The Reserve fixtures were announced today and are available to view on Arsenal.com.
Normally I would not get excited about such an event and would skip past this “Breaking News”, but this season’s fixtures need a second look. In fact if you look a second time you would see what a farce Reserve team football is.
Arsenal have two games in August, one in September and then two in October, November is more meaningful with a four games whilst December and January have one each. We then have games in February, three in March and the season ends on 5 April.
How are players supposed to be ready for the first team if they have such big gaps between games? How is Neil Banfield supposed to get some continuity in his team if the team rarely plays two weeks in a row? The reserves are meant to be the next step for the very successful and all conquering FA Youth Cup winning team, but they must be wondering what they have let themselves in for, players like to train all week and then the training culminates in a match, not for our reserves.
Tottenham withdrew from the FA Premier Reserve League South and when you see what we have to deal with I do not blame them. Banfield will be spending most of the next few weeks trying to organise friendlies against reserve teams from clubs in the Championship.
This state of play cannot be allowed to continue, the football authorities need to look at what is happening and change things. I have advocated our reserve team be allowed to enter League 2, or even the Conference League. At least then the boys will get meaningful games, week in week out.