The Under-23s Thread

MutableEarth

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Azeez lost the ball A LOT tonight. It's a shame Taylor-Harts contract doesn't look like it is getting sorted. He stands out.
Taylor-Hart has the offer on the table, yet to sign. We should see soon enough. I really like him, such an interesting player.

Azeez was uncharacteristically lax today but still played some really good passes. Seemed to be slightly out of sync with the team. Still, think he's easily the strongest player in the team. Coyle stepped up in the 2nd half.
 

Mo Britain

Doom Monger
Great result tonight! I was worried we were going to drop two points but Bateman sorted that out. This result probably guarantees we won't be relegated this season. Also might help us to put pressure on Brighton for 9th place. it's doable, if they drop points against Derby and we win at Leicester. I'm getting really excited about this, can't wait!!!
 

Hunta

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Beat Leicester and we stay up.

Should be a massive clear out in the summer, don’t think the club will continue the route they went down last summer where we sent most of our u23s out on loan and brought in some random rejects.
 

MutableEarth

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Beat Leicester and we stay up.

Should be a massive clear out in the summer, don’t think the club will continue the route they went down last summer where we sent most of our u23s out on loan and brought in some random rejects.
I was OK with it to an extent - a lot of the guys we sent out should have been playing first team football ages ago. Matt Smith for example is well behind in his development because he's only just started playing proper league football. Cottrell has a similar problem now IMO, he should have been loaned already. Ballard got hurt so that wasn't really his fault. Coyle should have gone on loan much earlier too. A lot of players haven't developed well enough because they haven't been challenged enough and I don't think PL2 is enough of a challenge for some of our better talents.

That said, I've been underwhelmed by the signings we made in place of some of them. Akinola has looked decent in patches but he's not good on the ball. Of those signings, the only one who looks decent is Moller and we haven't exactly been getting the best out of him either. Salah-Eddine looks alright but he's been hurt literally the entire season. Additionally, Bould is part of the problem - I really don't think he's getting the most out of the talents and seemingly favors the older players. Olayinka - a player who also should have been loaned much earlier - seemed to be favored next to Akinola in a very basic CM pairing......ahead of Miguel Azeez who has basically been the best player in that U23 team. How much worse would the season have gone had Olayinka never been loaned?
 

Hunta

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I was OK with it to an extent - a lot of the guys we sent out should have been playing first team football ages ago. Matt Smith for example is well behind in his development because he's only just started playing proper league football. Cottrell has a similar problem now IMO, he should have been loaned already. Ballard got hurt so that wasn't really his fault. Coyle should have gone on loan much earlier too. A lot of players haven't developed well enough because they haven't been challenged enough and I don't think PL2 is enough of a challenge for some of our better talents.

That said, I've been underwhelmed by the signings we made in place of some of them. Akinola has looked decent in patches but he's not good on the ball. Of those signings, the only one who looks decent is Moller and we haven't exactly been getting the best out of him either. Salah-Eddine looks alright but he's been hurt literally the entire season. Additionally, Bould is part of the problem - I really don't think he's getting the most out of the talents and seemingly favors the older players. Olayinka - a player who also should have been loaned much earlier - seemed to be favored next to Akinola in a very basic CM pairing......ahead of Miguel Azeez who has basically been the best player in that U23 team. How much worse would the season have gone had Olayinka never been loaned?
Just looking at the lads who were loaned this season, I think Osei-Tutu, Medley, Olowu, Sheaf, Olayinka and Coyle should be moved on permanently. Ballard, Clarke, McGuinness, Smith and John-Jules should get another season out on loan.

Ideally we get rid of Bould and clean up the u23 squad with most of the current u18s moving up.
 

MutableEarth

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Just looking at the lads who were loaned this season, I think Osei-Tutu, Medley, Olowu, Sheaf, Olayinka and Coyle should be moved on permanently. Ballard, Clarke, McGuinness, Smith and John-Jules should get another season out on loan.

Ideally we get rid of Bould and clean up the u23 squad with most of the current u18s moving up.
More likely is Bould is gonna have a stronger team with the U18s at his disposal and still manage to **** it up somehow. I agree with pretty much all the sale/loan picks there. I'd add Oyegoke to that list - I think he's arguably ready to play League 1 or 2 football and I don't think he's gonna learn much playing CB for Bould in the PL2. Same with Lopez. He's really plateaued and I think his spot should be taken by Ogungbo for the time being. A loan will show us what Lopez is made of.

There's an argument to be made for a loan for Kido Taylor-Hart IF he signs a deal. Same with Balogun - I really don't see much use in him continuing to play for the U23s with his imminent signing.

The team could look very interesting next year tbf.

Okonkwo
Norton-Cuffy Monlouis Kirk Ogungbo
Azeez Patino
Hutchinson Cirjan Taylor-Hart
Moller

 

Hunta

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More likely is Bould is gonna have a stronger team with the U18s at his disposal and still manage to **** it up somehow. I agree with pretty much all the sale/loan picks there. I'd add Oyegoke to that list - I think he's arguably ready to play League 1 or 2 football and I don't think he's gonna learn much playing CB for Bould in the PL2. Same with Lopez. He's really plateaued and I think his spot should be taken by Ogungbo for the time being. A loan will show us what Lopez is made of.

There's an argument to be made for a loan for Kido Taylor-Hart IF he signs a deal. Same with Balogun - I really don't see much use in him continuing to play for the U23s with his imminent signing.

The team could look very interesting next year tbf.

Okonkwo
Norton-Cuffy Monlouis Kirk Ogungbo
Azeez Patino
Hutchinson Cirjan Taylor-Hart
Moller

Interesting that Oyegoke hasn’t got a pro deal yet, club are all in on BNC it seems. Forgot about KTH who will probably head out on loan if he signs. If the club get it right they could have a very competitive u23 side with 5/6 good prospects out on loan.
 

MutableEarth

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Interesting that Oyegoke hasn’t got a pro deal yet, club are all in on BNC it seems. Forgot about KTH who will probably head out on loan if he signs. If the club get it right they could have a very competitive u23 side with 5/6 good prospects out on loan.
Agree, a lot of interesting prospects despite the topsy turvy season at U18 level. Think the lack of a left back does hurt us but Ogungbo should be playing more games - ironically he has no deal yet either. I've heard we're bringing in Thierry Small but I don't think he would join us to play U23 football. We could be losing both Ogungbo and Oyegoke if they haven't gotten pro deals - which is crazy considering Alebiosu was in the same position going into this season and he was given a pro deal at the last minute. Both Ogungbo and Oyegoke are better prospects IMO so they should receive deals.

I'm quite intrigued with the newer U18s heading into this U23 side. Seems to be a decent prospect in each area of the pitch.
 

oh to be a goon

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More likely is Bould is gonna have a stronger team with the U18s at his disposal and still manage to **** it up somehow. I agree with pretty much all the sale/loan picks there. I'd add Oyegoke to that list - I think he's arguably ready to play League 1 or 2 football and I don't think he's gonna learn much playing CB for Bould in the PL2. Same with Lopez. He's really plateaued and I think his spot should be taken by Ogungbo for the time being. A loan will show us what Lopez is made of.

There's an argument to be made for a loan for Kido Taylor-Hart IF he signs a deal. Same with Balogun - I really don't see much use in him continuing to play for the U23s with his imminent signing.

The team could look very interesting next year tbf.

Okonkwo
Norton-Cuffy Monlouis Kirk Ogungbo
Azeez Patino
Hutchinson Cirjan Taylor-Hart
Moller


You think Azeez will be playing U23s next year? It feels like the club is preparing to promote him to the fringe of the first team.
 

MutableEarth

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You think Azeez will be playing U23s next year? It feels like the club is preparing to promote him to the fringe of the first team.
I wouldn't be surprised. Arteta doesn't seem to like trusting the younger players unless he absolutely has to (e.g Saka/ESR). I wouldn't even rule out a loan - Azeez is needs to be challenged and I think a loan is the next best thing.

Leicester drew with Liverpool so we’re probably safe.

Only way we can go down now is if we get beat and Leicester win, with a big goal swing.
Given how bad we can be, that's a possibility :lol:. I expect a strong-ish team though so I think we'll stay up.
 

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