General Reserves Talk

Gooner416

Master of Stonks
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Shocking news this, I really liked him as a talent. Looks like all the eggs are firmly in the Brooke Norton-Cuffy basket. This is a very disappointing loss and doesn't bode well at a time where we may lose Kido Taylor-Hart aswell!
Yep. He’s confirmed it as well now.

 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
Some observations. We have the largest PL2 squad. By quite some distance too. Arsenal U23 currently have 35 players, 6 more than Chelsea, Man City, Leicester, Brighton & Fulham who on joint second respectively have 29.

It's interesting that City and Chelsea who have a reputation for hoarding youth talent, have 6 less U23 players than Arsenal. The average squad size in the PL2 is 25, we have 10 more players. We are not operating in the norm.

A 20 year old CB - Zech Medley - recently left us to join a Belgian side. It was interesting to see reports saying Arteta "was keen on keeping Medley".

Detouring to our first team, It's also interesting we're linked with CB's like White and forwards like Isak & Andre Silva. (I'm not disputing the quality of these players).

One conclusion from these observation are thus; Edu & Arteta are hoarders incapable of making decisions on squad planning.

Next season (as things stand), we have Auba, Martinelli, Balogun, Saka, Pepe & Reiss for our forward positions. (Assuming Laca is sold.) What's the point of working so hard to tie Balogun down if you buy players 2-4 years older than him in his position?

The CB situation has been covered to death. With White coming in, what does this mean for Saliba? 5 CB's - 3 competitions.

What's the point of trying to keep Medley when we have CB's better than him on loan - Ballard & Mcguiness - and CB's better then him coming up - Kirk & Monlouis. There is no pathway for Medley, the best possible outcome for Arsenal is a sale.

It's going to be very difficult to rotate enough game time for the players that we have. Edu and Arteta seem intent on buying a plethora of players in positions we are stocked in. They seem intent on convincing every u23 player to stick around until their late 20's hoping for imaginary pathways to open up.

Eventually, decisions must be made.
Without disagreeing with your point , because a lot of what you've said is true, there certainly needs to be better academy squad planning because more often than not there are players who are just mere squad fillers. However transfermarkt isn't as accurate. Players such as Jake Clarke Salter , Conor Gallagher and Familla Castillo haven't been included in that list. I'm absolutely certain Chelsea and city have more "youth" players in their squads . A number of them are just no longer regarded as PL2 players.
 

Ibadan

Thread Bump Police
Without disagreeing with your point , because a lot of what you've said is true, there certainly needs to be better academy squad planning because more often than not there are players who are just mere squad fillers. However transfermarkt isn't as accurate. Players such as Jake Clarke Salter , Conor Gallagher and Familla Castillo haven't been included in that list. I'm absolutely certain Chelsea and city have more "youth" players in their squads . A number of them are just no longer regarded as PL2 players.
A good point, I didn't consider the players in that 20-23 age bracket. Like you inferred, the likes of Castillo and Gallagher are beyond the PL2 but are still signed to Chelsea and unlikely to get a look in the first team.

I feel like Arsenal don't really have too many players in that bracket, only ones I can think of are Sheaf, Osei-Tutu & Mavropanos. I like that we have so few, honestly.

On another note, I like Arsenal's strategy of letting academy players beyond 21+ leave permanently. My fears of us having another incredibly large PL2 side look irrelevant as we've gotten rid of players like Coyle, Medley, McGuinness, et al. Interesting to see what happens with Matt Smith & Cottrell, I wouldn't be surprised if they left permanently.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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Sad news indeed but I'm not surprised . He stalled on his contract for a year and then suffered from injuries first half of the season which delayed any fast tracking to the first team. It doesn't help having Alebiosu and Swanson lurking around which meant he's played a lot as a CB.Furthermore, Finley Stevens, a player who was released in favour of him will be in the PL next season with Brentford. I wish him all the best and I won't be surprised seeing him in the PL soon. Hopefully BNC makes us not regret this departure
Heard Reuell Walters is good aswell. Only seen one game (vs Villa) and he was quite impressive.

BNC is the #1 contender now IMO. Alebiosu will go on loan and honestly I don't think he was as good as either Oyegoke or Norton-Cuffy (as much as I think he improved and I like his hustle and athleticism). I wouldn't rule Alebiosu out completely though - Jordi Osei-Tutu wasn't up to much initially and then out of nowhere he put together a string of really strong performances and improved quite a lot. As they say, development is rarely linear! I think the RB prospect spot is still Norton-Cuffy's to lose now with Oyegoke leaving.

I'm now more intrigued to see what happens with Mazeed Ogungbo. Promising as a CB and a great athlete himself, there's a spot for LB as we are sorely lacking in that area. A number of those 2nd years may be considering their options due to heavy competition and lack of opportunity.
 

lomekian

Well-Known Member
Coyle already looked like a grown man at 15. Loved his style of play. He was one of the few prospects that looked like a legit 10 to me. Never saw him as a winger or forward. Physically strong, quick and probably had the best first touch of any of the recent prospects, maybe except Nelson.
Injuries, injuries, injuries. Basically the same player he was at 15 bar some strength as he missed so much time. All too often the way
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member

Interesting article I've found about our current u16 goalkeeper Alexei Rojas . He has already started his coaching badges apparently and he's appeared in some sky sports videos with Saka. Very interesting prospect. Seems quite mature
 

Tomb Bombadil

Well-Known Member
Who is training/playing in pre-season with the first team from the academy? I saw Balogun and Azeez in some pictures + I know Okonkwo is promoted. Who else? Anybody who could get some game time this year?
 

Football Manager

Copy & Paste Merchant

Interesting article I've found about our current u16 goalkeeper Alexei Rojas . He has already started his coaching badges apparently and he's appeared in some sky sports videos with Saka. Very interesting prospect. Seems quite mature
Looks like a very good keeper.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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Who is training/playing in pre-season with the first team from the academy? I saw Balogun and Azeez in some pictures + I know Okonkwo is promoted. Who else? Anybody who could get some game time this year?
Karl Hein (Estonian international goalkeeper) is also with the 1st team but I think he will leave soon. While he has looked more assured than Okonkwo given his international appearances, the club rate Okonkwo higher (so do I to be honest).

Other than all 4 mentioned, nobody else is close. Taylor-Hart hasn't quite yet signed his deal and even then, he won't get ahead of everyone currently there unless there are departures soon enough. I don't even envision Azeez and Balogun playing any significant time for us this year, and expect that at some point they'll have to go on loan to play football as soon as possible.

That said, there are still quite a lot of prospects to keep an eye on. Patino is very highly rated, the aforementioned Taylor-Hart is very interesting and could be the one to succeed where Nelson looks likely to fail. Omari Hutchinson may also start to make waves this season for the u23s. Possibly Brooke Norton-Cuffy depending on how well he starts the season and stays fit.
 

teamsoutheast

Well-Known Member
Our U23's came 10th last season.... 10th!!!! In the PL2 that is 4th from bottom! Something isn't quite right with our youth setup at the moment. There is waay too much talent in that squad for them to come 10th. The recruitment hasn't been that great at this level lately. The likes of Dinzeyi and Akinola seem waaaaay off the pace and seem to be just 'squad fillers'. George Lewis was injured so i'll reserve judgement on him for the moment. Hopefully Ryan Garry improves things. He deserves that role and has worked his way up the ranks from player to youth coach to now manage the U23's. Let's see what he can do at this level as the U23's manager. Rekik should stabilise things at the back and hopefully add some leadership.
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
Our U23's came 10th last season.... 10th!!!! In the PL2 that is 4th from bottom! Something isn't quite right with our youth setup at the moment. There is waay too much talent in that squad for them to come 10th. The recruitment hasn't been that great at this level lately. The likes of Dinzeyi and Akinola seem waaaaay off the pace and seem to be just 'squad fillers'. George Lewis was injured so i'll reserve judgement on him for the moment. Hopefully Ryan Garry improves things. He deserves that role and has worked his way up the ranks from player to youth coach to now manage the U23's. Let's see what he can do at this level as the U23's manager. Rekik should stabilise things at the back and hopefully add some leadership.
I don't think it's as big of a deal. All of it became affected due to lower numbers recruited as scholars in 2018 which meant when older players left on loans , there were no players to naturally transition. Either they were too young or they were the old and inconsistent ones. There was lack of quality in the squad thanks to a number of loans to key players such as Matt Smith and the likes of Clarke and McGuiness + injuries to some certain key players i.e. Cottrell Oyegoke Cirjan etc which meant we had to rely on unreliable players such as Akinola . Coaching might have also played a part hence Steve Bould's sacking. I'm almost certain it won't be the case this year. There's a lot of talent in abundance .
 

Ibadan

Thread Bump Police
Marcel Lucassen is someone I'd previously held in high regard. I connected with his principles of what an academy should look like. I was disappointed when he left the club last year for reportedly "family reasons".

This sun article says he left due to an alleged "racial comment" Lucassen made. Apparently there was an ongoing investigation and Lucassen wasn't willing to stick around to discover the result.
 

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