England Expects That Jack Will Do His Duty

International week continues to be a pain in the Arsenal with no rational explanation from anyone as to why the governing bodies claimed this particular week as their own. It is a good news day though.

Johan Djourou‘s knee injury is not as bad as was first feared apparently, severe bruising the suffering he has endured and that might be cleared up by the weekend. This is all via the Swiss Football Federation and the player so well done to Arsenal for carrying this information so quickly to the public domain.

Jack Wilshere is the focus of media attention this morning with Samir Nasri getting the ball rolling,

I like Jack as a player, he is never scared.I like his attitude and he reminds me a bit of me when I was younger. He is a great, great, great prospect.

Praise indeed from the man who should be crowned Player of the Year by writers and his peers for his performances this season. Nasri will not win the FWA Award, Harry Redknapp’s manipulation of the weak-minded media will ensure that a hat-trick in the San Siro is enough for Gareth Bale to win the award. The players are a different story, Rio Ferdinand amongst those who have complimented Nasri on his form.

Back to Wilshere. Nasri’s words are expected; they are teammates and Jack has had kind words to say for everyone in the squad. The problem comes when people such as James Lawton go totally OTT, observing that not since Bobby Moore has England ‘unleashed a prodigy like Wilshere’.

Such words will only serve to increase the pressure on the player. Expectations have already been raised and dashed with Theo Walcott, manifesting in a gleeful media at his omission from South Africa. This is the same media who now clamour for his inclusion in any squad.

This pendulum reinforces the perceptions people have. Walcott is still derided following last year’s debacle. Arguably he has not suffered, his club form the most consistent that he has shown since arriving at Arsenal.

However, the weight of expectation is such that Walcott must score a hat-trick in every international otherwise the manager will treat him as a scapegoat, withdrawing him when the long ball tactics that Capello consistently employs, fail.

Wilshere should be protected from such expectations and managerial folly. By mentioning him in the same breath as Moore, Lawton has evoked memories of 1966 which might be good for copy but is not so good for the player. Invariably those who have the nation’s hopes on their shoulders at this level, let the nation down through individual and collective failures.

Capello offered similarly high hopes, observing that Maldini, Baresi and Raul all started their international careers at a young age. The Italian tempered that view though, noting that Wilshere needs to improve every time.

The most telling condemnation of the hype came from Nicklas Bendtner,

Theo can be a lesson for the way you treat Jack. It’s important to take it easy and realise he is a kid…Youngsters are always put under a lot of pressure very early in England but Jack can be a great, great player for his country.

It is easy to work out why. The media increase expectations at every tournament. England fail to live up to them in every tournament.

Jack Wilshere can be the most outstanding talent of his generation. He has the technical ability to be remembered as a footballing great. But this is all potential – can we just enjoy a talented young player maturing in the public eye and do away with all of the hype?

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 9, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 207 Comments.

  1. hi haaaaaaaaaa


  2. Good post.
    Smart man, Bendtner. I really wish writers like James Lawton would refrain. He is not thinking about Jack’s development or even of the benefit to England, he just likes to make grandiose pronouncements. I hope Capello tells JW to just go out there and enjoy himself tonight and never mind anything else.

  3. Great to see us learning the tricks that everyone else has been upto in faking illness before international friendlies. rvp has the man flu, and cesc has an upset tummy.

  4. YW – Nice post as normal.

    The hype around Jack is getting to be a bit stupid to be honest. He really is a great talent, but already the English press are painting him as the next coming. It is so typical of them to build him up as much as possible, and as soon as England have a few dodgy results he will be their main target. He has never started a game for England, and only has a handful of PL appearences under his belt for christs sake.

    I hate our players going away with England. Having to spend time around the likes of Terry and Cole cannot be heathly.

  5. Good sense from Graham Taylor, too.

    “He’s a good player, there’s no doubt about that, from all accounts he handles all situations very well. But at international level, we have a record of players who don’t produce it at international level, that’s been one of our problems.

    “Let’s give him a few games and then lets get talking about him instead of building him up into such a player before he’s completed one international game.”

    Wilshere is set to be deployed in a deeper-lying role than that he regularly occupies for the North London club, allowing stand-in captain Frank Lampard to express himself in advanced areas.

    But Taylor continued: “Alongside Frank Lampard, it might be the old thing that I think is quite easy – he can go forward as well, Wilshere, and when one goes forward other stays back. It’s never really seemed that problematic to me, if your partner goes forward you just hold. We have this thing about the holding midfield player – I think if there’s the opportunity to get forward Wilshere will go forward as well.”

  6. @ Henristic
    My response to you is on yesterday’s post.

  7. Oops. Posted this between Fun’s prior post and Yogi’s heads up.

    Very good story Fun. It broke a couple of days ago but that’s the first analysis that I have read.

    This made me laugh, “A spokesman added that if the advocate general’s guidance was taken it would stop rights holders from marketing their properties in a way which meets the territorial and cultural demands of broadcasters.”

    Cultural demands of broadcasters, HAH, HAH, HAH!

  8. That bell-end Capello insists on playing our Jack alongside Lampard in a two-man midfield. He’ll have no license to get forward and will be the only midfielder defending. Way to get the best out of him Capello, you dinosaur.

  9. Well, to a degree Fun. Taylor can sound sensible for s considerable time before he comes out with something spectacularly stupid.

    Who do you think he means when he says “… international level, we have a record of players who don’t produce it at international level, that’s been one of our problems.”

    I can only think of overhyped players such as, recently, Agbonlahor and Downing. Really good players, Hudson, Hoddle and George for example, were either not given time or were used in systems within which they were marginalised. The latter has been Theo’s experience in more recent times.

  10. They hate the sum but love certain components. Fuck ’em.

    Hope Nik gets a double hatrick, along with Jack and Theo

  11. Loved the Virgin joke on the previous post!

    Regarding the hype around Wilshere, it is a problem in every country but in England the pundits put way too much pressure on the talented youngsters. The only good things is that the praise received by the two most talented English players, Walcott and Wilshere, should transfer onto Arsenal and we might hear more and more positive stuff. At least, the “Wenger is killing the English game” campaign is bound to be dropped although their minds is so twisted they could pull off and article stating both.

    About Arsenal’s lack of info on Djourou injury, it seems to me that as it is the first time they are using the Fergie trick they were not sure what to do with Djourou’s good news in fear that the Swiss would actually call him up.

    This international friendly is so stupid, I mean they are all stupid but at least in usual international break the National coaches have their players for at least a week whereas this time they have them for three days! On this topic it looks like the clubs are really getting more and more frustrated by FIFA and UEFA. It would be great to have a little revolution Magreb style to kick out the corrupt old farts who kill the game with every decision or non-decision.

  12. On a plus, at least we know Jack will likely spray balls off to Theo quite a bit

  13. I’m reminded of an incident after the fallout of the crap world cup campaign. Some pundit (I think it was Jamie Redknapp) suggested we start again fresh with a new team built around JACK WILSHERE! Ruud Gullit was sitting beside him and just did a full-on face palm before explaining to him (much like Bendtner here) that this was half of England’s problem.

    It’s either black or white in the English media. A striker scores, he’s the bees knees. He misses an important penalty, and it’s “He should never kick a ball again”. At the world cup the players were so afraid of being the scapegoat that none of them played. You can’t lose if you don’t play mentality.

    ‘England expects’ indeed. Too much.

  14. Gary Moore died. Can’t believe it. RIP.

  15. Who`s he going to pass to for England? fine at Arsenal as players expect a short pass and show for it, give it back move again to make space. The England players expect the ball to travel forward from back to front in 1 pass, they then charge forward like the game in bedknobs and broomsticks. I think Englands system might make Jack look poor

  16. Personally I don’t care less about international football. As long as no Arsenal players get injured it is all good.

    If somebody offerred me 3 points from Arsenal’s next game, or England to win the world cup, I would choose the 3 points without missing a blink.

  17. Limpar – Agreed. Great blues player.

  18. @ consolsbob
    Good point. My bad – I was skimming the article.
    @ longblackcloud
    Some truth in your comments about the short passing game, but remember Jack has a great range of long passes as well.

  19. It’s a shame there’s no time for them to go to Christiania. Rooney could drop acid and become an anarcho-syndicalist or something.

  20. I hope that 1}Jack does not get injured.
    2}Has a great game.
    Unfortunately I fear he will not because at Arsenal,for all our defensive failings,we are excellent going forward and our style suits him perfectly and gives him endless opportunities to impress.For England he will be playing for a vastly inferior team who have no idea how to play football and he will probably end up looking as clueless as the drivel around him.

  21. Always amused the way the English media hype up their players. At one time John Bostock was hyped up as the next great thing. Don’t know where he is languishing now. Henri Lansbury, who I like, was the next Steven Gerrard. They just might have got it right with Jack Wilshere but making him the paparazzi’s new David Beckham can’t help his development.

  22. Why do players have to be “the next……”? I am sure most of the hacks get their infor from Football Manager.

  23. I didn’t know that version Limpar. He was a great guitarist.

    I have to say though, that for me, Peter Green nailed this song a long time ago.

    Try this version. Put up with the first minute or so when he’s just fucking around.

  24. mark paul hooker

    i will be watching rosicky in croatia today[giving edy a nod as well] and will be giving him that good old fashioned supportive gooner love.
    he was poor at newcastle on saturday but some of the vitriol poured on him on certain forums is staggering in it condemnation so in a life of brian type stylee i will give a little breakdown of what has super tom done for us?
    after being rolled the ball by rvp 10 yards outside the box tom smashed it into the top corner[would not have topped our champs league group without this win]
    liverpool[a] fa cup 2 fine strikes a 1st time shot and a lovely dribble and finish meant a tricky 3rd round tie at anfield was won without need of a replay.
    spurs[h] carling cup semi
    came on at 0-0 and set up adebayors goal and hit the shot that chimbonda could only help into his own goal to ensure almunia,s flawless penalty shoot out record was not tested and that we would go to our 1st league cup final in 14 years.
    wigans time wasting was renderd pointless as we came back to win in the last 10mins
    a bullet header from rosicky turning in baptistas cross for the winner.
    bolton [h]
    eqaulised anelka,s opening goal to set up a winning comeback when bolton were threatning our 4th spot. nipped in and slid the ball home.
    last season he whipped over a fine cross home to liverpool for diaby to thunder home a header after 3 games without a win to keep our title hopes alive.
    we need players like rosicky in our squad.the squad is god

  25. “It’s either black or white in the English media. A striker scores, he’s the bees knees. He misses an important penalty, and it’s “He should never kick a ball again”. At the world cup the players were so afraid of being the scapegoat that none of them played. You can’t lose if you don’t play mentality.”

    Sounds like what every doomer who ever posts on here says about Diaby and Denilson.

  26. I’m sure wilshere will do well for england. Like many others have said, my only wish is that he makes it through the game unscathed. Same for bendtner and the others.

  27. Wilshire will run the midfield tonight, and I think Lampard will consider quitting after watching young Jack show him how to play football

    In all honesty, I would rather Jack put in an average performance so the pressure can ease off him a bit. Maybe then he won’t be used and abused by the Senior and U21 teams in the near future. That ain’t gonna happen though, his quality will shine through, if not tonight, the next England game. I think he has the mental toughness and composure to become a great, not only the ability. He can play in any position and look good for England. The same cannot be said of Lampard, Gerrard, Cole, etc etc after countless attempts!

    I will be watching tonight just to see how our lads perform. I do try to avoid watching the likes of Cole, Gerrard, Rooney etc.. England really do try to turn you into a football hater. The passion is unfortanely not there anymore, but i think Theo and Jack can help us Arsenal fans be inspired to get behind the England team once again. Not to mention Gibbs, Lansbury etc etc.

    I think Bendtner will get on the scoresheet, and I hope we give him enough minutes this season so he sticks around. The quality he produces is becoming ever more regular, and he has been given less opportunities. He can be a top striker for us. I think he has arguably moved into 2nd spot in the pecking order for the CF role. That is down to Chamakh being a bit off form too.

  28. FG,
    Let’s just drop the issue. It’s boring now..

  29. That’s true Gains,
    Only that denilson is never hyped or feted even when he scored or has a stormer

  30. A nation of doomers.

  31. Wow. That was great. Thanks, Cb. Had to wait til I was near some speakers to do it justice. I love the vocal on the Little Willie John original best now I think of it… but you’re right, the real aching feeling you get with this one is a killer.

    Someone was telling me the story the other day of how Peter Green went mad on LSD at a party in a medieval mansion in Germany. He wandered down into the basement (dungeon maybe) and his bandmates were going, “don’t let him go down there” because they knew this was ungodly powerful acid they’d been given and that there were ungodly things down in that dungeon. There were strange cultish things going on in the basement… and they glimpsed Pete Green in the midst of it jamming out some incredible music… but the things he saw later… sent him mad.

    “…if you come in too late I’ll fuckin brain ya, alright?”

  32. Oh dear… now I can’t stop listening to it…

  33. I can’t see it at work. What song is it?

  34. Glad you enjoyed Limpar.

    I have to say that Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac infests my ipod.

    So much really good stuff.

    I prefer Gary Moore as a Rock guitarist. For Blues by a white man, Peter Green every time.

  35. And then I stick the radio on… Kasabian are playing… and somehow that makes the whole thing that much sadder. Serge Pizzorno is to Gary Moore what Gary Cahill is to Laurent Koscielny.

  36. I am listening to Howlin Wolf at work. A nice bit of Smokestack lightning.

  37. I need your love so bad, goonerandy.

  38. Woah! Not like that! Steady on, andy! The song! The song!

  39. “Pitt is to Addington like London is to Paddington”.

    That’s another one.

  40. There was some sort of love triangle going on during the recording of one of the earlier Fleetwood Mac albums, wasn’t there? Or was that just Rumours.

  41. Ha, all good stuff.

  42. Do we have most international players or what!!Not good for my arsenal blood.May they all come back in one piece!

  43. I’ve been listening to a best of Leadbelly recently. Amazing music… and an amazing story.

  44. Think this is late 20s:

  45. Not really on topic, but his voice is mental!

  46. Alright, so I’m not just trying to spark the same controversy and endless arguments that were going on yesterday, but I’m really surprised about the reactions regarding Gunner Luc’s comments and had a really busy afternoon at work so I couldn’t join in.

    For those who missed it “I don’t have to listen to a stupid american who only started following soccer after becks came to LA”

    Certainly, far worse things have been said about a group of people than that. But I found the manner in which some of you defended his comments to be absolutely laughable! “Oh he didnt include an ‘s’ so it wasnt plural so he wasnt talking about the whole group.”

    Seriously? Seriously? “Oh no Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., its cool, I didnt say ‘N*****s’ I only said ‘N*****’ Its fine!!!!!! You have no need to be offended! ”

    Obviously an extreme example, but I hope it proves my point. Gunnerluc was (incorrectly it appears) holding the fact that Goonerandy was an American over his head. As something that he could be talked down for or as a means to invalidate his opinion. Certainly he included the caveat that GA started following soccer in 04 or 05 when Becks came, but that doesn’t make it better. GL is making an assumption that all Americans, if they are so privledged to follow his country’s gift to the world, have only done so after Becks came to our country. Just as Andy Gray and whatever the other douchebags name was assumed that bc that young lady was a woman that she didnt understand the offsides rule.

    So let’s call a spade a spade you guys. I was agreeing with GL all day before he made that comment, and I’ll admit I pride myself on having football (am i allowed to call it football?) beyond that of most Americans. But please do not try and pull rank on someone because they are an American.

  47. I must admit, I have not listened to much of his stuff, but it is somthing I keep saying I am going to. Recommended then?

    Blind Wille McTell is another that I want to look at; he is considered to be the best bluesman of all time by many.

  48. So Cbob, you’re not a Seasick Steve man then…

  49. Christine McVie ended up marrying John McVie, against the advice of Green who she really fancied. Well, so rumour has it.

    Oh, you’ve done that one.

    Later, in the US incarnation, there were various relationships of a confused nature I think.

  50. He said: “Cesc is a great Catalan player. He played for us as a kid and he will be welcome back at Barcelona for the Champions League match.

    “Right now, everything is dead regarding a transfer.”

    Speaking about the European encounter, Sanllehi added: “Arsenal are one of the main challengers for the Champions League.

    “We acknowledge how difficult it is going to be.”

  51. Lindsey buckingham (who I once sat at a bar with I might add) and Stevie Nicks were an item when they joined the band, and started to split during the making of Rumours. She also had a brief relationship at some point with Mick Fleetwood as well.

  52. I am not a blues man but my dad loves T-Bone Walker

  53. Relationships Of A Confused Nature wouldn’t have made such a good album title I don’t think.

  54. Never mind, wasn’t it John Mayall who influenced pretty much every British blues-influenced guitarist from the 60s. Getting into the Bluesbreakers was the entre to blues, and its alumni is a who’s who.

    Anyone know where Peter Green is now? I heard he went into development work in Latin America, is that true?

    As for Irish rock guys with a blues sense, and as much as I liked Thin Lizzy and the extraordinary talents of Phil Lynott with Gary Moore, just give me Rory Gallagher every time, raw.

  55. Dear Barca,

    We know the transfer is dead. We told you he wasn’t for sale. bye now.

    Arsene & Ivan.

  56. Well Yogi, I can say with some feeling that he was one of the least bad acts on ‘Hootenanny’ with that prick Jools Holland.

  57. I don’t really like Jazz based blues, but I love the delta blues and also the Chicago based bluesmen. Slide guitar + Harmonica = class.

  58. International football = large yawn and flipping to another channel. May be record and watch the highlights later.

    Fabulous news about Djourou injury if it is true. The statistic that Goonerandy provided in the link in his post at 11:19 confirmed what we have been feeling while watching the games. We have conceded a goal every 251 minutes with JD in the team and every 54 minutes when he is not. I am sure there are other factors then just his presence on the pitch but I am not sure what it would be. He has been truly awesome.

  59. I quite like that title Limpar. It has ‘bottom’.

    He still tours Zp.

    If you don’t know the early Fleetwood Mac, pre your date in that bar, then you should check it out Andy

  60. I saw Seasick Steve live a few years ago at a festival. He was pretty good to be fair.

  61. consols – Cheers, I will do.

  62. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, mississippi style folk blues. Blind Lemon Jefferson, steel guitar. Early Ray Charles on piano. Actually, early Nat King Cole too when he still played blues. Mama Smith. And oh, Nina Simone when she still performed in the states. Fletcher Henderson performing Porgy and Bess in blues mode. And, oh my god, Sidney Bechet, Mezz Mezzrow and Illinois Jacket and their sax blues. The towering figure of Howling Wolf, the edgy John Lee Hooker.

    I kind of grew up on the jazz and blues, courtesy of Dad’s legacy.

  63. OOU, the title on that video reminded me of The Reverand Double-Gone Johnson of The Rock Solid Gospel Light Church from Jim Dodge’s Not Fade Away, if you’ve ever read that.

    T-Bone Walker! Now we’re talking.

    The Bluesbreakers! I love the album with Clapton reading the Beano on the front… played loudly… the Sunday morning after an Arsenal home win in the sunshine.

    And Rory Gallagher was from another planet. Great stuff…

  64. GoonerAndy, you can’t NOT like jazz based blues. It is the same tree.

  65. NJ, seriously?

    “Seriously? Seriously? “Oh no Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., its cool, I didnt say ‘N*****s’ I only said ‘N*****’ Its fine!!!!!! You have no need to be offended”

    Oh please! and I wish people could find another word to use to make their point, whats up with that?

    There is no relation to the “n” word and the word American for its derogatory in its very essence.

    I find your use of it to defend your point more offensive than anything gunnerluc said.

  66. ..and with that another of my favourite guitarists, albeit a rather different one, Richard Thompson, comes on the iPod..

  67. Bringning things forward, a great band who are very blues orientated are Fatso Jetson. They are a desert rock group, and are superb. Check youtube for “Superforwn” and “Stranger Blues”.

  68. Zim – Just does not flick my switch as much mate. I do appriciate its art though.

  69. And I was so close to going back to work, ZP. So close. Look what you’ve done… sent me on a blues hunt.

  70. ZimPaul, have you ever listened to Rochelle Farrell?

  71. Magic Sam’s worth a look as well.

  72. that would be ferrell.

  73. Here is on of her vids, she is the most dynamic singer I have ever heard.

  74. The best singer I have ever heard would be Mark Lanegan. Nobody else I have heard even comes close.

  75. As far as Male Singers, I would say Sam Cooke is my favorite vocalist, female , I would say Minnie Riperton. Rachell Ferrell uses her voice in ways I have never heard before, her range also seems to know no bounds.

  76. wow, for those in the US, ESPN3 is showing 8 of the matches today.

  77. Not for me then. I am English remember 😉

  78. lol!

    I wonder why ESPN has not allowed access in other countries. Must be something financial for sure.

  79. Don’t you just love snivvling shitty articles like this. Read the last leading paragraph about Squillaci.

    By David Ornstein (twat)

    “Defender Johan Djourou …….
    It is a boost for Arsenal, with Thomas Vermaelen weeks away from returning.
    Had Djourou been sidelined, Arsenal would have been left with Lauren Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci as their only fit central defenders, with the Gunners playing Barcelona at the Emirates on 16 February in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
    It was Squillaci who replaced Djourou early in the second half of Arsenal’s 4-4 draw at Newcastle.”

  80. Or perhaps i’m being to touchy.

  81. No els, Squillachi is unfairly singled out by this dude.

  82. Thanks Paul. I thought so. After I read it back I thought perhaps I was being tetchy. But he seems to be implying it was a particular defenders fault. Probably trying to add to the inept AFC defender rumours.

  83. Henristic:

    I enjoyed your posts late last evening. Unfortunately, I think trying to have a debate about the point you conveyed is counterproductive since it often makes things worse. I have tried to go there several times in the past and it is not worth getting frustrated. Agree with your post at 12:32.

    Yogi’s posts are among the best in the Arsenal blogosphere so I agree it is still one of the best places to get info and discuss the team.

  84. For God’s sake is this an Arsenal debating forum or one for boring musical debate.If you must discuss it go somewhere else to do it and don’t make me and many others waste so much time trawling through in the vain hope of some interesting Arsenal discussion only to have to put up with this drivel.

  85. hmm… I think my brother has posted on here today, but he doesn’t know who I am. LMAO

  86. I’d like to say that I appluad all of you for ignoring my post earlier. I just had to get that off my chest.

    Paul N – I said that because I was trying to make a point. I hoped this woud be obvious as I said “obviously this is an extreme example” which I hoped would prove that I realized that there was a hardly a connection between the two points.

  87. International Week


  88. NJ, how you make a valid point if there is no connection?

  89. Anyone else think there is a motive behind Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus suddenly deciding to talk shit about not wanting Cesc any more. Mind games ahead of next week?

  90. Anyway NJ, I think this was dealt with appropriately yesterday, no need to beat it out today again.


  91. Bill, you know that not everyone attacks your posts, or Henristics’ for that matter. I actually share your attitude to keeping ‘a clean sheet’, being an arsenal fan of a particular generation. I understand it. I also understand the counter arguments which have been well aired, partially thanks to you.

    If I remember Henristic’s specific point it was about how some get slaughtered all the time while Yogi gets a free ride for critical comments.

    Well, it is his site and we do like to be polite but several regulars here, myself amongst them, have posted criticism of a performance at various times. If that brings disagreement with other regulars of a positive persuasion then we deal with it.

    Oh, and didn’t everybody on here diasagree with Yogi’s take on ‘that’ goal?

    To reiterate a point made much earlier by Fun, it is the ready negativity of some posters that gets knees jerking on here. That and those who swallow all the tedious and simplistic statements that merely echo uninformed media stereotypes of our team.

    This is a site that very clearly is a supporter of Arsenal, the players that wear the shirt and the manager that has brought us this far down the road to something very special.

  92. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    We’re over that topic, NJG. FunGunner put that one to bed a long time ago.

    I love overly patriotic Americans that go out of their way to make it known they are proud to American because it always reminds me of that one hilarious David Cross bit on 9/11 and all the flag wavers that spawned from the tragedy.

  93. NJ:

    As another American my view is that it was one of those comments that you wish you could take back almost as soon as you click the Post Comment button. Most of us have probably had that happen. We need to be careful since it is a public blog and I understand your concern but myself I wish the political correctness police would take a day off occasionally. I suspect Luc meant no real harm.

    Limestone and NJ: Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in 2 weeks. Can’t wait to have my butt in a seat at Rangers ball park. I said last year hope springs eternal for the long suffering and I guess last year proved the unthinkable could happen. Will be interesting to see how the local fans and media treat the team now that expectations have changed.

  94. NJGooner,

    don’t worry about it too much, they are busy talking about blues and jazz. 2 forms of music non-Americans can never really get.

  95. With all the hype surrounding Wilshere this season, I hope that it won’t get to him too much. There has been some adverse publicity in his private life which is disturbing, if true. We don’t want him to go the way of Terry, Rooney and the like.

  96. Paul N — we’re arguing semantics but I felt there was HARDLY a connection. A difference in degree, a massive one, but a difference in degree.

    And your right it was hashed out yesterday and I didnt want to be seen to be beating a dead horse. But I also felt very strongly about it and wanted to get my opinion out there… ahh blogging where even the boring ones get a chance!

    NJN – my post was about FG’s “putting it to bed” I thought it was ridiculous that the bedrock of his argument was that there was no “s” on the end of American. Anyway I just wanted to get my two cents out there.

  97. Busch

    yea we have no business in those realms. We, sadly, never will have a full appreciation of it. There isn’t even a Wednesday Night Blues Jam at my favorite bar! Sad really.

  98. Well of course Busch, I don’t have to ‘get’ it to like it. Like some don’t ‘get’ what many passionately feel about this club and, in a different way, what this site stands for.

    For my two pence, or cents, worth, I think there are many pisspoor Arsenal fans in this country and perhaps you have to live here to fully appreciate how that feels. You have to watch the BBC and SKY and read our newspapers to really ‘get’ why so many here defend this site as a positive bastion against all the naysayers.

    But then, it’s not your fight.

  99. Bill:

    You’ve got a point about the PC police. Its just one of those things that I’m vulnerable about because it could be used to insult me. Listening to a portion of Americans talk about “soccer” can be a painful exercise in dealing with the aggregiously uninformed. But that does not mean that I’m just gonna lay down when I read a comment like that, bc like i said, I believe myself to be different in those regards. And thus an exception to that generalization, seemingly making it invalid. Boom.

    But It was a busy day at work yesterday and I didnt have a chance to have my final say. So I saved it for this morning. Annoying for you lot yes, hence my apologies.

    I’m still too hyped over my Packers winning the Super Bowl to be thinking about the Yanks (wait there are other MLB teams?!?!) primarily bc I’m struggling to deal with the notion of a starting rotation that includes Bartolo Colon. YIKES. I’m glad that your enthusiastic about a new season. At least Cliff Lee is in the NL!

  100. Englland…Englannnd….Ennngllaand…England…ENGLAND…

    Gri..ehm.. Gri…ehm ehm..Grit

  101. C-Bob

    “For my two pence, or cents, worth, I think there are many pisspoor Arsenal fans in this country and perhaps you have to live here to fully appreciate how that feels. You have to watch the BBC and SKY and read our newspapers to really ‘get’ why so many here defend this site as a positive bastion against all the naysayers.

    But then, it’s not your fight.”

    Spot on. This is one of the ways that I prevent myself from getting too worked up about the things you’ve mentioned. I remind myself that its a heck of a lot worse, especially after a result like Saturdays, let alone dealing with the sheer nincompoopery you must encounter on a day to day basis.

  102. Cbob:

    You are correct. I should have re-read last nights post first because I had not really thought everything else you mentioned. I guess when I read the post the only part that really stuck with me was this statement by Henristic.

    “Speaking of debates, someone even said the other day that this was not a blog for debate.”

    That was the only part of his post I was thinking about this morning because I have tried to make that point myself in the past. I trying to be brief and the other parts of the post did not resonate as much with me. I should have made my post a little clearer in that regard. Sorry

  103. nice article dups, a flickering light in the vast abyss..

  104. NJGooner:

    Forgot you were a Packer fan. Congrats. I was cheering for the Packers because I like Aaron Rogers and I never have liked the Steelers. I am sure you are on cloud 9 right now. Good stuff.

  105. Is goonerandy an American?! This explains a lot.

    Just joshing, NJ. You’re a Packers fan? Cool… you won the superbowl! I watched it and was routing for Green Bay all the way. The Steelers just looked like ‘the bad guys’. I thought Clay Matthews was incredible… brilliant, full-hearted, all-action d-fence. He was all over the place. He could probably handle a game of rugby. Aaron Rodgers threw excellently. Felt sorry for that Jordy Nelson chap who was running lots of good routes but couldn’t catch the ball. All came up roses in the end though. Good entertainment… but I’m still not wild about how staged the scoring is… it feels almost rigged to create drama; we have a go, then you have a go, then we have a go. That seems a bit artificial… when you compare it to something like football or rugby where the flow of possession is natural and untethered.

  106. Some of the best jazz I ever heard was in a cellar bar off Kracow square. Don’t think there was an American in the place. But then again maybe the Polish don’t ‘get it’.

  107. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    consolsbob @ 4:58 you took the words right out of my mouth.

    The thing that gets me is the need for some to come on here and play the ” I told Wenger so” role. Especially people like Bill who wish that Arsenal would just splash the cash on whatever they deem necessary, whether that’s a 5th or 6th CB that will be irrelevant in a couple weeks or a “proper winger” like Hazard. They’ve got their ideas on who’s shite and who needs replacing and they’d rather play armchair manager then get behind the team. Fuck the values of our club and what Wenger thinks right? To virtually dismiss his managerial skills and what he’s done for this great club is just outright dastardly. I don’t have a problem with criticizing the team when it’s due, but the funny thing is you don’t see these people compliment when they are doing well unless it’s some sort of backhanded compliment that gets caveated with “but I still think we need to do yada yada yada”. My gripe with Bill is he’s on record as saying he’d wish Wenger would just blow up the squad and do a Man City and spend 300 million on a new team. I’m not going to be bothered by going through the archives but you know you made the statement, Bill. Ever since that comment you lost your credibility in my book. All I remember it was after some bullshit loss or draw last season or the season before. You’ve shown over time that you really arent behind Wenger and his ideas on how to run a football club. We get it already, Bill. And we understand you enjoy the attack vs defence banter and think it’s fun to sit down log on and be a keyboard critic and compare football to boring American sports, too, but it’s really getting old. I understand you think the EPL is a perfect world where fair play and justice reigns supreme for everyone involved and the refs aren’t crooked, but that is ignoring facts. Fact is, we’re 2nd in the league behind a team that has been gifted their position. We’re currently playing for 4 trophies and some people STILL need to find something to fix. It’s some sort of weird, spoiled search for perfection that frankly just does not exist. Me… I’ll keep taking the good with the bad on our way to glory and will keep enjoying the journey. Of course we’ll encounter speed bumps, we’re the Arsenal, but those speed bumps won’t cause me to whine and moan about our club and manager. Nor will it stop me from supporting this great club and everyone involved with it. I don’t wish to see Arsenal change their philosophy either like some on here who claim to support the Arsenal. I’d rather see us win it fairly than lift a trophy that’s been bought behind the scenes.

    Victoria Concordia Crescit

  108. Music hits the soul of a man, so no matter where you come from, if you love it and take time with it, you will get it.

  109. LimparAssist, well I have lived in the US since 1982 and from my point of view most dont get jazz or the blues.

  110. Strange, I really have no idea where the thought of me being an American came from. I did work in Tampa for 6 months though.

    I am English, living (currently ) in Germany.

  111. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s just silly, Busch. Anyone that’s ever gotten the “blues” gets the blues. Unless you’ve led a perfectly charmed life, it’s impossible to not get the blues. As for Jazz, it’s definitely an acquired taste that develops as one gets older I’ve found.

  112. Sarcasm much?

    Of course ones place of origin doesn’t matter when it comes to appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of music.
    Well, I’m sure someone (to use just 1 example) who grew up in the inner cities in the ’80s might say a suburban kid wouldn’t completely ‘get’ the rap that was made then, it doesn’t demean the others appreciation of it.

  113. A friend of mine, German dad, Puerto Rican mother – both died when he was a teenager – got left some money and spent it studying jazz at London Music School. He plays beautifully… jazz, funk, blues, classical. He makes his living playing guitar… so I suppose you could say he’s dedicated his life to it. Maybe he shouldn’t bother. Maybe he’s wasting his time. He’s a non-American after all, so how can he possibly ever get it?

  114. Oh… you were being sarcastic.

  115. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Ok good, Busch. I do love me some sarcasm. The main reason I frequent this site is for Muppet’s posts. Just kidding, but it is a big reason. And of course YW’s blogs. And discussions like the one taking place here today. This may be an Arsenal blog, but it’s no jock Arsenal blog. Most of the wonderful commenters here also have a good grasp of the arts, whether it’s film or music or whatever, and I think that’s amazing. The type of people I’d enjoy sharing a pint with.

  116. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Paul N@ 5:56, you’re hanging out in the wrong places with the wrong people, my friend

  117. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergkamp Wright


    “Personally, I don’t care less about international football. As long as no Arsenal players get injured it is all good.

    If somebody offered me 3 points from Arsenal’s next game, or England to win the world cup, I would choose the 3 points without missing a blink.”

    Best comment of the day; must say I concur wholeheartedly with you, Sir. I, likewise, couldn’t care-less about team England, today, tomorrow or ever in the future. Particularly as technically superior nations are scheduled to play around the same time.

    France x Brasil (6 World Cup trophies between them)
    Espanha x Colombia
    Argentina x Portugal


    Denmark x England {yawns}

    Not a tough choice to make, regarding which games to watch. The top 3 win, unanimously, EVERYTIME. Perhaps I am biased, but my Brasil over England, ALWAYS. Although I do like the English players that play for Arsenal.

    Brasil porra! Força Arsenal!

  118. Rosicky & Eduardo both scored so far today. So TR7 back on the goal trail.

  119. Er, so what was the point of the comment?

  120. NJN, not so, I grew up with that music and people who love it, In the states. “most” dont have a clue but yes you do have people (many) who love it.

    Types of Music by and large have an era of influence after that it becomes somewhat of a novelty. Thats life.

  121. @ dups
    “Rosicky & Eduardo both scored so far today. So TR7 back on the goal trail”
    Wonderful. Are both matches still on?

  122. Same game FG. 10 mins left. Cech made a right blunder to hahaha

  123. They’re talking about JW on the news! I hope he isn’t aware of all this commotion.

  124. thanks, dups. So is it 1-1?

  125. bbc just stated “jack wilshere could just be the saviour england have been waiting for”

    the prophecy is taking place before our very eyes..


    when you said “Jack Wilshere can be the most outstanding talent of his generation.” did you mean the most oustanding english player or the most outstanding player of his generation world wide?

  126. 4-2 to Croatia 5 mins left

  127. TR7 played an hour. Seemed fine when he was subbed

  128. I note that the Arsenal Scouts have been keeping an eye on a six foot four inch striker by the name of Omar Salgado. He is seventeen years of age and currently playing with Vancouver in the North American MLS. Arsenal’s scouting tentacles certainly stretch a considerable distance and always with a focus on promising youth players. Does anyone know what happened to the young player that Arsenal seemed destined to sign especially since his father was interested in him playing for Arsenal.

  129. Oh Yogi, by the way.

    “England expects that Jack will do his duty”.

    Very good.

  130. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergamp-Wright

    @Paul N

    Rochelle Farrell, Minnie Ripperton, Leila Hathaway and Jill Scott are amazing vocalists. Period!

    If you love contemporary jazz musicians, you can’t get any better than these guys: Spyra Gyra, Boney James, Greg Karukas, Grover Washington Jr, Jeff Kashiwa, Paul Jackson Jr, Jonathan Butler, George Benson are in a league of their own.

    Also, if you get a chance, listen to Ivete Sangalo, Bebel Gilberto from Brasil.

    And to my classical music fans, Chopin’s waltz no.17 and Puccini’s la boheme (OMG!)

  131. Hey, FG. I don’t see any of what has been said about Jack having an effect on his game. Jack surprised us all I think with how seemlessly he slotted in to the first team. His confidence is great and he’s got lots of courage to speak his mind on the pitch and play his own game. Hype won’t effect him. He knows he’s good, and so he should.

    I think he’s too focused on playing the game to let pressure and hype interfere. He reminds me of a young Michael Owen or Johnny Wilkinson… he’s a kind of freak of nature… if you see what I mean… pre-programmed for the sport, tunnel vision.

    I’m looking forward to Nikki B playing central… pearling one into the top corner hopefully…. and I’m praying to the heavens that Theo hurdles every Danish tackle like a steeplechaser.

  132. England: Hart, Johnson, Dawson, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Wilshere, Walcott, Milner, Rooney, Bent.

    What a shite back 4

  133. It is nice that Peter is playing guitar again. I lived near to him for many years and saw him on the street several times in a dreadful state in the eighties. A sweet man.

  134. @ LA
    You’re probably right – put my anxiety down to quasi-maternal over-protectiveness.

  135. Thanks, Thierry Bergamp-Wright.

    I listen to mostly gospel now. Have you listened to any of Jonathon Butlers gospel stuff? I love it!

  136. Nasir Jones-Nasri | February 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |

    Great post!

  137. John Terry is so ugly.

  138. I think I’ve got a bit of quasi-paternal over-protectiveness going on over here now you mention it, Fun. I think I was trying to settle my own nerves. Come on, our kid! C’mon Jackie lad!

  139. Don’t want Jack playing in a pair with Fatty Lampard. Unwholesome.

  140. Carmon Nik….oh and Theo and Jack of course.

  141. Cbob:

    I assume you were talking to me at 6:14PM. The major point I took from Henristics post last night was that it would be nice if the blog got away from the confrontation that seems to dominate so many discussions and takes away from debating football. I have said the same thing in the past. I have never understood why many react with such venom to any differences of opinion when that has been a part of the culture of sports fans forever. However, as you say in the post at 5:21, perhaps I just do not “get it”. It is difficult to dismiss the statements you made in that post since it does come from you.

  142. It is a pair; I don’t see one deeper than the other here in open play.

  143. Wierd to watch a game and actively support both teams. Well parts of them at least. England look so much better with a couple of decent players don’t they?
    Fucking hilarious reading Bill bemoaning the confrontation on this site when he deliberately provokes 90% of it.

  144. Jack is NOT a D*M

  145. anyone got a free link for france versus brazil

  146. nice post
    there is nothing unusual about the way the media act when it regards young english players..
    weve seen it so many times…gerrard, rooney, theo, now jack..
    in a way the media can be compared to arsenal…we havent won anything in a while and are desperate for it to happen, we build our hopes up, wax lyrical about the players, and are left dissapointed when nothing happens..
    its the same for the england team….although the dust in that trophy cabinet is a bit thicker.. 😉
    the way i see it is that the way the media treat the arsenal is about to change..
    the english players are over priced..its been that way for years, the foreign influx has greatly improved the league and the best english talent is hard to come by…
    wenger realised this way way back, he wont spend big for any player nevermind english so hes spent the last few years developing his own..hes taking a caining from the media during his ‘transition’ but his theory is beginning to bear fruit..
    jack, theo, gibbs are the new young lions coming thru…and theres a load of lads coming thru the academy that have a good chance of making it…
    if theo and jack can cement their roles the media will ease off us, even if england fail to win anything, if they can be key players the way rooney lumpy and gerrard have over the years it will change a lot of attitudes…add a few trophies in the arsenal cabinet too and they will have no ammo to fire at us any more…
    the tide is turning…

  147. any links? firstrow and atdhe have both been siezed by the US govt!

  148. My fav singer off all time is the amamzing Anita Baker. She is the best singer ever

  149. anyone got a stream for the match?

  150. luckily espn3 has links

  151. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    @Paul N

    Yes, I have Jonthan Butler’s last two gospel CDs. Inspiring, powerful and on point. I’m a fan of that genre too.

    Brasil are on right now. Will give feedback on Sagna, though i expect Pato, Dani Alves and Robinho to be too much for France’s defense.

  152. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergkamp-Wright


    You have good taste. Anita Baker is working on her new material scheduled for 2011 release. I’ll be keeping my eyes on you 🙂

  153. Of course there would not be any confrontation at all on the blog if everybody had the same common sense view as me i.e. traditional english values. Grit, passion, determination and above all, a sense of fair play. Those coming onto the blog from those countries that are uncivilized and do not hold those values are going to be confused. We invented football and when we see the alsace frenchman talk in a foreign language we do not understand, then well, quite rightly, we speak up and say something about it. After all, we are the country who have never been invaded, and have had some great warriors and kings – not effete frenchman who do not know how to defend. Look at the england team right now – skilled warriors with blood on their hands. The arsenal french alliance on the other hand is the home of the pacifists with some namby pamby latin logo going on about peace and harmony. The frenchman has taken this literally, so what happens now is that the arsenal defence resembles the cheering hoardes applauding the germans as they marched down the Chumps-Élysées. It is not surprising that there is confrontation on the blog when people do not share this value system.

  154. i think our boy Tomas got a goal!

  155. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    Who is this perdant?

  156. did wenger not look at Eriksen last summe? i think he even tried to buy the kid. to bad now probably all the big english clubs will try to buy him.

  157. Anyone watching France v Brazil?

  158. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergamp-Wright

    You wouldn’t think this game between France and Brasil was a friendly. Some of the tackles flying in, from both sides wouldn’t look out of place at a World Cup final.
    Brasil are one man down, after a horrendous high tackle of Benzema.

    Both Mexes and Sagna have been kept busy. I just hope Sagna makes it through the game unscathed. Mexes has made some exceptional, well-timed interceptions – good player (future Arsenal man?)

  159. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    *oops, horrendous, high tackle on Benzema, i meant.

  160. sort your name out borges.

    Mexes has been linked with us forever. Methinks Wenger has never been interested.

  161. Bill | February 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    “….it would be nice if the blog got away from the confrontation that seems to dominate so many discussions and takes away from debating football.”
    What an effen piece of nonsense. Pardon my French folks but all this smarmy, silver tongued pap is poppycock. ACLF is ACLF because most of us rejected the tidal wave of Anti-Arsenal Arsenal blogs who are simply echo-chambers of the commercial media as well as the emotional drivel of a vast majority of football fans. Most ACLFers support without apology Arsenal’s self-sufficiency model and Arsene Wengers’s vision of beautiful, technical football built on a self-sustaining youth policy. Long before Bill and his ilk found ACLF, many of us were lone partisans in the wilderness. It was our partisanship and willingness to to go toe-to toe with those whose intent is to tear down the Arsenal project that has made this blog stand out as a truly supporters blog, a shining beacon . This meant strident rejection of trolls and parasites like AIC, and lately more insidious types, like Bill, who are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. This blog and posters refused to go along with the xenophobic attitude to players like Eboue, Song, Diaby and Denilson and the knee jerk casual dismissal of them and other players as lacking the “grit”necessary to wear the shirt.
    I reject all of Bill’s hypocritical entreaties for us to give him a free pass to turn us into a carbon copy of Mourinhoesque football, splashing the cash on every mercenary and playing the boring defensive percentages where players, according to his idol, enjoy not having possession.
    For that, Bill and all his apologist have earned my scorn.

  162. Änother Muppet masterpiece:
    “…..so what happens now is that the arsenal defence resembles the cheering hoardes applauding the germans as they marched down the Chumps -Élysées. It is not surprising that there is confrontation on the blog when people do not share this value system.” (Muppet at 8:12 pm) LMAO.

  163. brazil struggling a bit after conceding

  164. Diaby Sagna Clichy and Kos still playing?

  165. Sagna is and Diaby just entered the field.

  166. well england won. means they gonna go off Arsenal for a while in the press and write about the great english grit and how great a team they are instead. that good.

  167. Is Sandro actually a better player than Denilson? Cos i did not know Sandro even started for Tottenham this year at all.

  168. So how did the Arsenal players get on in the Denmark/England game?

  169. Shotta and Nasir:

    I guess you do not really read most of what I write.

  170. Wilshere was decent, Walcott got an assist. more importantly they were both substituted and picked up no injuries. Bendtner played 90min but didn’t see much of the ball.

  171. jack made things tick..much like he does for us..
    englands passing flowed when he was on..went back to basics in the second half
    theo was good too..worked hard for the assist, picked up a gash in his face but he carried on..

  172. benzema looks a very good player, shame he can’t seem to reproduce that form at club level.

  173. Shotta cant read Bill, I thought this was obvious ! and Nasir is just his alter ego!

    They say great hearts will always find hostile opposition from mediocre minds,, I think Einstein said that,,, So so true,,

  174. Sandro stated agains Fulham…

  175. gotta admire jacks all round abitlies
    can pass short and long, movement is class, good dribbler, very tenacious, gets stuck in….
    midfield all rounder..
    the song/jack axis is the best weve had for ages…
    probably a parker/jack axis would work well for england
    i went off the england side for a long time..supporting players like lampard, cole, terry went against all my morals…
    ive been waiting a long time for the new generation..
    the young lions are coming thru and its exciting times for england and arsenal…

  176. Thanks colneyblog

  177. sagna seems to have picked up a knock

  178. NP Passenal.
    Sagna seems ok after all.

  179. Seems everyone came through ok. Phew

  180. “Seems everyone came through ok.”

    That’s all I wanted to hear. Thanks.

  181. In other good news it seems like WHam have won the rights for the Olympic stadium. What now for the spuds. lol

  182. the spuds plans are well and truly going down the shitter lol
    arry leaving for england 2012
    and they stuck at that dump until god knows when..no ready made stadium for the swamp dwellers….

  183. Ground share with MK Dons????

  184. Talk of them looking to move near their training ground. FOYS

  185. lol..
    they’ll dirty the place..
    the dons wont let them in

  186. The Spuds should move out of this galaxy….we have enough garbage on this planet.

  187. chris houghton for manager?

  188. nah leave em where they are g4e
    the place wouldnt be the same without them
    st totts day is stuff of arsenal folklore..it would be like cancelling xmas if they moved.. 😉

  189. We don’t have to cancel it JonJon, it will actually be fun trying to locate sightings of some aliens laughing at the Spuds in outer space on St. Totts through the giant telescope.

  190. hahahahaha…

  191. crouch and modric would fit right in
    they look a tad extra terrestrial…..
    and bales ears could be used for satellite solar panels…

    jacks getting aolt of praise tonight…
    nasri pfa player of the year
    jack young player of the year

  192. Exactly, Crouch’s stupid robotic goal celebration is the best proof they belong.

  193. JJ i see you looked at Young Guns.

  194. yeah kev i like to have a look around
    huge props to that man..
    we are steeped with history its always good to hear such stories..

  195. Bale was the actor at the beginning of 2001 a space odyssey so he is already into scifi.

  196. Dups,

    Bale also one up-ed Eddie Murphy with his multiple roles in that crappy Tim Burton movie Planet of the Apes.

    Don’t be fooled, that wasn’t Helena Bonham Carter

  197. I wont stand for any bad mouthing of Gareth Bale. He is the greatest footballer of a generation. Periods.

  198. Funny how americans still believe they somehow “invented” blues and jazz, and so other people don’t “get it”. Busch, you should invest in a copy of Alan Lomax’ masterpiece ‘The Land of the Blues’ (or similar title, he wrote several books, most OP now). There you will find the roots of this music and how it was ‘discovered’. Were it not for Lomax, it is unlikely many of the legendary early blues guitarists and singers would be known at all outside the plantations and bars where they sweated and sweared.

    Jazz is of course, as any jazz musician knows, a truly universal language of musical emancipation although its roots in blues and the even earlier device of syncopation, adapted by musicians everywhere, are unshakeable.

    You see, if you ask a Brazilian jazzer about the roots of Latin jazz, he/she knows, and the answer is not “from Brazil”, although the chemistry of influences is perhaps unique to Brazil.

  199. It was hilarious seeing Theo and Jack v Bendy last night. England have a potentially good team, as always.

  200. Near the end of the first half Jack pulled up with a knock. I must admit, I was a little worried. He seemed to run it off though. Theo had his normal game.

  201. Garath Bale has great skill, its not often you get someone who can peel bananas with their feet.

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