Sometimes, the best cliche in football is…
‘Let the football do the talking, son’
Jack Wilshere put in his most devastating England performance to date with a sparkling showing against Slovenia.
He played in a deep lying role and helped things tick over in a testing England game. His two contributions were pretty special. The first was a tight lay off from Lallana which he rifled into the top corner, the second goals was a sublime move, Lallana again slipping in the Arsenal man who curled a beauty into the top corner.
It was interesting listening to Jack speak after, he said something along the lines of…
‘At Arsenal, we would have played it around a bit more’
Certainly something I’d like to see more of in Arsenal’s game… have a pop sometimes. I mean, we’ve landed that with Sanchez, I think he’s blocked the words ‘don’t shoot’ out of his English language classes. I do sometimes think we lose a bit in our attacking play by not offering up much of a threat from outside the box. It allows teams solace when defending deep against us.
Still, fantastic to see Jack involved in winning the game, I mean, you could argue Theo dropped the winning assist to Wayne Rooney… but that might be pushing it.
Also, for a man who’s played professional sport his whole career, Wayne looked like a twenty a day alcoholic talking to the press after the game!
So, 78 days before the transfer window shuts and I’m starting to panic a little bit. Still no moves, still no concrete news… let’s hope we hear something this week. I have a feeling we’ll know either way on Petr Cech. After watching Ospina balls up in the Copa America yesterday from a tame Rondon header, I’m more certain than ever that we have to accept that what we see with our eyes is likely to be true… Ospina isn’t the full ticket and he never will be. Same with Chezzer, the manager needs to be ruthless this summer. If there is better available, you purchase.
This isn’t a charity. This is a football club desperate to win some major honours. I appreciate that you don’t want to disrupt team harmony, but let’s be honest over here, what exactly has continuity achieved over the past 10 years in comparison to teams like Chelsea who regularly blitz their managers / squads in pursuit of major honours?
A couple of cups. A lot of top fours. Which is lovely. But we need to be aiming higher.
I think Arsenal fans sometimes get trapped in Wenger rhetoric. Realistically, we’d have to be very lucky next season to win the Premier League purchasing just two players. A world class keeper is going to be a masterful move, make no bones about that. We need a world class addition in the middle of the park, not to replace Coquelin, just to stop him facing burn out when he plays all the games next season. That’ll go some way, but for me, I’m not sure there are many players we could put in that position that could offer more than Francis has. The reality is you don’t need world class in that role to win things.
Really, the big moves will come up top. Bringing in an inspired Raheem Sterling changes our shape, brings more pace into the front line and brings up the level of competition. I think we need a striker, Giroud is a talented player, but he’s not devastating. He’s not a Suarez. He’s not really a Diego Costa. You’ll be very lucky to win a major honour with him leading the front line. It’s brutal, but he’s just not quite there.
You watch Lewandowski for Poland at the weekend and you can see the difference. You watch Ronaldo. Marvel at Neymar. That’s the level you need to be at to make it at the highest level.
… I fear that until we unearth a gem at striker, we’ll struggle to drop a major trophy.
One player who is exciting me is Gedion Zelalem. The German born US international has been lighting up the under-whatever Championship. He controls the middle of the park like a seasoned pro. He has a superb first touch and an impressive array of passing skillz. I think the part that excited people who work closely with him is his work engine. He’s incredibly fit. If you could combine a Flamini engine with a Cesc like output, well, you’d have a frightening talent on your hands.
Interesting that Sepp Blatter has leaked news to the press that he might reconsider his resignation… he’s such an unbelievable embarrassment. Like your granddad who’s been sent to bed at a wedding, returning for one last dance with your girlfriend.
‘BACK UP STAIRS*’
*Removes belt slowly
He’s apparently had support from Asia and Africa. I’m sure he has… that grouping of associations have been a key political pillar in keeping him going… you know, in exchange for sweetners.
That whole organisation needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Wonga are doing the same over here, rebranding under a less toxic name. The very thought that Sepp might come back is just amazing, he has no shame, or concern that he might be coming under the gaze of the FBI.
More worrying, the FA are rumoured to have dropped a lot of suspicious perks to people like Jack Warner. That’ll be really upsetting if we stooped to that sort of low to win a World Cup.
I guess it’s tough though, a bit like cycling back in the day (or athletics now). When you know the only way to compete is to do what everyone else is doing, what do you do? Pull out? Or go toe-to-toe?
… when you’re the FA and you’ve been kicking up a global fuss, I guess you should really keep your nose clean.
Bad times if we didn’t.
Right, it’s kit launch tonight. I’ve been given Nacho Monreal to group interview. I don’t normally like doing stuff like this, it’s a bit rich, critiquing players one day, crawling up their backsides the next. But, if you have any burning questions, drop them in the comments or tweet them to me.
‘Hey Nacho, if you were a fan, would you wear a replica shirt?’
Not sure how well that’ll go down. I might ask him if his friends make jokes about his name being a popular tex-mex dish (Hey Nacho, do you get on with your brother Dorito?). So many possibilities.
Anyway, lemme know.
HAVE A SWEET MONDAY X