Connect with us


Worrying Time For Arsenal’s Much Hailed Youth Academy

aston villa res 10-1 arsenal res

Arsenal’s much vaunted pipeline of talented players got a bitter shock  with a 10-1 thrashing at the hands of Aston Villa Reserves on Monday night. It was a most unexpected defeat for Neil Banfield’s boys as the coach fielded a relatively strong reserve side with the likes of Emmanual Thomas, Eastmond, Sunu, Aneke all playing while Freeman was on the bench. However, Banfield was forced to field a makeshift defence as Ignasi Miguel was training with the senior squad. Elton Monteiro played his first game for the reserves and partnered Eastmond in the heart of the defence.

Villa’s reserves was peppered with players currently making their mark in Gerard Houllier’s senior squad with Jonathan Hogg and Nathan Delfouneso showing their quality in midfield. Nonetheless, you would expect the boys to give a good showing of themselves in their first reserve league match of the year.

Unfortunately the boys capitulated after the sending off for George Brislen Hall in the first half. At this time, Villa was already up 1-0 courtesy of of a stunner by Gary Gardner.  After that, we maintained our attacking play but was always going to be caught when the opposition broke. Playing a rookie at centerback really put paid any hopes of stemming the tide and by half time we were down 5-0 and game over.

A couple of changes during the break saw Freeman and Deacon coming in. Although we improved a little, the goals kept going in as the boys pushed forward in searching for a consolation. We managed that when Deacon headed in a JET freekick. We have always thought we have a very good pipeline of players coming through the ranks and way ahead of the rest in youth development. This thrashing comes in as a stark reminder that the other teams have caught up in youth development.

No doubt we have talented players in the attacking department but it is our lack of quality in defense that is plaguing our first team and now the young guns as well. Yes Banfield was missing the bulk of his first choice defense but the lack of command and calm defending for the defenders on the field should be a worry for Liam Brady and his academy coaches.

Submitted by The Arsenal Kid



  1. robertyounggun

    January 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

    agree about the defence, it is really worrying. but I don’t think we should take too much away from the villa side. after all, they have won the championship 3 years in a row prior to this season! think they could be leading the way with youth now mate. after all, look at the likes of albrighton and clarke that have been brought through the youth and are now playing (and playing well) in their first team!!

  2. Hr

    January 12, 2011 at 10:12 am

    It’s really worrying when you consider arsenal have around 15 ‘reserves’ on loan right now.
    It was dissapointinf though, no matter what team is played Arsenal shouldn’t be losing by this score line

  3. eduardo

    January 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Here is a team of our reserve players who are out on loan, who would destroy that villa team, so no need to panic ove one freak result, also will our reserves not go top of the league if they win their game in hand on villa.

    Hoyte Bartley Cruise Evina
    Lansbury Coquelin Galindo
    Watt Afobe Botelho

    When you also consider Miguel unavailable with first team committments, and Frimpong out injured and the fact that – Ramsey and wilshere – players of a similar age or younger than the villa ones on show have already shown that they have big FAPL futures ahead of them, so villa can have their 10 – 1 but Arsenal’s youth productiong line is still in better shape than theirs,
    Please consider out of the 11 starters for Arsenal v villa, how many of them would have even made the bench for that game if we did not have more than a team of players out on loan and another five or six injured. You have to consider that some of those playing can’t even get in steve boulds first choice u18 team.

  4. JR

    January 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Or, to look at it another way, imagine if Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark, Barry Bannan and so on had been playing for Villa, rather than having been forced into the first team squad by injuries. It works both ways.

  5. nuno

    January 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

    who cares? Villa is soon bust anyway, atm they fight to avoid relegation. They are a team in free fall. Let them have some joy. Its good that they won against our reserves for the reserves. Gives them some more confidence to tackle the second half of the PL season. Hope they dont go down to championship.

  6. Marco

    January 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I’m not worried at all. Wenger takes a long term view and sees reserve players out on loan to the Championship or in Spain, playing 1st team football as more beneficial. This was really our 3rd team or worse. Its also a good learning experience for them and has exposed a few weaknesses.

    The only thing that makes me wonder is how Herd isn’t displacing Heskey for Villa?

  7. Steff the Villan

    January 12, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Thank you for your concern and support there nuno but I think you’ll find that we’ll be okay : )

    Eduardo, a team that would destroy our reserves! Whatever! Talk is cheap, just take the defeat with some dignity instead of trash talking, you win some you lose some, that’s football.

    At least JR is talking some sense, the fact is that we both have an excellent youth set up, and we should all be proud of what our youth academies are producing.

    Peace : )

  8. TopGunPires

    January 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Ridiculous to panic, whilst Villa’s best young players are cutting it in the reserves, ours are out there playing for points every week on loan, stick Lansbury, Bartley, Afobe etc back in there and it’d be a different game…

  9. astonvilla64

    January 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    My boy is at AVFC and I can vouch the system is fantastic, what people dont say is 7 of the 11 played 2 days earlier for the youth team. There is more to come from the youth team, also remember the players starting to break into the first team are also youth cup winners who have played together for years. Fonz, Bannan, Clarke, Lowry, Herd, Hogg etc Now gardener, weimann, steiber all tipped for the top. We should all behind these players. At Villa 80% are English, for our national team to progress this is vital, how many of the top 6 can asy the same. BeliEve me when I say the Futures Bright The Future is Villa youth policy

  10. TopGunPires

    January 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Glad Villa have few to get excited about but we’ll settle for Wilshere & Gibbs, already in the England setup and playing CL football, that is the future.

  11. IncredibleG

    January 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Much respect to Villa for developing a sustainable future. If more clubs do this, the England national team will have a bright future.
    10-1 is an embarassing result for any Arsenal team but the purpose of the reserves league for both teams is to blood young players and bring them closer to the first team and you don’t get much more bloody than that kind of drubbing.
    To villa, I wouldn’t gloat too much, reserve victories are nice but it tends to be less than half of those who perform well at youth and reserve that level make it all the way.

  12. josh

    January 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    @ astonvilla64 Arsenal are one of the top 6 who can say most of our youth players are english the only reason aston villa manged such a large win is because the majority of our best young players are on loan in the championship or are already playing regularly in the premiership. If anything arsenals youth is the strongest in the country as all the players at other clubs who normally are still playing reserves matches. At arsenal players are gaining real experience in professional matches.

    Obviously villa have a good youth set up but this article is only just news worthy because actually arsenal have a very strong youth team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other News

More in Arsenal