Arsenal: Points of honest endeavour


Good Morning this Sunday morning Positives fans worldwide,

The best game of football that I have watched for a long time yesterday evening. Both sides played quality football and had footballers in very position who were comfortable with the ball and had confidence in controlling and using it, despite the press of the opponent. A word of praise too for almost all the players who approached the contest in the right way yesterday. There was very little whining to the referee and diving and no serious foul play that I saw. The only player who let himself down was Mane whose dishonest efforts were correctly ignored by Andre Marriner from early in the first half.

Of the game itself ? I admit I was a little tense at kick-off to see how our defenders would stand up to the quicksilver Scouse front three in open play. For about ten first half minutes there was an early wobble but once the tremor had passed I need have had no worries. With Sead returned, though a little rusty, our back line played with full  concentration for the full 95 minutes. Tackles were clean and decisive. When the ball needed clearing it was hoofed. Every attacking Liverpool thrust was met by coverage of at least two defenders. The opposition clearly had a  few sights of goals but never the defence-splitting-racing-in-1:1-on- Leno of my nightmares. Praise too for Mhki, Auba and later Alex Iwobi for putting in the defensive yards to disrupt and harry the visitors’ work on the flanks. Our only weak spot on the night was on Liverpool corners from which Van Dijk appeared to  have the run of the six yard box. A bit of work required on that one from Unai.

Apparently there may have been an offside goal ? No idea, collective sigh of relief around me and a shrug. I saw on the BBC website when Klopp was asked if the referee/lino had made a mistake with the incident he answered ” I don’t know, but he did not make as many mistakes as we did today”. Good response.

With the defensive platform in place we had the opportunity to play football going forward, with Lucas, Granit and Mesut playing intelligent football. My impression was Granit played a lot more simple, short balls yesterday. Possession was rarely wasted and we gradually began to open up gaps in the Liverpool defence, for Auba and Laca to exploit.

After our best first half of the season, even though we were still at 0-0, I was not sure what would come next. During the first 15 minutes we were definitely on top, and looked the more likely to score, so it was a kick to the collective North Bank bollocks to see the goal from Milner go in.

Within seconds of the disappointment though the crowd, and from the way the Arsenal players went straight back back to kick off them too,  were back on the front foot straight away. No heads dropped and with half an hour to go the game was still wide open.

The substitutions ? Odd sequence considering we were 0-1 down but that is what head coaches do – shake the dice. Great calls when they work, and last night they did perfectly with Iwobi offering a trickiness and energy  that Mhki had not against a tiring defence.

Beautiful and deserved goal from Alex Lacazette. His celebration, (caught by the Arsenal photoman Stuart McFarlane above) absolutely wild.

And with the score 1-1 I sensed both teams slipped slightly down a gear, although Hector could have capped a sparkling evening with a winner in the 88th minute.

Man of the Match ? An impossible choice but in line with my comments about the foundation being in place it is a split decision between Hector and Rob Holding, neither of whom put  foot wrong all evening.

Enjoy Sunday.



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139 comments on “Arsenal: Points of honest endeavour

  1. We need consistency please. When we have it, then we can really say we are back!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good round up Anicoll, many thanks as always for your articles. I really loved watching ALs goal. All the lads were great– on another day PEA might have been really deadly and an embarrassment to Liverpool, but footballs a tough game to play. But theres confidence growing for sure.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good write up, Andy.
    The regular moaners, who sit near me, were conspicious by their silence yesterday.
    Bloody great game of football.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I know I’ve said this before but it’s equally apt today – great game, great write up!

    Don’t necessarily disagree with your men of the match but I’d personally be inclined to award it to Lacca for a truly classic centre-forward’s goal, created pretty much out of nothing (following his retrieval of a splendidly threatening pass); what a marvellous moment and yet ANOTHER contender for goal of the month!

    And of the game AFC dominated, very well played all round.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good report. It was a cracking game.

    As for Van Dijk headers, think he’s near unstoppable on the run, unless maybe you’ve got a huge defender yourself with a good leap on him. Two on bounce we’ve had trouble with big defenders on crosses. I can’t see what our guys can really do to stop it on set-pieces.

    That aside, centre backs were very good yesterday. Like the whole team, really, it was football at speed, with boldness, skill, commitment, energy and bravery; high-wire football, almost.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonder how strong we’ll go Thursday- it’ll be strong or very strong- given a win qualifies us in top spot, if head-to-head used in Europa.

    That would be so important given the fixture list is mental upon our return from the latest cursed international break.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My finger hovered over Laca AA – excellent strike and similar position to his even better finish against Everton.

    As I get in my seat an hour before kick off I watching Laca working one to one with a coach striking shots into the NB goal from the edge of the box – shot after shot after shot – makes you wonder that these footballers and their coaches know a thing or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think if we had started Aaron , rather than Miki, we would have done EVEN better. But hindsight is bollocks, so nuff said.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Xhaka deserves an honourable mention in dispatches if discussing motm

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Laca fact for you here : scored winning goal in 2010 under 19 Euro’s with other scorer in the final our own Giles Sunu!

    Coquelin and Griezzman in team as well.

    England’s squad in tournament had our youth-cup winning left back Thomas Cruise, who surprisingly struggled to carve out professional career and retired a while back (to become an accountant, I think)

    Squad also contained Nathan Delfuenso who played against us midweek.

    A look at that England squad shows how far youth development has come in period since

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wasn’t my thinking initially, but I’m wondering now what influence contracts have on Mkhi/ Ramsey

    One we know, sadly, appears to be leaving, the other is apparently on a very substantial contract, perhaps with three or so years to go.

    Mkhi is 30 in January and has, so far, not fully convinced me. I prefer Ramsey without a doubt.

    Difficulty is, if Ramsey was to mostly have that spot between now and season end it would almost certainly mean a marginalized Mkhitaryan. Then Ramsey goes, and we have 30/31 year old Mkhi, 3 years on from his best form, years on contract,etc. The chances are less then of him regaining his best form than they are now. (I’m guessing in Dortmund that 10-ish area may have been largely his own, and that they may well have been a true counter attack side in that period)

    I don’t think that should or would come into a coaches thinking if he was convinced that one player was distinctly better than another and so offered a greater chance of success most games. But perhaps Emery doesn’t feel the difference is great, in which case it could be an influence.

    Once more a difference between us and the very biggest budgets or faux budgets. More pressure to ensure anyone on a high wage delivers value.

    Anyway, it may be a load of talk about nothing on my part if in the coming games Ramsey gets his spot in the 11 back.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. game live on BBC RB 1
    Arsenal Women
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalWFC
    39m39 minutes ago

    📝 The teams are in! Here’s how we line up against @BCFCWomen this afternoon…

    Starting XI: Peyraud-Magnin, Evans, Williamson, Quinn, Mitchell, Walti, van de Donk, Nobbs, McCabe, Mead, Miedema

    Subs: Van Veenendaal, Bloodworth, Samuelsson, Kuyken, Kemme

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Other than in flashes I have not seen the same dynamic Mkhi I used to lust after when he wore a Dortmund shirt and who was a regular goal scorer and a creator in the Bundeslegia. I live in hope. In spite of him taking some abuse yesterday I thought he had a good game.

    However the difference between who is staying and who is leaving Arsenal may have no more than to do with contracts. Mkhi was only too pleased to get away from Jose and, I expect, delighted when the unexpected swap option came up for Sanchez. It all seemed to come up at the last minute as I recall. I thought it was a good piece of business by the club and I think the Raul/Dortmund connection played a part. Put a contract in front of an Armenian and …. boom … back of the net.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m sure anyone, Armenian or otherwise (not exactly sure what that has to do with it) would sign a 4 year £200/wk contract slapped down in front of them at 29 years old. But, as you are so very fond of saying A5, we have no idea how that went down at all.

    Regardless, my opinion is that, yes, contracts very much are playing a part in team selection. But, that’s probably a smart thing to do, for the reason Rich outlined.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Nice one Andy,I’m with you on Holding & Hector,both were fantastic yesterday,but Granit was my motm.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Did Mkhi sign a new 4 year contact at £200K a week ? I did not know that. I thought we had picked up the last two and a half years of his MUFC contract? He did have, and I presume still has, Raiola as his agent who is known for screwing top dollar on behalf of his clients so who knows.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Getting on to Thursday the Emery approach so far has been to put out a strong team and get he job done so with a very winnable home game against Sporting surely that wont change ! My guess Guendouzi back, AR to start, AMN in and Ozil on the bench. and maybe with Xhaka and Torreira to be fully rested. And what about Eddy Nketiah ? Surely he has to get a run out sometime ?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Granit Xhaka in the LFC game yesterday appeared in his 57th consecutive premier league game and it also brought him to 100 appearances for the club.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Arsenal Women not at their best so far in this game. Need to up it a bit in the second half.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Poor organisation on my part saw me miss the first half (apparently quite an Arsenal thing to do this season) so thanks to Andy Nic, all posters and the Highlights for getting me up to speed. This boy Lacazette is turning into quite the striker, isn’t he, and Im glad he seems to have established himself into our real Number 9. Yesterday’s goal took a lot of vision, skill and composure – but also the belief and bottle to make a telling difference in a game which really mattered. And I also noted that if it had been Ozil who had played the pass through to him rather than Iwobi it would have been held up as another example of visionary genius, so brilliant was it.
    All players worth their salt want to be in the starting XI, but it seems to me that we have several attacking midfielders who are in many ways much of a muchness, but who all bring something sligthly different to the table. Aubameyang, Mkitharyan, Ramsey, Iwobi, Welbeck is a decent pool of talent to pick two from. One of the interesting things this season has been the importance of the second half, and the differences that substitutions have made. I begin to wonder how much of a tactical plan it is: whether the manager sees the full 90 minutes and 14 players as something to be actively selected for and then executed. I also think that for a side competing on domestic and european fronts (with a couple of cups thrown in for good measure) that depth of talent and many workable contributions is very important. So as Charlie Nicholas might say, I’m sat here thinking that perhaps there is a greater sense of togetherness and unity of purpose than might be imagined. Certainly looking at the celebrations after the goal there was no sense that Aaron Ramsey was anything less than absolutely part of the joy.
    And what joy it was, and how great that just like last year the Emirates rocked to a pulsating heavywight encounter between two really decent sides.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Knobbssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss 1-0 Arsenal Women


  22. Arsenal women took the lead through Nobbs, but brum level within a minute, I think their goal was a mishit cross, but its 1-1

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Don’t know Mkhi’s contract, don’t know anyone’s for sure, but seem to recall figures of 150,000 or above, which sounds about right.

    I don’t figure there’s any way he would take a pay cut, and Utd are pretty generous with their contracts. They were getting Bundesliga player of year, with about 25 goals and 15 assists in his last season. Raiola his man. So I presume a big contract

    Again, a presumption, but sure Raiola would do his damnedest to leverage situation around the deal with us to get anything extra for player and himself, so my guess would be a four year deal rather than remainder of Utd contract.

    I’m not mad on speculating like that nor knocking Mkhi as a player. He’s talented, shows class at times, has some good games (after a ropey start thought he grew into it and did well yesterday), I’m just…not sure about him.

    I hoped whatever Mou and Utd had done to him would be out of his system by now and he could look like a 23 goal (checked it), 15 assist man or thereabouts.

    Can never underestimate effects of being part of or one of main men in a system almost perfectly suited to your strengths vs something else, though. The security you get in the former, for one. Play through blips and a platform for confidence and form to reach their peaks.

    Don’t want to get in trouble with George, but thought that was in play with Arshavin : The Russia and Zenit teams were his, he was absolutely the main creative man for them, with guys like that hard nut Denisov more than willing to do the grunt work in the team. Arshavin showed his class with us, but it could have gone even better for him if he could have been the main conductor in team, with special privileges they often get.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I have no idea, A5, I was going by what Rich said about having 3 years left. To be fair, though, I think anyone would have signed anything to be able to escape Mourinho for Arsène Wenger. He might have paid us for the privilege.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I keep getting told that the Mane goal should have stood, but the FA Rule Book says

    A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:

    gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
    rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent

    surely that is exactly what happened with the Mane goal. Or am I reading it wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Don’t know about Mkhitaryan’s contract, other than it was reported at the time that the delay in the deal was due to Raiola demanding we pay the lad £200K a week, we had offered £150K. Again that could be media bollocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Arsenal Women 2-1 up, DeDonk penalty after Evans gets a stonewall penalty

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Great match yesterday. In almost complete control throughout the match with the exception of a few minutes. I don’t go in for detailed tactical breakdowns (I leave that to Adrian Clarke) but it just seemed like Emery is better at this coaching stuff than Klopp. I say that because it was Emeryball Year 1, vs KlippKlopp Year 3 (plus 400m pounds) and we more than matched their supposedly fine tuned pressing game, and all but eliminated their world class attacking trio as a threat. Pity we couldn’t win but much to be hopeful for the season ahead and beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Initially Miki’s transfer to us was reported to be along with a 15m pound payment in exchange for Alexis, and eventually became a straight up transfer. Either the reporting was nonsense (completely possible) or Raiola took the 15m for himself (also completely possible)

    But anyway, his contract was reported to be 200k/w at the time, up from his 170 or 180 at ManU. I fully expected Ramsey to get anywhere between 200 and 250 per week. But with the change at the top, Raul seems to have decided to lay down a marker for his reign. Apart from my annoyance at the betrayal of our values and of Ramsey, it is a big call. To replace a midfield player with that kind of production and spirit won’t be easy. I hope he knows what he is doing.

    Liked by 6 people

  30. Nobbs in injury time has surely sealed victory with her second and Arsenal Women’s third to make it 3-1,

    Arsenal Women going 6pt clear of man city ladies

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Anyone else watch a lot less of City than rest of top six?

    Suppose big part might be that I watch others in hope of them slipping up and there barely seems a point of that with City now, as they rarely look like doing so.

    Main thing ,though, is it’s my own little pointless protest against them.

    Their owners pumped in over two billion. What merit is there to them no matter how they play? It could be Villa, Everton, Scunthorpe. Any team who had two billion poured into them by outside money should be doing exactly what City do.

    The Utd example doesn’t change that one bit. They spend a lot but it’s their money, and if the football’s a lot less attractive than it should be for what they spend, that’s because of their conservative, fearful decisions not because of some inherent difficulty in playing good football on a mega budget.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Rich isn’t it odd how so many journos had lots to say about the football leaks info that there are talks about a european super league, but not a single one of them has a word to say about the same football leaks info that Man City and PSG broke the FFP rules to a massive extent, self sponsorship inflated 100 times its true worth, and more. The super league is to be believed, but the City financial doping story must be untrue. Hypocrites the lot of them

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  33. What is odd about Citeh is their lack of consistency. Their history over the last decade is a pattern of winnng the PL, then have a weaker season, sacking the manager, winning the League, weak season, sack manager etc. They have achieved nothing in the CL in any season. Pep may or may not break that pattern but for the billions pumped in the output is inconsistent.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. anicol

    I fear it’s a different stage with them now. Think they’ve finessed recruitment a bit over years, and it’s all pretty joined-up behind scenes and with manager, with a heavy Barca flavour.

    At the start they were building from nothing- in elite terms- whereas the latest Pep splurge had advantage of building from a team which had already won league twice.

    Can see a couple of eventual problems in replacing the near unique Fernandinho and the considerable talent of Aguero, but when you can afford to bring in two expensive players for each, and then just go again if there’s any issue with them, it’s not that big a problem.

    I hate that element more than the rest and it’s what separates them from sides with a real budget : costly mistakes- Mangala- barely hurt. Traditionally even the very richest clubs could be hurt by a couple of big signings which didn’t go well. Not them, unless FFP rises from near death.

    Pep could well be in it for a while, too. He’s surely never going to test himself without gargantuan resources, and could probably reflect that even Bayern are a bit limited on that front next to City.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. * reflect to himself and confidantes, of course.

    Publicly he always tries to play down importance of money to what they do (might be in the contract to do so, might be something anyone who takes the job is bound to do, but still deeply unimpressive to me)

    Liked by 1 person

  36. There will come a time when even City will be spoken about by travellers from antique lands. And that I think is one of the troubles with the financially doped – what happens when the initial movers move on?

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Ed, was this what you were looking for. It’s not very informative, just basic detail and not an opinion piece, but it may be of help to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. As for yesterday, over 90 minutes that was, in my opinion, by far and away the most impressive performance this year. And long may it continue. I do expect, however, that there will be ups and downs as the season progresses, although hopefully more ups than downs. I expected this to be a transitional season, and to an extent it is, but we are performing at a much higher level than I ever anticipated back in August. I’m sure there is a lot more to come, along with some inevitable player turnover to fit in with UE’s style. I really hope we can also bring through some of the excellent youth team we have. In fact, in today’s game it’s imperative that we do, unless of course we find ourselves bankrolled by a nation state – more of which below…

    Before I move away from yesterday, I must have a massive shout out for Xhaka Granit who was outstanding yesterday, and who has played exceptionally well over many games. Was an astute signing he has turned out to be. Yes, he does have difficulty with “quick turns”, but that aside – and who doesn’t have some weaknesses – his game is excellent. And if ever there was a born leader, he is one. It’s great that the team are getting deserved plaudits, and my hope is that Xhaka has now done well enough to dispel the ridiculous negativity that he attracted. And much of this from our own (cretinous) supporters!! Many in the media still talk of him as being “a liability” as if he is constantly racking up red and yellow cards and missing games: that’s simply not the case, and never has been. But who cares about the facts … Anyway, he’s my star of the show so far this season.

    On the subject of the “super league”, my view – and has been for a number of years – is that this is inevitable. Speaking personally, I will not be too disappointed: many people (and include me here) want to see the best compete against the best. As a lover of the beautiful game (and consequently an Arsenal fan…), I came to the view sometime ago that the quality on show outside of the upper echelons was no longer for me: will I get bored of watching the best teams/players displaying their skills week by week? No. Do I worry about the absence of relegation (if it comes to this)? Again, no. Crucially, there is no reason to believe such a league would not be very competitive if structured properly. We don’t want gloried friendlies: this would kill any league stone dead. The Americans have done very well with this model even if there are far fewer NFL games. However, none of this is possible if those teams bankrolled by nation states and the like do not adhere to a fair financial model. If they don’t, they should be shown the door. This is absolutely possible – collectively they have the power. I’m amazed that other clubs, which basically means everyone apart from very few, have not come together and taken action before now. They could easily do so, and Man U should be at the forefront: in terms of the on and off the field income they generate, they are probably ahead of anybody else, or they would be if you exclude some of the ridiculous nation state sponsor ships used to circumvent the rules. I would have absolutely no problem with Man U having an elevated financial muscle because they are, quite simply, bigger than anyone out else when it comes to generating income – and football is a business after all. Perhaps I’m naïve (I am…), but I’m flabbergasted that the 95% plus teams who are properly financed don’t take action, even if that means forming/threatening to form, a breakaway league. What’s gone on at Manchester City (and Chelsea) is an affront to the game, making a mockery of it and us all. When will journalists start seeing it for what it is?? And the football fraternity for that matter: I don’t hear much said of this by the great and the good commentators, or the so-called opinion formers. It’s sickening, and brings the game into disrepute. I would actually like to see much more regulation generally in our game to increase the competitiveness of teams (again taking a leaf out of the US book), but I’m less than sanguine here. It’s always intrigued me that the USA, that bastion of global capitalism, sees no contradiction in regulating its national sport. Nor should we, although I appreciate this is much harder when “our game” travails the globe, whereas NFL only has to worry about the USA!

    In summary, the world-is-a-changing and our sport will do likewise, but until nations and oligarchs alike are stopped from treating football teams as political pawns, I don’t have great hope.

    Final thought: unlike it would seem a significant number of my Arsenal colleagues, I for one am very pleased to have Stan and his backroom professional staff representing Arsenal in the off the pitch battles that lie ahead. He might not be “putting his hand in the pocket”, but why should he? And why the hell should people be allowed to do this? Madness.

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Under 18’s and 23 games up on .com now.

    Matt Smith officially upgraded for me as one to watch now. Passing has been catching the eye for a while, but this week has scored two absolutely lovely, technical goals with touches and finishes with both feet.

    Couple of assists for young Miguel Azeez in there, and again looks a willingness to use both feet.

    Strange situation in that the next three great hopes I’ve heard about in youth ranks, below scholarship level, are all centre midfielders- Azeez, Musah and the kid below them Patino.

    Unfortunately, a question mark with Musah as claims were very strong he signed with Juve this summer. Hope not as apparently he’s a big talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. on a super league, well if it takes us away from the stone age football and reffing we see so often in the English game then I’m all for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. rich Musah has not signed with Juve, he has been a regular for our U18’s for most of the season so far.

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  42. Some good sense there Stephen, but unfortunately the reason the great and good of the game don’t speak out against the obscenity of the likes of chelski and the mancs is that they have their snouts too firmly entrenched in the money trough. I still remember when Usmanov first appeared on the scene how he wined and dined some of the key media mouthpieces thereby guaranteeing the pushing of his agenda and no questioning of his dubious background or motivations. Money as they say is the root of all evil and given the amount swilling around the PL, where is the incentive for anyone to clean up the game? Decent people with integrity and values are as rare as a blue moon and we’ve all seen how the mob, stirred up by the media hound and discredit the ones who try to do things fairly and by the rules. Look at the spuds – despite admitting that his team cheat to gain an advantage, where is the condemnation of their manager and the enforcement of the rules of the game? Instead, his team are actively rewarded. This is the reality of the modern game. Those who cheat financially or on the field are lauded as being smart (win at any cost) while those who play by the rules are laughed at and mocked as naive dreamers.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Still none the wiser about why Virginia left us this summer. Looked to have something special as a keeper and I’m not seeing it in highlights of Illiev. Culpable on first two in Chels game.

    Could all resolve itself this summer, as there’s uncertainty for me over Cech, Martinez, Macey and Illiev at moment, and no sense we’ve a young keeper to challenge for 3 or 2 spot and maybe 1 eventually. That’s how I saw Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. some real cock ups in defense in that u23 game, Medley and Illiev had games to forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. rich Illiev has been great so far this season, poor yesterday, but I would say on the first goal he did have his hands on the ball and they are usually given as a freekick to the keeper, he messed up on the third goal coming and not getting anywhere near the cross. Medley cocked up on first goal and second goal and was poor on the winner too.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Ed

    Yeah, seen he is playing. I thought the report made no sense as didn’t think he could go there by law last summer, but can this.

    So I’m just hoping it didn’t mean there’s an Italian style unofficial agreement in place between player and juve for him to go there this year. Struck me as unusual enough in the world of usual bullshit to perhaps be true, and think- though can’t remember now- it came direct from big Italian paper.

    Seems to have Italian agent, and lived in Italy till he was 9.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Ed

    On Illiev, it could be that thing I’ve owned up to on here before : once you’ve got an idea of player, maybe it influences your thinking even when you are trying to be objective.

    Particularly unfair on the player in this case as my idea about him is more based on that Virginia decision : I really thought I saw a player there who could achieve the rare feat of being a keeper who comes from within at a top club to challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. just seen the U18’s highlights, our keeper Hein fecked up his clearance for their goal, he did same in his last game.
    smith’s goals were very good, he impressed me last season when coming on for the U18’s in the cup run, thought he was performing good enough to get a starting slot, he looks to have progressed this season.
    Greenwood who we signed from Sunderland seems to be a freekick specialist, he has scored 3 great ones so far this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. oddly Rich, I did not see Virginia as making it here, he always looked weak on the high ball to me, good reflexes, and good with his passing, but not commanding for me.

    Also on Virginia, his younger brother is a goalie in our Hale End Academy

    Okonkwo seems to have the potential to make it to the top, he took an age to accept scholarship terms, but did so shortly before Virginia left, only surmising the two were linked, he has already turned pro, only weeks after signing as a scholar

    Liked by 1 person

  50. the Chelsea U23’s had two player in their ranks who we tried to sign, Nathan Ampadu, and Billy Gimour who scored the winner, but the contracts offered by CFC blew our offers out of the water.

    Liked by 1 person

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