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'I have history with Tottenham!'


Freddie Ljungberg picked up a win in his very first north London derby in charge of our under-23s, as we won 2-1 against Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on Friday night.

The former Sweden international has now seen his team win twice in succession, as the momentum begins to build at the start of a new Premier League 2 campaign.

After the final whistle, he spoke to – and this is what he said:

on the team’s overall performance…
With the ball first-half we played really well and we were a bit passive defensively, but we knew that Tottenham were trying to find the pockets so we were compact and won the ball in good positions and probably should have countered and scored another two goals. Joe was one on one against the keeper, so we still felt good with the performance in the first-half, but we should have been a good few goals up. Then we talked at half-time to be a bit more aggressive and a bit higher up in our defensive work, and in that way we gained the ball a bit more and dominated quite strongly in the second half. I said to the boys well done and the only sad thing is that we didn't score more goals with all the chances we had and the missed penalty. 

on the team’s defensive performance…
Very good, but defenders have to defend and they are developing everyday. Both defensively and offensively we are starting to feel that this is our team and what we are working on in training we can see in the games. Everybody’s working and trying to do it and sometimes it doesn’t maybe get an end product or we miss the pass, but you can see that the thought is there and we are trying to push it and we’re getting better everyday. It’s a pleasure to see that. 

on a cohesive team performance despite missing a number of regulars…
Yeah, I thought it was (cohesive) too. That’s what we do, we just fill up with players and they did great. I spoke to John-Jules and he had a good performance and with the under-23’s he needs to lift his game and push harder and push harder and he did it, so well done. 

on it always being nice to beat Tottenham...
Of course it is! Especially for the players and for the fans, it's always nice to win. Especially against London clubs. But what I am happy about is the full performance. Like we said, it could have been about 5-0. So that's amazing by the boys. Like I said, we had a lot of new faces and that's great too.

on how it was to manage a north London derby...
I had one against West Ham but if we're talking just north London with Spurs, then yes, of course. I have history with them! It's always nice to win against them.

on whether there's a feeling among the squad that they want to defend the PL2 title strongly...
For us, it's about the development of my players. That is the main, most important thing. Of course, it is nice to win and stuff. But at this level, if I can see players developing every day then that is the key. That's what development football is about, but I like to win games!

on Ben Sheaf's return from injury...
I was so happy for him. He's been having so much bad luck. He got injured before I even got him, he got injured in the gym before I got here. So it was nice for me to see him on the pitch. He's worked really hard to get back, so well done to him for all the work. 


Sheaf - I want to prove that I’m ready

Ben Sheaf

After an injury-hit summer, Ben Sheaf was understandably delighted to get back on the pitch at Emirates Stadium.

The England youth international returned from a calf problem to play the final half an hour during Friday’s Premier League 2 win over West Ham United, and the 20-year-old is determined to make up for lost time this season.
“I was hoping to get out on loan this season but the injury hit and that was a bit of a difficult one to take,” he told “I want first-team football. I’m 20 now and I want to be playing men’s football.
“With the Checkatrade this year and the under-23s Premier League, I think I can get enough games up until January, hopefully get out on loan then and prove to the manager that I’m ready for first-team football.
“I was on the bench for a few Carabao Cup games last season and I was here for when Eddie scored his goals. I just want a bit more of that. I want to get more minutes under my belt but for me to just stay fit this season would be great, and then just kick on from there really.
“I’ve been asked where my favourite position is a lot recently and honestly I couldn’t pin down a position,” Sheaf added. “Wherever I play, I’ll do my best, as long as I’m getting on the ball and passing it around. I don’t mind. Wherever I’m put, I’ll do my best for the team.”


Loan Watch: Bielik scores last-gasp winner

Krystian Bielik

Five of our players were in action for their loan clubs at the weekend - read on to find out who was involved and how they fared.

Krystian Bielik played the entirety of Charlton's 2-1 win over Southend United on Saturday, scoring a last-gasp winner to secure all three points. Lyle Taylor opened the scoring for the Addicks in the 57th minute, but Southend soon equalised through Theo Robinson. The two sides were set for a share of the spoils, but in the 87th-minute Bielik leapt high from a corner and found the back of the net with a thumping header.

Calum Chambers played seven minutes of Fulham’s 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. Fulham went 2-0 up thanks to goals from Andre Schurrle and Aleksandar Mitrovic, but Glenn Murray struck twice in the second half to salvage a point for the Seagulls.

Takuma Asano played 45 minutes of Hannover 96’s hard-fought 0-0 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Friday. Our forward was unable to find an opening against their deep-lying defence, but helped to disrupt Dortmund’s build-up play. 

Matt Macey played the entirety of Plymouth Argyle’s 3-0 defeat to Portsmouth. Ronan Curtis broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute, before Jamal Lowe doubled their advantage after the break. Curtis would then go on to round off the scoring with his second of the afternoon.

David Ospina played the full 90 minutes as Napoli were defeated 3-0 by Sampdoria. Gregoire Defrel scored twice in the first-half, before Fabio Quagliarella scored a stunning backheel volley just 15 minutes from time.

Post-Match Report

U-23s: Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham - Report

Freddie Ljungberg's under-23 side registered a second win in a week as they build momentum at the start of the new Premier League 2 season.


 Freddie Ljungberg’s under-23s recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season, as they defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Emirates Stadium
We wasted no time in stamping our authority on the game when Joe Willock pounced on a drilled cross inside the box and fired the ball into the top right corner.
Soon after, Emile Smith Rowe’s curling goal-bound effort was blocked, before Xavier Amaechi’s low strike was pushed to safety by Brandon Austin
Willock then came close to his - and our - second of the night when he raced through on goal following a perfectly-weighted pass from Tyreece John-Jules, but he was denied by a brilliant diving save.
Smith Rowe would go on to find the back of the net just minutes before the break, but his stunning finish from a tight angle was ruled out as being offside.
Just moments before the hour mark, however, a loose ball dropped to Tyreece John-Jules inside the box, who made no mistake in finding the bottom left corner with a powerful right-footed effort.  
Charlie Gilmour then had the opportunity to make it three from the spot when Tolaji Bola was fouled inside the penalty area, but Austin guessed the right way and denied us from extending our lead.
We went on to dominate possession for the remainder of the game having nullified the Tottenham attack, but not before Troy Parrott was dismissed for an off-the-ball altercation. 

Tottenham struck late on through Shayon Harrison, but left themselves with too much to do in the burning embers of the game.


We must now turn our attention to our Checkatrade Trophy clash against Coventry City on Wednesday, September 12.
The game will take place at the Ricoh Arena with kick-off at 7:45pm (UK time)


Internationals: Ten youngsters called up

Eddie Nketiah

A number of our youngsters have been called up for England’s youth teams for the upcoming international break.

Scroll down to find out who’s in action and when:
Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock have been named in the England Under-20 squad for their games against Switzerland on Thursday, September 6 and Netherlands on Monday, September 10.
Emile Smith Rowe has been called up to the England Under-19 squad for their clashes with Netherlands on Wednesday, September 5 and Belgium on Monday, September 10.
And finally, Xavier Amaechi, Flo Balogun, Vontae Daley-Campbell, Tyreece John-Jules, Arthur Okonkwo and Bukayo Saka have been named in the England Under-18 squad for their Limoges Tournament matches against Netherlands on Wednesday, September 5 and Russia on Friday, September 7.

Xavier Amaechi in action for England


'You always want to win against Tottenham!'

Charlie Gilmour was in the thick of the action during our 2-1 win over Tottenham at Emirates Stadium on Friday night.

The midfielder was on the receiving end of some tough challenges but stood firm to the test and helped his side to all three points.

He spoke to after the final whistle - and this is what he said:

On the overall performance...
I thought we were superb tonight. We started off quickly and got the early goal and then from there, the momentum took us and in the second half we started sharply. I was disappointed to let a goal in at the end but we got the three points and that's all that matters.

On having regulars missing but still performing well.
Yes, we've got young players but age is just a number. We were working together as a team and the boys that came in put in a shift and it was a good day all round.

On a strong defensive performance tonight...
Yes, you could tell Martinez helped us a lot. His communication and all of that was a massive help at the back. But no, it was a good performance and we're just disappointed not to keep a clean sheet.

On how it is to have senior players on the pitch...
It's good. That's the level we want to get to so we're just learning to be as good as them and hopefully, one day, we'll be playing here with 60,000 fans.

On not beating Tottenham last year - but winning the first fixture this season...
Yes, of course. You always want to win against Tottenham and we've done it today. Hopefully we can do it again later this season.

On the feeling amongst the squad and wanting to retain the title...
Yes, definitely. We want to win the league again. It just shows we're improving as players, so we want to keep progressing and get to the first team.

On whether he's got any personal targets this season...
Just to get as many minutes as possible this year and see where that takes me. Hopefully, I'll get an opportunity with the first team.