Jack Wilshere voiced his delight as his under-18 team clinched a commanding 4-0 triumph over Southampton at London Colney on a Saturday morning.
Chido Obi's impressive hat-trick, with an additional goal from Louis Zecevic-John sandwiched in between, secured a commanding win for the young Gunners.
"It's a great feeling, and this win was well-deserved. We fielded a very youthful squad today, and there were moments where we faced challenges, but I believe we handled them admirably.
“Scoring the opening goal was crucial in a match like this, and we displayed a higher level of quality in the final third compared to previous weeks, and that's what earned us the victory."
Jack praised the performance of 15-year-old Danish international Chido Obi, who netted his first goals at this level for the club.
"Chido was exceptional today; this has been building up in him. Today was the day he truly arrived at the under-18s level. He showcased to me, the coaches, and the staff what he's capable of, and we're eager to see more of that.
“His pressing and link-up play was notably improved, and he possesses immense potential with much more to offer."
The under-18s head coach underscored the importance of defensive resilience as a foundation for success.
"Maintaining a clean sheet is vital for our culture. We emphasize creating an environment where our players are tenacious, tough to contend with, unrelenting, celebrating tackles, and standing together. This approach pays off when we consistently adhere to the fundamentals.
“We've placed considerable emphasis on defending our box, and today's result reflects our efforts in that regard."
There was also a debut for under-14s player Max Dowman, who made his first appearance at just 13 years old.
Jack expressed pride in the entire academy's approach, stating, "We take a holistic view of the academy, pushing our players to excel. Debut opportunities aren't handed out lightly, and Max has demonstrated over the past few months that he deserves this chance. There are others on the verge of stepping up as well.
“He handled the moment admirably, sending an important message to the team that when we introduce players, they possess the quality to contribute effectively."
Finally, Jack looked ahead to next week's London derby against Chelsea, hoping to carry the momentum from this performance into the challenging matchup.
"This is the perfect way to prepare for a game like Chelsea. It's a derby, and it will be a test as we play away from home, requiring some adjustments. However, when you score four goals one week, you expect the team to approach the next game with confidence, creating and converting chances."
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