The Under-18s Thread

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
The U18 season began today and Arsenal beat Southampton 4-2. The match report from Jeorge Bird is below.

Link: https://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/...arsenal-u18s-beat-southampton-on-opening-day/



That's such a strong lineup IMO.

Graczyk
Laing Awe Kirk Ogungbo
Patino, Bandeira
Flores Hutchinson Taylor-Hart
Plange
Looking at some of the names missing (Monlouis for example) will tell you how strong this squad is this year. Omari Hutchinson off the mark with 2 assists, Patino and Bandeira at the base and Flores also scoring. I can't wait to see more of this team. This really could be our best intake in a while - let's hope we can keep up the good work from here.


Think we'll have a much more successful season this time around than 19/20. Some of those youngsters that got a chance last season will be more experienced and the others coming in are really talented.

The depth is just crazy!! I am really looking forward to watching Taylor-Hart (looks to have really clean technique), Bandeira (really excited about him), Monlouis, Awe (so tall with good technique), Charles Sagoe (if he gets opportunities, although he is very tiny), Patino, Hutchinson and Flores this season. Those are the prospects I rate the most.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
Trusted ✔️
Think we'll have a much more successful season this time around than 19/20. Some of those youngsters that got a chance last season will be more experienced and the others coming in are really talented.

The depth is just crazy!! I am really looking forward to watching Taylor-Hart (looks to have really clean technique), Bandeira (really excited about him), Monlouis, Awe (so tall with good technique), Charles Sagoe (if he gets opportunities, although he is very tiny), Patino, Hutchinson and Flores this season. Those are the prospects I rate the most.
Think a lot of them won't go up to U23s so soon aswell, so could be really strong campaign this year. I want a Youth Cup win this year, it's been a while IMO.
 

Manberg

Predator
How can you guys make these judgements on these players? Are you able to watch them on a stream?
I couldn’t even find a mention of this game on arsenal.com
 

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
Think a lot of them won't go up to U23s so soon aswell, so could be really strong campaign this year. I want a Youth Cup win this year, it's been a while IMO.

I really thought the 18/19 squad had a good chance to win the FA youth cup. That group with Saka, Balogun, Amaechi, TJJ, Cottrell, Matt Smith and Okonkwo. Such a special group that was.
 

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
How can you guys make these judgements on these players? Are you able to watch them on a stream?
I couldn’t even find a mention of this game on arsenal.com

There are a couple of games of the U16 playing online, but they are very scarce. I always look forward to upcoming youth talent for Arsenal, so I do extra research and also a guy like Jeorge Bird does a good job breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of the youth players.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
Trusted ✔️
https://player.arsenal.com/video/u-18s-southampton-h-highlights-1

Finally the highlights of our win vs Southampton. ****ty 4 minute highlights aside, here's some small observations:

- Hutchinson looks really good. I love the way he uses the ball, seems to have good weight and timing on his passes. He's also a bit taller than I expected, doesn't look tiny compared to the rest of the team (he looks bigger than Flores for example).

- Taylor-Hart also looked strong in the little we saw of him in these clips. Like Hutchinson, his use of the ball is very good and it's nice to have players like them in and around the final 3rd.

- This might be the tallest U18 team we've had in a while. Other than Hutchinson and Flores (who certainly didn't look too overawed physically going by these small clips), the rest of the team looks physically strong. Our backline of Ogungbo-Kirk-Awe-Laing is huge. Smallest person is about 6'2! Patino, Plange and Taylor-Hart all look around 5'11 and Bandeira is a bit bigger than them so pretty big in midfield and attack too.
Bit disappointed to concede goals but it's U18s so the defending won't be perfect.
 

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
https://player.arsenal.com/video/u-18s-southampton-h-highlights-1

Finally the highlights of our win vs Southampton. ****ty 4 minute highlights aside, here's some small observations:

- Hutchinson looks really good. I love the way he uses the ball, seems to have good weight and timing on his passes. He's also a bit taller than I expected, doesn't look tiny compared to the rest of the team (he looks bigger than Flores for example).

- Taylor-Hart also looked strong in the little we saw of him in these clips. Like Hutchinson, his use of the ball is very good and it's nice to have players like them in and around the final 3rd.

- This might be the tallest U18 team we've had in a while. Other than Hutchinson and Flores (who certainly didn't look too overawed physically going by these small clips), the rest of the team looks physically strong. Our backline of Ogungbo-Kirk-Awe-Laing is huge. Smallest person is about 6'2! Patino, Plange and Taylor-Hart all look around 5'11 and Bandeira is a bit bigger than them so pretty big in midfield and attack too.
Bit disappointed to concede goals but it's U18s so the defending won't be perfect.

Hutchinson looking clinical with those passes. The one for the third goal was sublime. I think Hutchinson had a growth spurt since the Covid break. Even in the training pics with the first team he looked almost as tall as Arteta. So long as he is not midget size like Torreira, then we good.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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Hutchinson looking clinical with those passes. The one for the third goal was sublime. I think Hutchinson had a growth spurt since the Covid break. Even in the training pics with the first team he looked almost as tall as Arteta. So long as he is not midget size like Torreira, then we good.
Yeah, he's definitely gotten bigger and looks very much capable of handling himself - that's been hugely encouraging to me and probably makes me more confident that he's a strong contender to make it of this batch. The whole team was bigger than I expected. This is probably the most rounded squad we've had at that level for a minute, in terms of physical and technical capability.

I really want to see more of this team, I hope we can get a good Youth Cup run together.
 

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
Yeah, he's definitely gotten bigger and looks very much capable of handling himself - that's been hugely encouraging to me and probably makes me more confident that he's a strong contender to make it of this batch. The whole team was bigger than I expected. This is probably the most rounded squad we've had at that level for a minute, in terms of physical and technical capability.

I really want to see more of this team, I hope we can get a good Youth Cup run together.

I wonder how much game time Charles Sagoe would see this season. He is still pretty small, but looks to have very good dribbling technique.
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
I never realized how 2 footed Hutchinson actually is. His dribbling and passing with his right foot is really good . Even Graczyk the keeper had added some inches he looked short last season. It's actually the first u18 team of ours where I see each one playing football professionally at a decent level. Normally there's always one or two who you feel are squad fillers . Probably that's Jason Sraha as he hasn't really played a lot.
 

Maybe

Well-Known Member
Feels weird that we don't have a decent forward. Usually, we can't develop defenders but this will be the first group in a long time without a proper attacking player
 

Maybe

Well-Known Member
We have Plange and Edwards, both are pretty talented. I think Edwards can be just as devastating as Nketiah and Balogun at this level once he gets comfortable.
They are all talented, that's why they play for Arsenal's u18, but for me, it's doesn't look like they are on the level to dominate academy football, which is needed for progress to u23 and first team.
The development at that stage is volatile, it's hard to tell how things will look
 

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
They are all talented, that's why they play for Arsenal's u18, but for me, it's doesn't look like they are on the level to dominate academy football, which is needed for progress to u23 and first team.
The development at that stage is volatile, it's hard to tell how things will look

I don't think it really matters if they dominate youth football. I feel the development of all around awareness, tactical nous and stamina are more crucial for that level.

If the player has technique, vision and balance with all those other attributes added, then they will have a good chance of making it here.

You can't teach things like vision, ability to make quick decisions under pressure etc.

This is still the second week, Edwards already showed that he could score for fun at U16, I def see him replicating the same form once he settles at U18 level.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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Arsenal U18s fought to a 3-2 win vs a talented Palace U18 team. Edwards scored before Flores got himself a brace (see below).


Flores is really ****ing impressive. His close control, dribbling, acceleration and shooting ability really mark him out as a potentially top prospect. Alongside Hutchinson (who set up his first goal) and Taylor-Hart behind Edwards, that should - in theory - be a forward line full of goals. They just need a bit of work defensively but there's enough to suggest there are levels ahead that they will reach.
 

Afro Mugo

Well-Known Member
Arsenal U18s fought to a 3-2 win vs a talented Palace U18 team. Edwards scored before Flores got himself a brace (see below).


Flores is really ****ing impressive. His close control, dribbling, acceleration and shooting ability really mark him out as a potentially top prospect. Alongside Hutchinson (who set up his first goal) and Taylor-Hart behind Edwards, that should - in theory - be a forward line full of goals. They just need a bit of work defensively but there's enough to suggest there are levels ahead that they will reach.
That's about 5 assists from Omari already this season. He really has matured in his play. It helps that he can pass with both feet. It's actually crazy how much talent is in that team.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
Trusted ✔️
Hutchinson looks to have some guile to his play. Giving me Saka vibes from 17/18. He is prob gon rack up a ton of assists this season. Hopefully the defense improves as the season progresses. Really looking forward to seeing Awe, Monlouis make their mark.
With the highlights in his hair, reminds me of Nelson's schoolboy season in the U18s when he was playing LW.

https://player.arsenal.com/video/u-18s-crystal-palace-h-highlights

Here's the highlights everyone. Taylor-Hart comes out of this looking very good aswell.
 

oh to be a goon

Well-Known Member
watching those highlights and for all the grief Hutchinson gets for his size, he's almost as tall as Patino now. Flores meanwhile is being towered over by everybody and is a full head shorter than Edwards.
 

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