Today is the traditional start of the Christmas Season in the USA and we celebrate the kickoff of that holy season with our favorite form of worship. Today is the day when the masses stand in long lines and patiently wait to pay their penance, ask for forgiveness, and take in the eucharist. This typically takes the form of buying something that is advertized as a ‘door buster.’
On this holiest of days I do my part to disrupt this sacred ritual. My favorite thing to do is to go to Costco, or really any big box store, and get one item. Then ask everyone if I can get ahead of them in line. Most people will let you ahead if you have just one item. When I get to the front of the line, I apply for a credit card.
This year, I’m going to get some granny smith apples. And when people ask me why I’m getting apples on the day after Thanksgiving I’m going to say “because I want to make apple pie, I really didn’t get enough apple pie yesterday.”
Even if you don’t want to throw a velvet monkey wrench into the system you should consider going to Costco to watch the carnival. Costco zombies pushing their carts down every aisle by leaning on them with their forearms, like a giant walker with a basket on front. Stopping at every sample tray to get a bite of some frozen taquitos reheated by a poor old woman who is still working after the age of 70 because she can’t afford to retire. Surely, there is no greater symbol of America than this.
Obviously, I don’t do anything like this at all. This is a country full of armed lunatics and there is no way I’m going to test their mettle on this day, the most frustrating day of the year.
I do, however, suggest that you go hiking. Or biking. Or take the family on a picnic. Or just watch TV. Read a book. Play a game together. Go out for drinks. Or pretty much do anything with your family and friends that’s not at all related to shopping. The stuff that you may want to buy will still be there tomorrow. Or it will be on Amazon.com. Or you really didn’t need it anyway.
As for Arsenal, she will also be there tomorrow. I will do a preview of Sunday’s match, tomorrow. I will give you this bit to argue over: Wilshere is 24 years old, assuming that he makes it through this season at AFC Bournemouth without another season-ending injury and gets a season of experience under his belt, how do you see Wenger integrating him into Arsenal? Please try to be specific about which partnerships you think would work best and why.
Also, take a moment to have a look at Barney Ronay’s idea that Wilshere could be a deep-lying playmaker. At this moment, the idea of Wilshere in the “Pirlo” or even the Xhaka role is pretty far fetched. He did have one good season at Arsenal with his long passing, completing 60/70 in the 2013/14 season. That is an excellent completion rate (one which he hasn’t come anywhere near since) but nothing like the level of passing from that position that we would normally see. For example, Xhaka completed 200/300 passes from the deep lying position on the routine before transferring to Arsenal. But more to the point is that Jack isn’t getting that practice at Bournemouth. He’s being asked to play higher up the pitch and has only attempted 19 long passes in 684 minutes at AFCB, completing just 12. That’s 1.6 completed long balls p90.
I appreciate Ronay’s love for Jack Wilshere and his rather hopeful assertion that Wilshere could be something different based on his body type and injury history but I think when we compare Wilshere to players of the same age, stature, and hype we see that Jack has a LONG way to go. Thiago Alcantara is already 73/96 long balls or 7.8 accurate long passes p90. If you look at Alcantara’s entire game though, he blows Jack away. Alcantara is the kind of player Wilshere should be compared to, that’s the level of player I think Arsenal need. Ultimately, we would need to go up against them (or a club of their level) in order to win the Champions League, so having players of that caliber is essential.
Finally, Jack Wilshere will not play tomorrow because League rules prohibit loan players from playing against their main club.