Internationals & Internet: Responsible Use Required

As the international break passes its mid-point, the initial injury scare over Nicklas Bendtner appears to be just that as reports of his demise have been quickly usurped by reports of his return to fitness. As with Cesc, he looks likely to be available for the match against Blackburn in just over a week’s time.

Arsène will be hoping that both are ready, along with the other twelve at the club who have gone on their late season jaunts, to give the squad a extremely strong look going into that fixture. Whether Alex Song will be there remains to be seen. The only news on his fitness seems to be “He will not be available” from the manager’s pre-match interviews.

There is a danger of the Cameroonean disappearing into the injury black hole that has consumed Thomas Vermaelen, some sort of Brian Cox in the future will probably discover their fossilised remains and use it as a theory to explain some event in the stars. Still, at least he can be serened with an updated version of “Things Can Only Get Better“. Which if you are a fossilised remain is pretty much the truth.

As it is, the Football Association seems intent on adding Jack Wilshere to that list. Stuart Pearce has apparently decided that the youngster will travel with the Under 21 squad to Scandinavia this summer for the European Championship at that level. It seems that Pearce is not learning from the lessons of the past or quite simply does not care about the players. My guess is that it is the latter camp into which he falls.

At 18, Wilshere is appearing in the senior squad, as well as being a regular for his club. Youngsters are frequently believed to be capable of playing as many games as possible. It was that mentality that led to Theo Walcott being consistenly injured since Pearce intervened two years ago. Whilst Walcott had hereditary problems with his shoulders, there was little wrong with his back before playing for senior and junior international teams in the same month following a full season with his club.

That Pearce is seeking to use Wilshere this time around highlights two things. Firstly, how much Wilshere has progressed in twelve months and secondly, the paucity of English talent in that age group.

Wilshere has endeared himself to the Arsenal support with his performances but also because of his willingness to engage with supporters via Twitter. There are several players on there, unusually willing to ‘converse’. Wilshere observed that it is a good way to gauge feelings following matches.

Personally, I have not read comments post-match but it would be interesting to see if they are complimentary; they are not on blogs so it begs the question as to why those who vent online do not go the whole hog and tell the players what they think.

The question of social media is thorny. The Football Association want it regulated out of use, draconian measures employed to keep players in line. The clubs are wary lest players use it to disparage and not ‘toe the line’. Whereas it could, and should, be used as an important link between the players and supporters.

A lot of focus is on the players and their words. It would be nice if the same attention was paid to the words of supporters. Whilst there is only a small minority who berate and abuse, it is little surprise that those are the things which stick in players minds. Little wonder that the gap between those who play and those who pay shows no sign of closing.

It is an opportunity for a little of the mystique to be removed. A bit of responsibility will go a long way.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 24, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 90 Comments.

  1. First.

    Surely Wenger has talked to Pearce and told him he’s being a dolt.

  2. Does Pearce have Twitter? We could tell him ourselves.

  3. songs return is crucial..
    we dont have any depth whatsoever in his position, song and jack have been a lethal partnership all year and one of the reasons we have done so well
    it gives the perfect balance to the midfield..
    we need him back, just as much as we need cesc back…

  4. JonJon – I agree with that.

  5. Limestonegunner

    RvP is even more legend than I thought yesterday. He pilloried Man City and Chelsea as well as criticizing Barcelona players. 150% Gooner. If there is any justice in this world, we win the title and RvP gets to have a serious gloat like the rest of us.

  6. There is a hurriedness to your posts of late, JonJon, that belies panic.
    Calm down dear, it’s the interlull.

  7. there is no interlull
    im looking forward to the game tomorrow
    england v wales is always good fun..and jack v rambo make it more interesting..

  8. Yes. I’m looking forward to that too. Two of the best young midfielders in the country… two of my favourite players to watch.

  9. as long as they dont injure eachother.. 😉
    thats all we need..
    id like to see a jack/parker combo i think that will control the engine room..
    rambo doesnt have the obvious quality playing around him when he plays for wales so he dictates the games more for them when he does for us..
    he always stands out theres little wonder that speed made him captain..

  10. Good to have you back Yogi although that bit about Pearce has pissed me off massively. What is the point in Wilshere going with the U21s? Seriously? I’m probably asking in the wrong place since we all think it’s total bollocks.


    The Pearce thing is all rather self serving. Having proved not up to the job as a Premiership manager, he’s now intent on putting himself in the window for the England job post- Capello. To do this he has to pick the best players, even if that runs counter to all logic and good sense. His point that Spain won trophies at Junior levels prior to winning them at senior level is at best disingenuous. Did they win those junior trophies with players who were in both club and national first team at the time? Of course not. They understand the need for rest and recuperation in the close season and the big clubs there wouldn’t allow it. Still, a convenient line for lazy journalists to repeat and thus give spurious credibility to through the repetition.
    The man is an arse.

  12. Arsenal should pull Wilshere out of any more U21 games. If they slap a ban on him for a few of our games then that would be preferable to risking injury as happened with Walcott.

    Tell Pearce to stick it up his bollix.

  13. I read the piece on the Pearce-Wilshere thing, and nowhere did it say he planned to use Wilshere, as the headline of the article would have you believe (darned media eh?). The only quote from Pearce reported him saying he needed to pick “the best players available” which doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll pick Wilshere, or Caroll.
    I find it hard to believe he’d be that daft considering the role those two are likely to be playing for the senior team., and considering as you say considering what happened to Theo.
    One would imagine he’d be picking the likes of Josh McEachran (spelling?) instead of Wilshere.

  14. Surely the whole purpose of the u21s is to develop players for the first team. Nobody gives a sh*t if they win anything at the lower levels. Stuart Pearce’s performance should be evaluated according the amount of his players who make the step up (and the negligible role he plays in that process), not if he wins some two-bit tournament by fielding experienced teams against teenagers.

    Once players are full internationals they shouldn’t be forced to go back, for their own sakes. Theo was pretty dodgy in that tournament a couple of years ago – not just because he was tired, but because he was having to adjust to a lower level. I think it really stunted him.

  15. International break will be great for Ramsey. He needs competitive match time to gain that extra bit of sharpness needed, and we can’t really afford to give it to him in the run in.

  16. Didn’t ask how things were going with you, LA. Hope you’re doing OK. I like what I’ve heard of the new Grinderman album as well, especially Palaces of Montezuma. I actually prefer older Nick Cave – and very young, Release the Bats etc – to the middle part of his career. I dunno, too theatrical!

  17. In short having full first team players playing in the U21s is a shit idea. It doesn’t work on any level.

  18. Henristic @ 11.03

    Earlier this week, Pearce observed that he would take who he wanted to Denmark. Pushed on the point, he claimed it was up to him who was picked in the squad and named Wilshere as an example. That’s where the story came from originally.


  19. Pearce is a self serving no good. Would have been more beneficial to the National Team if he “discovers” unknown players who are good enough to make the step up. Hey, but this is The Sweet FA and Psycho we are talking about: common sense never prevails.

  20. Doing really well, thanks, OOU. Yeah, that one’s excellent – pretty heavily indebted to a Tindersticks song though I thought – can’t remember the name of the song but it sounds very similar.

    I’m just drawn to everything about the Bad Seeds at the moment. I saw them at Glastonbury last year – really good performance (they seemed to summon in a small storm on an otherwise hot, still day – in a strange twist of pathetic fallacy).

    In a world of rather beige rockstars, Nick Cave seems to do it the right way for me. He seems to celebrate all the right things. Although you’re right, he can border on caricature.

  21. Limestonegunner

    Let’s just hope that Pearce is defending his rights and “authority” as the manager for the U21’s. No one in a position of power wants to cede it in principle since they don’t want to limit their future options. But hopefully he realizes that his position is about producing players for the full international England team. Hands off Jack Wilshere!!!!!

  22. The U21 coach and the senior coach should be working together to develop a total strategy with the senior coaching making final decisions on who plays. Keeping the 2 separated is dumb, but common sense in short supply. That said, we often blame Theo’s injury issues on the FA for playing him in both competition but even without international football he will miss a lot of games. Hopefully he will get past that but I am not holding my breath.

    Between club football, cup tournaments and international football there are far to many games. The best players on the best teams end up playing a majority of those games. Some players must be physiologically able to handle it. Lampard and John Terry seldom injured. Arshavin does not miss many games. Others can not handle the punishment Hargreaves, Woodgate, King, Walcott, Diaby etc etc. Hopefully Jack will fall into the Lampard category. Although it will not happen in our lifetimes someone needs to bring all the different organizations together and make a common sense schedule for the players and put some type of limit on the number of games per year. The entity that pays the players should have priority.

  23. Morning all,

    welcome back Yogi. We managed to get by in the comments yesterday but at first, i’ll admit, I was a bit flustered without a post.. my morning routine cast into the wind..

    I have a question about the bureaucratic structure of the FA and the way authority is delegated to them that I was hoping you all could clear up. Is there anyone/group who holds any sort of authority or oversight, regulatory or otherwise, over the FA? Do PMs or other elected officials? Could the Queen Mom come in and clear house if she wanted to? Just seems to me like English football will never recover on a performance level until the level of incompetency that has become de rigeur for pretty much every decision made by the powers that be is brought to an end. And the only way I see that happening is with a complete shake up.

    So.. is there anyone out there that could hold the FA accountable?

  24. The doomer would say that with jack wilshere’s salary, he should be able to play both the seniors and u21s….goonerandy would say that stuart pearce has the right to pick whoever he wants including walcott…

  25. NJG

    The FA is overseen by ostensibly, Uefa and Fifa. Governmental interference is frowned upon by both and several FAs around the world have been banned temporarily due to this.

    However, as the FA receives government funding for various projects, it is subject to scrutiny by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The influence is very limited and the only real threat the DCMS has is to with-hold money.

    So to answer your question. No body or persons supervises the FA in the manner that you believe.

    Is the FA accountable? Well, yes and no. No for the reasons above but yes in that if the professional game is not happy with them, a breakaway Premier League – this time without FA backing or connivance in its creation – may emerge. Uefa and Fifa would be most unhappy as if this happens, the likelihood is that it would be as part of a wider European expansion of club power.

    The FAs fundamental problem is that it oversees the amateur and professional games. Whilst the two play the same sport, the needs and requirements of the two are entirely different in some aspects. Instead of trying to manage everything as one, they should have two organisations, distinct from each other to run the show.

    There is another issue which the FA has no will to address: jobs for the boys. A lot of the senior positions or positions of influence are held as reward for services to the game elsewhere. Whether that service is good or bad is irrelevant in appointment.


  26. The queen mum? I’m pretty certain she’s passed away!

  27. Max – Thanks for voicing my opinion for me.

    Only, you are way off. I really have no idea why would think that would be my slant on things. As it stands I think once you have progressed to the senior side, then you should not be picked for the U21’s. It is pretty simple really.

    Sorry to disappoint you.

  28. The Queen Mum? Even if she hadn’t I’m not sure Stuart Pearce would want to take her to Denmark as an over-age player.

  29. The whole internet prescence thing is actually quite interesting. Although I stalk as many of our players as I can on Twitter, I too have concerns about our player’s presence.

    During the Summer, one of Cesc’s family members (his sister I think) was subject to electronic abuse for the Barca saga. As mentioned yesterday, Denilson has cease in his Twitter activities because of intolerable abuse. Fortunately, whether by accident or design, he was our only contentious player (at least that I could find) on Twitter, so it remains to be seen if this was a one off, or whether there would be a campaign of abuse towards our players by those who would declare themselves fans of the club.

    It’s quite odd that Twitter essentially gives us a greater look into the lives of our players, humanising them in ways which we’ve never seen, and yet instead we have those who see this not for the opportunity that it is, but just a chance to direct focused abuse.

    Perhaps Twitter will give football fans in general the chance to actually grow-up a bit.

    On a completely diferent hand, you can see a real difference between the players on Twitter. The young’uns like JET, Lansbury, and Frimpong are really young and a little boisterous. In fact, JET reminds me of a couple young’uns round the way, while Frimpong although you can see his maturity is a little bit of the joker.

    You can compare these guys to Cesc, Jack, and the other first teamers, and there is a greater sense of professionalism (I hate that word – it means little more than corporate zombiism, the errosion of humanity). While Jack Tweets a lot, it feels like he’s holding back quite a bit, playing it safe, weary of the media eye. With Cesc, it feels like he’s managing his fan base, and the other senior players don’t tweet that much.

    It feels like the club has has a word with the players to ensure they maintain that – grrr – professionalism (which in this macro scenario is alright and necessary).

  30. most ppls problem is that the u21’s are purely about development..
    jacks career is miles ahead of the u21’s hes starting to establish himself in capellos full team…its pointless playing for the babies when you are a first team regular for a cl club as well as the national senior side.. your passed that phase, you dont need developing in tournaments when youve played in bigger and better ones already at a consistent level…
    the only person who can stop it is capello…pearce wants a trophy pure and simple and wants the best players he can and is using the loophole that jack is still of age to qualify and he is in his right, but its a stupid one and capello needs to tell him where to go..
    its like wenger letting banfield call jack up for the reserves every week as well as playing pl…

  31. The Queen Mum’s on the pitch. She – she – she scores a ghoul!

    I’m really sorry for that insensitive joke, but I have a dark sense of humour, and well, death only really ever hurts the living, never the dead. Remember the good times and the laughter people, anything else just isn’t worth the space.

  32. How many years have England gone with out a trophy? Perhaps the media can remind me.

  33. “How many years have England gone with out a trophy? Perhaps the media can remind me.”

    It is obviously because of their lack of leadership and English grit. How will they ever win the world cup without decent center halves or goalkeeper.

    If I can see it then….

    Oh and England should play Gary Cahill. The rules are that if he plays then no matter what team it is will win. End of.

  34. thats the thing though gagdet..
    england want a trophy so they are trying to develop a team of winners from an early age..not exactley grass roots but its a similar arguement..
    the spanish won trophys at youth level and so did the germans and then took the international scene by storm…
    pearce wants to get the best players available so he can win a trophy..then capello or whoever can integrate the best ones into the full side..
    much like germany did with ozil, mueller ect at the world cup
    its the english desparation to adress the lack of success thats leading to these measures..
    wouldnt surprise me if capello has given it the green light…

  35. Indeed Jonjon, and while I can see the logic, dare I say the key ingredients in the success of those nations was a willingness to institute a long term goal, a willingness to take a risk, and a competent FA.

    In a country of Now, we need leaders to plan for Then.

    I should be a soundbite writer

  36. Fuck international football.

    And fuck twitter. I don’t want to know what you ate for dinner and what colour it turned your shite.

    Sorry for the language, but seriously.

  37. If we called the Queen Mum up you know the squad will be down to the bare bones.

  38. OOU, some might say it’ll be lacking that spine.

  39. Plenty of grit though.

  40. I agree with Markus re international football, and knowing the details of our players’ fecal matter. But I do like the interaction Twitter has brought about. I’ve always thought there should be more access and interaction between players and fans. Players should be big enough and ‘professional’ enough to know when people are talking utter shite and hurling nonsense abuse, and when they’re being rational and genuinely interested and constructive.

  41. Mean Lean, Arsenal lack leadership because we don’t have an alpha dog, the type who’ll shag their mates’ women

  42. Lehman would nail Almunia’s wife at the drop of a hat.

  43. Wow, I never knew Vieira and Adams did that. Which mates wives ?

  44. People, don’t follow me on twitter! I rarely tweet, and when I do, not only do I graphically describe the aesthetic smear my poo leaves upon my toilet bowl, I provide an indepth examination of the olfactory stimulation of that most pungent funk.

  45. Limestonegunner

    I wonder what Samir Nasri means by the “now or never” phrase in discussing the urgency of winning with Arsenal. I believe he actually said this a while back but it has been quoted in the Guardian article on RvP’s comments today. I think he means we had and have a great chance this year that needs to be seized. What I hope it doesn’t mean is that he is waiting to decide whether to sign a contract in the summer on the basis of what happens this season.

    Either way, breaking through to win the PL this season will be fantastic for everyone-the players, the club, the manager and coaching staff, the fans, and for football itself. As I have said, Arsenal is the only salvation. And it is for the reason RvP discusses–the club’s philosophy being confirmed in its success and serving as a symbol and model for improving the game on the pitch and off.

  46. It’s a well known fact in le cirque d’luisonment, that Viera was boning Petit’s wife, while Adams drunkenly made a porn flick with Merson’s wife. Merson was behind the camera enjoying himself.

  47. OOU

    Skeleton staff even.


  48. She’d be ghosting into the box…

  49. “Players should be big enough and ‘professional’ enough to know when people are talking utter shite and hurling nonsense abuse, and when they’re being rational and genuinely interested and constructive.”

    A few months ago, Bac got into an interesting back and forth on his twitter with some idiots spouting the usual BS that we see on here. It didn’t turn nasty, but because he stood up for himself and did not back down, they soon wimped off.

    It’s just wrong that people hide behind the anonymity of the internet to be overly abusive and unreasonable. If you are basically a decent human being, you shouldn’t stoop that low no matter how tempting.

  50. Gutted, South Africa crash out of the world cup…..snigger, snigger.

  51. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Music chat. Yes. I know you guys (LimparAssist and OOU) are up on pretty much everything but check out Tame Impala if you haven’t yet. They fucking rule. A friend just got me on them. As for new stuff I’m also digging Weekend alot. Also Beach Fossils, Twin Shadow, and Royal Baths too. I just got a bunch of new stuff and it’s early but I’ll remember some others I’ve been digging. Oh and the new Puro Instinct is pretty good as well. Some of it reminds me of early Cocteau Twins.

  52. Last Of The Country Gentlemen

    RE: Beach Fossils, Twin Shadow

    You may also like Wild Nothing and Frank (Just Frank)…

  53. Not too sure on Tame Impala – new album is a bit patchy. Still if that’s your bag, a little DJ set here might get your Friday night’s off to a good start:

    Can be listened to or downloaded.

    Set list is:

    Link Wray “Batman Theme”
    The Specials “Do The Dog”
    The Who “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere”
    The Velvet Underground “White Light / White Heat”
    Tame Impala “Desire Be, Desire Go”
    The Rolling Stones “Citadel”
    The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows”
    Beady Eye “Sons Of The Stage”
    The Creation “Making Time”
    The Spencer Davis Group “I’m A Man”
    The La’s “Feelin'”
    Kid Koala “Slew Test 2”
    DJ Dangermouse “99 Problems”
    The Beatles “Helter Skelter”
    Beastie Boys “Jimmy James”
    Jimi Hendrix “Spanish Castle Magic”
    The Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar”
    Primal Scream “Rocks”
    Led Zeppelin “Rock And Roll”
    The Who “My Generation”
    Beady Eye “Bring The Light”

  54. Is everyone associated with England management utterly fucking thick, do you think? I am right you know. They absolutely are. What a fucking disgrace.

  55. For those interested all 90% of the international games will be on ESPN2 if you are in the States and also on

  56. typo Frank, watching tv and typing at the same time lol.

  57. YW,

    Thanks for the response. Much appreciated. Those intricacies are where my most glaring gaps in football knowledge exist. Also, I think its awesomely amusing that there is a Department of Culture, Media and Sport. haha I wish we had one in the USA! Insert self-depricating joke about the erosion of American culture here…

    I thought the Queen was sometimes referred to as the Queen Mom? Have I committed a terrible faux pa?

  58. Markus

    I’m very much of the opinion that only famous people should have twitter. Outside of that, I hold similar opinions to yours..

  59. NJGooner,

    There a colloquially atributed missing apostrophe. Queen’s mom (like NJGooner’s mom).

    The bare bones of the matter

  60. Van Persie starting for Holland against Hungary

  61. Limestonegunner

    Don’t go into challenges leaving your leg in RvP!

  62. Just when you thought it was hard enough to support England then along comes Andy fukin Carroll..

  63. Anyone else think everyone is expecting too much from lil Jack now, he is still learning the trade isn’t he.

  64. I didn’t see Clichy’s name on the squad list submitted by Blanc. Nasri and Sagna are penciled in as starters.

  65. Nasri is captain of the french side

  66. Nasri with an assist to Mexes

  67. Rvp can’t stop scoring

  68. I don’t think that old Mother Bowes-Lyon was really interested in football, more like horse racing and gin. In equal quantities.

  69. Motm performance from Robin. Superb. Loved every minute of it.Clickclickclick

  70. …and he was in the peak of health when he left the pitch. Excellent

  71. The Queen Mother was an Arsenal fan. In her younger days she loved the Comptons.

  72. He started the brilliant move for the Afellay goal, provided a wonderful pass for Dirk Kuyts goal, and slotted the last home for himself. Clickclickclick

  73. Literally? Scandal, they should make a movie about it “The Queen’s Itch”. Oscar.

  74. Can someone explain why Wembley was constructed? The Spanish team travels from ground to ground, even playing at low-capacity stadiums, so that more people have a chance to see them play. Couldn’t it be like that in England as well?

  75. Dont worry kingsalami ,, The South African B team is still in the world cup,, they called England!

  76. Frank there is another game yet against Hungary

  77. Harsh
    The spanish don’t have a national stadium.

  78. The France v Luxembourg game just finished, Nasri got an ankle knock in the first half but finished the game after receiving some treatment. He looked fine when he walked off the pitch at the end of the game.

  79. Good evening AKBs !

  80. Yes, I am aware of that Colney. I will watch that match on Tuesday too. I think that RvP will get a rest in that game. Van Marwijk has a number of forwards to keep up to scratch. I must say that Afellay got a real hammering from the Hungary players tonight. Fucking Bastards.

  81. I feel that I have to watch to make sure he is OK. I hope someone will be watching over our French contingent. I am sure that most of us will be warching over Jack and Aaron tomorrow. Duty.

  82. Warching should read watching of course. Too many west country conversations on this blog recently. ….and you know who you are.

  83. Pearce should lay off Jack and take McEachran to the U’s this summer. It’s sick that he’s looking to further his career on the back of a player who may end up having a dip in his next season due to over exertion. What an absolute prick. Rooney didn’t have to do the senior, junior thing while he was still under 21. Why is this piece of shit getting away with doing this to Jack and Theo?

  84. There is no doubt about it, Stuart Pearce is a complete and utter cunt. Just like the FA like em.

  85. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Wild Nothing are good too I should of mentioned them I saw em with Abe Vigoda recently. I really like the stuff I’ve heard from Minks as well.

    Cheers, YW. I’ve only heard some stuff off Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker album which I think is their debut.

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