After the first team’s stunning display on Tuesday night, the spotlight falls on Arsenal Under-19s’ Youth League campaign on Wednesday. The Gunners will be looking to follow up an impressive performance in Marseille with victory over Napoli at Borehamwood.
Steve Gatting’s team were clearly buoyed by the opportunity to travel with, and watch, the senior side in south France, and it didn’t deter them from comprehensively beating Marseille at the Marcel Cedran Stadium a fortnight ago.
Domestically, the under-21s have got off to an unbeaten start under Gatting and the majority of those players are likely to be involved on Wednesday.
One player who has featured heavily so far is holding midfielder Glen Kamara, and the 17-year-old is pleased to be getting a prolonged run in the team.
“I think I’m doing well but I’m still in the early stages of my career so I just need to keep my head down and carry on working hard in training,” Kamara told Arsenal.com.
We've got to be intelligent on Wednesday because Napoli will offer a different kind of playing style to what we're used to playing against so we need to adaptGlen Kamara
Players like Serge Gnabry and Alex Iwobi stole the headlines against the French side but the back four was extremely well marshalled by Kamara and the hosts were forced into shooting from long range.
“We have a young team at the moment but we're working extremely hard. We've been working on our defending and learning about when to push up and when how to hold our shape and be compact. I think we've done those things quite well," said Kamara.
“It was a great experience to travel with the first team to Marseille and we went to see their game after ours which was a great inspiration to us.”
Kamara says the whole squad is vying for a place in the starting line-up for the team’s European outings.
“Everyone wants to play on Wednesday," he said. "Particularly after winning the first game in Marseille.
“There will be players like Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden who will be dropping back down into the under-19s so it's going to make it tougher to get into the starting line-up."
The Italian side also won their opening group game, beating Borussia Dormund 1-0 in a bad-tempered game that saw two players from each side sent off.
But Kamara is looking forward to the task and thinks the experience of playing against teams from across Europe will be invaluable.
“We've got to be intelligent on Wednesday because Napoli will offer a different kind of playing style to what we're used to playing against so we need to adapt," he said.
“But the team have been training hard for this game and if we can get another win then that will give us a big confidence boost as we try to qualify from the group.”
Please note tickets for this evening's game are free.Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source