Bould blasts new crop after heavy Academy defeat

Bould blasts new crop after heavy Academy defeat

Arsenal U18s coach Steve Bould pulled no punches following the crushing 5-2 loss at the hands of their Manchester City opponents on Saturday.

The loss was no less than the Gunners deserved after a bitterly disappointing star to the campaign and former Arsenal centre back Bould was quick to emphasise the importance of adjusting to U18 football as quickly as possible as he spoke to Arsenal TV Online after the game.

“Well it was very, very poor. And it’s a lesson that I think the kids have learned – that you have to first and foremost run about and work. I think it was a wake-up call to what professional football is.

I think there’s one or two still in the schoolboy stage and it’s been a bit easy for them and they have to compete and we didn’t compete really. I hope they’ve learnt their lesson, I’ve just spoken to them to say that it’s a harsh environment, football, and you have to win games.

Not that the result is what we’re after and it’s about development but we just didn’t perform and I think one or two have had it a bit easy in their careers at times and teams have laid down and folded but the next level is a little bit harder than that.

The big disappointment was that we gave up the ghost. I know we scored two at the end but they weren’t great goals and it could have been six or seven and a real embarassment.”

With only Jernade Meade and Sean McDermott the only 17 year olds in the side, Bould recognises that this is a team that can only develop as the season goes on as they adjust to Academy football.

“Yeah of course [there's belief in the players]. We’re a fairly young team, I don’t know what the make-up of the Man City team was but that’s mostly first years there [for us] and we struggled a little bit.

We’re hoping that as it goes on and they realise what it’s all about that we’ll improve and we’ve certainly got to improve on that.”

The Gunners will now host Sunderland’s youth team on Saturday as they look to bounce back with a win against the well-respected Academy from the north-east.

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