The last time Arsenal made the FA Youth Cup Final was 2009. A team containing Jack Wilshere.
The quarter final was up there with one of the greatest games I’ve been too. A match away to Spurs. They didn’t know what hit them. Neither did the OB.
I digress from memories.
As Arsenal fans we do not have much to cheers about at the moment.
A League Cup final against Manchester City ended up in embarrassment. We are 6th not e league 2 points ahead of Burnley. We have a Europa League semi-final to look forward too. More glasses are half empty than half full.
But there is something we can actually enjoy at Arsenal. The development of some English lads.
In recent games, both Calum Chambers and Rob Holding have continued their turbulent Arsenal careers. Alex Iwobi, who joined the club at 9, has also continued his development. Ainsley Miatland-Niles has had a break through season.
Then we have
Chris Joe Wilock and Reiss Nelson. Both have recently made their first Premier League starts. Both have looked good in the cups. And there is plenty to be excited about in our youth teams.
Under Liam Brady, Arsenal nearly lost their Academy Status. It was underperforming. It got relegated to the second tier of your football. But look at the side now.
Last night the U18s beat Blackpool 5-0 to make the FA Youth Cup final for the first time in 9 years. They won 7-2 on aggregate and will face Chelsea in the final. A Chelsea team that has made 8 of the last 9 finals (yet still not developed a youth team player good enough to play week in week out for them).
The Chelsea side has an incredible amount invested in it. It is a side built on spending a lot of money poaching the best young talents off London clubs. Arsenal will go in as under dogs, but can be proud to have made the final.
Arsenal are also second in the U18 Premier League South. 15 points behind Chelsea (with two games in hand). Chelsea are the force at that age group, but Arsenal, with the FA youth Cup still to play, are clearly the best of the rest.
As you move up the age groups to the U23s, Arsenal are also dominating.
They face Porto in the 2017–18 Premier League International Cup Final and also top the Premier League 2 – the revamped reserve league.
If until the end of the season you are struggling to get behind the first team – and I know many of you are – embrace the youth teams. Go to the Youth Cup Final, the International Cup Final. Enjoy watching young local boys play.
Up the Arsenal.