Dover 0-3 Arsenal XI: Afobe On Target

Jamie Sanderson August 3, 2011 Matches 29 Comments

Arsenal wrapped up their preparations for the new Premier Reserve League season with a 3-0 win over Dover Athletic this evening. Goals from Benik Afobe, Henri Lansbury and Luke Freeman mean the Gunners finish pre-season unbeaten.

A selection of scouts from clubs all over the country were present at the Crabble stadium, many of whom hoping to grab a glimpse of Kyle Bartley. He was not included after signing a new contract, but Benik Afobe and Vito Mannone did drop down from first-team duty to start.

ARSENAL: Mannone; Yennaris, Hajrovic, Boateng, Meade; Lansbury, Özyakup, Aneke; Watt, Afobe, Freeman.

In front of a healthy crowd of over 2500 fans, Dover enjoyed some confidence building early touches. Yet after sloppy play on the edge of the Arsenal box, the Gunners showed their ruthless instincts.

The in-form Chuks Aneke saw a powerful drive beaten away by Lee Hook, before Sanchez Watt almost prodded the ball home in a goal mouth scramble. The hosts managed to clear, but the ball quickly came back towards the Dover the goal. Özyakup picked out Afobe, and the exciting front man powered Arsenal into the lead. 1-0.

Henri Lansbury was next to try his luck, lashing two shots either side of Hook’s goal. However, moments later, and via a deflection from Ed Harris, Lansbury would make it 2-0. Dover then tried to hit back, but found Mannone is good form twice to make solid blocks.

With half time approaching, Arsenal got a third. Luke Freeman added his name to the score sheet, but only thanks to another deflection off that man Harris. 3-0 at the break.

Neil Banfield’s boys snapped out of the traps once again after the restart, and should have had a stunning fourth, but Freeman’s delicate chip was cleared. A raft of Arsenal changes saw Kyle Ebecilio, Elton Montiero, Martin Angha and Serge Gnabry all come off the bench, as Dover looked for a way back into the game.

Late on, Mannone was at is best to thwart the hosts on a handful of occasions, maintaining his clean sheet while also impressing the fraternity of scouts. Both sides took their foot of the gas in the closing stages, and the game finished 3-0.

An excellent finish to Arsenal’s pre-season preparations.


  • Thanks for this fast service once again Jamie. really appreciate your efforts on this.

  • can anyone who was at/saw the game tell me who the scouts would have been impressed with and who is likely to go on loan this season?

    Like the sounds of aneke, afobe, ozzy and lansbury!

    • I was there.
      Afobe, Aneke, Boateng, Meade, Ozyakup and Lansbury all impressed me.
      Montiero did ok in the 2nd 45.

    • Freeman had a good game also, mostly out on the left wing, cutting inside.

  • Benik is already better than Chamakh !

  • wenger!! lansbury and afobe is on fire!!!! please give both lad first team number…huhhh

  • Jamie, is there any truth in the Rodriquez rumour from Real Madrid?

  • Cissy Fairfax

    This reminded me of another Meade at Arsenal who was severely underused and let go prematurely.

    A lot of good potential there in the attackers on show, but all of which bar Lansbury are decent options for loans to Championship clubs – unlike some of the other slightly more senior options.

    Would’ve thought one or two more senior players would’ve been on show as I hope the Benfica match sees the Newcastle line up given as close to 90 mins as possible.

  • I know this is not strictly youth related but I found this website “”

    which would suggest that there are quite a few players who are in the final year of their contracts.

    Lukasz Fabianski
    Vito Mannone
    Johan Djourou
    Manuel Almunia
    Tomas Rosicky
    Samir Nasri
    Andrey Arshavin
    George Brislen-Hall
    Sanchez Watt
    Henri Lansbury
    Gilles Sunu

    If this information is correct it looks like we could be losing a lot of players on a free transfer at the end of the season

    • Would you be too concerned if Brislen-Hall, Sanchez Watt, Giles Sunu, Almunia or Rosicky left? I would personally like to see Lansbury being given the playing time Rosicky is getting. I cant see how he would not be more dynamic, energetic and creative than Rosicky, who i fail to see the use in to be honest. Its looking likely that Nasri will leave next summer or perhaps this summer anway so that is sort of immaterial. Cant see Djourou leaving, or Fabianski, so that really only leaves Arshavin and Manone. Our 3rd choice keeper wont be missed but Arshavin could be a big loss.

  • I say if Cesc does go buy no one and promote Özyakup, great at the pass and awesome at delivering corners and set-pieces? So tired of the drama at this club:)

    • Are you really being serious? You want to replace a guy who has been at the centre of the Arsenal squad for years and a World Cup and Euros winner with a kid who hasn’t played a single first team game at the highest level? The mind boggles.

  • Sounds like freeman had a good game. Does he have any chance of making it? He seems to be quite similar to afobe in that he is strong, quick and can play lots of attacking positions?

  • Was at the game tonight, Lansbury’s goal wasn’t deflected – super strike. Freeman tried to be too clever and chipped the ball wide of the post at the start of the second-half.
    Referee lost control with some nasty Dover tackles in final 20 mins – Hajrovic off with what looked a nasty bang on the knee.
    Afobe, Lansbury, Aneke looked a class above.
    Mannone excellent handling all night. Nicky Hammond from Reading was among the scouts watching.

  • How did Meade get on? And what’s your opinion now he is getting a run of games without injury?

  • Özyakup needs to go out on loan in the championship to prove what he’s up to. For me he could be better than Lansbury who I think lack the focus to become a world beater. too much party around that boy.

  • To those idiots here who whine to Wenger to replace a proven EPL first team player with an unproven youth like Afobe, learn to differentiate between exhibition games against weak opposition at a youth level and the EPL fireworks between AFC and the top 6 contenders. There is a place for Afobe,Bartley and the rest BUT it has to be done carefully since the gap between what they play and what they need to learn is still great!

  • why someone you’ve been training for more than 3 years have to go to a crap championship club to prove he has mature?
    you send someone on loan in order for him to stay match fit instead of keeping him in the a player perform at a loan club doesnt matter because they play different kind of game.
    good thing arsene doesnt listen to internet scouts otherwise we will be doomed.
    afobe goal ratio at the hudders were crap but at arsenal he will score many goals because he will have wilshere and possibly cesc and nasri behind him.

    • I was thinking you send him there to give him experience and confidence to play for the very best. And how a player perform in other clubs does matter a big damn lot. If you are quality you will show it no matter which team you play for. We don’t bring in crap players who don’t impress right? So its no different for the loan players. If JET would have impress he would have got a chance in Arsenal but he never did.

      Afobes ratio is bad? Check again….. Its damn good for a 18 year old to first take a regular spot then score goals and do assist in almost every match he played. How is that a bad ratio?

      And if it would have been bad there are no guarantee whats so ever that he will do great for us against experience teams in the PL and CL.

  • joel campbell just scored a golaaasoooooo for costa rica

  • costa rica defence just conceded a silly goal from set piece, sounds familiar!!!!
    they must have squillaci in their team

  • the boy scored another beauty….
    he’s dad/agent will charge us more for this

  • Is Gnarby really rated that highly. I expected hum to join up wuth the under 18’s not the reserves, a he’s only 16s

  • Vito Cleansheet Mannone is actually underrated. very good keeper, more commanding than lukasz

  • Not sure that Yennaris is a full-back. Seems a bit of a waste, could be a case of fitting him in to give him a game? eg Eastmond.

  • Sven

    Good information on the contract situation but hope that of ff: won’t have their contracts renewed:
    1. Djourou-has not progressed
    2. Almunia-always shit, not Arsenal quality
    3. Rosicky-Getting old and hasn’t done much
    4. Arshavin-Time to move on
    5. Giles Sunu-Forgotten, not good enough

  • Djourou has not progressed?
    clearly our best defender last season and he had drogba in his pocket we beat chelsea.
    let me guess, jagielka and cahill don’t make mistakes.
    i am glad arsene ignored all the drum and kept his defence.
    coz if you remove squillaci and add bartley and miquel we will have good defence this season.we dont need average english dudes that won’t even improve us. bartley is more likely to win england place by xmas ahead of these clowns.

  • JS, have you heard anything on the grapevine concerning Lansbury and his contract???
    The Guardian was reporting that he’d failed to agree a deal and was now up for sale.
    Hope it’s the usual Press garbage…

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