With a goal in the second minute, Jack Wilshere sealed his fate, from now on he will be the most hyped man in England. Expect billboards with him in an England shirt, pictures of him lounging on a throne, his crown slightly off kilter as he fondles two beautiful English lasses.
That he then went on to cap his performance with a second goal, and a goal of undeniable quality, only served to underline the headlines that were to come: Wilshere Could Play For Capello.
Arsene warns us not to heap too much pressure on Wilshere, but the fact is that’s going to be damn hard when the lad puts in performances like that. For example, the most effective weapon Wenger has to combat those expectations is to keep him playing regularly in the reserves with occasional appearances in the league. But when a player is that good, I think that’s impossible to do because what you don’t want to do is keep his chances so limited that he thinks the club are ruining his career.
Unfortunately, that’s going to be down to Arsene managing the hype from here on out. Jack’s already being tabbed for next year’s World Cup squad, which, unless he establishes himself in the first team as a regular, is just a stupidly premature suggestion. But the problem is if the boy takes that hype on board and starts thinking “I should be in the World Cup squad” you can see what kind of trouble that could lead to when the boss doesn’t play him regularly. As Wenger puts it:
The only problem is that in England, with the impatience of the English people, we need to keep the right pace with his progress.
That said, when asked whether Jack could play the whole Premier League season, Wenger answered “certainly not.” So, I think the boss will be playing him here and there, most likely as a sub and will manage the hype as best he can. Oh well, that’s one of the problems when you manage a bunch of kids, I guess.
The other performance that I want to highlight was that of Eduardo. After the match, and after about 200 questions about Jackie and Paddy, Arsene Wenger said that he feels like Eduardo and Rosicky are 100% healthy and ready for the season. Eduardo only scored one goal but it was the kind of goal that only a top drawer finisher can make. He takes a perfectly placed through ball, faces the keeper and drifting to his right, hits a left footed curler around the keeper, off the far post and into the net. I can’t stress enough how important Eduardo is to this team. He’s a better finisher than the highly overrated Klaas Jan Huntelaar, he can dribble, he can play wide left, and he can set others up. In fact, the only thing holding this guy back from scoring 20+ goals this season is the fact that there are 5 other guys who all want to play in that spot. It’s the type of selection nightmare that I think most Arsenal supporters would love to see in midfield and defense.
The defense looked a bit shaky again, especially in the second half, but I think that’s to be expected when you’re playing a makeshift back four. Moreover, our two defensive coordinators (Gallas and Vermaelen) were both out at that point. Gallas was out because the boss didn’t want to overplay him and Vermaelen was out because he has some tightness in his hamstring.
Of course, 93% of us (as Amy Lawrence points out) would point to this makeshift back four and say that it’s ample evidence that Arsenal need a defensive signing.
I’m not sure yet. We’ve got two more weeks of drills and like I’ve said, most of the mistakes have been down to poor communication rather than lack of fundamentals.
We also have an unknown situation with Senderos. Last week, Arseblog reported that Sendy was being Sent to Everton. Many people speculated that this was the replacement for Lescott — which is odd, isn’t it? Does David Moyes value them similarly? Why don’t many Arsenal fans see him the same way? Because someone scored a goal on him? Anyway, where was, I? Oh yeah, Senderos to Everton. The problem is that the Lescott to City deal looks to be off because Everton want £30m and City have only offered £20. Which could explain why the Senderos deal has dried up.
Let’s assume for a second that Senderos is gone. That leaves Vermaelen, Gallas, and Djourou as our first choice CBs and Song and Gerry as our backups. Even I, the wide eyed optimist, see that as a bit of a problem. Hopefully, Arsene does too. Otherwise, Arsenal could very well turn into the Dallas Mavericks of the EPL, playing games to 4-4 draws and 5-3 wins.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Did anyone else watch the match on GolTV? Their coverage and their announcers were perhaps the worst announcers I have ever tried not to listen to.
First of all, there was the constant, nails on chalkboard, sound of the color commentator calling FranCESC Fabregas, CHESK. CHESK. CHESK. There’s no H in his name, asshole. It’s not Chesk, it’s never been Chesk, and it never will be Chesk. I think that what he was trying to do was pronounce Cesc’s name the way he thinks it’s pronounced in Spanish because he was doing that with all the players (pronouncing their names in their native tongue). It’s an annoying thing that American announcers do and normally I’m ok with it, but really? CHESK?
Second, they kept cutting away to advertisements for upcoming games, reducing the game we were watching to a small box in the upper-left corner. I don’t care what’s happening in the Peace Cup you fucktards, I WANT TO SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.
And then, they had some advertisement for some pundit show that they put on that would come up every 5 minutes and block out the bottom half of the screen. Seriously, what is wrong with you? I could sort of understand it if they were getting paid to advertise something, but they are advertising their own shows! If you really think I’m going to watch Los Proffesionnales or whatever after you’ve ruined the coverage of the show that I wanted to watch you’re sorely mistaken.
And finally, my biggest gripe is that the announcers were lazy and stupid. They clearly were handed the cliffs notes on Arsenal and made sure they hit every point. “Total Football,” “like a new signing,” “Cheapskate Arsenal,” how we were going to have a hard time “cracking the top 5” (as if we’re 10th place Tottenham or some shit) and then they even cracked a joke about how maybe Wenger should open a day care!
But the one that clued me in to the fact that they were just being handed this crap and talking out their ass was the fact that they kept mentioning that Arsenal only have one Englishman on the pitch. GolTV, a Spanish language, American based outfit cares how many Englishmen Arsenal fielded in a pre-season friendly? REALLY?
I mean, I understand that Fabio Capello was at the game, but any commentator worth his weight knows that he was there not for Jackie, but to watch future England Number One, Manny Pickledickle.
Yes, Travis and I renamed Almunia, we think with a proper English surname he could be accepted by England when he finally breaks down and gets his passport. We chose Pickledickle because, well, why not? No one would believe he made that name up!
Anyway, GolTV was a nightmare and I hope I never have to watch another match on that channel as long as I live.
Whelp, this is the week. There will be a week of practice and the manager will have plenty of time to buy and sell and reshape his squad, if that is his want. He’s playing his cards close to his CHESK, though the Chamakh story seems to be generating a lot of heat. The player is now publicly engineering a move to Arsenal, angrily lashing out at Bordeaux who are reportedly asking £15m for a player in the last year of his contract. Arsenal have supposedly offered £5m and I think that’s a fair price for a player who Wenger’s probably going to convert to Center Back anyway.
The other transfer story with legs is Patrick Vieira supposedly returning to Arsenal. From the interviews it’s pretty clear that Wenger is putting a lot of thought into the impact that this player would have on his team, and I don’t mean that in just the positive way. Again, we’ll have to see.
If there’s a signing today, I’ll make another post. If not, well you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.
See you then!