The Under-18s Thread

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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OK, had to do other stuff but had time to marinade on the match. My main takeaways:

- We defended a lot better over the match than I thought we would. We got punished severely for the few times we were in trouble by a very clinical Liverpool side, who were dangerous as I expected. I was worried a little about the defence but I had some confidence that the likes of Monlouis and Norton-Cuffy in particular would stand up to the threat and largely they did - Monlouis did have lapses that led to the first 2 goals but I am more willing to forgive that at this level as he had a good performance otherwise. It helped that Jack Henry-Francis was haring around tackling everything that moved, as was Marcelo Flores strangely enough. It was a hard fight and ultimately we didn't win but I liked that element of our game today. On another day, we definitely could have conceded less.

- Ejeheri looks a very decent young keeper, in the mold of Okonkwo. Good distribution with both feet and good shot-stopping. Liked how secure he was on crosses aswell. One to watch for me.

- Hutchinson was sorely missed today. He is our most in-form player in front of goal and his cleverness, acceleration and ambidextrous game really was a missing dimension. Butler-Oyedeji was very game but ultimately looked a little short in comparison. Our attack really suffered as we weren't able to get Edwards in the game much either. Taylor-Hart was left to carry the attack a lot of the time, with Azeez attempting to get forward often and linking up with him.

- You can see where the potential standout quality is on the pitch from us. Taylor-Hart and Azeez looked a level above when they got going, although Azeez had a pretty mixed game IMO and could have done more. Norton-Cuffy looks like a star already. Henry-Francis has been the surprise package of the season for me, really carved out a spot for himself in the absence of Patino and Bandeira. I do think that the latter mentioned would have been pluses for us though. I thought Amani Richards looked exciting in his cameo, would like to see more of him. Ejeheri and Monlouis were also pretty good.

- Honestly, we gave a decent account of ourselves everywhere except the final 3rd. That was the only problem from today but I was pretty encouraged by some of the performances. I'm pretty confident we can have a good run next season.
 

Hunta

Shivering Right Now
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OK, had to do other stuff but had time to marinade on the match. My main takeaways:

- We defended a lot better over the match than I thought we would. We got punished severely for the few times we were in trouble by a very clinical Liverpool side, who were dangerous as I expected. I was worried a little about the defence but I had some confidence that the likes of Monlouis and Norton-Cuffy in particular would stand up to the threat and largely they did - Monlouis did have lapses that led to the first 2 goals but I am more willing to forgive that at this level as he had a good performance otherwise. It helped that Jack Henry-Francis was haring around tackling everything that moved, as was Marcelo Flores strangely enough. It was a hard fight and ultimately we didn't win but I liked that element of our game today. On another day, we definitely could have conceded less.

- Ejeheri looks a very decent young keeper, in the mold of Okonkwo. Good distribution with both feet and good shot-stopping. Liked how secure he was on crosses aswell. One to watch for me.

- Hutchinson was sorely missed today. He is our most in-form player in front of goal and his cleverness, acceleration and ambidextrous game really was a missing dimension. Butler-Oyedeji was very game but ultimately looked a little short in comparison. Our attack really suffered as we weren't able to get Edwards in the game much either. Taylor-Hart was left to carry the attack a lot of the time, with Azeez attempting to get forward often and linking up with him.

- You can see where the potential standout quality is on the pitch from us. Taylor-Hart and Azeez looked a level above when they got going, although Azeez had a pretty mixed game IMO and could have done more. Norton-Cuffy looks like a star already. Henry-Francis has been the surprise package of the season for me, really carved out a spot for himself in the absence of Patino and Bandeira. I do think that the latter mentioned would have been pluses for us though. I thought Amani Richards looked exciting in his cameo, would like to see more of him. Ejeheri and Monlouis were also pretty good.

- Honestly, we gave a decent account of ourselves everywhere except the final 3rd. That was the only problem from today but I was pretty encouraged by some of the performances. I'm pretty confident we can have a good run next season.
From what I’ve seen this season, BNC looks a very good RB, Kirk and Monlouis are raw - very good on the ball but defensively they need a lot of work.

I’ll be disappointed if one of Henry-Francis, Patino or Sweet don’t make it here. Flores just might not have the body to make it, he’s very good technically but he’s so short.

Taylor-Hart is technically fantastic but I haven’t seen the goal threat which a youngster needs these days to break through, maybe that’s harsh if you look at his stats, but yesterday he seemed to shy away from going for goal, if he signs a deal he could be another Iwobi though.

All in all, Hutchinson is the one player you’d pick to make a debut for Arsenal with BNC a close second. Patino probably third.
 
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MutableEarth

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From what I’ve seen this season, BNC looks a very good RB, Kirk and Monlouis are raw - very good on the ball but defensively they need a lot of work.

I’ll be disappointed if one of Henry-Francis, Patino or Sweet don’t make it here. Flores just might not have the body to make it, he’s very good technically but he’s so short.

Taylor-Hart is technically fantastic but I haven’t seen the goal threat which a youngster needs these days to break through, maybe that’s harsh if you look at his stats, but yesterday he seemed to shy away from going for goal, if he signs a deal he could be another Iwobi though.

All in all, Hutchinson is the one player you’d pick to make a debut for Arsenal with BNC a close second. Patino probably third.
Agree on everything bar Taylor-Hart. I think he has the shooting technique to be very dangerous but perhaps needs to get his shots off in better positions. I think opponents have cottoned on that he can beat players 1v1 so he gets lots of attention.

I'm not convinced by Kirk but he's had some very good games regardless. I think Monlouis is the stronger prospect but he arguably needs the most work in a defensive capacity. 1v1 he's fine but general defending when opponents are building attacks he needs improving.

I can see Hutchinson and Norton-Cuffy breaking through very soon.
 

Hunta

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Agree on everything bar Taylor-Hart. I think he has the shooting technique to be very dangerous but perhaps needs to get his shots off in better positions. I think opponents have cottoned on that he can beat players 1v1 so he gets lots of attention.

I'm not convinced by Kirk but he's had some very good games regardless. I think Monlouis is the stronger prospect but he arguably needs the most work in a defensive capacity. 1v1 he's fine but general defending when opponents are building attacks he needs improving.

I can see Hutchinson and Norton-Cuffy breaking through very soon.
Thought Hutchinson might have been all hype before watching him this season, but he’s not only technically superb, he’s fast and quite stocky too with end product as well. Could very well have a Saka esque rise - though the lack of cup games and Arteta being manager might go against him.
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
OK, had to do other stuff but had time to marinade on the match. My main takeaways:

- We defended a lot better over the match than I thought we would. We got punished severely for the few times we were in trouble by a very clinical Liverpool side, who were dangerous as I expected. I was worried a little about the defence but I had some confidence that the likes of Monlouis and Norton-Cuffy in particular would stand up to the threat and largely they did - Monlouis did have lapses that led to the first 2 goals but I am more willing to forgive that at this level as he had a good performance otherwise. It helped that Jack Henry-Francis was haring around tackling everything that moved, as was Marcelo Flores strangely enough. It was a hard fight and ultimately we didn't win but I liked that element of our game today. On another day, we definitely could have conceded less.

- Ejeheri looks a very decent young keeper, in the mold of Okonkwo. Good distribution with both feet and good shot-stopping. Liked how secure he was on crosses aswell. One to watch for me.

- Hutchinson was sorely missed today. He is our most in-form player in front of goal and his cleverness, acceleration and ambidextrous game really was a missing dimension. Butler-Oyedeji was very game but ultimately looked a little short in comparison. Our attack really suffered as we weren't able to get Edwards in the game much either. Taylor-Hart was left to carry the attack a lot of the time, with Azeez attempting to get forward often and linking up with him.

- You can see where the potential standout quality is on the pitch from us. Taylor-Hart and Azeez looked a level above when they got going, although Azeez had a pretty mixed game IMO and could have done more. Norton-Cuffy looks like a star already. Henry-Francis has been the surprise package of the season for me, really carved out a spot for himself in the absence of Patino and Bandeira. I do think that the latter mentioned would have been pluses for us though. I thought Amani Richards looked exciting in his cameo, would like to see more of him. Ejeheri and Monlouis were also pretty good.

- Honestly, we gave a decent account of ourselves everywhere except the final 3rd. That was the only problem from today but I was pretty encouraged by some of the performances. I'm pretty confident we can have a good run next season.
I couldn't watch the game but I'm not surprised by the analysis as I didn't expect anything from a Gillard team despite the individual talent. I still think with Micciche as coach, the players individually would perform better than they are currently. There's a lot of talent in that team, they just need help in glueing everything together. Having said that, Wan-Bissaka credited Gillard with his defensive prowess at a time when he was in danger of being released by palace as an u18 so not surprised that BNC has had a superb season and despite the defensive lapses, I've seen better performances from defenders at u18 level this season than in previous years. Our problems are attacking problems, almost similar to the first team. Our attacking numbers are poor aside from Hutchinson. No player has double numbers in terms of goals with only Hutchinson with double number assists in all competitions. Edwards, KTH, Flores and even Omari himself are all capable of producing better numbers. I hope Per does a re-shuffle of coaching because these players are the best we've had in a while, they should either supplement the first team or generate a lot of cash for us. We can't let them wither away due to poor coaching.
 

MutableEarth

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We are facing Reading U18s currently and have put out a schoolboy XI which is currently leading 1-0. The #9 today is one of the players Jeorge Bird mentioned today - Ethan Nwaneri.

Jimi Gower is the scorer. Looks like he'll be one of the scholars. Jeorge Bird's current tweets will be interesting to follow as he's expecting a surprisingly large intake this year. A decent chunk of the scholars might not be Hale End scholars.

EDIT: It's now 2-0. Amani Richards penalty.
 

MutableEarth

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@Afro Mugo @Hunta @Geofranco

Nwaneri was on the scoresheet for the U18s tonight in a 6-1 win vs Reading U18s. U14 player!!

Aaron Benn scored 2 and assisted Nwaneri's goal. He's apparently from Wolves academy so that'll be our next scholar aswell. The other scorers were Gower, RIchards and Quesada-Thorn. Huge win.

Cozier-Duberry came on and assisted one of Benn's goals.
 

Hunta

Shivering Right Now
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@Afro Mugo @Hunta @Geofranco

Nwaneri was on the scoresheet for the U18s tonight in a 6-1 win vs Reading U18s. U14 player!!

Aaron Benn scored 2 and assisted Nwaneri's goal. He's apparently from Wolves academy so that'll be our next scholar aswell. The other scorers were Gower, RIchards and Quesada-Thorn. Huge win.

Cozier-Duberry came on and assisted one of Benn's goals.
Blimey.

Richards sounds like a star, hope we can keep on to the two lads mentioned by JB today.
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
@Afro Mugo @Hunta @Geofranco

Nwaneri was on the scoresheet for the U18s tonight in a 6-1 win vs Reading U18s. U14 player!!

Aaron Benn scored 2 and assisted Nwaneri's goal. He's apparently from Wolves academy so that'll be our next scholar aswell. The other scorers were Gower, RIchards and Quesada-Thorn. Huge win.

Cozier-Duberry came on and assisted one of Benn's goals.
Just seen this . Although both were young teams, Nwaneri was playing with players 3 years older which is crazy . These new u16s have players with little hype so I'm actually excited to see them next season. It seems it will be another large intake and I don't mind this new approach of signing youngsters from elsewhere at 16.
 

Hunta

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Bit weird that the club is hyping up a 14yr old, they normally keep quiet on youngsters, he’s not even a scholar yet.
 

dashsnow17

Sounds Like Hairspray
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Not being funny by Taylor-Hart, Norton-Cuffy, Henry-Francis, Giraud-Hutchinson, Lannin-Sweet, Cozier-Duberry, Queseda-Thorn, Butler-Oyedeji, John-Jules, Osei-Tutu...not to mention Maitland-Niles and Smith Rowe.

It's a clear trend! What are you supposed to do when your double-barrelled kid meets another double-barrelled kid and they want a kid, are they supposed to quadruple-barrell it? When does it end! The parents of today are not thinking ahead.
 

MutableEarth

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What’s the earliest age a player can sign a deal? @MutableEarth
The earliest is 17, but usually they are able to negotiate pre-contract deals where there's a guaranteed pro deal on the table if the club rate you really highly. So far, the only player I can think of who turned down such a deal is Yunus Musah. Miguel Azeez was offered that type of deal, as were a lot of our more heralded scholars of recent memory. Saka was definitely one of those.

I think for the likes of Nwaneri and Lewis-Skelly, they will already have guaranteed scholarships with pro-deals attached once they turn 17, and I'd imagine they may possibly have other clubs doing the same. Word is the intake's still gonna be a large one so I'm quite intrigued by the possibilities here. I think a bunch of the older lads are going. There's a possibility that some decent prospects are gonna be let go. Oyegoke and Ogungbo both haven't signed deals. There'll probably be a lot of loans again.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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Hutchinson still hurt. Most of these players I haven't seen play a full game yet so this would have been interesting - however, I'm about to work so I will only have one eye on the game :lol:.

Good chance to check out Richards, Sagoe Jnr and the midfield two of Ibrahim and Luigi Gaspar (Edu's son). Zach Awe is also pretty talented.
 

MutableEarth

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We're winning 1-0.

I really like Amani Richards so far. I think he is probably better than Edwards. Pleasantly surprised.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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Wins another penalty.

He’ll play for the Arsenal first team, looks a star.
Yeah, been impressed with some of the performers so far. Ibrahim looks very composed, and Jeffcott and Walters were pretty good. Ideho and Butler-Oyedeji have had good moments aswell.

Perfect #9 performance from Amani Richards so far, just needs a goal now, could have had one. Great movement, direct dribbling, very quick and technically sound. Really impressed - he'll be playing U23 football in no time.
 

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