Two of the Arsenal u23s’ in-form players combined to score the winner against Southampton on Saturday, underlining their continued progress this season.
Tyreece John-Jules fired home on the half-volley to net the only goal of the game as Steve Bould’s u23 side won their second consecutive game this weekend.
The striker was set up by Ben Cottrell, who chipped an excellent ball into a dangerous area for John-Jules, even if there was still a lot of work to do with the finish.
Both players are making good progress in 2019/20 so far. Despite an injury keeping him out for around a month, John-Jules is up to 10 goal contributions in 14 games for the u23s and the England u19s.
Even in matches where he hasn’t got on the scoresheet, such as Tottenham Hotspur away at the start of the month, he’s still been influential whenever he’s played. In fact, the only three games the Arsenal u21s/u23s have lost have been three of the four he missed.
Emery was planning to give John-Jules a chance before his injury, and insisted to the young striker that his time would come when he returned to fitness. Though the head coach may not be around to fulfil that promise, it’s still a sign of things to come for the player.
Meanwhile, Ben Cottrell has had to deal with shifting between the u18s and the u23s this season, filling in with whichever team needs help, but he’s doing so excellently so far.
The midfielder has four goals and an assist in nine games (seven starts), but it’s not just his final ball which is impressing.
Cottrell’s passing and dribbling in tight spaces really helps the team progress the ball up the field, which has been most evident when he’s been absent from the u18s and they’ve struggled.
It’s great to see the duo combining for their goal this weekend, the first of many, we hope.