Refreshing Honesty From Jack
“We are not in a crisis, we are only in some difficulties”
Sepp Blatter, surely the outgoing Fifa President spoke yesterday, in the midst of the tempest around the world game’s governing body. Blatter would probably describe the Gulf Wars as civil disobedience if this is merely a ‘difficulty’ facing football at this moment in time.
His words, no matter how ill-advised, could equally be applied to Arsenal. Fortunately journalists attention turned eastwards so Jack Wilshere’s interview has largely flown below the sensationalist radar. There is a refreshing honesty in his words compared with the platitudes normally spun by the squad.
It would on quieter days, quite easily been incendiary for the headline writers for the home truths contained within it. Those truths reveal a professional’s view of gamesmanship. Wilshere may yet find himself in hot water with the FA – if they can drag themselves away from the politicking – when he spoke of the pressure that Manchester United players put on officials,
Not so much keep going on at the ref, but just let them know. You see the players at Man United and they are great at it. They are round the ref.
Too nice. A frequent criticism of the Arsenal squad, Jack wants a little nasty to be added to the armoury. United have a long-earned reputation for bullying officials, something which the football authorities were keen to stamp out some time ago. It was an initiative which has quietly faded.
Competitive spirit ought to see Arsenal follow suit of the United and Chelsea players. Neither side are angels in that respect, both sides have built a fear in visiting teams, the knowledge that officials will likely be swayed in dubious decisions enhances that trepidation.
It is an interesting contrast to the title-winning Arsenal squads. There was no reticence from Henry, Bergkamp or Vieira in telling referees what they thought. Even reputed quiet men such as Gilberto or Lauren were known to be vocal. That is the mentality being demanded with new players.
The voluble nature of those players in the dressing room was an issue last season. Or rather, the absence of it. There is contradictory opinion on that from Wilshere.
We do miss a couple of shouters, but there are definitely some shouters in the dressing room. There have been times at half-time when there have been arguments and we’ve come back out and won. We do miss a player like Patrick Vieira. But there are leaders at Arsenal, the experienced players like Robin [Van Persie].
Thomas Vermaelen is back — that’s great. We’ve got Van Persie, Vermaelen, Cesc [Fabregas]. We probably need a few more big leaders to help us out.
That led to Jack defending his captain, rightly so. Much criticism of Fábregas is based on the opinion of those who do not see the leadership he provides. Wilshere appreciates it, understands the draw of home but put to bed the lie that the captaincy is only in Spanish hands as a sop. The players would not stand for it were that the case.
The lack of silverware is not unnoticed either,
Arsenal’s a big club and we need to be winning trophies and we need to win them to keep our big players, sooner rather than later. A hundred per cent it will be a disaster if we don’t win a trophy next season. We know that. The fans feel it. We feel it. We just need to win a trophy
Is it scaremongering to suggest that players will leave without trophies? Possibly, possibly not. There is a certain loyalty in players like van Persie, Fábregas as well otherwise he would have been in Catalonia by now. That loyalty cannot be taken for granted though whilst a rebuilding process is undertaken.
Silverware is not guaranteed to keep players either, it has to be said.
The key point of it was that Jack Wilshere spoke from the heart, showing an understanding of how supporters feel. Tomorrow sees the transfer window open and an air of expectation exists for the manager to sign the required players that can take a talented but brittle squad forwards, to earn the titles that they ought to win.
It is a tapestry which will unfurl through the summer. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on May 31, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 309 Comments.