Main men back for the big one!

by .

Heeeeeeeey, sorry about the absence, I’m rampantly ill…

Don’t worry though. I’ll fight on.

Just a quick update, normal service resumes tomorrow.

GREAT news ahead of the Chelsea game, Ozil and my main man Sanchez are training… so could both return in a game of mega importance.

Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea are fighting for Premier League survival and they mostly draw games under his leadership.

Really, we should be spanking them. They’re not very good… but nor are we very good at playing Chelsea. So it’ll be an interesting game.

We need to up our offering and we need to kick back into a bit of a flow. What better way to start that assault on the final push than by beating Chelsea and making a total mockery of Abramovich and big money teams.

Right, the shortest post ever… I’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks and bye x

249 Responses to “Main men back for the big one!”

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  1. Leedsgunner

    “I’m sure most gooners understand you don’t get raise of 15% when you’ve not proven you’re up to the job physically.”

    Unfortunately the Gooner that counts doesn’t seem to. Wenger LOVES crocks because it gives him an excuse not to buy.

    He loves him to peddle “hopeful expectation” as a commodity season after season. I cannot believe that there is another top club in the world whose manager hails his injury prone players “as new signings” when they come out of injury but then just as quickly bemoans “bad luck” when the same players get injured.

    We all know who the permacrocks are. Yet these are the players that get renewed contracts time after time. It’s as if he Wenger chooses not to remember or learn.

    The one permacrock who did finally emerge to become world class then stuck up the finger at us when we supposedly meet his ambition.

    Sadly if Jack recovers and gets his body into shame for the long term, I can see him doing the same thing… hope he doesn’t but we all know money talks… even when you can’t walk.

  2. Cesc Appeal


    Absolute joke then. What has he done to deserve an extension, let alone an improvement in his wages.

    Bad financial decision. Means Wenger is going to persevere with him as well, so financially and footballistically it is worrying.

  3. vicky

    Wenger is really strange. He hates to over pay even a quid in the transfer market but then wastes millions of dollars on non-performing players in the team. Theo and Jack have literally minted money at Arsenal without giving much in return. It’s an absolute waste of money to give Jack a pay rise, he hardly plays for us, let alone perform well.

  4. tunnygriffboy


    Agree about the Liverpool game. With the side we put out v Stoke I was ok with a point. We had by far a better front 6 unavailable. We were down to the bare bones

    Hopefully we will now start to go on a good run. Ozil and Alexis seem to be available and Coquelin is nearly ready. With Welbeck and Rosicky nearly there we should be strengthened considerably and have much better options off the bench and for rotation. Win Sunday then we have 2 weeks to get all those players available. Some may even have a runout in the cup. Elneny should be bedded in by then as well. No more Flameta 🙂 🙂

  5. Steveyg87

    Battle to see where exactly Jack is going to fit into our system once he regains full fitness, cannot displace ozil at CAM, no debate needed. Out wide is a no go, he doesn’t have the pace to accomodate our current setup. He isn’t defensively disciplined enough to play in front of the back 4 as he does for Ingurland. Ramsey and Jacky boy will have to battle it out for one place and given their injury records, that shouldn’t be a problem. Elneny, whom I know nothing about will battle it out with Le coq

  6. Cesc Appeal

    Agree with that, next time Wenger talks about being careful with money someone should ask exactly what he gets for his £250 000 a week out of Wilshere and Walcott.

  7. kenyangunner

    Battle to see where exactly
    Jack is going to fit into our
    system once he regains full

    Worry not. Jack will never be fit for more than few weeks.

  8. tunnygriffboy

    Still think Wilshere is a talent. Worth a pay rise after his injuries. No. Worth a pay rise if he was fit. Probably.

    Rumours Ozil to be offered £180k a week. Highest ever earner at Arsenal. Guess we have to pay the going rate. Personally I find the wage thing a bit obscene but it is what it is.

  9. Cesc Appeal


    Fingers crossed.

    Sanchez and Ozil obviously back in the starting line up, Coq to over the next week or two. Rosicky on the bench which is a great option, as is Welbeck who will be of use also in big away days.

  10. tunnygriffboy


    I’m cautiously excited 🙂

    Re Chelsea. If we play like we have over the last few weeks it will be a struggle but we should sneak it

    If with Ozil AND Alexis back and we play like we did v manu and in that little spell we should be fine

    London derby. They will be up for it. However we are at home. 1st goal is vital

    We should be looking to win every game at home.

  11. vicky

    It was strategically a wrong decision to market “British core” project with so much fanfare. All it has done is to give the agents of our British players a lot of leeway to arm twist the negotiators at Arsenal. Wenger/club could have kept the idea close to their heart if they believed in it. There was no need to tom-tom the idea .

  12. daz

    Just to play devils advocate,

    Say Jack is earning £20m over a four year deal and if he managed to get fit he would be a top player,

    Or with his injury record how much could we get for him £15m maybe then you would have to add another £20m on top to get a player who is at the required level to replace him plus the £20m in wages they would want over the 4 years.

    So maybe that’s how Wenger sees it risk £20m on Wilshere or £40m+ on someone else over the 4 years who might not work out either

  13. Leedsgunner

    It was strategically a wrong decision to market “British core” project with so much fanfare. All it has done is to give the agents of our British players a lot of leeway to arm twist the negotiators at Arsenal. Wenger/club could have kept the idea close to their heart if they believed in it. There was no need to tom-tom the idea

    Spot on.

    British core? More like British crumble.

  14. Bamford10

    Agree that Wilshere doesn’t deserve a pay raise, but the idea that he couldn’t find a place in the current XI is nonsense. One, he is just as good a CM as Aaron Ramsey and better than Ramsey at his best. Two, Joel Campbell doesn’t have much pace either — indeed this is why he can’t beat players down the line — and doesn’t have near Wilshere’s class, yet he seems to be our first-choice RW at moment. While there are people here who would start Joel Campbell over Jack Wilshere, I personally find this view ridiculous and I think most of the world’s football managers would agree.

  15. tunnygriffboy

    Seriously though. British players are getting inflated wages at all clubs not just Arsenal. Liverpools homegrown talent are on similar if not more than our players. Ditto City, man u. It’s not just us. Everywhere they earn money that they’re not necessarily worth.

  16. Leedsgunner

    “So maybe that’s how Wenger sees it risk £20m on Wilshere or £40m+ on someone else over the 4 years who might not work out either”

    Fair enough then. Wenger should do the decent thing and not complain. about how unfair it is that his competitors have money and he supposedly doesn’t.

    The truth is he has the money but he has spent it badly.

    Or even better he could wake up and face reality that some players are broken and there’s nothing he can do about it.

    It makes my eyes water thinking about the millions we wasted on Diaby. You would think having gone through for over ten years that he would learn a lesson not to forget and repeat.

    Not only is Wenger repeating it, he’s relishing in it.

    Who’s keeping him accountable? It sure as heck isn’t the Board! Why not?

    THink about that next time the raise ticket prices all across the board.

  17. Dream10


    Our record with Wilshere at CM over the last couple of years iz terrible. He is a better dribbler than Ramsey, however the Welshman trumps him in almost all other categories.

  18. tunnygriffboy


    With Alexis on the left Wenger loves a player like Ramsey or Wilshere on the right to balance the team in terms of keeping the ball, combination play and providing an extra body in midfield when we don’t have the ball

    I concur with your thesis 🙂

  19. Emiratesstroller


    Transfers and Wages are obscene, but unfortunately Arsenal need to compete.

    However, I do think that Arsenal in comparison to most other clubs in EPL are
    better at living within their means. There is still the concept of getting ‘value for money’.

    Personally I don’t object to paying premium wages to Ozil and Sanchez who
    are amongst the best players in the League.

    Where I do have concern is the wages which are being paid to squad players
    such as Wilshire and Walcott who struggle now to get a place in starting lineup. If they were not home grown I don’t think that places at club would be as

  20. daz


    Yeah the rise is questionable but that’s football these days,his agent wouldn’t be doing his job properly if he didn’t get him more money regardless of injuries

  21. underrated Coq

    Wilshere doesn’t deserve a squad place at Arsenal.

    Absolutely embarrassing all the hype and praise of effusive fanboys directed at a guy who can’t be counted on to perform for 10 games a season.

  22. Leedsgunner

    If fit the only realistic place for Jack is to take over from Cazorla besides Coquelin… he should be humble and be willing to play anywhere considering how much he has been out.

    Jack has always been shown favouritism because of his potential which as yet to become reality..

    The height of this lunacy was when Jack was inserted into the no.10 spot whilst Özil was shuffled out on to the wing… all to maximise Jack’s talent… even then he didn’t set the world alight did he?

    Jack needs to wake up and realise that he needs to keep himself healthy, act as a professional and actually put some work in rather than talking about it.

    I wish him the best but at the moment he is an irrelevance as far as we are concerned. I love him to prove me wrong though.

  23. Cesc Appeal

    How anyone can make comments like ‘Wilshere is just as good as…’ or ‘Wilshere gets in our starting 11’ I do not know, his fitness over the last 4 years has been Diaby level bad and when he has played, our entire set up has had to warp to accommodate his constant losing of the ball and meandering all over the pitch with a total lack of discipline or even basic positional awareness.

    Its amusing as well that people raise his injuries as a reason for his lack of progress, consistency and discipline…like that excuses him. If his injuries were a rarity fine, but that stat that Wilshere has only played 33% of the minutes he could have that was posted on here is shockingly bad.

    If injuries mean we are never entitled to expect Wilshere to develop, find consistency or develop discipline and maturity, we might as well give up on him now.

  24. Leedsgunner


    Fair point but remind me how did that RvP tale end again? RvP didn’t exactly repay our club’s loyalty to him did he?

    I hate to see the club that I love being taken to the cleaners.

    Jack needs to realise we don’t owe him a living, but he owes us to keep fit and perform… that’s why we pay him.

  25. tunnygriffboy


    Why is it that someone who thinks Wilshere is a good player gets called a fanboy ? No one on here today has been falling over themselves to praise him. Everyone thinks he is underserving of a pay rise but some people think he still has something to offer while others think otherwise.

  26. jwl

    Wilshere is not going to develop into player we hoped he would, his health is keeping him back from developing his skills properly, WIlshere has been healthy for only 30% of matches Arsenal have played since he first started playing six or seven years ago, athletes aren’t like cheese or wine which mature and develop automatically with age.

    At best Wilshere will be like RVP who was constantly injured but managed to be healthy for 2-3 years towards end of his career.

  27. Dissenter

    We all hope it isn’t true re; Wilshere contract but deep down we’ve see this movie before.

    Once Wenger latches unto a project, he never lets go.
    If Jack moves to say City and continues his crocked record, city will ditch him to a lower league club like they did to Rodwell.

    I insist that we need a hard nose negotiator like Daniel Levi to run the club.
    Jf Jack comes back and last one full season and is a guaranteed started churning out excellent performances, then I’m all for placing him on the 150k bracket.

  28. tunnygriffboy

    I think that when he gets back he has an important role. He doesn’t start the big games but as an option off the bench, to give players a rest in certain matches it will be good to have him available

    It’s the same with Welbeck and Rosicky. The more options we have the better

  29. Cesc Appeal


    I completely forgot about that…only 5 years ago, silly of me really.

    Everything I just said is redundant, I take it all back 😉

  30. Nasri's Mouth

    Dream10: He is a better dribbler than Ramsey, however the Welshman trumps him in almost all other categories.

    Wilshere is better in possession than Ramsey. His ball control and range of passing is better

  31. Bamford10

    Wait, so we showed patience with a player like RVP (and Ramsey & Walcott for that matter) but Jack Wilshere doesn’t deserve a bit of patience?

    Nonsense. Jack Wilshere has nearly as much talent and promise as RVP did — arguably just as much — and deserves just as much patience from the club. Not a pay raise, mind you, but a bit of patience.

    Some of the Jack-haters above — e.g., Underrated — don’t know a class footballer from a hard-working squad player. Thus on behalf of Jack — whom I still believe can become a great player (if not crocked) — I would like to tell these people to kindly go fuck themselves.


  32. Leedsgunner

    “Its amusing as well that people raise his injuries as a reason for his lack of progress, consistency and discipline…like that excuses him. If his injuries were a rarity fine, but that stat that Wilshere has only played 33% of the minutes he could have that was posted on here is shockingly bad.”

    Maybe it’s case of short term memory loss or the abscence making the heart grow fonder but this well repeated wisdom that Wilshere is some sort of WC talent except for his injuries is flawed if may respectfully say so.

    He’s a decent player, even a good one but a WC one? I can count with one finger the number of games I thought he was WC… we all know which game that was too.

    Now Aguero is a WC player who is injury prone are we saying Wilshere is in the same category… because that’s what it sounds like.

    Aguero despite his injuries comes back strong and it is a rare game when he doesn’t make an impact.

    A WC player can change the game on its head on his own, Aguero does that, Jack doesn’t.

    In my mind we have three WC players… Sanchez, Özil and Cech with Kos.

    Whether Jack wants to become WC is all down to hard work and attitude.

  33. Cesc Appeal


    See the issue is this, ‘when he gets back.’ Raise two questions.

    1) When is that?

    2) For how long will he be back?

    I have no problem keeping him, I do on £110 000 a week but then this is Arsenal, but he cannot have an important role in our squad, or rather, we can never put him in a position where he has an important role.

    For example, lets say in the summer Wenger says he’s happy with he’s got in midfield, Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky gone, Caz turning 32, injury prone Ramsey, but he doesn’t mind because he has Wilshere…that would be stupid. But oh so Wenger.

  34. steve

    Lol Wilshere new deal. Hasn’t done a single thing to earn it. And a salary raise to make it even more ridiculous. Joke of a club.

  35. daz


    Yeah that’s why I can’t stand rvp, come to think of it I don’t remember hearing about rvp or diaby getting large pay increase while they were injured all the time maybe there is something else to Jack getting this increase, a clause in his existing contract maybe?

  36. underrated Coq

    “Why is it that someone who thinks Wilshere is a good player gets called a fanboy?”

    Well, is he? A good player?

    There’s a fine line between a ‘good talent’ and a ‘good player’. Someone who you can never rely on to actually do his job i.e play is not a ‘good player’. Was Diaby a good player? Or would you rather have used the same time and resources on another player? Someone more reliable.

  37. Dissenter

    Manchester city wages bill is currently £193.6 million whilst ours is £192 million.
    One has to wonder why are we paying more money for a lesser quality squad.

    The answer lies between the overpaid British core and not-fit-for-purpose crocks like Arteta.
    There going to be a lot of house keeping for the next manager after Wenger.

    Our SQUAD isn’t £70 million better than Spud’s (their wage bill is (110 million)

  38. tunnygriffboy


    Remarkably I find myself agreeing with Bamford for the second time today though I wouldn’t put it so colourfully 🙂 🙂

    I too think that he has much to offer. Would it be sensible going into the season relying on him as a main man ? No. But as a one of a number of midfielders? Yes

    Flameta and Rosicky will leave. Santi is 32. That leaves Coquelin, Ramsey Jack and a versatile Elneny. With Santi that leaves 5 CM. I would expect another top class midfielder to come in during the summer as well.

  39. Louis Almeida

    At the same time trying to judge Wilshere just off the Barcelona game is also bad. He won young player of the season that year too. He’s a top talent though I agree he should not be getting a payrise

  40. Emiratesstroller

    Personally I think that there is still not enough REAL competition in the squad
    mainly because of our injuries.

    It is highly unlikely for example that both Wilshire and Welbeck will be realistically playing in the starting lineup. Walcott spent most of last season sitting on the bench so I would expect Wilshire to do likewise when he returns.

    What will be interesting is what happens in the summer transfer window. We
    know that there actually 5 holes in squad to fill. Ospina,Debuchy, Flamini,
    Arteta and Rosicky need to be replaced. Elneny fills one of those positions and
    most probably Wenger will bring back one of his goalkeepers to replace Ospina.

    That leaves 3 holes in the squad. With departure of Debuchy I suspect that
    Wenger will recruit an additional defender, because there is noone out on
    loan or in U21s to replace him. Personally I don’t see Jenkinson returning after
    2 seasons out on loan.

    We need also at least one new midfielder. This would be where I would make
    my major investment in the summer either to play in deep position or alongside Sanchez and Ozil.

    The striker position remains as ever a conundrum. At the moment I don’t
    see established players available to provide an upgrade for Giroud who will be sold at realistic prices. Wenger will never go out and spend £70 million +
    on a player even a Messi or Ronaldo, because there will be no sell on value.

    He might buy an Aubameyang aged 26 if he becomes available but only at a
    realistic price. Most probably the ceiling for such a player is £45 million.
    Unfortunately there are other clubs who are willing to pay more.

    I think that it is more likely that he will look at younger striker with potential
    who is a cheaper option e.g. around £20-25 million. Every striker bought by
    Wenger during his time at Arsenal whether it was Anelka, Henry, Van Persie
    or Adebayor fitted that profile. Even Giroud although older was a relative
    unknown when he came to us.

  41. Dissenter

    “Nonsense. Jack Wilshere has nearly as much talent and promise as RVP did — arguably just as much — and deserves just as much patience from the club. Not a pay raise, mind you, but a bit of patience.”

    Hate is a very strong word, not to be used lightly.
    No one is against patience, he has 2.5 years left on a contract; that’s patience enough for me.
    Sorry RVP wasn’t even as crocked as Wilshere so I don’t know where you’re coming from.

    The favoritism doesn’t stop at just wages, it extends to re-re-arranging the team to play him at all cost.
    He needs to earn his contracts and place like everyone else.

  42. daz

    Talking of waste of money for me Rosicky is a worse example than Jack he has been injured ever since we signed him and didn’t have time on his side to get over it at least Jack has a chance he could recover

  43. Cesc Appeal


    People would have been saying the same things you are now about Wilshere, about Rosicky years ago.

    Just like they did Diaby.

    Just like they will Wilshere.

  44. Leedsgunner


    All the potential is useless if you can’t display it on the field.

    In the past 2 years who has been more use to the team? Coquelin or Wilshere? I rather have someone that can play consistently than someone that talks a good game but who is injured all the time. For the amount he’s injured, Jack’s often talking about how young he is. If I was him, I would shut up and put the work in, and let my feet do the talking on the field. He’s 24 he should be hitting his prime.

    Someone should tap him on the shoulder and tell him that Goetze, who is younger than him scored in WC final to win the World Cup and he has a Champion’s League medal.

    When he does that Jack can talk all he wants… I promise.

  45. underrated Coq

    “Some of the Jack-haters above — e.g., Underrated — don’t know a class footballer from a hard-working squad player.”

    Just because one has talent doesn’t mean he should get an easy ride. But then, I suppose you are the sort of moron who thinks natural talent always trumps hard-work and dedication.

    ” Thus on behalf of Jack — whom I still believe can become a great player (if not crocked) — I would like to tell these people to kindly go fuck themselves. ”

    This coming from the guy who spends most his time bashing and deriding everyone and everything Arsenal? Lacking a bit of self-awareness,are we?

  46. Dissenter

    ” I too think that he (Jack) has much to offer. Would it be sensible going into the season relying on him as a main man ? No. But as a one of a number of midfielders? Yes”
    Don’t bet your house on this though.
    Only a dreamer will put money on jack staying fit
    The best predictor of future behaviors, they say are pat behaviors … unless your the Biblical Saul who had a divine confrontation to become Paul.

    Jack’s broken. You really think this is the last serious long term injury he’ll have.
    I’ll remind you when he’s out again for months.

  47. tunnygriffboy


    Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky are experienced players on good wages who will leave in the summer. Elneny has come in on lower wages and another top midfielder will come in to replace them

    Crikey there was a time when we all moaned that we needed to pay better wages to stop players leaving. Yes we’re probably paying certain players too much but at least now we are in a situation where we can afford to pay them and are doing so

    I realise we pay everyone in the squad good money. Wenger has always been big on this. You may not agree but it’s his philosophy. He sees everyone in the squad as important and pays accordingly. Although in recent years there has been a stretching of the wage policy

  48. Alfie

    “Our SQUAD isn’t £70 million better than Spud’s (their wage bill is (110 million)”

    Would you rather our squad for £70m more or Spurs squad?

  49. tunnygriffboy


    Absolutely remember. He was the luxury. I still think he’s worth persevering with though

    Coquelin, Ramsey, Elneny, Santi Xhaka (sp) and Wilshere would be ok. He may even buy another versatile midfielder to play centrally or on the right.

    Do we have a youngster coming through at all to act as 7th choice ?

  50. Cesc Appeal


    I don’t mind hopeful perseverance with him. But not being tied to him for another 5 years on £110 000 a week.

    By all means retain him on his current deal and try to get him fit, give him another 12 months or what have you.

    Just so long as Wenger doesn’t mention his name in the summer.

  51. tunnygriffboy


    Do you not think the midfield options of Coquelin, Santi, Ramsey, Elneny, Xhaka, Wilshere plus option of youngster and at a push Ox and Chambers in emergency would be good enough ?


    Do you not think Jack was dedicated to comeback in such good shape as he did last season ? He looked really sharp with his 5/10yard burst back.

  52. underrated Coq

    ” Would it be sensible going into the season relying on him as a main man ? No. But as a one of a number of midfielders? Yes ”

    You are essentially describing his career. He’s never been our main-man, always been one of a number of midfielders. How’s that worked out? Why is it acceptable and okay? All it does is put pressure on his other fellow midfielders. They have to carry him as a burden along with their own duties.

    Didn’t Koscielny say something related to this recently? A statement about how its tough with having to deal with a number of players who are always out ? Hint of annoyance there and perhaps justified.

  53. Paulinho

    Wilshere will be retired in a year or so so this contract won’t matter.

    This is probably a ‘parting’ gift to the player from the club, and also to keep his spirits up.

  54. Leedsgunner

    “Injuries or not he’s done fuck all for us in the last 5 years.”

    That’s what Wenger SHOULD have opened with when Jack’s agent opened negotiations for a new (never mind improved contract).

  55. Wallace


    “Well, is he? A good player?”

    Xavi and GaryNeville seem to think so.

    what we’re paying him now and in the future is obviously a topic for discussion, but not whether he’s a good player or not.

  56. Cesc Appeal


    Absolutely, if you added Xhaka or the like and then pushed a youngster as well, along with Coq, Ramsey and Elneny being regular options that is easily good enough.

    But, if Wenger gives Wilshere £110 000 a week, my worry is he will treat him like a £110 000 a week player and see him as a vital option regardless of whether he’s actually fit and what the last 4 years of his career evidence.

    Notice how Walcott got £140 000 a week and suddenly he’s a lethal, world class ST?

  57. Mick Kartun

    Is Elneny going to be our only January addition? I thought we were going to have a “busy” transfer window?

    I only look for “ze quality player”, said AW.
    quality my ass, only 5 millions on elneny and the old magoo will waste more money on jack the fucking wheelchair. FFS.

  58. Cesc Appeal


    That’s the thing, he isn’t young any more.

    Its the exact same thing with Walcott, people are still talking him ‘developing’ and reaching his potential, in a few weeks he’s 27.

    Wilshere is 24 and hasn’t played consistent football since he was 19-20 years old, the last team he played consistently for Arsenal for a season his midfield partners were Song and Fabregas, both have moved club, twice, since.

    Means he hasn’t worked the deficiencies out of his game, hasn’t developed his footballing intelligence or discipline, he’s immature off the field and hasn’t developed maturity on it either.

    Keeping him and hoping is fine, but we all know what’s going to happen here.

  59. gambon

    Really dont get all the Wilshere hype.

    He was absolutely way shead of his peers as an 18 year old….but the development hasnt been there.

    I still think he could do a job next to a DM if he ever gets fit, but the fact is, in recent years, we arent a particularly good team when Jack’s in the team.

    Why he is being given a payrise i really do not know….its embarrassing.

    Wenger is so terrible with money….he just constantly gives people unnecessay contracts….then refuses to compete at the top end of the market.

    He thinks quatity ovet quality is the secret to success.

    You only have to look at the utterly ridiculous 4-1-4-1 formation last season to see how he thinks.

  60. Brooklyn

    Cesc, players are young till they are 24-25-26…..not talking about specific Arsenal players….they learn and grow some few years beyond that range.

  61. Paulinho

    Wilshere didn’t really need to work on anything in the middle of the pitch. He was blessed with natural in game intelligence, and at 19 was completely showing up the likes of Song and Denilson in that department. Hard working defensively, and had the brain to realise retreating and playing too safe when pressed was not the way to go. Composure in the final third needed work but he actually did improve on that.

    Wilshere’s strengths became almost a weakness in the last three years and we all know why that is.

  62. Paulinho

    “I still think he could do a job next to a DM if he ever gets fit, but the fact is, in recent years, we arent a particularly good team when Jack’s in the team”

    We’re pretty shit without him.

    When he’s not playing well, he convolutes our play and it lead to us being indecisive in the final third, and muddled at the back because he plays a high risk game, but when he’s at his best he lifts our play to totally different level.

    It means when we don’t get absolutely battered every single time we play a decent side away from home.

  63. gambon


    Guardiola used 4-1-4-1 because he has the players for it and a brilliant number 9.

    Wenger used it because he wanted to get as many central AMs onto the pitch as he could.

    Wenger is the master at putting his babies ahead of the club.

    The fact that Abou Diaby sat and earned 3m pa for doing nothing for so long says it all……the fact that Wilshere is being offered 6m pa to keep the Physio busy is ridiculous.

  64. Louis Almeida

    Good posts Paulinho, I agree.

    The only real weakness Jack had to his game was overdribbling but he even showed signs of an improved final ball, greater range of passing and a wicked shot. He’s the only real midfielder at Arsenal that is comfortable on the ball under pressure and can turn on a sixpence to improve our transitional play. He would always make my first team if fit. Unfortunately this may be a moot discussion since he’s never fit enough to show his ability anymore but the talent is undeniable.

  65. Mick Kartun

    Agreed Gambon.

    Post it a long time ago how wenger broke the the great wall tradition of Petit-Viera or Gilberto-Viera fortress duo as shiel to our back four winning formula just to accomodate the cunt fabregas. It’s disturbing.

  66. underrated Coq

    Wallace, someone who rarely plays is not a good player in my eyes. A sportsman with long-standing health and fitness issues…

    Its like calling someone who is well versed in the theoretical know-how of every operation there is a great surgeon. But whose hands start to shake when given the sharp thing with a patient lying in front of him in the operation room. Like a teacher who has the stage fear. Like a lawyer who is an introvert. Like an absentee billionaire owner who doesn’t actually spend a single pound from his coffers.

    You get my point.

  67. Paulinho

    Louis – Wenger himself said a few weeks back that when you have players that can dribble past players it means you outnumber them somewhere else on the pitch.

    I don’t know why he keeps attributing that talent to Chamberlain though because he can only do it in little cameos and can’t handle being with his back to play at all. It only counts to me if a player can do it facing the play and with his back to play. Most players can do it facing the play, so Chamberlain doing it every now and then doesn’t really mean anything.

  68. Louis Almeida

    Paulino, yes I agree. Ox can not do it with his back to play and sometimes you are not sure if he even has the ball under control. The only way he could play there is if he had a controller type next to him. He’s not really similar to Jack as Wilshere has a better first touch and more reliable close control. I’d probably say Rosicky is the only close comparison and even he prefers to play higher up the pitch like Ozil although he can drive from deep too.

  69. Prince

    I have nothing against Wilshere personally, and yes injuries have played a big part, but besides that he isn’t nearly as good a player as made out to be. His rating is not borne out of reality but rather the fact that he came as a firm fan favorite, and there’s this phenomenon of absences elevating players in people’s minds. Just before Theo came back so many were overstating how critical he was and choosing to remember the good, now reality has reminded everyone what they should have already known.

    So back to Wilshere and let’s dispel a few myths and talking points:

    1) His quality is undeniable, and he’s still young so the future is bright.

    Actually is pretty easily questionable. I get it, he was highly rated when he first came and promoted as Arsenal’s and England’s golden boy, and being a firm fan favourite it’s hard for some people to reconcile that reality has not panned out that way, and it’s not just because of injuries. There’s so much missing from his game, that I think his quality is pretty questionable actually.
    And regarding young, he isn’t THAT young anymore, and in any case it’s not hard to draw up a lengthy list of younger creative/attacking players around Europe who more that are so much more complete and accomplished, that have done so much more at younger ages. A PL example is Coutinho who is actually younger that Wilshere, and is by no means a perfect player but, his catalog of big high quality important goals against the best the Prem has to offer is so impressive.

    Anyway back to Wilshere’s assumed unquestionable quality:
    He’s also completely one footed, has practically no end product, and is seriously weak and so easily pushed off the ball. He’s not a great shooting threat (a handful of goals, if that, a year doesn’t prove otherwise) he isn’t a decisive or great passer either. In fact our possession game is so slow and sideways when he features in the side because he cannot cycle and distribute the ball quickly and decisively.

    2) He has been a dominant presence in midfield in most games he has played for us and has been consistent when actually available.

    This is completely false. The vast majority of Wilshere’s games for us have been forget-ably average or poor. In fact there have been several statistics shown (and it’s been mentioned in this thread) over the years that we have a lesser winning, scoring etc. rate with him playing than not.
    Dominant? Consistent? No. When he does play he is constantly pushed off the ball and spends most of his time with his face down in the grass and not getting up on defense while opponents break the other way, that or spends time moaning after being dispossessed once again, or dribbling into another blind alley, and then often have to lunge into an ill-advised tackle to make up for a poor giveaway (I guess some call that commitment). That’s not dominance. Yes yes yes he had a great game against Barcelona many years ago, I guess he can live off that forever in the mind of some.

    3) He’s improved and he has (potentially) everything in his locker.

    He’s arguably regressed (stagnated at best). Yes again injury plays a role, but not all. Look we have seen it several times before, young talented player comes onto the scene, and is unknown, but more times than not, people quickly figure them out, and if like Wilshere they are limited to excelling in only one or two ways, they like Wilshere, become easier to shut down.
    Considering he’s always going to play off his left foot, and if you don’t over commit when he first receives the ball he has no real pace (beyond his first burst/turn), so defenders play him accordingly knowing he can’t outrun them over distance and certainly cannot physically out-power them. That coupled with no real shooting threat, or final pass threat, he’s become pretty easy to read. The one area he really excelled at when his game wasn’t still widely known or planned for (the first burst and then dribbling), everyone reads as he can’t trouble you any other way really.
    Vision? Average there, he’s often slow to pick up movement and the right pass, hence no decisive passing in the final third, no assist threat, the occasional and I mean very occasional eye catching one two that finally comes off doesn’t change that fact.

    Shooting, goal threat? Where are the goals? The plethora or near misses? Sure feel free to show an example of a great goal, and then anyone can draw up a list of several mid and lower table players with a 1/10th the reputation and hype that have more great goals in their file.
    Defensively sound? Nope. Some lunging last ditch reckless tackles is not sound defense.

    4) He’s better than Ramsey

    Ramsey is a better footballer period. Only one area Wilshere excels more over Ramsey is dribbling and that’s it. And again, that strength has diminished somewhat as everyone knows exactly what he will do and find it much easier to stop him now.

    Further, Wilshere is a poor decision maker (there’s no way around that), especially in comparison to Ramsey (for all his faults) I don’t even know how this is debatable. He runs down blind alleys constantly, and invariably messes up his final ball or does nothing/little decisive with it. Ramsey is and always has been a better player, even when they were younger, people seem to forget all the eye catching goals with both feet that Ramsey scored as a youngster pre-injury, things Wilshere is still yet to do near as much. Simply, one was anointed and hyped as an Englishman, one wasn’t. Ramsey, as flawed as he is, is simply a better footballer.

    5) Look how good he does with England

    Please don’t say anything about England (be it with regards to his goals or ability to play in deep lying roles), players like Welbeck who are very good with England for the most part and cannot replicate it in the league, and there are several more examples. Take a look at Crouch’s strike rate with England it’s legendary! Fact is, England in recent years and especially post the world cup 2014 has overwhelmingly played small, poor footballing nations so there is little correlation with what can happen in the Premier League or Europe.

    Beating up the likes of Estonia, San Marino etc. has no bearing on Premier League reality. When England comes up against meaningful competition in a competitive environment it’s usually always a different story. Put him in a deep lying role in the Prem week in week out and he will be relentlessly overrun and expose the back line (as he regularly does after losing the ball yet again). A Macedonia etc. qualifier/friendly is one thing, the league is another.

    6) He technical ability means he can link up great with Ozil et al.

    One of the biggest problems with Wilshere (also evidenced by our lower win rate and slow passing game when he plays) is that he unbalances the team and forces better players out of position to accommodate him. Considering Wenger invariably plays Wilshere when fit and is determined that he succeeds at all costs, it’s quite plausible that if Wilshere remained fit we would NOT see the best of Ozil as we are now (and Cazorla too), as he/they would still be shunted out wide to cater to him.

    He generally doesn’t have good link up play with Ozil, he hampers his game actually. There are better players for every role Wilshere can potentially play for us; in defensive/central midfield, number 10, wide positions, he’s not our best option in any. He has to be forced into the squad and Wenger does that when he is fit often to the detriment of our game. Do we forget how slow our passing game is with him and how much it frustrates fans? Great passer? I mean he isn’t poor there, but great? I think that’s a myth, his range and accuracy is being overstated here, and he moves the ball slowly.

    7) Because of his dribbling ability he is one of the few we have that can handle a pressing scheme against us

    This is completely false. He absolutely cannot handle severe pressing and pressure and is a complete liability in that regard as he is regularly the most dispossessed player when he plays, constantly losing the ball, or holding onto it way too long and getting fouled (if he’s lucky). He’s far too often pushed off and as said above, complains or lies with his face down yet again as his losing the ball exposed us to another counter. He’s no Iniesta (brought up since people can’t let go of that game against Barca, where he outplayed them and many saw his future as Iniesta type), not even a poor man’s young Iniesta, who being just as small has always been a reliable safety valve (even from his youth) that could be trusted to receive the ball under immense pressure; and with his balance, surprising strength, sharp vision and quick accurate passing, close control and dribbling always be trusted to keep the ball, get free, or make the right decision 9/10 times. Some players have this some don’t, Wilshere doesn’t.

    8) He’s a rare technically brilliant player, what with his surging forward, brilliant one twos etc.

    Actually it’s not that rare to find a player who can surge past his first marker. Positional differences notwithstanding (although all, including Wilshere have recently been used out wide for us) Gervinho, Eboue, and Ox are players that can surge forward into space and beat players at will, yet none are great players.

    I get it, as fans these things get you out of your seat, but if you don’t have the decision making to go along with it after surging into space, and/or like Wilshere have developed little else to your game, it doesn’t make you a great player.

    Also realize those surges into space have gotten less and less, as mentioned, everyone knows Wilshere’s game now as he’s developed little other threat and still to develop a right foot. He’s become pretty easy to read and defend, hence so often losing the ball.

    Yes he CAN play beautiful one twos, but considering that’s practically all he tries, and 9 out of 10 fail to result in anything meaningful, what’s the point? Are we just to remember the one against Norwich or accept that yes it’s pretty when it works, but pretty ineffective, low percentage and predictable. There are no style points in football, I’ll much rather he gets the fundamentals down and improve there.

    In Closing:

    Even if everything I said here you disagree with (feel free and its fine if you do), his fitness unreliability alone makes him not worth it, coupled with his high salary, there is simply no bang for buck. None. The large amount of surgeries, pins and severe or repeated injuries means that he is likely to become more broken, not less broken.

    Lack of mileage is no advantage over a body repeatedly exposed to such stress, scar tissue damage etc. it becomes harder to cope and becomes less resilient…see Diaby with all his low mileage (repeatedly thought to be an advantage). Similarly Diaby was also mythic-ally elevated as some great player when he was out injured, and most forget that in the stretches where he had been decently fit, he was one of the slowest decision making, frustrating players we had. Most of his games were average or poor, yet the times he would gallop past 4 or 5 players (invariably to screw up with his final ball) is what people chose to remember, much like Wilshere.

    Lastly, while I genuinely don’t care much about off the field stuff, nor am I interested in being a moral police, his lack of maturity and professionalism (if not for anything else other than being repeatedly silly to get caught again e.g. smoking, or repeat the same offenses e.g. bad language at the Cup parades again) off the field, really makes me question his maturity, smarts and even respect for his boss (anyone can say the right things, actions matter more).
    I’m not sure the headache is worth it for a player (yes talented player) who is pretty one dimensional in his play, ridiculously injury prone, and unbalances the team.

    To some people this will be interpreted as “hate”, seems the norm these days, So whatever. I love arsenal, players come and go, just call it as I see it, no matter who it is.

    I do hope he proves everyone, only because (as evidenced with this contract) Wenger will persist with him at all costs, so knowing we will be stuck with him no matter what, it’s in everyone’s best interest that he does well. However, in a few years I suspect he’ll be at a mid-table team at best.

  70. Ughelligunner

    How do we know the terms of jack wilshere’s contract?
    For all we care, it might be increased with performance related benefits or reduced. Same with the others. Why are arsenal fans so interested in this players salary and yet they tell wenger to focus on football and leave the money part to the professionals.
    The Arsenal is a huge club with season financial professionals who know their jobs. We should learn to take all this tabloid dailies concerning salaries lightly because no body would rightly mention it, only guess work.

    Pls don’t forget the telegraph who told us last season that our wage bill was more than chelsea’s and people were spitting daily blood, until the club gave us the real deal and the journalist back tracked.

  71. Spanishdave

    Our weakness is our so called British core, they all are injury prone for long periods and very average overpaid Joes.
    They really don’t earn their corn and hold us back

  72. Ughelligunner

    If it isn’t Girouds, its the ox, walcot and now wilshere and funny all are always geared towards their pay.
    The British players especially walcot and wishere have image rights higher than most arsenal players except ozil and sanchez even though they are always injured. These should be taken into account.

  73. Ughelligunner

    Daz, its called image right, this help the players like walcot and wilshere in their negotiation.
    Do you know depay has the most marketable Jersey sales in England? With his rubbish play.

    When Rooney was still 21 yrs old his image right was higher than Henry’s.

    Walcot and wilshere have special squad numbers on the back that endure fans to them and also they create this moment of magic that help sell their cause even when injured. They are British too.

  74. Dissenter

    What image rights are you referring to.
    When I’ve bought jerseys for my two kids over the past 6 seasons, I ‘be never considered either of Walcott or Wilshere.
    It’s the best players that sell shirts not crocks who are there to fulfill a quota and tie the club to the community.

  75. seg

    OK, how long does it take to acknowledge the disparity between potential and reality? Wilshere is getting the new deal on nothing but sentiment. Even Stevie Wonder could see it.

  76. VJoe.


    So we should waste our money on crocs and players that aren’t good enough to sell some shirts?

    Why don’t we win some Fucken league trophies first before we over pay players because they sell a few shirts.

    Win some league trophies and compete in the CL and the shirts sell themselves

  77. VJoe.

    A new deal is the last thing Jack
    Deserves. Let him go to city or Liverpool. Let them waste thier money. Bring me rues or gotze instead. Trust me, thier shirts will sell
    A lot more than jacks

  78. Tippitappi

    just read the post , can’t really be serious about wenger firing the team up !/ I’d like to fire him out of the ground once and for all