I'm having great difficulty bringing myself to talk about anything to do with Arsenal at the moment. The team is stuck in a very boring, samey, predictable groundhog day, year in, year out, and there is a pretty nasty, and dare I say, poisonous, atmosphere, seemingly surrounding the whole club, even on Twitter and stuff. I'm pretty disillusioned by the whole thing unfortunately...
However, I really enjoyed our U23s drawing 3-3 with Man City last night, so I've decided to post about that instead.
We named a pretty strong team:
Subs: Nketiah, Keto, Johnson, McGuane, Dasilva.
We got off to a pretty shocking start. City scored early on and then doubled their advantage around the half an hour mark. From then on though, I have to say, we were pretty fantastic. We pulled one back through Malen towards the end of the first half, and then equalised early on in the second half through the impressive Nelson. Bramall rashly conceded a penalty, which gave City and undeserved 3-2 lead, but we equalised late on when Jenkinson ventured into the City penalty area and smashed one home.
A few comments on the players...
Huddart didn't have a great time on loan to Eastleigh, but he is still only 19 and highly regarded by the club. He looked solid in goal.
Jenkinson made a poor start to the game before recovering and eventually scoring that late equaliser. However, unless Wenger & co still believe Jenks has a future here, I don't see any benefit from us playing him in an U23 game, especially when a genuinely promising younger talent like Chiori Johnson is stuck on the bench...
Since signing for us, Ben Sheaf has gone from a central midfielder, to a defensive midfielder, to a right back, to being used almost exclusively at centre back this season. Last night I thought he looked great, and seemed to have a bit of everything. Good prospect. Rob Holding looked good on the ball but I didn't get to see a great deal of his defensive work.
I wasn't impressed by Cohen Bramall, unfortunately. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as it was his first time playing at the Emirates and he may have been a little nervous, but he wasn't great. He looked impressive physically, although I saw no evidence of his great pace, his crossing was pretty poor and he made a lot of rash challenges, as evidenced by the penalty he conceded.
Maitland-Niles was fantastic. He seemed to be doing his best N'Golo Kante impression as he was breaking up City attacks, starting off moves for us and suddenly popping up out of nowhere up the other end of the pitch as well. His energy levels were unreal. His ability to play out wide was evidenced as well, as he and Nelson showed good understanding, occasionally interchanging. He was our best player, for me, and I think he needs another loan move next season. Having been here since the age of 6, I think it is important he is given every chance to make it here. Reine-Adelaide had good moments but I didn't think he performed well consistently.
Onto the three behind Sanogo... Malen impressed me as he took his goal well and was pretty lively, he's in good form at the moment. Willock was also impressive, lively and using the ball well, although I think he overplayed it a few times. Nelson was fantastic as well. He took his goal really well and oozed quality. He'll be knocking on the door of the first team before long.
Sanogo upfront... wow. He was bad, and I mean BAD. His first touch was abysmal. He provided absolutely no goal threat or any evidence of linkup play. I can't for the life of me understand why he starts when a great prospect like Nketiah is on the bench.
From Jeorge Bird