Arsène’s Keen On Jack & Quadruples – He Believes, Should We?
Jack Wilshere‘s eyecatching performance against Barcelona has brought praise from all quarters. Even his manager who is normally reserved in praising his players forgot the usual provisos when talking about the youngster but not before he strayed dangerously close to Xavi territory,
He has Spanish technique certainly. But he has an English heart because he is an English boy. He just loves to win like all the other players in my team and he showed that on Wednesday night.
The emergence of Wilshere is a beacon of light for English football. Whilst the player’s prodigious talent is prime, his tuition at Arsenal from a young age is also key. Luton Town may not be happy now with the compensation received but Wilshere has been the biggest beneficiary of his move to Arsenal.
Moves are afoot to end the ludicrous geographic restrictions placed on Premier League clubs when it comes to scouting youngsters. If the end result is a player who is as technically excellent as Wilshere, there will not be many complaints.
What I like is that he takes everything with a cool head. When you are at his age, you want to play and to play again and show how good you are. He is not phased by the occasion and he is not inhibited. That is what is fantastic with him.
The question is whether the elimination of these restrictions on Premier League clubs is the best way to get the players to the top of the game. This will be weighing heavily in the minds of those lower division clubs who look set to lose out on inflated transfer fees as the cream of talent is nutured elsewhere.
Sadly the end result is not always a high flying career as The Sun highlights at the bottom of the piece on Ben Chorley. Mind you, Sebastian Svard might be surprised to learn that his Eredivisie employers, Roda JC Kerkrade, have moved lock, stock and barrel to Denmark without telling him.
Arsène was in bullish mood at his press conference, buoyed by the win on Wednesday evening as everyone was, is and shall forever more be. Four trophies are up for grabs, Arsenal want to win them all (even Paul Merson agreed to some extent) . A strong statement of intent in a period of ten days which will see progress made on all fronts or big dreams shattered into little pieces.
The first steps were taken in establishing a lead in the first of leg against Barcelona. Three wins in the next three games will see strides made in the other three competitions. And three wins are necessary. In the first instance, a draw in tomorrow’s match at Brisbane Road will mean a replay, an unwelcome distraction in an already crowded fixture list.
The Football Association has made the first change to next season’s FA Cup, the final will kick-off at 5.30pm at the behest of the broadcasting companies. Those supporters who live more than 2 hours away will be hoping every final ends in ninety minutes; the prospect of getting out of Wembley in a decent timescale is poor enough, at 9pm after extra time and penalties does not really bear thinking about.
This weekend sees fourth round replays taking place at the same time as the fifth round kicks off. And all because the FA loves international football. Those replays were scheduled for the week England played in Denmark but instead of giving their blue riband event primacy, they elected to let the discredited international friendly take precedence.
If the FA do not value the FA Cup, is it’s reduced status in domestic football any surprise? The least that they could do to revitalise the competition is to end replays. The reduced financial rewards for smaller clubs can be alieviated by giving them a bigger share of gate receipts than the 25% they currently receive.
Arsène though only wants one change – ticket prices to be cheaper. He came out against the wholesale tinkering many of us favour, surprisingly sentimental in his approach. TV will win though and the competition is going to eventually end up as a midweek extension of the Carling Cup.