After a solid but unspectacular debut for Arsenal’s u23s during a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Southampton on Monday evening, Cohen Bramall has publicly admitted the fact that he faces a big challenge as he aims to adapt to the pace of top flight football swiftly following his surprise move from non-league side Hednesford Town.
It’s a challenge that he welcomes as he’ll understand the importance of being adaptable to different conditions, whilst continuously developing as an individual.
The talented fullback, who signed for £40,000 earlier this month, played 83 minutes and put in a respectable shift defensively on his debut as he started at left-back.
Having started slowly, he grew in confidence as the match wore on and Southampton’s opener before the interval seemed to have a positive impact on Arsenal’s players as they started the second-half, eager to equalise and punish their hosts in a clinical manner.
When questioned about his thoughts on the game itself, he said it was good and a match that he enjoyed despite conceding early through Jonathan Afolabi’s close-range volley.
On the relationship with his new teammates: “They pushed me through the game, communicated with me pretty well and I’m just so happy that they were so confident, passed me the ball.”
It wasn’t a surprise to see him talking quite frankly about the key differences between non-league football and the tempo in comparison at u23 level. As quoted by the club’s official website, he said the following:
“It was so fast, it was hard to get used to. I just need to do well now, keep training and keep getting better and better. Hopefully, I can get to where I need to be in the future.
“It’ll be a big challenge, because from Hednesford in the league I played in, it was pretty slow and I had a lot more time on the ball than I did here. It was fast and I need to be better and think quicker on the ball.”
That quote is definitely an encouraging one to say the least, as the main criticism from his individual display was his tendency to ball-watch out of possession. His late sliding tackle just minutes after the restart saw him cautioned, which was harsh but understandable given how Southampton were looking threatening and opted to play down his side of the pitch.
“I think in the next game that I play, I’ll be a lot more confident. I can trust my team-mates more and just hopefully get to know the players a lot better. It was amazing. I’m just happy that in my first game for Arsenal, we got the three points really.”