Let’s Get Cesc’s Return Out Of The Way While Gibbs & Wilshere Hope
Members Day has rarely attracted so much global media attention. Not because of the new signings although rumours circulated yesterday that Wenger missed his press conference because of ‘player business’, the club preferring to state that a ‘planned meeting’ overran and caused Arsene to also miss the charity launch for the coming season. As a means to stopping unsubstantiated reports, it was a pretty poor effort and did not have the desired effect as rumours that a new signing would be announced tomorrow gathered pace.
If there is to be someone unveiled, it would be surprising and yet not unexpected. The focus is on Cesc Fabregas’ return to training following an intense summer’s transfer gossip. A new player would deflect a lot of attention but not all of it. For certain, any new arrival will not be Emir Spahic who appears to have done a Rodellega by talking a good move to Arsenal, even if one wasn’t on the cards at all. Well, not according to his current employers anyway.
Close attention is going to be paid to the words of the captain, both here and in Spain. It is, ahem, believed that he will deliver the reassurance Wenger demanded at the weekend but not to the extent of Fernando Torres; that is hardly surprising since the Liverpool player has not been so closely and vigourously pursued by anyone other than the Harley Street physicians looking after him.
According to The Times, Fabregas may not even speak publicly today. They suggest that his family do not want him to do anything which may preclude a transfer back home, in spite of the fact that Barcelona do not apparently have a pot in which they can relieve their bladder. Elsewhere, the language used by reporters scales reasonableness in their assessments to screeching, depending on the outlet you are reading at any particular moment in time.
To stir the pot even more, the Arsenal players have started to copy their Barcelona counterparts a little but in more measured tones, a thoroughly English manner. Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson and Walcott have all used less impassioned language in recent days to confirm their belief that Fabregas should remain at the club. Perhaps they could pull a prank on Arsene and put an Arsenal top over Fabregas? No wait, no need for that he will be wearing one for the official photo shoot.
I wonder if the Spanish press – who have still not given up on the transfer happening in spite of the resigned tones of Zubizaretta yesterday – will show any pictures of Fabregas from the shoot, hammering a nail into the hearts of any cules who still had hopes of him joining this summer. They will of course be hoping for a muted or less than favourable reaction to Fabregas’ appearance by the crowd today. It is surely an obligation on those attending today to deny them their wish and give the captain a rousing reception, irrespective of the deeper opinions held.
Away from this farce, the hype around Jack Wilshere is gathering pace. His omission from the England Under 21 squad is seen as evidence that the youngster has been pencilled into Fabio Capello’s squad for the friendly against Hungary. A similar scenario surrounds Kieran Gibbs whilst Theo Walcott’s inclusion is seen as essential for restoration of confidence in the national team. These are the same people, you will recall, whose clamour for Aaron Lennon to be taken to South Africa ahead of Walcott, proved to be a positive asset to England’s World Cup campaign. If the Golden Generation‘s credibility is shot to pieces, so are the overhyped opinions of many in the media.
Capello should drop all of the England squad who played in South Africa, in the same way that Blanc has done for France. The difference being that the Italian should make it permanent rather than for one match only. Of the outfield players, it seems that only Ashley Cole escaped criticism for his performances – and that comment has stuck in the throat. Otherwise, what have England learned? The manager also needs to review the tactics / formations employed. The lack of guile and flexibility was a key factor in the failure, as much as the collective poor performances.
Where Capello would employ Wilshere and Walcott is interesting. Both were used exclusively on the right hand side last season. Both have central ambitions. International football may not be testing ground and the Italian not experimental enough to put either of those hopes on the line. For Wilshere this is an opportunity to progress his career and who knows, make his England debut before he makes a Premier League start for Arsenal.
For Walcott, it is redemption, the first in what must surely be a long line of chances to cement himself into the England starting line-up. There is no competition for his place, Lennon’s abysmal showings in South Africa surely put paid to that.
Gibbs has the tougher job to break into the England team on a regular basis, save for chances arising due to injury. Cole is arguably the best left back in Europe when undistracted whilst Gibbs is seen as one who will have a long and successful Arsenal career. Indeed, in some quarters he is seen as being able to give Clichy a run for his money as regular starting left back at club level. I am not sure that is the case this season but would expect him to make the Frenchman’s pressurised from 2011/12.
Whatever the case, three Arsenal players in the England senior squad? Whatever will the media say to that?
That’s it for today. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on August 5, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 263 Comments.