General Reserves Talk

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
Yeah. It's a young team but the game management has been quite bad. That said, we still have the Youth cup to play for.
Sadly I feel not getting in defenders in the last intake has not only screwed this year's performances but I feel u23s will suffer next season. Mavropanos Ballard Olowu Medley will all be off permanently or on loan. Omole doesn't even get games at CB anymore and has always been a squad filler . It leaves Clarke and an always injured McGuinness as the CB options and I guess we'll still have to rely on Ogungbo and Kirk who may need more game time with u18s rather than be promoted.
 

MutableEarth

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Sadly I feel not getting in defenders in the last intake has not only screwed this year's performances but I feel u23s will suffer next season. Mavropanos Ballard Olowu Medley will all be off permanently or on loan. Omole doesn't even get games at CB anymore and has always been a squad filler . It leaves Clarke and an always injured McGuinness as the CB options and I guess we'll still have to rely on Ogungbo and Kirk who may need more game time with u18s rather than be promoted.
I share your concern, although I think Bould and Garry have done decent jobs with the CBs so far, particularly Clarke. I am worried that we aren't necessarily coaching the defenders as well as we should, especially as the current and next intake of scholars has a number of promising defenders in it. Players like Foran and Awe in particular standout, along with Monlouis. Gillard will likely have had a harder time without the really strong 2nd years we had last year, but I think Ampadu would have done a better job for sure. Promoting Dan Micciche sounds like a pretty good idea, he's had an extremely good reputation before he even came to us and so far has done excellent work with the U16s.
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
I share your concern, although I think Bould and Garry have done decent jobs with the CBs so far, particularly Clarke. I am worried that we aren't necessarily coaching the defenders as well as we should, especially as the current and next intake of scholars has a number of promising defenders in it. Players like Foran and Awe in particular standout, along with Monlouis. Gillard will likely have had a harder time without the really strong 2nd years we had last year, but I think Ampadu would have done a better job for sure. Promoting Dan Micciche sounds like a pretty good idea, he's had an extremely good reputation before he even came to us and so far has done excellent work with the U16s.
I like Bould and Garry. Bould is an old school coach but has a good coaching CV as opposed to Gillard , Garry is a modern coach so I believe they make a good combo . Sometime back on twitter I came across a tweet from a guy more knowledgeable on the youth of how defenders don't receive proper coaching at any level. Though I believe it's more or less our recruitment has never been defenders oriented in addition to the "Wenger" philosophy. A lot has changed though recently. We've made a lot of coaching changes recently in all age age groups which I believe may also play a part.
 

Afro Mugo

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On the coaching front Per and Herron are really working overtime. They've been a number of new appointments and restructuring but the most interesting one is the recent poaching of Youssuf Sajjad who was the immediate former head of recruitment analysis at Chelsea academy .He's ex-reading so obviously links with Herron . There's also Steve Brown who was head of academy at MK Dons and had previously worked with the FA on talent identification. Brown takes up Morrow's role as I guess it's been difficult poaching Joe Shields from Man City so they settled on the next best option .
 

MutableEarth

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Listen man - he should have been The One. Him and Azeez were the perfect duo. Technique, power, pace etc.

It's a loss I think we can absorb due to how many good midfielders we're pumping out of Hale End right now but hard to see who has his blend of technique, dynamism and power. I was hoping we'd turn Ebiowei into a version of him but he left aswell.

I saw a clip of Bandeira against Brighton yesterday and he looks like he has that kinda power so I hope he can be the anomaly. He's very young - still 15.
 

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
Listen man - he should have been The One. Him and Azeez were the perfect duo. Technique, power, pace etc.

It's a loss I think we can absorb due to how many good midfielders we're pumping out of Hale End right now but hard to see who has his blend of technique, dynamism and power. I was hoping we'd turn Ebiowei into a version of him but he left aswell.

I saw a clip of Bandeira against Brighton yesterday and he looks like he has that kinda power so I hope he can be the anomaly. He's very young - still 15.

Bandeira has a fierce shot on him too. Very well built for his age. Concerning that he had an injury that kept him out over a year at such a young age. But from what I have seen, he looks very interesting.
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
Such a shame we couldn't keep hold of him. Also we got close to nothing for him and Amiechi. Improvements needed in this regard. If we are gonna lose them at least get some value!
TBH the club can do absolutely nothing if a player leaves before signing a pro contract as in the case of Musah. We have a sell on clause on Amaechi and I don't think the club could have sold him for more than they did. These are one of the few situations I don't blame the club when a youngster leaves though I still wonder why Amaechi was so impatient.
 

SingmeasongSong

Right Sometimes
Damn, TJJ got injured

We are so unlucky with our kids, it makes me puke. I mean seriously, we either lose them early on when they are showing promise or loan them out and they don't play ooor they do well and get injured.

Seriously think this curse we once supposedly got is legit as **** - we've been pretty much unlucky for like 15 years now.
 

MutableEarth

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In the recent Arsenal 4-3 Monaco, who makes the flick to assist Balogun's winner? Just watched the highlights.
Ben Cottrell.

There's a real strong trio of midfielders in that U23 team now - Ben Cottrell, Matt Smith and Miguel Azeez. Not a single DM among any of them but all excellent technicians. I really hope we see them during pre-season but I have a feeling we'll be a lot stronger despite the Euros.
 

Afro Mugo

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We are so unlucky with our kids, it makes me puke. I mean seriously, we either lose them early on when they are showing promise or loan them out and they don't play ooor they do well and get injured.

Seriously think this curse we once supposedly got is legit as **** - we've been pretty much unlucky for like 15 years now.
It's sad what happened to TJJ Olayinka and Ballard but on injuries it happens to every club . Its just that we follow Arsenal so we are more informed on our players. What was more problematic is that our players weren't getting game time but since Knapper came in honestly he's done an amazing job. Ben Sheaf has managed to get consistent game time for the first time in his career. Cowley seems to rate ESR and Olowu is absolutely adored by Cork City fans specifically noting that "he's a leader and future captain". On Olayinka's case . I keep thinking of that Torreira tackle and wondering whether it's wise to send the youngsters there. I despise the so called "physicality" of that league .
 

Afro Mugo

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Ben Cottrell.

There's a real strong trio of midfielders in that U23 team now - Ben Cottrell, Matt Smith and Miguel Azeez. Not a single DM among any of them but all excellent technicians. I really hope we see them during pre-season but I have a feeling we'll be a lot stronger despite the Euros.
I watched some highlights of that City game and I can see why you were all over Smith. At lower age groups he was really spoken about highly but he went a bit under the radar as he was in a very talented group with Coyle Amaechi etc. I now can see why. His movement and first time passing is really really good . Balogun gets all the shine. Deservedly so but Smith seems like he was the cog behind that impressive u18 run last year. Crazy stat. Ever since the new u18 format began 5 years ago no team, both North and South, have garnered more points and scored more goals/ had a better goal difference than that Arsenal side.
 

MutableEarth

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I watched some highlights of that City game and I can see why you were all over Smith. At lower age groups he was really spoken about highly but he went a bit under the radar as he was in a very talented group with Coyle Amaechi etc. I now can see why. His movement and first time passing is really really good . Balogun gets all the shine. Deservedly so but Smith seems like he was the cog behind that impressive u18 run last year. Crazy stat. Ever since the new u18 format began 5 years ago no team, both North and South, have garnered more points and scored more goals/ had a better goal difference than that Arsenal side.
He's an incredibly intelligent and savvy player - both offensively and recently defensively aswell. I have to admit - I was skeptical about him originally on first glance. It was the one of the legs of the Youth Cup final that made me think "Hey, this guy has something here". The following season he just got better and better to me. Now I think he's arguably the most underrated prospect we have pound-for-pound. Lots of other names get mentioned, but Matt Smith and Ben Cottrell have gone under the radar and despite this are some of our most consistent and clever performers at that level - real technical standouts. Their only blot is the lack of pure athleticism - which I don't think should be much of a problem.
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
He's an incredibly intelligent and savvy player - both offensively and recently defensively aswell. I have to admit - I was skeptical about him originally on first glance. It was the one of the legs of the Youth Cup final that made me think "Hey, this guy has something here". The following season he just got better and better to me. Now I think he's arguably the most underrated prospect we have pound-for-pound. Lots of other names get mentioned, but Matt Smith and Ben Cottrell have gone under the radar and despite this are some of our most consistent and clever performers at that level - real technical standouts. Their only blot is the lack of pure athleticism - which I don't think should be much of a problem.
I worry less about athleticism if they have the technical ability to cover it up. Cottrell has the physical profile of Grealish maybe not as good at dribbling but very energetic on the pitch and a wand of a left foot. I look at Jorginho and Ceballos and I imagine Smith has a little more athleticism than them though of course they're already established PL players. On the other hand we've seen Coquelin . Great athlete but limited technique and he's ceiling was limited . Liverpool is a unique team currently as they have fullbacks so rare to find hence can survive without creativity in the middle.
 

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