General Reserves Talk


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It could be argued that the depth at right back is probably the strongest out of all the positions at the academy. Norton Cuffy established himself in the u23s at 16 and I remember reading an interview with an academy player ( can't remember who) who said out of everyone, Oyegoke was the most likely to make it in the first team. I'm assuming the third man your talking about is Alebiosu but could easily be talking about Swanson and Osei Tutu as well if they hadn't suffered Injuries.
It's been that way for a while to be honest - RB is definitely a hugely strong position for us, so much so that the likes of Oyegoke is being shifted around to accommodate others.

The third man was Alebiosu, but I'm not as big on him as Bould seems to be. He gets a lot of minutes but ultimately I think his ceiling isn't quite as high as Norton-Cuffy or Oyegoke. Not to say he isn't a good talent though, very good athlete and recovery defender with a decent ability to attack space.

Swanson and Osei-Tutu are going to have very good careers IMO, and I could see Swanson moving back central at some point owing to his ability on the ball. Osei-Tutu very well could have gotten a chance here had things been different. He improved remarkably in a short space of time and has done better than I expected initially.

Think with some other positions there are strengths - CF and CM for me is very strong for us at the moment, while we have 2 extremely good wing talents in Taylor-Hart and Hutchinson but a bit light behind them. I really like Flores and Butler-Oyedeji but I think it will be tough for the latter player despite his considerably dribbling talent while the former looks extremely talented but one wonders if his size may count against him. We'll have to see. But Flores is definitely one to keep an eye on.

I'm a bit less optimistic about progression into the first team these days. We don't have a Wenger to encourage bringing them through anymore. Thankfully we have produced a few standouts to force there way into plans but some IMO have been neglected and not done as well as a result. And I think it's gonna be tougher under a manager like Arteta. While it's definitely not a bad thing, the bar has risen and despite the team being wildly inconsistent, the level you have to reach to force your way into first team plans is much higher - fair or otherwise. So I can see a lot of really talented players not making it here in the next 5 years.


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Alongside Cottrell and Cirjan in a 3
Smith, Cottrell and Cirjan might not be the best talent, but they are our most technical young players in the central midfield/attacking midfield position.
They may not end up as top quality players, but that’s fine.

What I have been sure for years is that, players who are not skillful/technical such as AMN/Willock/Nketiah are shxt players. And I’m proven right.


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Never realised how good his ball striking is. Definitely his best attribute.
There is so much you can do with a player like Azeez. Has the physical capabilities and the technical quality to be as good as he wants to be. I think naturally he'll become a 6 when he's older but I still think we get the best out of him if we give him a little bit of freedom. Like, I could see him doing what Xhaka does now, although I think his defensive positioning would have to improve. Can win duels well though and intercepts pretty well.

And yeah, he hits the ball extremely well. Just arrows it but with the requisite finesse and manipulation needed. His shooting and passing are both great assets as a result because he gets such good weight on both.

I'm still curious to see what happens with Smith aswell. Think he'd be a smart player to have when fully developed but dunno what happens with him.

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