As explained in my previous article http://arsenalghana.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/bye-bye-arsenal-reserves-as-u21-league-is-launched/ , the reserve league has been reformed to an U21 league. Arsenal’s first game under this new format is against Bolton and will be played at the Emirates tomorrow with tickets at just £4.
Leading the reserve’s into this new era of youth orientated competition is Terry Burton who was appointed as reserve/U21 coach after moving from Sheffield Wednesday where he was Assistant Manager last season as they gained promotion to the Championship.
Ahead of this game little information has been released by Arsenal about who might be playing but one can assume it will be a similar squad to those who played in the Arsenal XI pre-season games with the potential for players like Yennaris, Coquelin to drop down to gain some game time.
Three players who will certainly be vying for a start after a strong pre-season are Eisfield , Gnarby and Aneke, I covered Eisfield and Gnarby rise to prominence in this article http://arsenalghana.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/eisfield-and-gnarby-rise-to-the-top/ . Chuks Aneke had a strong pre-season leaving many impressed with his power and physical presence; he scored in the comeback against Kitchee FC and shone in the loss against Man City retaining possession well and almost scoring with a strong driven shot.
Another player in the squad is Damien Martinez, who having moved up to the number four keeper after Almunia’s exit was rumoured to be entrusted with a more prominent role at the club as Fabianski and Mannone eyed exits but unfortunately moves have not arisen for either and Martinez will start in the reserves hoping for game time in the Capital One cup.
Miquel, Hector Bellerin, Craig Eastmond, Sanchez Watt, Sead Harjovic , Chubba Akpom, Jerneade Meade, Elton Monteiro, Conor Henderson, Daniel Boateng, Martin Angha are all likely to be in the squad.
Bolton Reserves finished bottom of the North Reserve League last year but have had a fairly strong build up to the season including drawing with League Two outfit Accrington Stanley.
And finally Arsenal U18 played Bolton U18 today but were outclassed as they lost 5-1 with Jon Toral scoring a late consolation for Arsenal in an otherwise dour game for the Red’s.
For more information on updates about Arsenal and their youth team follow me @ArsenalMez or @Arsenalghana to keep up to date with what promises to be a interesting season whatever happens to Arsenal.