Jack Be Nimble And Jens Blames The Defence
The Battle of the Arsenal midfield was won once more by Jack Wilshere as Aaron Ramsey and his Welsh counterparts were overrun, out-passed and generally outplayed by England yesterday.
Fabio Capello summed up Wilshere’s performance,
It’s a normal performance for him but it is incredible how much he has improved in such a short space of time.
The performance of this player during this season has been incredible. He plays like a player who is 28 or 29 years old with 45 caps. I hope there is more to come. A good player is always improving.
Capello has seen enough footballers in his time to have his opinion respected as a matter of course. Personally I would respect him even more if he recognised that Wilshere is in the early stages of his career and could do with a rest. Returning the youngster to his club instead of using him in a meaningless friendly on Tuesday would be a step in the right direction.
The National Associations are so blinkered that they do not wish to recognise their role and responsibilities towards the players. The FA were well aware that they would meet Wales on a Saturday yet have still scheduled their next match on Tuesday.
The objective Fifa had in mind when they set the limits on international weeks was to help the players. For once, their intentions laudable. The FA has chosen to abuse that with this current schedule; their manager is abusing the players by using the same squad for both matches. What can he possibly learn about them in 48 hours time that he did not already know? Why has Capello not chosen an entirely separate squad?
Much is expected of Wilshere, great expectations building for his career, praised by all opponents this season for the maturity of his play. It is something that he needs to replicate off the pitch as well. If Wilshere wants to know what awaits him in his career, he need only look at John Terry, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole.
They have, at some point, all been Media Darlings, be it for being the living embodiment of John Bull, the Greatest English Football Talent or married to the Media’s Queen. They have all suffered – deservedly – as the dogs bit back.
According to Sunday Mirror reporter Steve Stammers, Arsène ‘has read the riot act to Jack Wilshere’ following an incident with a taxi driver. Wenger’s Arsenal over the years, have kept themselves out of the newspapers. It was a far cry from the Arsenal squad of the early 1980s where the drinking culture was such that anyone who had not lost their licence was viewed suspiciously.
Wilshere is the latest Greatest English Football Talent so is of more interest to the media. Being in London saves the expenses in following him. A lot of untruths are going to be written about him over the coming years, he needs to be prepared for that and prepared not to put himself in the position where he can be criticised. No-one expects him to be a monk but streetwise in a different way to that which he is possibly used to.
At the other end of the scale, Jens Lehmann has explained that it was the defence’s fault he was sent off in Paris. According to the German, he brought Eto’o down because he was not used to conceding goals in the Champions League that season.
Had Arsenal not been on a phenomenal run of not allowing opponents to score, Lehmann admitted he would have let the Cameroonean score rather than ankle-tapping him. Spoken like a true goalkeeper. No goal conceded is ever their fault, it was always someone else to blame. I wonder who Manuel is setting up about the second at The Hawthorns?