The Under-23s Thread

MutableEarth

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Been watching the worst U23 performance I've seen us have. Getting killed by a really good Liverpool team 4-0. Everyone has been bad. Nelson (who's been our best player again) has been mostly pocketed by some kid called Connor Bradley. Washed.

Monlouis looked good on the ball I guess and hasn't embarrassed himself.
 

Geofranco

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Been watching the worst U23 performance I've seen us have. Getting killed by a really good Liverpool team 4-0. Everyone has been bad. Nelson (who's been our best player again) has been mostly pocketed by some kid called Connor Bradley. Washed.

Monlouis looked good on the ball I guess and hasn't embarrassed himself.

Lol. I still really rate Monlouis. Think he has as good a chance as any academy CB to make it here in the future. But the U18 and U23 teams have been on bad form for a while now.
 

Maybe

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Been watching the worst U23 performance I've seen us have. Getting killed by a really good Liverpool team 4-0. Everyone has been bad. Nelson (who's been our best player again) has been mostly pocketed by some kid called Connor Bradley. Washed.

Monlouis looked good on the ball I guess and hasn't embarrassed himself.
I wouldn't say it's the worst idea to go down, and then integrate some of the u18 talents for next season.
Other than Nelson, I don't see anyone even being close to first team football from that team, which is always a call for a clearout IMO
 

MutableEarth

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Bad news RE Taylor-Hart and Okonkwo IMO. Two talents who have first team potential about to be let go for nothing.

Okonkwo is better than Hein so it's typical us that we end up keeping Hein. Hein is OK though, just not as talented.

And Taylor-Hart is the next winger of his type in the club after Nelson and I was hoping we would keep one of them but it's a huge possibility that we are going to lose both of them, which is highly irritating. I don't rate Lewis either so looks like Hutchinson, Flores and Butler-Oyedeji are the main attack force for the next gen.
 

American_Gooner

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Okonkwo is better than Hein so it's typical us that we end up keeping Hein. Hein is OK though, just not as talented.
Okonkwo surprised me because I saw some bloggers talking about him even being #3 keeper for next season, he seemed highly rated.
 

MutableEarth

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Okonkwo surprised me because I saw some bloggers talking about him even being #3 keeper for next season, he seemed highly rated.
My feeling is that there's a deal on the table but he's yet to sign - as with Taylor-Hart. Maybe they feel their pathway is blocked and they've been offered more first team football elsewhere. I'd imagine such is the case with Taylor-Hart, one of the more underrated talents in the PL.
 

MutableEarth

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BTW, the U23s are playing right now and winning 2-1 vs Southampton.

No coincidence that we are scoring goals as soon as Miguel Azeez returns from injury. Such an important player now. Moller with a penalty and Taylor-Hart with the 2nd goal.

Nelson is also playing this match. Seems he'll be here permanently until the end of the season.
 

AbouCuéllar

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Very disappointing if Taylor-Hart moves on...could've been an interesting option off the bench for the first team as soon as next season, if Nelson leaves, basically taking his (scant, but still, at his age it's enough to work himself into first-team football slowly) minutes.
 

MutableEarth

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Very disappointing if Taylor-Hart moves on...could've been an interesting option off the bench for the first team as soon as next season, if Nelson leaves, basically taking his (scant, but still, at his age it's enough to work himself into first-team football slowly) minutes.
Chris Wheatley has (finally) dropped the news that we've offered him a deal. So the ball is in his court. If I were him, I'd sign. He has the technical quality and physical attributes to be a very promising player and I think the club will seek to integrate him - particularly as the club are prepared to cash in on Nelson it seems.
 

Geofranco

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Chris Wheatley has (finally) dropped the news that we've offered him a deal. So the ball is in his court. If I were him, I'd sign. He has the technical quality and physical attributes to be a very promising player and I think the club will seek to integrate him - particularly as the club are prepared to cash in on Nelson it seems.

Really like Taylor-Hart's potential. Him, Azeez and Monlouis are the ones from this group that I can see making it here down the line. Darkhorses: Zach Awe, Bandeira and Sagoe Jnr. For whatever reason, I just don't see Flores making it here long-term. I'm still not fully sure with Hutchinson either.
 
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MutableEarth

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Really like Taylor-Hart's potential. Him, Azeez and Monlouis are the ones from this group that I can see making it here down the line. Darkhorses: Zach Awe, Bandeira and Sagoe Jnr. For whatever reason, I just don't see Flores making it here long-term. I'm still not fully sure with Hutchinson either.
I think with Hutchinson we will have to see how he responds to adult football. He's acclimatised really easily to U18s and I have a feeling he'll take to U23s too. He comes across as a very clever player on top of being technical so I'm quite positive about him. Flores is definitely a crapshoot though - very talented and seemingly a more aggressive player than Hutchinson but I still need to see him challenged a little more. At the moment, I think Hutchinson is the better player.

Bandeira and Awe are definitely darkhorses because they've got the technical and physical quality in spades but we have still yet to see them fully get used to the rigours just yet. With Sagoe Jnr, I find him so fascinating, looks an amazing dribbler but we haven't seen anywhere near enough of him. I hope to see more of him.

I agree completely on the 3 you mentioned though. Azeez is the clear jewel, while Monlouis and Taylor-Hart can also be stars. I am really big on Monlouis, he's got such excellent ability on the ball and reads the game well for a player of his age. Just needs a little more conviction. Taylor-Hart is (hopefully) my failsafe with Nelson likely leaving. I can see him succeeding where the latter has failed simply due to his physical ability. In terms of technique, there's little between them (Nelson maybe slightly better).

I'm also intrigued by the RB situation. With Alebiosu, Oyegoke and Norton-Cuffy all vying for that spot, I think that competition is such that one of them is sure to make it here. I had my money initially on Oyegoke due to his technique and versatility but Norton-Cuffy seems to be the best performer of the 3 based on what they've produced this season. Alebiosu has done well this season but I think his ceiling is a tier below the younger two.
 

Hunta

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The decision to loan out most of the team and replace them with u18s and free agents clearly hasn’t worked in terms of league position and performances, but hopefully there’s a clearer idea on who’s going to make it here or not.

Should be quite a few sales in the summer from the youth setup.
 

Hunta

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Also, saw that Okonkwo is leaving in the summer? Thought he’d make it here, disappointing.
 

MutableEarth

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The decision to loan out most of the team and replace them with u18s and free agents clearly hasn’t worked in terms of league position and performances, but hopefully there’s a clearer idea on who’s going to make it here or not.

Should be quite a few sales in the summer from the youth setup.
I think the U18s haven't been bad in all honesty - Norton-Cuffy has performed really well when given the chance, while Taylor-Hart is pretty much one of the best players in that team now. Oyegoke has been solid in most games despite being out of position and I think Monlouis has looked pretty decent aswell. Kirk's probably the one that's struggled a bit. I think the free agents haven't been as good though. Akinola and Dinzeyi haven't been impressive, while Lewis and Salah-Eddine have spent a long time injured or not contributing. I think a bigger issue is Bould not getting the best out of the squad performance-wise, and I'm not sure they're learning enough to be potential first team contributors either.

I foresee quite a few departures this Summer, both loan and permanent. A lot of the 2nd years haven't been offered deals and they'll mostly be leaving. We had our biggest scholar intake for a while this year and it looks like next year will be the biggest exodus. The likes of Plange, Laing and Sraha will most likely be leaving having not earned a pro deal, and there could be some surprises like Oyegoke and Ogungbo.
 

Hunta

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I think the U18s haven't been bad in all honesty - Norton-Cuffy has performed really well when given the chance, while Taylor-Hart is pretty much one of the best players in that team now. Oyegoke has been solid in most games despite being out of position and I think Monlouis has looked pretty decent aswell. Kirk's probably the one that's struggled a bit. I think the free agents haven't been as good though. Akinola and Dinzeyi haven't been impressive, while Lewis and Salah-Eddine have spent a long time injured or not contributing. I think a bigger issue is Bould not getting the best out of the squad performance-wise, and I'm not sure they're learning enough to be potential first team contributors either.

I foresee quite a few departures this Summer, both loan and permanent. A lot of the 2nd years haven't been offered deals and they'll mostly be leaving. We had our biggest scholar intake for a while this year and it looks like next year will be the biggest exodus. The likes of Plange, Laing and Sraha will most likely be leaving having not earned a pro deal, and there could be some surprises like Oyegoke and Ogungbo.
I thought Oyegoke and Norton-Cuffy would give us a James/Lamptey situation. One is first choice RB for England u18 the other first choice RB for England u17.

You know how talented those age groups are as well.
 

MutableEarth

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I thought Oyegoke and Norton-Cuffy would give us a James/Lamptey situation. One is first choice RB for England u18 the other first choice RB for England u17.

You know how talented those age groups are as well.
Hugely talented, could rival the 2000 kids. Our lot haven't progressed quite as well from that bracket though, I'm assuming that's mostly because our coaching could be better at that level. I think more experience and football will still help though.

The problem RE the right backs here is that Steve Bould likes playing the older players. Remember at the beginning of the season, he started Olayinka and Akinola together in a 2 while Azeez was sitting on the bench.

That seems to be the case with Ryan Alebiosu. I think he's performed pretty decently overall but he's not as good as the other two, yet he often gets the RB minutes and Oyegoke as a result plays a LOT of CB minutes instead. He's not bad there but it's not where his progression will happen. It's just because Alebiosu is older.

Norton-Cuffy is probably the best of the 3 currently but he's also the youngest so if both are fit he won't even be in the conversation.
 

Dutch D

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The decision to loan out most of the team and replace them with u18s and free agents clearly hasn’t worked in terms of league position and performances, but hopefully there’s a clearer idea on who’s going to make it here or not.

Should be quite a few sales in the summer from the youth setup.
Don't care about league position in the youth ranks, though. It only matters if the biggest talents get accelerated development, either by loaning them out or challenging them in higher age brackets or letting them develop certain skills in different positions.

As long as the teams stay up to maximize quality of opposition, of course, don't know how that works in the English youth leagues.
 

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