The Under-18s Thread

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
I just don't understand how such a talented team is getting beat so badly at this level. It doesn't make sense to me. That team was even more experienced than the ones we've been playing before at that level (Cirjan and Taylor-Hart both in it).

Don't want to be alarmist as it's very early on but it would seem either there is a problem with the coaching or perhaps we've overrated a bit the quality of this group? If you just look a that team on paper given how we rate all these players you would think, if they are as good as we think, they would actually dominate this level, not get dominated.

I think the coaching is a big problem. Maybe we have overestimated some of the talent, but from what I have seen, guys like Taylor Hart, Monlouis, Cirjan, Patino, Awe, Bandeira, Flores and Hutchinson are just as talented as any other group from the academy I ever followed. This particular group has a pretty good balance with defensive, midfield and attacking prospects. Which makes it even more concerning.
 

oh to be a goon

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From the highlights, it looked like the team was just too attacking. Hutchinson was the number 8 alongside Patino.
Has Bandeira started a game beside Patino yet this season? It feels like he's needed to bring a bit more balance to the team.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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I think the coaching is a big problem. Maybe we have overestimated some of the talent, but from what I have seen, guys like Taylor Hart, Monlouis, Cirjan, Patino, Awe, Bandeira, Flores and Hutchinson are just as talented as any other group from the academy I ever followed. This particular group has a pretty good balance with defensive, midfield and attacking prospects. Which makes it even more concerning.
I second this. While there are obvious standouts that are noticeably talented, the rest of the crop are not just highly rated by us but across the country overall. It's a very solid group and the most rounded we've had arguably since '08.

Coaching appears to be the issue, especially as this is actually a decent crop of defenders at our disposal. Gillard did well to build upon Ampadu's work with Saka's scholar group (the backline of Lopez-McGuinness-Clarke-VDC being the bedrock of the success) but since that group ascended, he's struggled.

From the highlights, it looked like the team was just too attacking. Hutchinson was the number 8 alongside Patino.
Has Bandeira started a game beside Patino yet this season? It feels like he's needed to bring a bit more balance to the team.
Makes sense why we were beaten so handily then. Small issues like that can lead to bigger victories at U18 level. I'm eager to see how they respond tomorrow. I do think the lack of a real defensive presence in midfield is a possible factor.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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So they responded well. A 3-1 win over West Brom with a Luke Plange brace and an own goal. Hutchinson played in his old position of LB and still got an assist. Would not be surprised at all if this is the position he makes waves in initially at first team level. That said, he's enough of a technical whizz that I can still see him doing well in midfield. A lot of good output from him so far.

Bandeira got the other assist. Another player who's doing quite well this season.
 

MutableEarth

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Taylor-Hart hattrick in the last under 18s game. One to watch.
Back to back wins now. 5-1 win vs Norwich, looks like we're starting to compound our dangerous attack. Taylor-Hart is definitely one to keep an eye on. He still hasn't signed pro yet and I don't know what they're waiting for (a bunch of 2nd years haven't signed pro yet). Looking at him, he looks a cross between Nelson and Amaechi. Comfortable on either foot, great acceleration, excellent technically and a real comfortable dribbler. That's the holy grail of a modern Arsenal attacker. We've gotta hold onto him.

Nobody's talking about Luke Plange, interestingly. One of the best natural finishers at the club IMO. Makes his goals look easy and got another one today. Khayon Edwards got the other goal and he looks like he might have next aswell. Looks very similar to Balogun actually.

The side that played today looked good aswell

Ejeheri
Laing Awe Foran Monlouis
Bandeira Patino
Edwards Hutchinson Taylor-Hart
Plange
There's an incredible amount of balance there. That's a really massive backline aswell. All 6'2+ and look physically capable. The midfield complement each other well in terms of technique and athleticism and the attack has a great balance of profiles.
 

Ibadan

Thread Bump Police
Back to back wins now. 5-1 win vs Norwich, looks like we're starting to compound our dangerous attack. Taylor-Hart is definitely one to keep an eye on. He still hasn't signed pro yet and I don't know what they're waiting for (a bunch of 2nd years haven't signed pro yet). Looking at him, he looks a cross between Nelson and Amaechi. Comfortable on either foot, great acceleration, excellent technically and a real comfortable dribbler. That's the holy grail of a modern Arsenal attacker. We've gotta hold onto him.

Nobody's talking about Luke Plange, interestingly. One of the best natural finishers at the club IMO. Makes his goals look easy and got another one today. Khayon Edwards got the other goal and he looks like he might have next aswell. Looks very similar to Balogun actually.

The side that played today looked good aswell

Ejeheri
Laing Awe Foran Monlouis
Bandeira Patino
Edwards Hutchinson Taylor-Hart
Plange
There's an incredible amount of balance there. That's a really massive backline aswell. All 6'2+ and look physically capable. The midfield complement each other well in terms of technique and athleticism and the attack has a great balance of profiles.

really wish we could watch these full games. I don't think it's down to laziness on Arsenal's part not to make them available like other people have said. I think the club are very conscious of the media they allow out of the club. It's not in Arsenal's best interests to give opposing teams information on our youth players. Still wish we could watch the games though lol.
 

Geofranco

Well-Known Member
really wish we could watch these full games. I don't think it's down to laziness on Arsenal's part not to make them available like other people have said. I think the club are very conscious of the media they allow out of the club. It's not in Arsenal's best interests to give opposing teams information on our youth players. Still wish we could watch the games though lol.

Nahh I think they take the supporters for granted. What info are they trying to conceal? Their level of talent? Scouts can still go to the game and observe the players. I think it'll be cool if we can watch full games or even extended highlights longer than 5 minutes, to see the strengths and weaknesses of the youth players. I think most people that will dedicate the time to watch those sort of games will not be unrealistic of their expectations of the youngsters either, cause you'll have to be more than a casual fan to be that dedicated to even watching U18 level football.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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https://player.arsenal.com/video/u-18s-norwich-city-h-highlights

What a hattrick by Kido Taylor-Hart. Think he's ready for more games at U23 level personally, and needs that pro deal pronto. Can shoot with both feet, play on both wings and central, great technician and the acceleration to get away from people at least. That's something you can work with.

Some good play in there from Patino too. Taylor-Hart could have had 4 though. Clear dominant player now.
 

Geofranco

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

What a hattrick by Kido Taylor-Hart. Think he's ready for more games at U23 level personally, and needs that pro deal pronto. Can shoot with both feet, play on both wings and central, great technician and the acceleration to get away from people at least. That's something you can work with.

Some good play in there from Patino too. Taylor-Hart could have had 4 though. Clear dominant player now.

Taylor Hart looks like a player Wenger would have loved. Patino makes everything look so easy. Edwards involved in general play, more than just a finisher. This looks more like what I was anticipating from this group. Hope Taylor Hart stays a bit with the U18 and keeps playing well, no need to rush him to the U23.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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Weren't they already registered? What has changed?
They weren't registered yet - you can add players to your B-list but they have to sign pro first. Kido Taylor-Hart would most likely have been added by now but he's not a pro. Patino, Monlouis and now it seems Hutchinson have all signed pro deals in the last 10 days or so.
 

Football Manager

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I think the coaching is a big problem. Maybe we have overestimated some of the talent, but from what I have seen, guys like Taylor Hart, Monlouis, Cirjan, Patino, Awe, Bandeira, Flores and Hutchinson are just as talented as any other group from the academy I ever followed. This particular group has a pretty good balance with defensive, midfield and attacking prospects. Which makes it even more concerning.
We lack organisation. And I dont just mean in defending. We lack organisation in attacking too.

Look at how guardiola and Arteta apply positional play in their tactics. They both apply the same principles (players are occupying different grids in different situations on the pitch)(players knows exactly where on the pitch they should occupy, and where they should move into), but Guardiola is applying it with a more attacking philosophy and Arteta is applying it with a more defensive philosophy. The key is, in every single move (whether it is attacking or defending) is well organised and well rehearsed.

When I watch the u23/u18 play, it seems that they play more freely. This would affect players’ development on the tactical side. It also affect players’ aggressiveness and the intensity of play. For example, if we have one player always doing the pressing and others only doing it occasionally, that player will soon stop pressing, because our press is not always effective, and the press from that player is always wasted.

I hope we stop employing former players within our club to run the academy. We need tactical specialist and youth developing specialists to run the academy.
 
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Geofranco

Well-Known Member
We lack organisation. And I dont just mean in defending. We lack organisation in attacking too.

Look at how guardiola and Arteta apply positional play in their tactics. They both apply the same principles (players are occupying different grids in different situations on the pitch)(players knows exactly where on the pitch they should occupy, and where they should move into), but Guardiola is applying it with a more attacking philosophy and Arteta is applying it with a more defensive philosophy. The key is, in every single move (whether it is attacking or defending) is well organised and well rehearsed.

When I watch the u23/u18 play, it seems that they play more freely. This would affect players’ development on the tactical side. It also affect players’ aggressiveness and the intensity of play. For example, if we have one player always doing the pressing and others only doing it occasionally, that player will soon stop pressing, because our press is not always effective, and the press from that player is always wasted.

I hope we stop employing former players within our club to run the academy. We need tactical specialist and youth developing specialists to run the academy.

I agree, but I believe there has to be a balance too. I feel that Arteta's system is a bit too rigid. The play could become mechanical. Wenger sort of went the extreme route with the free flowing, express yourself philosophy. I believe there has to be a balance. Especially in attacking areas, you need more flair and creativity. It's good for the defense to be very structured, cause positioning is everything in defense and even in midfield, but in the attacking third, things have to be more unpredictable.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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looks like you were right @MutableEarth
Indeed - and it's been fun seeing everyone get in touch with their increasing mortality in remembrance of his F2 Freestyler video from 2016 :lol:.

He's had an excellent start to the season though, 5 assists already. We haven't even seen his goal threat manifest at this level yet, he's got a devastating shot on either foot. Scores some absolute worldies. But his main advantage is how incredibly technical he is - touch, passing and dribbling. You can tell he grew up watching Santi, he's very adept with either foot and weights his passes really well. It will be interesting to see how quickly he rises to U23 and beyond, as he's already one of the main starters even ahead of the tenacious Flores. I am eager to see him develop further!
 

Symbia

Well-Known Member
Indeed - and it's been fun seeing everyone get in touch with their increasing mortality in remembrance of his F2 Freestyler video from 2016 :lol:.

He's had an excellent start to the season though, 5 assists already. We haven't even seen his goal threat manifest at this level yet, he's got a devastating shot on either foot. Scores some absolute worldies. But his main advantage is how incredibly technical he is - touch, passing and dribbling. You can tell he grew up watching Santi, he's very adept with either foot and weights his passes really well. It will be interesting to see how quickly he rises to U23 and beyond, as he's already one of the main starters even ahead of the tenacious Flores. I am eager to see him develop further!
His shooting and curling ability is insane for a kid at his level.
Kid at his age can manifest special level of techniques but his ability to effortlessly curl the ball to the net is a joy to watch.

A few years ago he use to dance with the ball, hahaha. Glad he is still holding on.
Proper home kid!
 
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