Kevin Betsy’s first game as coach of Arsenal U23s didn’t go to plan as his side were comprehensively beaten, suffering a 6-1 defeat away to West Ham United on Monday.
However, Betsy will be boosted by the fact that the U23s will have a chance to respond quickly when they face Crystal Palace at Meadow Park tomorrow night.
Betsy will have been rather concerned with Arsenal’s performance against West Ham, even when it is taken into account that the home side called upon senior players such as Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Arthur Masuaku.
Arsenal gave away several goals themselves with lackadaisical passing, while they were left exposed in midfield due to being without a player in that position who is capable of breaking up play effectively.
It must be added that Betsy’s tactics didn’t help matters, with new signing Mika Biereth isolated up front, while Omari Hutchinson, Miguel Azeez and Ben Cottrell operated behind him but didn’t appear to have defined positions, which caused problems with regards to Arsenal’s build-up play.
There could be changes to the team for the game against Palace, with Kido Taylor-Hart and Joel Lopez, who were both substitutes against West Ham, pushing for starts.
Like Arsenal, Palace started the season with a defeat as they lost 3-1 at home to Leeds United.
This game, then, represents a chance for Arsenal U23s to get their first points of the season and Betsy will be hoping for a considerably more dynamic performance from his team, while they will also be aiming to cut out the defensive errors that characterised the loss to West Ham.