In Young Guns, featured first in the official matchday programme, we find out about the next generation of Arsenal youngsters, in their own words. This week we spoke to midfielder Josh Dasilva.
I joined Arsenal after a trial when I was about eight years old. I remember that I didn’t have the best start because I turned up wearing a Manchester United shirt and all the other players thought it was hilarious!
"I’ve had that experience and I was on the bench in recent under-19s Champions League games too"
Looking back now it was quite funny but I didn’t wear that shirt again! Despite that start I must have done something right as I was asked to join.
When I first came to Arsenal I was a left winger and can still drop into midfield when asked to, but I mainly play as a striker now. I know a lot of players start as a striker and then move back, but it was the other way with me.
I always used to score a lot when I was younger, and so I was pushed forward and I started scoring even more. I was a lot greedier then. I don’t score as many now because my game has changed into developing my hold up play and bringing others into the game.
I’m now working hard to find a balance between the two. If you play as a striker you need to score too, and last season while I was a schoolboy I helped the team a lot and played most of the games, but I only scored twice which was not enough for a player in my position.
It’s a mental thing, I have to start being more aggressive and determined to score, as well as being a good team player. My style is more Olivier Giroud than Theo Walcott because my pace is good but not blistering like Theo’s but my hold up play is a big part of what I do.
Champions League nights are special and I got a little taster when I played for the under-19s away to Galatasaray when I was 15 and still at Beal School in Ilford. I turned 17 yesterday but to have that experience already was fantastic.
I learnt a lot. Travelling with the first team to Turkey was an honour and actually getting off the bench for the last 10 minutes was a real privilege. The funny thing was that I almost missed the experience because I got a text saying ‘You are travelling with the under-19s’, but when I saw it I didn’t take it seriously because I thought it was a typo!
When I found out it was true I was so happy and went straight to my teacher to get permission to go. They were just as thrilled for me and told me to do the school proud. We travelled on the Tuesday, played in Turkey on the Wednesday and I was back in class by Thursday afternoon.
I had a million questions to answer from teachers and my school friends who were all very happy for me. I’ve had that experience and I was on the bench in recent under-19s Champions League games too, and hopefully I can do well enough to get on and play in future games.
Three of each
...positions I can play in1 central midfield 2 up front3 wing
...best aspects of my game1 passing 2 holding up the ball 3 dribbling
...things I can improve on 1 shooting 2 heading 3 speed
... players I’m similar to 1 Pogba 2 Toure 3 Ronaldo (Brazilian)
...footballing heroes 1 Zidane 2 Henry3 Ronaldo (Brazilian
...favourite foods1 chicken2 rice 3 olives
...best friends in football 1 Marcus Agyei-Tabi 2 Charlie Gilmour 3 Mich’el Parker
...most used Apps on your phone 1 Instagram 2 Twitter 3 Snapchat
...favourite TV series 1 Revenge 2 Prison Break 3 Power
...tracks on your ultimate playlist 1 Drake 2 Yxng Bane - Pronto
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