Reserves Lose 0-3 At Barnet, Sunday Starters

Arsenal Reserves lost 0-3 at National League side Barnet this afternoon, but manager Simon Ireland reported good news regarding Jon Honey’s return to football following a long injury layoff. Scott Grogan was AFC’s best player at The Hive, and the scoreline didn’t reflect the match.

Lee Jackman finished from close range in the 14th minute to put Barnet ahead as Arsenal didn’t deal with a long throw, and Jackson swept home a Barnard cross. Ethan Ratcliffe had Arsenal’s best chance of the game early on but he fired wide when clean through.

AFC made one substitution at half-time, followed by a further eight in the 52nd minute and the raft of changes affected them as  Honey and Akil Browne combined to fell Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe in the box, and Yalany Baio stepped-up to drive Barnet two-up from the spot.

Just two minutes later Adjeman-Pamboe added a goal of his own when AFC ‘keeper parried a shot from Jason Dunne, but he was on hand to slot home the loose ball. Simon Ireland used all 22 players during the game, watched by First Team manager Gray Surman.

Surman has confirmed the starting XI for tomorrow’s first team friendly at home to Enfield Town, giving a début to new signing Jack Robinson at left-back. He’ll join Corluka, Nastasic and Koscielny in defence in front of teenage keeper Tréguer.

Jos Verniers returns after injury where he’ll partner Rubén Pardo in the middle of the park, with Coutinho, Wilshere and Shaqiri in attacking roles behind striker Obradovic.

Arsenal are expected to have a full bench and make multiple changes at the break.

Netherlands Defend European U19 Title

The Netherlands came from two-down in today’s UEFA U19 Championship final to beat Italy in northern Poland and successfully defend their European title. Gabriele Sala and Antonio Massetti had fired Italy into a commanding lead before the break, but the Dutch left it late to complete a thrilling turnaround and take the trophy back home.

John van der Heijden headed home a 64th minute corner to get Netherlands back in the game, before the late double salvo that won it. With less than five minutes remaining, Venlo striker Mischa Aksoy chipped an equaliser before Enes El Amrani won it in the 88th minute when a scramble in the box fell his way.

Last summer’s tournament in Greece was the first Dutch win at this level, and they’ve now become the eighth side to successfully retain the title the following season. England are the only nation with a hat-trick of wins (1971-73).

Friendly Match Preview: Arsenal v. Enfield Town

Enfield Town will make the short trip to the Emirates on Sunday in a hastily-arranged friendly giving fans a chance to see the side on home soil before the new season begins.

New signing Jack Robinson is fit to face the seventh-tier side and, aside from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, manager Gray Surman can pick from a fully-fit squad. However, AFC Reserves are set to play at Barnet on Saturday, and Surman has told Second XI manager Simon Ireland that Carlos Álvarez and Hensley Siberie are free for the match.

Enfield Town, of the Isthmian Premier Division, are bringing their first team while Arsenal will give run-outs to as many players as possible. The match is free, with the club today announcing that season ticket sales have now reached 33,240 of the forecast of 43,000.

Premier League referee Mike Jones is set to officiate on Sunday, his first trip to Arsenal since March when he oversaw the 2-1 win over WBA.  Weather is looking drizzly, 17°C.

Arsenal Complete £8m Jack Robinson Transfer

Jack Robinson has been confirmed as an Arsenal player after completing his £8m move from Wolves, with the defender signing a four year deal at the Emirates Stadium. The deal takes Arsenal’s summer spending to £40m.

The addition of the left-back to the Arsenal squad frees up Danny Wilson to act as cover for central positions in case of injury, and equally importantly, adds another home-grown player to the squad ahead of the Europa League campaign. Robinson is reported to be set to earn £36,500 p/w at Arsenal, with a 25% rise once he earns a senior England cap.

The 24-year is set to play in Arsenal’s friendly at home to Enfield Town on Sunday, and it’s believed that the club will now only spend further this summer should they sell first.

Carabao Cup First Round Draw Made

The draw has been made for the First Round of the EFL Cup, known in recent seasons as the Carabao Cup. Ties will be played 14/15 August. Arsenal enter the competition at the Third Round, scheduled for 25/26 September.

Middlesbrough are the most recent winners (2004) to be included at this stage, and they travel to League Two Bradford. On 04 August, promoted National League sides Gateshead and Cambridge United will play a Preliminary round tie to face Oldham.

CARABAO CUP: Preliminary Round
           Gateshead  -  Cambridge United

CARABAO CUP: First Round
  Accrington Stanley  -  Wigan Athletic
       AFC Wimbledon  -  Bristol Rovers
            Barnsley  -  Carlisle United
              Barrow  -  Leeds United
     Birmingham City  -  Stevenage Borough
           Blackpool  -  Bury
       Bradford City  -  Middlesbrough
           Brentford  -  Reading
       Burton Albion  -  Queens Park Rangers
   Charlton Athletic  -  Southend United
     Cheltenham Town  -  Ipswich Town
       Coventry City  -  Crystal Palace
        Crawley Town  -  Swindon Town
        Derby County  -  Chesterfield
    Doncaster Rovers  -  Wrexham
         Exeter City  -  AFC Bournemouth
      Fleetwood Town  -  Huddersfield Town
   Hartlepool United  -  Hull City
      Leicester City  -  Gillingham
       Leyton Orient  -  Aldershot Town
  Milton Keynes Dons  -  Bristol City
   Nottingham Forest  -  Crewe Alexandra
        Notts County  -  Tranmere Rovers
     Oldham Athletic  -  Gateshead / Cambridge United
       Oxford United  -  Walsall
 Peterborough United  -  Colchester United
     Plymouth Argyle  -  Millwall
          Portsmouth  -  Luton Town
   Preston North End  -  Port Vale
            Rochdale  -  Sheffield Wednesday
   Scunthorpe United  -  Rotherham United
    Sheffield United  -  Morecambe
     Shrewsbury Town  -  Cardiff City
             Watford  -  Yeovil Town
   Wycombe Wanderers  -  Brighton & Hove Albion

FA Post Job Vacancy After Jol Quits Role

The FA have announced that Martin Jol has resigned from his position as England manager, having taken England to the World Cup quarter-finals this year. England were the only nation in Russia to win all three of their group matches, before they went on to beat Ghana in the last sixteen ahead of an extra-time defeat to Spain.

The 62-year old Dutchman has decided to hang up his keys to the dugout for good, and retire from the game. He was appointed as successor to Brendan Rodgers following his sacking after England’s dismal showing at Euro 2016.

Luis Enrique is already considered by many within the game as the most likely person for the vacancy, though there is likely to be strong interest from several candidates who will see the job as an ideal opportunity to enhance their reputations.