The Arsenal academy have now concluded their pre-season preparations, so let’s take a look at how things went for the two sides.

Miguel Azeez (L) and Brooke Norton-Cuffy celebrate Azeez's goal against Ebbsfleet United (Photo by Dan Critchlow)
Miguel Azeez (L) and Brooke Norton-Cuffy celebrate Azeez’s goal against Ebbsfleet United last pre-season (Photo by Dan Critchlow)

The Arsenal academy played a number of pre-season fixtures over the last month, largely travelling to local teams in and around the M25 but also heading up to Edinburgh for a training camp.

Some games were played behind closed doors, but below is what we know about the academy preparations.

  • 5th July – Woking 3-2 Arsenal u21sMatch report here
  • 8th July – Arsenal u21s 2-0 FC Koln u21s – Match details here
  • 9th July – Arsenal u18s 3-1 Bournemouth – Behind closed doors
  • 13th July – Hereford FC 1-3 Arsenal u21sMatch report here
  • 15th July – Hendon FC 1-1 Arsenal u18s – Match report here
  • 16th July – Dulwich Hamlet 0-0 Arsenal u21sMatch report here
  • 18th July – 23rd July – The Arsenal u18s and u21s held a pre-season training camp in Edinburgh, playing matches behind closed doors. The u18s lost 1-0 to Hibernian, and the u21s beat Dundee United 4-1.
  • 26th July – Bromley FC 1-1 Arsenal u21s – Match report
  • 29th July, 19:00 – Boreham Wood 3-2 Arsenal u21sMatch report
  • 29th July, 19:45 – Slough Town 1-0 Arsenal u18s Match report
  • 1st August, 19:45 – St. Albans City 0-1 Arsenal u21sMatch report
Zak Swanson pulls on the captain's armband for the Arsenal u23s against Bromley FC (Photo by Dan Critchlow)
Zak Swanson pulls on the captain’s armband for the Arsenal u23s against Bromley FC in 2021 (Photo by Dan Critchlow)

As you can see, results were fairly mixed in pre-season, but largely positive.

The u21s beat FC Koln, Hereford FC, Dundee United, and St. Albans City, drew with Dulwich Hamlet and Bromley FC, and lost to Woking and Boreham Wood.

The u18s beat Bournemouth, drew with Hendon FC, and lost to Hibernian FC and Slough Town.

These games aren’t really about the results though, particularly as they often feature players playing their first games in a new age group.

Plenty of regular u18 starters from last year have been involved with the u21s in pre-season, and this month will have helped them adapt to their new team – and new head coaches Mehmet Ali and Jack Wilshere.

The real test will obviously be the start of the new season, with the Arsenal u21s kicking things off by hosting Manchester United on Saturday.