Arsenal Close in on FA Youth Cup
Arsenal’s youth team took a massive step towards the FA Youth Cup final when they beat Manchester City 2-1 at the City of Manchester Stadium. Arsenal were trailing 1-0 at half time, but in the second half Arsenal turned the game around.
Late goals by captain Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Gilles Sunu ensured that Arsenal are favourites to reach the cup final, where they will probably face Liverpool. The second leg will be played at the Emirates on 22 April. Prices will be very advantageous and Arsenal will be expecting a crowd in the region of 40,000.
The Arsenal team that faced Manchester City was:
James Shea ; Craig Eastmond, Luke Ayling, Kyle Bartley, Thomas Cruise ; Sanchez Watt, Emmanuel Frimpong, Francis Coquelin, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (c), Jack Wilshere; Gilles Sunu
Missing from the above team are Henri Lansbury who is on loan at Scunthorpe United, and Rhys Murphy who is injured. Apart from Coquelin and Sunu, all the players were British.
On Saturday Arsenal’s under-18 team played and beat Fulham 5-1. The team that played Fulham did not include one of the FA Youth Cup team. Included in that team were seven schoolboys. The under-18 team is virtually guaranteed of winning their Premier Academy League.
Arsenal have a very large pool of talent at under-18 level. The problem from Arsene and the other coaches is how to keep these players happy at Arsenal. The production line at Hale End is working wonders; let us hope that the likes of Frimpong, Emmanuel-Thomas, and Afobe will become regulars in the first team within the next 5-8 years.