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An Unspooky Halloween Arsenal Youth GIF Highlight Roundup (Vol. 5)

I don't know if you heard, you guys, but Theo is back. He's in this...twice.

Bruce Bennett

U21 v Blackburn

THEO’S BACK EVERYBODY WOOOOOOOO!!! Who’s the loser that messed up Theo’s assist? Oh, Serge Gnabry? He’s back too? Well, that’s cool but THEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Theo goes oh so close after Crowley’s deflected cross bounces right to him

obligatory opposition highlight dot gif. Man, their kits are hideous.

That would have been a sweet goal, but Arsenal can’t score from corners so we all knew it wasn’t meant to be.

Nice combination play, but Moore’s cross can't quite find Akpom.

Daniel Crowley has been the star of the U21 side this season and was unlucky not to score here with a wonderful free kick.

U21s v. Stoke

This came before Newcastle’s goal versus Spurs on the weekend, so clearly, Newcastle ripped its strategy from our youth team. Brilliant pass from Zelalem (whose passing range, up until this point, has been largely unknown) but Serge isn’t able to put it past the goalkeeper on his second touch of the game.

Played in well by Iwobi, who also took the ball down superbly from a nice long ball by the dangerously-close-to-the-first-team Stefan O'Connor, but Akpom can’t find the finish.

I’ve watched this Iwobi goal a number of times and I still don’t understand how he scored.

Great turn and shot from this Stoke youngster. Unlucky not to level proceedings, there.

Marc Bola got dominated in the air on that cross and once again, Arsenal are fortunate not to concede.

Stunning strike from Ainsley Maitland-Niles. He’s been playing as the deepest midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 for much of this season, in order to incorporate the U21s wealth of attacking talent, and here he comes from deep to win an underhit pass and scores a delightful goal. Along with Crowley, he’s been one of the real stars of the U21 campaign.

No joke, the Arsenal dot com broadcaster said this was a fantastic save. I think Matt Macey had no clue about this shot and was lucky the ball was kicked at his body.

Zelalem whiffed on Iwobi’s cross. Luckily, Gnabry was there to clinically hammer one home. I’m not sure a hammer has any clinical purpose, but that’s what came out of my Soccer Adverb/Verb Randomizer machine.

Wow, color me shocked. A hideous tackle from a Stoke defender on an Arsenal attacker who has dominated proceedings. Arsenal aren’t the only ones training their youngsters to play like the senior squad.

U21 Thoughts

- Ainsley Maitland-Niles at CM seems to be working for the most part. In the full matches I've seen with him playing that role, he does not look particularly comfortable, but he's so talented it works. Maybe he can develop a feel for that position going forward as it will be easier to break into the first team there.

- Crowley is a very good talent. Nothing more to say, really.

- Nice to see Gnabry play a full 90 minutes in the Stoke match. He should get some first team chances soon due to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's disappointing form so far this season.

- Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill is out for 6 to 8 weeks. Creates an issue for the U21 side as they don't really have adequate LB cover.

- Hector Bellerin, Chuba Akpom, and Isaac Hayden were all officially promoted to the first team recently. Their pictures now adorn the First Team bio page, though they are still in the second tier of Arsene's plans as displayed by the fact they are looking into the camera for their profile pictures.

Arsenal U18s vs. West Ham U18s

Probably my favorite part of the U18 squad this year has been George Dobson. His runs upfield entertain me more than anything. Really hope I can watch a full match with him playing at some point. Without a doubt, there’s humor there every match.

Great saves by Champions League benchwarmer Ryan Huddart to keep the Gunners from conceding.

Chris Willock hasn't had a chance to make an impact at the U21 level due to the glut of attacking talent there, but he continues to look bright for the U18s.

Willock is heavily involved again in this chance, but Stephy Mavididi can't get his shot on target.

Willock again at the center of the action, this time laying it off for Kaylen Hinds.

Mavididi has been scoring for fun this season in U18 play, but he could not bury this easy chance.

Just wasn’t his day apparently.

Arsenal U18s vs. Tottenham U18s

Ilias Hatzitheodoridis, after waiting forever to register for play at Arsenal following a move to London this summer, will not look fondly upon his initial involvement in a competitive match for the Gunners. It’s ok though, Ilias. The first night I worked as a waiter at a hotel restaurant, I spilled a tray of champagne on someone at a wedding reception. Things can only get better!

Gunners try to answer quickly after some nice work by Willock, Harry Donovan can’t hammer it home. (Note: Ilias had some solid passing to start this move!)

Hey, at least time you didn’t allow a goal, Ilias. That’s slightly better!

These came back to back. Mavididi should have gotten that ball out quicker. Willock’s curling effort was oh so close.

Yikes. Once again, Ilias is responsible for allowing a goal. Not a great start to the young Grecian’s career.

This one seems rather dangerous. Only got a yellow, but it didn’t matter as the Spurs player was already on a yellow.

Arsene sighting! Looks like he went with the pullover as opposed to the jacket. Good choice. Who needs zippers anyways?

Arsenal couldn’t pull one back here on a nice chance off a corner. Ben Sheaf played the ball in, but Renny Smith could not get Arsenal on the board.

Unplug the system. This match never happened.

U18 Thoughts

- It's hard for me to gauge the U18s because none of their full matches are ever televised. However, after a blistering start to the campaign, they've really slowed down. They haven't been scoring goals and that certainly has to be a concern for Frans de Kat.