Arsenal Starlet Bitterly Disappointed After FA Youth Cup Exit
By Adrian Back | February 20, 2013 1:01 AM EST
Arsenal's youth team captain Isaac Hayden was left disappointed after getting knocked out of the FA Youth Cup in the fifth round by Everton on Monday night.
There were high hopes that this current crop of Arsenal youngsters could emulate the side of 2009, which featured the likes of Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin, who defeated Liverpool in the final of the FA Youth Cup.
Having been handed the lead by Chuba Akpom, Arsenal were immediately begged back before three goals in just nine second half minutes ruined their chances of progressing.
Highly-rated winger Serge Gnabry did manage to pull one goal back but it was a bitterly disappointing evening for the academy players and Hayden admits it will take a while to recover from this setback.
"It will take a while to get over this," the defender told Arsenal.com. "With this age group, not only the players, but the coaches and staff thought we'd do really well, so it's such a big blow to go out now.
"The last game against Fulham was a very good game for us. We wanted to get as far as possible and emulate Jack Wilshere's team. It wasn't meant to be but hopefully we'll carry on developing into good players in the future.
"It was a good first goal and we were looking to push on from there. We gave away a cheap free kick, didn't mark in the box properly. Then in the second half, we were unlucky with the third goal and the fourth was a real sucker punch when we were trying to get back into the game.
"We're really disappointed. We thought we could go quite far this year. We've got a fantastic team and great spirit but it wasn't meant to be.
"There's a game on Saturday for the under-21s and football is about how you react from mistakes and bad games and take that into the future. We want to learn from today. There's a lot to learn and hopefully we can push on into further games in the future."
Despite the defeat, Arsenal supporters will have been pleased with the performance of Gnabry who scored a fantastic goal which highlighted just why Arsene Wenger has promoted him to the first team squad on a number of occasions already this season.
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