Good morning. Continuing the theme from yesterday, I made “Thousand Island” deviled eggs this morning. Instead of mayo, I mixed in some of my homemade Thousand Island dressing. They are pretty ok. Not really elegant. Kind of more like “raccoon”. You know? Like something that people think is cute but really just eats garbage?
Speaking of “raccoon”, I had a long conversation on whether Arsenal should keep Wilshere over on the Twitter. And yes, I think both Wilshere and Twitter are raccoon.
Rumor has it that Arsenal have upped the offer to Wilshere to £100k a week and Gooner Twitter is pretty much unanimous that this is a crazy offer for Wilshere. Naturally, I’m not in that camp.
I don’t have an emotional attachment to Wilshere. I never thought he was the next great English midfielder, never bought into the hype (not the way I did with Ox who I maintained would be a great player from the moment I saw him play), and thought that he was a one-trick pony (dribble), who doesn’t really pass the ball well enough to be Ozil, cannot play defense at all, and often tends to hold on to the ball way too long. I even had an entire article about this problem with him holding on to the ball too long just a few weeks back.
So why the “change of heart”? Well, it’s not a change of heart. I like Jack as a squad player. You don’t need two Ozils on a team, but you could always use a guy like Wilshere who can come in and occasionally score goals, who can play in cups and in other competitions.
I also admit that Jack Wilshere has peaked, this is probably the best Jack Wilshere that we are ever going to see at Arsenal and it’s not that great. He’s really not that good of a player and he’s always injured. But honestly, a lot of the players on this team are always injured and aren’t that good. No one had a problem re-signing Mohamed Elneny and his main talent up to now has been that he “runs around a bit.”
Jack is like Rosicky in a way. We’ve held on to him through all of this injury hell, he’s not gotten any better, he’s only going to show flashes of brilliance from here on out, and his best role is going to be as a squad player. Wilshere could be a great late-game sub, when Arsenal are trying to break down the opposition and need someone to bring the ball in close to the strikers and play one-touch passes in the box.
He is also going to play differently under a new manager – which is the line everyone trots out when I say that Elneny/Xhaka/Kolasinac could go and is a fair enough point. But what’s great about re-signing Jack Wilshere is that if the next manager doesn’t want him, you can easily sell him on because he’s British.
That’s really his main selling point. Chelsea paid £40m for Danny Drinkwater and Jack Wilshere is better than Danny Drinkwater (younger too) so I think there will always be a market for British players in England as long as they have their affirmative action program in place. Imagine trying to replace him with a British player in this market? A market where Ross Barkley cost £17m?
I understand the frustration with Jack. I tend to think he was part of the reason why his career was stalled, certainly the partying and smoking haven’t enhanced his football career. I also think he was pig-headed about holding on to the ball too much and openly refused to change his game*.
But Arsenal also stuck with Jack for all these years, he’s been on the books since he was 9, and it seems to me like letting him go on a free this summer would be tantamount to throwing away a bunch of money. Yes Jack will make £6m a year, but if he doesn’t work out with the new manager, or whatever, you can easily sell him for £10, 15, or 20m depending on his performances.
It’s going to be really funny when we let him go on a free, he goes to the World Cup, has 4 assists, and is signed by one of the big clubs looking for an English squad player.
POST SCRIPT – I meant to say this before but ran out of time:
- I don’t care whether Arsenal sign or don’t sign Jack. I just think not signing him is throwing away money. But…
- I also don’t care about how much money Arsenal have, how much salary a player commands, or how much money Arsenal waste. Arsenal are one of the richest clubs in the world and honestly, the poverty act this club puts on is ridiculous. But I’m sick and tired of worrying about Arsenal’s finances and I’m not going to do it anymore. If this owner pulls a “Sunderland” on this club, then I might worry, but worrying about whether Wilshere is “worth” 80,90,100,110,70,50 blah blah blah isn’t something I have time for in my life.
- Clearly the club think Wilshere at £100k is a good deal and they are in charge of worrying about the money, they DO sit around worrying about the money (constantly it seems), and I trust that they also know what a player like Jack Wilshere is worth. These are GMs from Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. I think we are ok.
*I remember back when he was a kid and I wrote an article which was basically “Jack needs to pass more and dribble less” – the response to me was “stick to NFL, Yank, the problem is that Wilshere needs to be protected by the refs”.