers missed out through injury as Middlesbrough lost 2-0 to Stoke City.

Stephy Mavididi has returned to Arsenal for treatment after his loan spell at Charlton Athletic was cut short by a hamstring injury that is set to keep him out for between twelve and fourteen weeks.



Report – Dasilva scores but Arsenal U18s lose to Tottenham

U18 Premier League

Arsenal 1 (Dasilva) Tottenham 2


Image: Tottenham Hotspur

Josh Dasilva’s goal wasn’t sufficient to prevent Arsenal U18s from falling to a 2-1 defeat at home to rivals Tottenham Hotspur today in the club’s final regular fixture of the campaign.

Coach Kwame Ampadu made five changes to the team that prevailed past Swansea City last weekend, with Joseph Olowu, Zech Medley, Dasilva, Charlie Gilmour and schoolboy striker Tyreece John-Jules coming into the team in place of Daniel Ballard, Tolaji Bola, Josh Benson, Dominic Thompson and Eddie Nketiah


Osei Tutu-Olowu-Medley-Pileas


Smith Rowe-J. Willock-Fortune

John Jules

Subs: Omole (for John-Jules, 84). Not used: Barden, Benson, Thompson, Olayinka.

Arsenal may have been the dominant force when these clubs met at U23 level yesterday but on this occasion it was Tottenham who were on top and the visitors took the lead through Timothy Eyoma, brother of Arsenal loanee Aaron, in the seventh minute.

Tottenham then doubled their advantage through Jack Roles, and, although Arsenal reduced the deficit through Dasilva’s well-struck effort, they were unable to take anything from the game.

Report – Sanogo and Nelson score as impressive Arsenal U23s beat Tottenham


Premier League 2 

Arsenal 2 (Sanogo, Nelson) Tottenham Hotspur 0 

Yaya Sanogo scored his first goal for the club since November 2014 and the ever improving Reiss Nelson was also on the scoresheet as Arsenal U23s prevailed past their Tottenham Hotspur counterparts with a 2-0 victory at London Colney today in the first game since Andries Jonker’s departure as academy manager.

As they did for the victory over Chelsea last week, Arsenal fielded a very strong side for this fixture, with Sanogo, making his first appearance at any level this season after recovering from injury, joined in the team by fellow senior squad members Emiliano Martinez, Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Debuchy, with the latter operating at centre-back.

Meanwhile, Marcus McGuane was back in the squad and started alongside Nelson at the base of the midfield.




Malen-Dragomir-C. Willock


Subs: Nketiah (for Sanogo, 46), Dasilva (for Dragomir, 77). Not used: Keto, Johnson, Olowu.

Sanogo seemed determined to make an impact following his lengthy lay-off and he tested Pau Lopez with an acrobatic effort before later being denied again by the Tottenham goalkeeper.

Arsenal carved out some impressive attacking moves in the opening period and one such sequence culminated in Chris Willock seeing his effort cleared away.

Just before the break Sanogo opened the scoring, with his attempt finding the net after Lopez was unable to keep it out.

Understandably, given how long he has been out, Sanogo was withdrawn at the break, with Eddie Nketiah entering the fray.

It was Tottenham, though, who started the second period in the ascendancy, with Debuchy reacting well to clear Shilow Tracey’s attempt off the line.

Soon, however, Arsenal re-asserted themselves as the dominant force in the game, and were it not for the brilliance of Lopez, Steve Gatting’s side could have chalked up a comprehensive scoreline.

After the lively Willock had shot just wide, Lopez did well to thwart Vlad Dragomir before twice denying Donyell Malen.

Jenkinson, who got forwards with regularity from right-back, was next to try his luck, but it was Nelson who sealed the win as he finished well after being teed up by Malen.

Arsenal U23s are now third in Premier League 2, although they are some 13 points adrift of leaders Everton.

Arsenal name Luke Hobbs as interim Academy Manager following Jonker’s departure


Arsenal have named Luke Hobbs as interim Academy Manager after Andries Jonker left the position to become head coach at Wolfsburg yesterday.

Hobbs joined Arsenal in July 2013 and was the club’s Football Operations manager at Hale End. Prior to that he was a community officer at Peterborough United before spending time as centre of excellence manager at Cambridge United and then operating as head of coaching at Southend United.

The club have already commenced their search for a permanent successor to Jonker.

Meanwhile, Jan Van Loon, who was previously head of individual development, has been appointed as Arsenal’s U15 coach after Freddie Ljungberg joined Wolfsburg as an assistant to Jonker.

Assessing Andries Jonker’s Arsenal tenure: Positives outweigh negatives 

Andries Jonker has today left his position as Arsenal’s head of academy to become the head coach at Bundesliga side Wolfsburg. 

Having arrived at Arsenal in July 2014, Jonker went on to make a significant impact during his time at the club and oversaw the acquisitions of some extremely exciting young talents, including Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Donyell Malen and Vlad Dragomir. 

There were also some slight changes in playing style at youth level under Jonker’s guidance as the Dutchman encouraged the Arsenal prospects to move the ball quicker and be more direct in their approach. 

The progress of Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles can be partly attributed to Jonker’s decision to play individuals in various different positions to enhance their overall game, while this season Ben Sheaf has benefitted from moving from defensive-midfield to centre-back. 

Another intriguing element of Jonker’s tenure was his choice this season to send several of Arsenal’s best prospects on loan to Dutch football, with the likes of Kelechi Nwakali and Dan Crowley benefiting from regular playing time. 

Meanwhile, having fallen into the second tier of second string football Arsenal have now seemingly stabilised themselves in the top division. 

There has also been progress off the pitch, with improvement works talking place at the club’s London Colney training ground and the Hale End academy. 

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Jonker, however, with Arsenal’s lack of defensive resources at U18 level remaining a pertinent problem. 

Furthermore, Arsenal have struggled to make any sort of progress in the UEFA Youth League under his guidance and this season were eliminated from the competition in the group stages. 

An additional difficulty this season has been that there are several players that are clearly surplus to requirements, such as Glen Kamara, Kristopher Da Graca and Aaron Eyoma, who have remained at the club despite having no long- term future at Arsenal. 

Overall, the positive aspects of Jonker’s reign outweigh the negatives but now the search is on for his successor – a key decision that could have a significant bearing on the club’s future.