Well hello everyone. Feels like I’ve been out the game during the most exciting points of the last two months. Wins, players, it’s all happening. I headed back to the UK for a wedding where I had to read a poem I was asked to write… and get this, it wasn’t about Arsenal. But secretly, the metaphor was all about Arsenal.
‘Imagine you’re watching Arsenal beat Spurs at the Emirates to win the Premier League’
That was the vibe. What a glorious vision. Who was playing you say?
Well, I can tell you a few names that likely weren’t be playing in that vision.
Serge Gnabry, fresh off the back of being voted player of the Olympics, may be off to Bayern Munich, then immediately shunted out to Werder Bremen on loan. Not sure where I stand on this one. Ripping up Olympic football is a bit like beating up a group of 12 year olds and showing the video to girls in the pub in the hope of some action. We can’t read too heavily into that. However, he’s clearly a talent. Low centre of gravity, speed to burn, very direct and with the technique you expect of a German.
However, you gotta look at the facts here. Wenger has a right-wing that’s been desperately short of anything interesting in a while. If you can’t break into the team when Theo is falling over his insecurities and Chamberlain is doing his best to make overhitting passes look like a skill, then you’re struggling. Also worth noting that even Tony Pulis didn’t fancy him. I’d heard it was an attitude issue. Going all Billy big bollocks after scoring a goal and giving one away against Schalke a few years ago.
BUT. Bayern want him. That always is a cause for concern. One pal said he feared we were dropping a KDB like error. I have my doubts.
Callum Chambers has been shipped off to Boro. I seriously suspect that had a lot to do with Rob Holding smashing it preseason / in the games he’s started this year. I think the plan would have been to have Holding out on loan. Aitor Karanka gets his defensive cover, hopefully he can take the best bits of his game, give them a lift and cut out some of the horror errors he tends to make at least every 26 minutes.
The BIG news is that Jack Wilshere has been told he’s surplus this season. Have to say, I half expected it, because the route into our team has looked extremely tough, made harder by his appalling injury record and lack of position. I saw a stat that said he had 36 England caps and he’s barely made 80 Prem starts for us. Beyond awful. Actually, tbf, I thought we’d lose him or Ramsey. But Ramsey stays fitter for averagely 9 games before tweaking something. Jack breaks down in training.
Good news is most of the league will be interested in him. More tantalising, Juventus are monitoring him 2 years after having a bid rebuffed by Arsene for his services. That would be amusing. Jack Wilshere telling the waiters in Turin, ‘Speeeakkkaah zee English you melts.’ It’d also be great banter to hear him do one of those foreign accent English press conferences like Steve Mcclaran or Joey Barton. Sadly, it’ll probably be Palace or a team that is not exactly a developmental stepping stone.
My interest in this move is so detailed. Does Wenger have a plan for the loan outside minutes? Because look, for me, the big issue is Jack is a positional refugee. Wenger plays him out on the right, he also tells us he can play in the number 10 role he’d never take off Ozil. Hodgson played him in the deep-lying playmaker position for England, where he won a bunch of MoM awards. Then you can obviously play him in that centre midfield position where he can break lines, pick out passes and leave his leg in too long and break something.
Which Jack Wilshere does Wenger want back?
Personally, I’d love him to go to Italy. I think learning a new culture would be great for him…
‘Jack, I know you’re disappointed, but spaghetti neither comes tins here, nor in a hooped variety’
It’d be good for him to experience something that pushes him mentally. He could work under one of the smartest managers in the world, evolve his thinking, learn how to play in a disciplined system and ease into fitness in a slightly less intense league.
I like the plan.
The worry we all have is that our squad feels like it’s maybe lacking a few bodies now. We know our players break. We know Wenger makes very big errors fitness wise when things go wrong. We know the Premier League is tough. Jack wants a new deal though. Which is positive. I also think Wenger, being a man who struggles with conflict, might recognise that Jack is a bit of a boy and he might be disruptive if asked to mince around on the bench all season. Always a worry that Wenger does not like a ‘tell it as it is’ character in the dressing room. Great when you’re winning, shite when you’re on a 5 game sadness streak.
Still, if Wenger is moving Jack on… and he does see him as a number 10, it’s a big thumbs up to the mercurial Iwobi. Big season for a young guy makes me very happy.
Our squad looks interesting this season. Everyone I spoke to about the Watford game tells me Xhaka looks the powerhouse we were hoping to see this season. Arteta with legs and aggression was how my dad described it. Actually, talking of my old man, he said Holding and Koscielny look the best defensive partnership since the invincibles. Big words, ten pints in, but big words!
I’m looking forward to seeing what Perez can offer up front. He’s an unconventional signing, but hey, when you can’t get what you need, sometimes you have to head down that route. He managed more assists than Cesc last season and 17 goals isn’t bad in a garbage team. Hopefully we’ve properly done our homework.
Left back is looking a bit weak this season. I always worry about players when they hit 29 (Monreal) and I’ve never been convinced by Kieran Gibbs. Shocked he wasn’t moved on this season. Right back is a little more secure if Debuchy can actually find some form this year. Would have preferred to sell him and bring in someone who could challenge Bellerin.
Biggest worry this season is the right side of midfield. Theo Walcott has looked aggressive, focused and impressive so far this season. We’ve seen it before, so I won’t get too excited, but it’s a promising start. Same with Chambo, looks good for 3 games, then gets injured and it’s just excuses for the rest of the season. I’d have sold one of those and brought in some new blood.
You never know, we might make a last-minute move for Sturridge and put Perez on the right. Doubt it, but one can dream!
Right, enough words for you today. See you in the morn.