It’s a big week of football for the club what with the Celtic clash being followed by a Saturday game against Portsmouth in the Premier League but it’s not just the first team that will be busy. This weekend also sees the Premier Academy League kick off as Arsenal’s young guns are away to Sheffield United on Saturday.
The Premier Academy League is made up of four groups. Arsenal’s group (A) is made up as follows:
West Ham United
The format is such that Arsenal will play every team in their group twice. They will then play 10 inter-group fixtures, which make it a 28 game season. The groups are paired (A+B, C+D) and 8 of those 10 inter-group fixtures will be against opponents from the paired group. The other two fixtures will be against an opponent from each of the other groups. Finally the winners of each group qualify for play-offs.
Then on Monday the reserves are in action in the Premier Reserve League South at home against Fulham.
The Premier Reserve League South is made up of the following teams:
Aston Villa Reserves
Stoke City Reserves
West Ham United Reserves
Wolverhampton Wonderers Reserves
For reasons unknown to me, Tottenham Hotspur Reserves will not be participating this season. The other Premier League teams not named above make up the Premier Reserve League North. At the end of the season, the winner of the Reserve League South plays the winner of the Reserve League North in a play-off final.
One player who will not be turning out for the reserves this month is Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. The versatile 18-year old midfielder moved on loan to Blackpool for a month until 17th September. He joins a growing list of Arsenal youngsters who are heading out on loan. Pedro Botelho has linked up with Celta de Vigo and Håvard Nordtveit will be representing FC Nürnberg this season. We will endeavour to keep you updated on their progress at their respective teams this season.
Despite reports suggesting that he would be unveiled as a Levante player last week, Fran Mérida is not going out on loan. Wenger has decided that Mérida is needed for first team responsibilities. Speaking to Radío Nou Mérida had this to say “The fact that the coach wants me to stay has given me a lot of confidence and that is very important for me. From this moment I will be giving my all to earn an opportunity in the first-team.” Which is good news for the club.
If any other youngsters are loaned out to gain more experience such as Lansbury, Randall and Hoyte then we will keep you updated with their progress too. There will also be updates on reserve and youth team games throughout the season.
Please check back to see how all of our young gunners are progressing at home and abroad.