The press, the fans, the boss, pretty much everyone is totally stoked on Jack Wilshere. I’m so excited that I have already created a new masthead featuring Jack and had his left boot tattooed on the small of my back — right above my Arsenal tattoo.
Seriously, the kid looks good and I’m as excited as anyone about the prospect of having another full England starter on the squad (as it will keep the foaming dog Nationalists at bay for a little bit) but before we go off and crown him the next Liam Brady, let’s let the kid grow a bit, shall we? I mean, I realize that he’s a midfielder, he’s got a left foot, he’s silky smooth with the ball and at $150 a week he’s paid the same as a footballer from the 1970s but that’s where the comparisons end. Frankly I think the boss is talking with tongue firmly in cheek when he says
People tell me he is a bit like Liam Brady, because he has good balance and change of direction.
But there’s still a lot of work to be done with Liam, I mean Jack, and everyone just take a step back and let the kid have some room to breathe. Besides, the team is what utterly destroyed Sheffield United and I’d rather have this team than the team that Liam Brady played for in the 70s. Again, Wenger puts it in perspective
When you are a manager of a boy like that who has the talent, you are always cautious to put too much pressure on him and too high a level of expectation.”I believe it is all in there, but also that I have a responsibility to nurture him and get him in the right development over the next two or three years, that will be vital. From 16 to 19 is a very important age for the development of a football player – and Jack has skipped a few classes.
Aye, so run out quick and buy your England shirt with Wilshere-Brady on the back, it’s the only sensible thing.
What’s amazing here is that the real Liam Brady as the Head of Youth Development and the Academy Director is the person who is most directly responsible for this class of super talent that Arsenal have amassed and yet nary a word is spoken about the man’s contributions. Just look at all the players in that article linked above and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Certainly, the scouting system is important, the team’s philosophy is important, the boss’ program of bringing players up through the Carling Cup and his general footballing philosophy are all important but Liam is the dude who runs the show for these kids. I just want to give kudos to him, by all accounts he’s doing a terrific job.
The one “youth” player that the boss seems most effusive about is Carlos Vela with Wenger saying that “Carlos has everything in his locker.” Maybe his locker is like a door to Narnia and Carlos can reach in and pull out literally anything. If so, I’d like $50,000 to make up for the value I’ve lost on my house this year — and could you move the Emirates Stadium to Tacoma?
Carlos is another guy that I’ll be waiting to see how he turns out. I do think it’s funny that when he came into the EPL, Tottenham signed Dos Santos and everyone (even Thierry Henry) was high on Dos Santos and Vela was sort of seen as an afterthought. What a difference a hat trick for a first place team can make eh?
And finally in the Carlos Vela Children’s Bag of Endless Treasures, Lyon has stuck a $160m price tag on “Arsenal target” Karim Benzema which prices the 20 year old right out of the Arsenal market. Hell, they might as well have put a $700b price tag on him given the fact that Arsenal are in “development” mode and probably wont pay more than $20m for any player ever again. It does make me wonder, though, what Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott are worth if Karim Benzema is rated at $160m. First, they’re English, which doubles their price tag because talented Englishmen are like hen’s teeth and second, well, Benzema is rated at $160m. So, I’m rating both players at $200m each.
Take THAT Lyon!
FIFA paused for a moment from their feeding at the trough of South Africa to assess a $27,700 fine on Croatia for their fan’s racist taunts during the Theo Walcott match at Zagreb on September 10th.
A whole $28,000! Oops, I forgot, FIFA also doled out a stern warning! If that doesn’t work, I’m thinking that FIFA will just have to get tough, you know, have a whist drive, a “car wash against racism” and maybe even organize a bake sale.
Come on. This is the same national side that was just fined $17,000 by FIFA in June for their fan’s racism at Euro 2008 against the Turks. If FIFA seriously wants to crack down on these people they are going to have to do something a little harsher than a piddly little fine and another warning. How about holding their national games behind closed doors or just baring Croatia fans from coming to the matches? And if that doesn’t work… suspend their license? This stuff has no place in modern football and should be stamped out, with extreme prejudice.