Jack Wilshere is piping up in the media.
“I look around this team and you can’t question our character,”
“People try and put us down, they always have.
“We did certain things wrong at Watford but we certainly didn’t want to let the lead slip. We will move on.”
Good on ya Jack. I think if you were honest about the squad, you’d totally agree it’s average, but I like that he’s taking a bit of leadership for a team he’ll no doubt be leading tonight when he drops another 10/10 performance.
Character has always been an issue with Arsene teams. Even back in the day, we often struggled to recover from bad defeats. Remember how bad things went after Rooney cheated to break our 49 game unbeaten run? Countless examples pit our history. Wenger has never been curious enough to study why our teams lack a backbone. For him, it’s a simple choice, you bring big characters into the dressing room to fix the attitude, or you hire nice boys that’ll keep things ticking over but never push beyond ‘ok.’
Wenger has a squad full of quiet names who don’t care for pushing themselves forward. Not all the players, of course. But a chunk large enough to continuously have lapses of concentration when it matters.
The manager doesn’t help, it must be said.
“We don’t listen too much to what people say, I know who my players really are.
“I love my players and I trust their strength of character to respond quickly.”
His continued protection of substandard performances might seem noble, but it clearly doesn’t work does it? Many managers use the press to let the fans and players know what the standard is. Wenger doesn’t. He mollycoddles, tolerates the lapses and we are where we are.
I’m still enjoying not being in the CL. I stand by my comments over the past 5 years. What’s the point in playing in a competition you have next to zero chance of winning? It’s not like we learn from our mistakes and redress the issues. That’s why Europa will be more fun. We have a better chance of winning the competition, and I quite enjoy seeing the kids properly tested.
Hopefully Wenger takes that approach this evening. Give me some Rhys and Maitland-Niles! I don’t even mind a bit of Theo at this level.
One man who is happy to see Wenger is the Belgrade coach.
“Even if they fielded a rotated team, that wouldn’t mean that they are underestimating us – Arsene Wenger doesn’t ever underestimate anyone.
“We’ll host one of the best clubs in the world, a club that competes in, what is for me, Europe’s strongest league.
“It is a sell-out, our fans have already won. Now it’s up to us to do the same. We’re in it together.”
It’s like going on a date with a substandard person, so damn grateful. Should be fun.
See you on the other side. x