An altogether difficult few days for Arsenal have, on Monday, been made to look considerably worse by one of the club’s former academy stars.
Bees shock the masses Mikel Arteta’s first-team of course got their 2021/22 campaign underway this past weekend.
The Gunners made the trip to the Brentford Community Stadium, for a Premier League meeting with the newly-promoted Bees.
Arsenal, despite the absence of a number of the club’s key performers, and an altogether underwhelming pre-season campaign, were viewed, for the most part, as favourites ahead of the action getting underway in the capital.
When all was said and done on Friday night, however, to say that such expectations proved wide of the mark would be something of an understatement.
A dismal opening day display, during which the visitors toiled both going forward and at the back, ultimately culminated in Brentford emerging on the right side of a 2-0 final scoreline.
The bees sting again! 🐝🐝
Ivan Toney wins the flick ahead of Ben White and Christian Norgaard heads home for Brentford to double the lead! 😮
📺 Watch Brentford v Arsenal live on Sky Sports Premier League and follow live updates: https://t.co/68I9wwcrfb pic.twitter.com/5GalGMvRll
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 13, 2021
Okoflex shines As such, it goes without saying that all involved with Arsenal were no doubt hopeful of positive news emerging from the club’s latest endeavours at youth level.
The Gunners’ U23 outfit made the short trip to the London Stadium a short time ago, for their opening Premier League 2 fixture of the campaign.
The likes of highly-regarded Omar Rekik, Miguel Azeez and Charlie Patino were all in from the off, as Kevin Betsy’s men set about getting their 2021/22 term off to a positive start.
IPSWICH, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Miguel Azeez of Arsenal during the Leasing.com Cup match between Ipswich Town and Arsenal U21 at Portman Road on September 08, 2020 in Ipswich, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
The ensuing 90 minutes in the capital, however, proved of a frankly embarrassing manner for Arsenal’s young guns.
Another abject performance, equally lacking in structure and basic desire as that of their senior counterparts over the weekend, eventually culminated in a 6-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham.
Adding even further insult to injury for the visitors, though, was the fact that the star of this evening’s proceedings actually used to ply his trade with the club.
The player in question, Armstrong Okoflex, linked up with the Gunners back in 2017, making the move to North London from his home country of Ireland.
Okoflex, however, failed to make the grade at Arsenal, resulting in a swift departure for Scottish giants Celtic.
After returning to the English capital this summer to link up with West Ham, though, the winger was, on Monday, afforded his first start for the Irons’ U23s.
And what a debut it proved… Okoflex went on to net a hat-trick versus his former employers, amid a stellar all-round showing.
Goal. West Ham 5 Arsenal 0. Okoflex completes his hat trick. The former Arsenal youngster looks a really good prospect.
— Jeorge Bird (@jeorgebird) August 16, 2021
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Premier League table
# Team MP D P 1 Manchester United 1 4 3 2 Chelsea FC 1 3 3 3 Liverpool FC 1 3 3 4 West Ham United 1 2 3 5 Everton FC 1 2 3 6 Brentford FC 1 2 3 7 Watford FC 1 1 3 8 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 1 3 9 Leicester City 1 1 3 10 Tottenham Hotspur 1 1 3 11 Aston Villa 1 -1 0 12 Burnley FC 1 -1 0 13 Manchester City 1 -1 0 14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 -1 0 15 Newcastle United 1 -2 0 16 Southampton FC 1 -2 0 17 Arsenal FC 1 -2 0 18 Crystal Palace 1 -3 0 19 Norwich City 1 -3 0 20 Leeds United 1 -4 0 Player Team Goals Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 3 Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 1 Antonio, Michail West Ham United 1 Benrahma, Said West Ham United 1 Richarlison Everton FC 1 Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 1 Cresswell, Aaron West Ham United 1 Alonso, Marcos Chelsea FC 1 Doucoure, Abdoulaye Everton FC 1 Ayling, Luke Leeds United 1 Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 1 Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 1 Ings, Danny Aston Villa 1 Norgaard, Christian Brentford FC 1 Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 1 Tarkowski, James Burnley FC 1 Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 1 Fred Manchester United 1 McGinn, John Aston Villa 1 Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 1