General Reserves Talk

Heskey

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Been reading a bit about Marcel Lucassen following this Twitter thread being shared in the Saka thread:


Really, really, like quite a few of the points he's making especially in this article:

Arsenal’s Lucassen: Many “coaches haven’t got a clue and try to mask that with words”

Every person needs an incitement and Lucassen’s is to make players and coaches better. What maybe sounds like a cliché, the 56-year-old lives for: “After all, there’s nothing bigger than getting acknowledgments like ‘You’ve improved me’ or ‘I’ve never seen it like this before’.”
I believe Wenger has said similar multiple times and I tend to like people who say this and truly mean it. There's something very sincere and honest about in a likable manner that suits me well.

According to Lucassen, many coaches are determined by their favourite system rather than taking the existing players into account. “The playing philosophy should be fixed, the system variable,” the 56-year-old emphasises. Does that mean that football is very simple? Lucassen thinks so. “There are six basic principles, which are features of football: Start the attack, create an attack and finish an attack. Contrary to that, defend as highly as possible, as quickly as possible and initiate transitional play. And to whom this is still to complicated: “If you lose the ball, win it back,” he explains with a chuckle.
When dealing with hormonal puberty bombs like the teens are in the youth divisions breaking it down and keeping it simple and clear is key. Making it relevant to each player as well. You can't expect every player to understand every concept of football - nor do they need to be able to do so.

I think his style here works well for a youth setup - and looking at how German football has produced players in large part as well in the time with DFB as Director of Development between 08/09 (Aug 1, 2008) and 14/15 (Jun 30, 2015) there's some evidence behind it too.

Instead of criticising, he offers measures for improvement: “I’m certainly not a coach that never makes a mistake. But I reflect a lot and look in the mirror. If I expect that it is taken for granted by a player to move in spaces, then he should also take it for granted that I explain to him how it works. And should mistakes still happen then, I have to analyse the situation precisely. Is the body weight shifted in the wrong way? Does he think about the next step already in this situation or did he make this mistake once in ten tries?” Because of this, Arsenal sign youth coaches only after practical training sessions: “We want to see: Is he able to learn, if and how he uses his experience?”
This seems so basic, but something that I suspect - even at high levels - is lacking.

How he describes earlier in the article as well, that coaches would yell "Concentrate!" to a player, without ever considering if that player is struggling with the fundamentals behind what the player is attempting and rather assuming the player knows exactly what to do but can't focus on the task. Massive difference.

"Then there are two kinds of coaches: The first one gives the player hell, so that he never does a stepover again because he fears the consequences. The second kind accomplishes to get a self-reflection from the player with specific questions, so that he thinks about it and decides if a stepover makes sense depending on the situation.” It cannot be forgotten that footballers “are also human beings and need a secure environment to be successful”.
This is not only on coaches though - it's on media, other players etc. and definitely also on us fans. I can't think of many things that can ruin a young player more than having their own fans boo them.

I've seen it once at Brøndby Stadion several years ago where it happened to a young and upcoming right back. He had broken through recently, but had had some poor games and it was a bad time in the club in general and tensions were high. He got booed at a home game and looked beat for a long time. As far as I recall he was 18 years old, got loaned out (where he didn't do great as far as I know) and came back as a grown man. He improved massively and looked more confident and ended up becoming a starter for Valencia now. Daniel Wass. But that talent could've been ruined back then.
 

RunTheTrap

In midfield with Cellabos

Apparently Arsenal have signed winger George Lewis. I remember we were linked with ex-Sp**s striker Tyger Smalls (sick name by the way) but nothing seemed to have materialised. I’m not too sure if Lewis will be in our first team or put in the academy first.

Obligatory skills video:
 

Mo Britain

Doom Monger
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Apparently Arsenal have signed winger George Lewis. I remember we were linked with ex-Sp**s striker Tyger Smalls (sick name by the way) but nothing seemed to have materialised. I’m not too sure if Lewis will be in our first team or put in the academy first.

Obligatory skills video:
If he plays in the third tier of Norwegian football he should walk into any Kronke-led team.
 

MutableEarth

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The Academy season has been ended by the way, so they'll have to start preparing for next season.

I'm intrigued as to the progression of some of the players - who goes where. Cirjan will most likely play a significant chunk of U23 football. I'm almost certain the likes of Smith and Coyle will go on loan at some point (unless Smith impresses Arteta enough to stay and get chances). Azeez will definitely be a starter for the U23s too, they've been itching to move him up and get him used to the rigours of more competitive football - he needs to be challenged but I do hope they at least try to take some time with him. What happens at CF will be of great interest as Balogun has no business playing U23 football next season. He needs first team football. For me, that leaves Sam Greenwood to be the main man and show what he's got. At U18 level, my guess is Khayon Edwards makes the step up as he seems to be the next promising #9 from Hale End.

The U18 team will undergo a massive change IMO, with a lot of the promising scholars from 03/04 coming through. I'm pretty intrigued - particularly by the group of defenders in the current batch. Awe, Foran, Ogungbo, Monlouis, Kirk all good individually. Bandeira and Patino in midfield, Flores and Hutchinson* aswell.
 

RunTheTrap

In midfield with Cellabos
Will there be some form of preseason for the youngsters to make their case for next season? I doubt we will go overseas so will we just do a little Emirates Cup or go to a country less affected by the virus. Does anyone know or have a clue?
 

MutableEarth

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Will there be some form of preseason for the youngsters to make their case for next season? I doubt we will go overseas so will we just do a little Emirates Cup or go to a country less affected by the virus. Does anyone know or have a clue?
No idea mate, it is possible that they still try and force a finish to the season in June which would mitigate the need for much match preparation but I'm unsure as to how things will proceed.
 

MD3 Gunner

All Deals Off
Players who many people forget were in Arsenals youth academy:

Andy Cole
Harry Kane
Laurie Cunningham
Len Shackleton
Charlie Buchan
Martin Keown
Mark Noble
David Bentley
Jonjo Shelvey
Hal Robson Kanu
Keith Weller
Mickey Droy
Ismael Bennacer
Donyell Malen
 

MutableEarth

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Please no.

What's the reason for the hunch?
Think about it. Even if Auba+Laca leave, they'll bring in a new striker to replace the both of them.

It'll be the new striker, then Martinelli (if he isn't nailed on for LW). Then Eddie Nketiah. Then Tyreece John-Jules. None of those guys are slouches.

Flo Balogun has a ceiling as high as (or higher than) any of the players mentioned, and has yet to sign an extension at least for a loan deal next season - something I believe he needs. Brentford already tested the waters with an attempt to sign him - that tells me his position is far from secure. There's a lot of variables at play but a lot of them point to a team taking advantage of the surplus of strikers we have and taking him off our hands. The only way I can see that changing is if we loan TJJ again (which I think would be a good idea) and give him minutes as an incentive - but again that would depends on if he signs or not. He could preemptively decide to gamble and leave.
 

Heskey

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Think about it. Even if Auba+Laca leave, they'll bring in a new striker to replace the both of them.

It'll be the new striker, then Martinelli (if he isn't nailed on for LW). Then Eddie Nketiah. Then Tyreece John-Jules. None of those guys are slouches.

Flo Balogun has a ceiling as high as (or higher than) any of the players mentioned, and has yet to sign an extension at least for a loan deal next season - something I believe he needs. Brentford already tested the waters with an attempt to sign him - that tells me his position is far from secure. There's a lot of variables at play but a lot of them point to a team taking advantage of the surplus of strikers we have and taking him off our hands. The only way I can see that changing is if we loan TJJ again (which I think would be a good idea) and give him minutes as an incentive - but again that would depends on if he signs or not. He could preemptively decide to gamble and leave.
I don't know why, maybe because he hasn't scored as much as the other guys but I thought TJJ was a winger or second-striker, and subsequently that Balogun was one spot closer to the first team.

Which of those three (Eddie, TJJ, Balogun) would you keep if you had to choose one of them?
 

MutableEarth

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I don't know why, maybe because he hasn't scored as much as the other guys but I thought TJJ was a winger or second-striker, and subsequently that Balogun was one spot closer to the first team.

Which of those three (Eddie, TJJ, Balogun) would you keep if you had to choose one of them?
I honestly don't know. It would most likely depend on what type of squad I was building and the profile I needed.

- If I wanted an all-round CF whose strengths were in technique and bringing out the best in the attack, then I choose TJJ. He's the most well-rounded player and while you won't get the highest scoring rate, he gives you great hold-up play, channel running and the ability to make his fellow attackers look good. That, and he does still score his fair share of goals!

- If I want a striker who simply scores goals no matter the occasion, Nketiah's the man. His all-round game is serviceable to a good level, but more than anything his mentality, pressing from the front and impressive movement. He picks the right areas and moments to strike and has a good finish on him.

- If I want a striker who has some combo of the above however, Balogun is the answer. The one element he carries that the other two above don't however is his ball-carrying. While Nketiah is a very comfortable dribbler, Balogun looks almost Henry like these days for the U23s and cuts through teams when he's on it. His finishing ability is top-notch, perhaps even more than Nketiah. The incredible rate he scores goals at is frightening. He runs channels very well also.
 

RunTheTrap

In midfield with Cellabos
I honestly don't know. It would most likely depend on what type of squad I was building and the profile I needed.

- If I wanted an all-round CF whose strengths were in technique and bringing out the best in the attack, then I choose TJJ. He's the most well-rounded player and while you won't get the highest scoring rate, he gives you great hold-up play, channel running and the ability to make his fellow attackers look good. That, and he does still score his fair share of goals!

- If I want a striker who simply scores goals no matter the occasion, Nketiah's the man. His all-round game is serviceable to a good level, but more than anything his mentality, pressing from the front and impressive movement. He picks the right areas and moments to strike and has a good finish on him.

- If I want a striker who has some combo of the above however, Balogun is the answer. The one element he carries that the other two above don't however is his ball-carrying. While Nketiah is a very comfortable dribbler, Balogun looks almost Henry like these days for the U23s and cuts through teams when he's on it. His finishing ability is top-notch, perhaps even more than Nketiah. The incredible rate he scores goals at is frightening. He runs channels very well also.
I would like to try and loan out Balogun to a Bundesliga side for like 2 years. Similar to how Madrid loaned out Hakimi to Dortmund for 2 years. I’m scared of losing him. I personally think we should move Nketiah on for him. I love Eddie but like you say Balogun has a bit more to his game.
I think TJJ is an excellent prospect too. I think he could do better than League One but it is what it is.
Btw I wanted to ask you, who would you compare Matt Smith to? I want to say someone’s name but I feel like I’ll get crucified for it.
 

MutableEarth

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I would like to try and loan out Balogun to a Bundesliga side for like 2 years. Similar to how Madrid loaned out Hakimi to Dortmund for 2 years. I’m scared of losing him. I personally think we should move Nketiah on for him. I love Eddie but like you say Balogun has a bit more to his game.
I think TJJ is an excellent prospect too. I think he could do better than League One but it is what it is.
Btw I wanted to ask you, who would you compare Matt Smith to? I want to say someone’s name but I feel like I’ll get crucified for it.
I'm undecided. Nketiah's the kind of player who I think turns up for big occasions and has the right mentality to lead the line. It would be hard to lose him, especially as he could probably command top dollar anyway if he stayed here and built his reputation for a bit. TJJ and Balogun are more fleshed out in terms of all-round game, but I don't think Nketiah can be counted out, he's got a habit of transforming expectations. I don't think anyone expected him to outlast all of Akpom, Mavididi and even Donyell Malen to get his shot here first.
TJJ needed to cut his teeth in League One first to be fair to him and it wasn't easy, so it was a good move IMO.

Balogun would have to sign a deal first. It depends what happens with the roster. Most likely scenario is that both TJJ and Balogun go on loan, leaving Greenwood as the fallback.

RE Matt Smith, the closest comparison - one I can't take credit for admittedly - was Toni Kroos which is somewhat accurate. Smith has excellent positional play when it comes to possession and is really taking to the defensive aspect of the game. He's definitely a player who I can see developing into a controller - high volume of touches, creating passing angles, deep progressions, crossfields, short-passing game etc. Easily the most underrated prospect at the club. I didn't think he was all that at first until I started watching him a bit closer. Small things like the way he evades pressure - he's a handy dribbler with good agility, and he appears to have bulked up a little and is better at handling physicality. The choice of pass he usually makes and the regularity with which he executes them. He's one to watch.
 

RunTheTrap

In midfield with Cellabos
I'm undecided. Nketiah's the kind of player who I think turns up for big occasions and has the right mentality to lead the line. It would be hard to lose him, especially as he could probably command top dollar anyway if he stayed here and built his reputation for a bit. TJJ and Balogun are more fleshed out in terms of all-round game, but I don't think Nketiah can be counted out, he's got a habit of transforming expectations. I don't think anyone expected him to outlast all of Akpom, Mavididi and even Donyell Malen to get his shot here first.
TJJ needed to cut his teeth in League One first to be fair to him and it wasn't easy, so it was a good move IMO.

Balogun would have to sign a deal first. It depends what happens with the roster. Most likely scenario is that both TJJ and Balogun go on loan, leaving Greenwood as the fallback.

RE Matt Smith, the closest comparison - one I can't take credit for admittedly - was Toni Kroos which is somewhat accurate. Smith has excellent positional play when it comes to possession and is really taking to the defensive aspect of the game. He's definitely a player who I can see developing into a controller - high volume of touches, creating passing angles, deep progressions, crossfields, short-passing game etc. Easily the most underrated prospect at the club. I didn't think he was all that at first until I started watching him a bit closer. Small things like the way he evades pressure - he's a handy dribbler with good agility, and he appears to have bulked up a little and is better at handling physicality. The choice of pass he usually makes and the regularity with which he executes them. He's one to watch.
Yeah I love Nketiah’s mindset. From being released from Chelsea, to competing to highly rated youngsters, he’s always managed to beat adversity. That’s a really strong mind for anyone to have. I respect him a lot. It would not surprise me if we sold him tomorrow he would be like a Kane or an Andy Cole situation, I think it applies to Balogun too. Whether we like it or not we’re probably going to lose one or the other and they will score goals for fun. You just have to hope it’s not against us.
As for Matt Smith, I am definitely getting Scholes vibes from him, especially when he dropped deep in his later career. I think he has the best ping in team after Xhaka So yeah I can see the Kroos similarities in his game. My fear is that he might go elsewhere for some game time. The deep lying playmaker position is almost saturated at this club. Xhaka occupies it (not very well but that’s another discussion), then I think Guendouzi will be one developed for that and then you have Miguel Azeez who’s rated highly. I didn’t even mention potential signings we could. So yes I’m w little concerned about Smith’s pathway to the first team but I’m hoping for some things to fall his way. Guendouzi got 2 years left after this season, if he doesn’t sign maybe Smith has some hope. Maybe Xhaka leaves (I’m praying for it) who knows.
 

Tom349

Well-Known Member
Must say I feel James Olayinka is being slept on a little. I understand why given he doesn't stand out in any particular area but I can see him carving out a career given his athleticism, versatility and attitude, which most managers would find useful. If AMN moves on I can Olayinka stepping in to fill his role at the teams swiss army knife.
 

MutableEarth

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Must say I feel James Olayinka is being slept on a little. I understand why given he doesn't stand out in any particular area but I can see him carving out a career given his athleticism, versatility and attitude, which most managers would find useful. If AMN moves on I can Olayinka stepping in to fill his role at the teams swiss army knife.
Olayinka is definitely slept on, he's someone who's always been highly rated within the club and is definitely a darkhorse. AMN is a good comparison, although I think Olayinka is a more rugged and aggressive character on the pitch.
 

Tom349

Well-Known Member
Olayinka is definitely slept on, he's someone who's always been highly rated within the club and is definitely a darkhorse. AMN is a good comparison, although I think Olayinka is a more rugged and aggressive character on the pitch.

Its a shame his loan with Northampton Town had to be cut short, supposedly impressed in his one and only appearance.
 

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