Gareth Southgate outrage misplaced

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Unreal watching Arsenal fans lose their minds over Gareth Southgate’s comments about Jack Wilshere and where he should play.

Have we learned NOTHING.

#1 Jack not playing during international week is a GOOD thing

One minute we’re lambasting Spurs for dropping Harry Kane out of an England friendly because of the competitive advantage. The next, we’re losing our minds that Jack Wilshere — a player who has spent most of his career injured — is not part of a pretty bland squad playing a pointless game. He needs to be looked after, not overplayed.

#2 Jack should play deeper, via Gareth Southgate

“Jack played as a number 10 all of last season on loan at Bournemouth,”

“That is not the way we are playing. When we have played with a 10, we have had Dele and (Adam) Lallana. But we are not playing with a 10 tomorrow.

“I don’t think Jack is a 10. I think he is a deeper player, but he is not playing deeper. You’d have to ask Arsene (Wenger, the Arsenal manager) why that was.”

This sent the internet into a spin. I have no idea why. Most of Jack’s success for England came from a deeper lying midfield position. In fact, he liked playing there so much, he made a public plea for more of the same at Arsenal.

‘I wouldn’t mind playing there for Arsenal,’

‘I’ve already spoken to the manager about it and he doesn’t see me playing that holding role just yet. That’s his decision.

‘At the moment Mikel Arteta is injured and Mathieu Flamini is playing that role. It’s down to him.’

Bloody Flamini!

Anyway, point being, he saw a chance to develop in a deeper role. Also, let’s be honest, it’s been clear for a while he’s not really the baller number ten we’d hoped for. He spent a season at Bournemouth as a #10 and dropped, what, 2 assists and 0 goals in 22 PL appearances? Hardly inspiring numbers.

But on a positive, let’s be real here, we have a big, big problem with Xhaka. Could Jack help there? Is he more suited to that deeper position? He doesn’t quite have the pace, but sheesh… Matic isn’t exactly Usain Bolt and he offers a lot to United, and my nan is faster than Xhaka.

The future of Jack, if he can stay fit, could be very interesting in that deeper role. He’s more mobile than Xhaka, has the same range of passing, makes far less mistakes and he can break the lines with his dribbling skills. He’s also proved himself in that role at international level.

I wonder why Wenger doesn’t see the opportunity?

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75 Responses to “Gareth Southgate outrage misplaced”

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  1. Micheal

    We have a dysfunctional midfield. And I share most people’s concern about Jack.

    But if ever there was a time to give him a run out, it has to be now. Can he seriousoly make things worse ? I doubt it.

  2. Ishola70

    Said before so many players would be a better fit than Xhaka atm.

    The only thing is people have short memories regarding Jack and his absence has elevated him in some people’s eyes.

    When he played previously in a deeper lying role for Arsenal he was prone to immaturity in that position, Running with the ball when he shouldn’t and getting caught in possession, lunging into tackles when he shouldn’t and generally not having great defensive awareness in that position.

    But as Xhaka is of such concern the natural decision should be to replace with him Jack even if ultimately Jack will not be the full answer to that problem position either.

    It will be interesting to see how this Wenger and Xhaka situation plays out. If Wenger continues to see Xhaka as automatic first choice for the rest of the season then it will be very damaging to Wenger himself. The only way I can see Wenger avoiding real damage if he continues to play Xhaka is a formation change and he brings somebody in to hold Xhaka’s hand and do all the graft and dirty work for him. Swiss media have admitted basically that Xhaka is an ultimate luxury player and needs someone alongside him to do the dirty work. This is the case in the past and now with the Swiss national team and with Moechengladbach. Xhaka and Ozil in the same line-up is one too many of the luxury player type.

  3. Mark

    Wenger is like the Mr Magoo of football. Can’t see what the team needs, can’t see upcoming starlets anymore, can’t see why he should watch his opponents.

    Can’t see for shit!

  4. HillWood

    All I remember about Wilshere when he actually played was him losing the ball , falling over and sitting on his ass waving his arms in the air

  5. Cesc Appeal


    With you there.

    I think Wilshere is totally overrated as a player, loses the ball a lot and then as you say just collapses as if he thinks everything is a foul.

    At this point I would give him a go because our midfield is actually painful to watch, but I would be sweeping the lot of them out.

  6. ArseneisaFraud

    falling over and sitting on his ass waving his arms in the air

    If ever there was a statue of Jack, this would be it: Jackie boy sitting on his arse, waving his arms up with the WTF? face one would put to try and convince the ref that this was a foul!!

  7. Thorough

    I’ll go Jack-AMN in front of the back 3 against the Totts. AMN is a more rounded player than all our other midfielders.
    And I’ll play an attack of Sanchez, Welbeck and Lacazzete.
    As we’re already out of Co tuition in the league we might as well use this time to try new things.
    Afterall Schezny had his debut against Man United and was out top choice for 2-3years afterwards.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    Interesting game against Spurs, its a derby game so you can never fully predict it even though Spurs really should be beating us comfortably as the far better side.

    I think we will make a go of it in terms of effort, the players cannot really do anything but, but I think the way Spurs play runs completely against us in terms of their physicality and work rate.

  9. Cesc Appeal

    Germany should easily sweep England aside tonight, given all the injuries that England side does not look great at all.

  10. Pierre

    Hey Don.. Where are you

    Have a look at what they are saying about Jack… Bloody hilarious

    People expect to be taken seriously on here and they come out with shit like that.

    I know I said we need a bit of humour on here and it looks like the 3 stooges have arrived.
    Cesc Appeal, Arsenaesiafraud and hillwood.

  11. ArseneisaFraud


    Mate, what I wrote was a joke. If you have followed my previous posts I am totally supportive of Jackie boy. I really want to see him shine and become an Arsenal legend. It’s such a shame that his injuries have curtailed him becoming such a player this far.

  12. Boomslang

    Let’s pretend Wilshere isn’t broken, and he is the second coming of Christ. Primed and ready to take us to ze next level.

  13. alexanderhenry

    Not a single arsenal player in the England squad. That is disappointing, even taking into account how shit international football is these days.
    What happened to Arsenal’s ‘English core’?

  14. Samesong

    Loftus Cheek got a presence about him he’s impressed me so far. Abraham looks like he can cause some problems too. A Adebayor type.

  15. Cesc Appeal

    Decent performance so far from a very young or sort of cobbled together England side.

    Germany’s quality will likely tell eventually though.

  16. alexanderhenry


    If Wenger sells wilshire it will incense most arsenal fans.
    This isn’t because he’s necessarily that good- like a lot of arsenal fans, i think he could be but the jury’s out. It’s more to do with the fact that he’s young and he’s one of ‘ours’- home grown arsenal born and bred.

    He’s still young and I, like most gooners think he deserves another chance.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    Could not give less of a shit if Wenger sold Wilshere, would only be angry he waited until January to do it.

    Could and slap in the face obviously should have totally revamped our midfield in the summer.

  18. Cesc Appeal

    Fair play to that England team, lots of hard work and got at Germany.

    Did not think they would touch them with that side but did really well.

    Loftus-Cheek did himself no harm at all, very good performance, Trippier was good again, as was Pickford, Gomez had a decent game as well.

  19. graham62

    Dear Pedro and all fellow bloggers

    As the prison van is due to arrive at 0700hrs tomorrow morning, here is my final post on Le Grove,with a few added bonuses(curve balls) thrown in for good measure.

    Over these past seven months, I have been allowed to convey my own very rigid and personal opinions on AFC and, specifically, Mr Arsene Wenger.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to communicate directly with a diverse cross-section of fans, with their own steadfast views and take on matters.

    My “old school” principles and philosophies have left some of you flummoxed, as has my sarcastic/tongue in cheek feedback, which I know has sometimes been a wee bit ott.

    You see, as far as I’m concerned, it’s all very simple. Yes, AW helped to transform the club and create a culture and style of play that became the envy of the world. He earnt our respect with his footballing philosohies and ideals that, at the time were state of the art and exhilerating for us all.

    HOWEVER!…………..,and this is the key point in all of this, somewhere along the line we, as fans, lost sight of what AFC stands for and, significantly, our own roles when it came to questioning things that were clearly not right.

    I decided to take a step back in 2008, cancelling my membership, as well as my own personal investment in the club. I suppose in away I was accepting the inevitable. Arsene Wenger was consuming the club.

    I knew back then we were ######. The signs were there for all to see and had been for several years. Defensive frailties, regular and predictable implosions, a lack of leaders/winners, psychological brittleness, the boring and repetitive rhetoric, a lack of transparency and, most importantly, total disrespect shown towards the fans.

    My son, who is 23, has retained his Silver membership, but has not been to a game for over 3 years. He feels the same as I do, fed up with this never ending cycle of delusional crap and excuses that has been dished out season after season.

    Yes, we have a weak owner and board, incapable of acting logically and dealing with those things we expect them to act on. This has given Wenger the space to operate without being questioned, giving him the power and ammunition to dictate his own terms. Basically he became untouchable.

    I think we can all agree that Wenger has, in recent years, become a weak and pathetic figure and although there are still those who, amazingly, trust in him, the vast majority see him for who he is.

    I will return to Le Grove only when Wenger has left the building. Going ‘upstairs’ is not a solution. He must be driven out, literally, to allow the club to blossom once again.

    I love my ARSENAL and am as passionate and committed as anyone when it comes to showing this, BUT, like so many others I now feel alienated/disconnected from something that has been a major part of my life for nearly 50 years.

    Spuds at home next week could be the catalyst we need to finally end this nightmare. As a gooner, wanting Spurs to beat us is unthinkable, but in this particular case, I feel it is a must to help push the fans over the edge.

    Wenger must go and if it means getting personal abuse in the process, I would take it all day long.

    Thanks and Good luck to you all.

  20. HillWood

    Wenger could assemble this motley crew of crocs and desperados from our current squad

  21. Cesc Appeal

    England have got some decent young prospects coming through, just a question of whether we can actually transition them.

    Such a big element is the fact they all end up on massive wages far too early in the EPL and just stagnate as compared to young players in Europe who really push for it until they establish themselves properly.

    I’m glad Sancho is playing at BvB, I think it says a lot that a lot of international teams have players who play across all kinds of different leagues whereas the England team seems to be mainly or totally from the EPL.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    I’m glad Rooney is finally out of the way for England, Pickford has been really making a case for himself, a central midfield core of Dier, Henderson, Alli and then an attacking line up of Sterling or Welbeck, Kane, Lallana would be great, then a nice smattering of young talent in the squad as well like Rashford, Loftus-Cheek etc.

    Nowhere close to the top sides like France still, but at the very least I think we can be an interesting side if we play to our strengths which is the physical side of things, work rate, strength, pace and directness.

  23. Carts

    Saw only the second half of England. From what was on show, I didn’t expect much from a midfield of RLC—Dier—Livermore. However, a few heads didn’t themselves no harm out there tonight.

    What I will say is this: Hart needs to be replaced as #1 and I think he will in time for the WC

  24. Cesc Appeal

    Thought Hummels had a good game as well.

    Sane is developing into some player.

    Interested to see how Germany line up in the big games, if that was a full strength England side even in a friendly I doubt they would have gone with Gundogan and Ozil as a central pairing.

    Some big names are going to have to drop out.

  25. Carts

    Hummels made so classy tackles in he second half. He’s a real baller!

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Can got more of feature, though you’d expect Kroos to be a shoe-in when fit.

    How do you think Ozil did? Hoddle seemed to imply he was he best player on the pitch…

  26. Cesc Appeal


    I didn’t think so, some bright moments but not really outstanding, Loftus-Cheek had a better game than him, Sane as well, was by no means bad, was ‘good’ I would say.

    I actually thought he was going to be better given the England team, thought he would play as he does when he plays a lower level EPL side but England played well.

    For me Goretzka has to get a look in as well, that means Khedira, Kroos, Can, Gundogan and Goretzka for the central midfield slots and probably others as well.

    Ozil will have to compete with the likes of Sane, Draxler, Gotze, Brandt etc for the attacking midfield slots.

    I wouldn’t play him, but then I don’t like Ozil as a player. He is big in Germany though so I expect him to start.

  27. Carts


    Interestingly enough, Hoddle made a good point earlier, similar to one you’ve made as far back as last season, that Bakayoko isn’t £35m better than RLC.

    And as Hoddle said, surely giving RLC a look in made more sense than £35m on a player the same age from France.

    Ah, Goretzka and Khedira, I forgot about them two. That German MF is definitely stacked! I fully expect Loew to show-horn Ozil I’m by any means necessary. Something they could pay the price for, against a very attack side next summer.

  28. Dissenter

    -Watch all the Netflix prison shows before you go in
    -Take a fiber glass toothbrush, that way you’ll have a sturdy shank to defend yourself with.
    -Get an Arsenal tattoo on your face and a Wenger tattoo on your bum, that way everyone in the can will feel sorry for you.

    Running away because of Wenger is pathetic.

  29. raptora

    Be safe friend. Arsenal will come back to glory days again one way or another. Although I think it might need another 10 years of our lives before it happens.

    Germany’s team sports director Oliver Bierhoff:
    “We feel that England, because of the amount of money you have with TV rights, young talented players like Leroy Sane and [Schalke’s] Leon Goretzka are moving to England and this is not good for our league but also for the quality of our game”


  30. Jim Lahey

    “As the prison van is due to arrive at 0700hrs tomorrow morning”

    Is this some form of metaphor that I am just not getting…??

  31. Dissenter

    Graham said the other day that Friday (yesterday) would be his last day because he was staying away until Wenger leaves Arsenal..
    I cheekily suggested that his scheduled withdrawal was ruse to cover his incarceration at the local HM prison. He ran with that notion in the name of banter and since then it’s generated a lot of memes.

  32. Cesc Appeal


    They certainly have a lot of options in central midfield.

    Gortezka has to get in there, I really think he could be a special player. He just has it all and I think he could be turned into a really great goal scoring central midfield player.

    He is available on a free this summer coming as well, fully expect an absolute brawl over him.

    Interesting slip about him coming to England, hard to really guess where he might end up though I would be shocked if it was us as we slide down the prestige tables and frankly a young player would be nuts to come here.

  33. Dissenter

    I don’t think Germany need Ozil to defend the World Cup. You can say the same of Thomas Muller.
    Joachim Low may decide to choose energy and industriousness over Özil’s style. They have plenty of options.
    It may seem like heresy…just think about it first.

  34. Pierre

    Germany are rated number one side in the world…. Mesut özil has been voted number one german player for the last 5 years…
    Why would jochim Low omit özil from the starting line up.. No way.

    I Watched the game last night and it seems like everyone was eulogising over the performance of loftus cheek.
    OK, he had a decent game but özil was a class above him last night without breaking sweat.

  35. Cesc Appeal



    I would drop him as well and go with a younger more physical team. But the thing is commercially Ozil is just huge in Germany, the equivalent of what Beckham was over here.

    Germany have so much talent though, interested to see if they get a Rooney situation with him where people are calling for him to be dropped as a weak link in the chain.

    Last night in terms of that midfield, he had Loftus-Cheek and Livermore in his area and still was not really great, he was decent enough, some good moments, then having Vardy and Abraham behind him, if that was Henderson, Alli, Kane, Lallana etc instead no way he plays there in which case now you have to drop one of Draxler or Sane and that is without considering Muller, Gotze etc.

    Going to be tough, I can see him getting in because of how big he is in Germany still, but that maybe starting to fade as young players improve unless he shows for Germany in a way he does not for Arsenal.

  36. Cesc Appeal

    Germany actually have a real selection dilemma coming.

    Do they usually go with four at the back?

    Lowe likes a 4-1-4-1 doesn’t he? Or 4-5-1?

    In which case, is it Khedira deep usually? Or Kroos, with Gundogan in there, I’d be playing Goretzka as well but then you have Can to consider, that leaves two attacking midfield slots for the likes of Sane, Draxler, Muller, Gotze, Brandt, Reus, Ozil etc.

    Serious headache, great one, but still.

  37. Samesong

    I Watched the game last night and it seems like everyone was eulogising over the performance of loftus cheek.
    OK, he had a decent game but özil was a class above him last night without breaking sweat.

    Ozil played a very disciplined deep midfield role which allowed midfielders to run for him. So yeah agree with the not breaking sweat thing.

    What I don’t agree with in my opinion is he didn’t totally outshine RLC and no one was going crazy over him another exaggeration on your part.

    Apart from Sane crossbar shot England were quite comfortable and tight in midfield, if anything that pass to Vardy from rlc should of ended with a goal.

  38. Cesc Appeal


    Lingard should have won it at the end as well.

    Though to be fair Pickford made two great saves from Werner and Jones made a great headed clearance from Sane’s follow up to Werner’s effort.

    I thought Gomez for England had a good game as well, wants to be converted into a CB so Klopp might give that a go.

  39. Pierre

    If you watch the game back you will see that loftus cheek was on the periphery of the game and although looking comfortable on the ball and was composed throughout, his contribution was limited. I really like his style of play, very similar to özil when you analyze it, keeps it simple, rarely gives the ball away, he is physically stronger (who isn’t), but in my opinion özil has had a much bigger influence on the game.
    If loftus cheek continues to progress and achieves half of what özil has achieved then he will have had a fantastic career.
    Lets hope the English public have as much knowledge of the game as the germans and allow loftus cheek to grow and mature into playing a pivotal role for England as özil has done for Germany.

  40. Cesc Appeal


    The thing is as well you have N’Zonzi sat on a release clause, Danilo sat on a release clause, you have Goretzka who will be available on a free in the summer, we could have been smart in the summer gone and got Matuidi as part of a Sanchez deal.

    You have others out there like Cyrpien, Diawara, Jorginho etc.

    We just will never get them, Wenger has not been able to build a balanced midfield for about six or seven years now, and even the Fabregas, Song, Nasri or Wilshere midfield still was not totally right as Song did not really play a disciplined CDM role due to bad coaching.

    This summer we could have got N’Zonzi and Matuidi in to totally create a new central pairing for the cost of £37 Million.

    We all know though that this summer Arsenal will drag their balls across sandpaper trying to bring in one reasonably decent name to cover for the loss of Sanchez and Ozil and they will make it look as hard as humanly possible.

    I can see us spending all summer trying to land one of Lemar, Fekir or Draxler and then being told Wilshere or Nelson or whatever is going to be the other answer.

    Our central midfield is total garbage, but having paid £35 Million for Xhaka and having a hard on for Ramsey, no way Wenger is going to change it while he is here.

    So just fingers crossed Wenger goes otherwise, as you were.

  41. Leedsgunner


    “I can see us spending all summer trying to land one of Lemar, Fekir or Draxler and then being told Wilshere or Nelson or whatever is going to be the other answer.”

    Then what is most likely happen?

    Wilshere will succumb to injuries — and be missing for large parts of the season next year… but he will be kept on just to bolster Wenger’s claim that we have a big squad — we don’t need to buy anyone else nonsense.

    Nelson will have a breakout season — Wenger will be hailed as a genius for “discovering him” and he will be awarded a too much money too soon, go off the boil, lose form motivation and become average or injury prone (or both).

    We’ve seen it happen too often before — Bellerin, Chambers, Iwobi all made great starts to fanfare then sizzled out into averageness.. or lost in the vicious cycle of continual injury and recovery.

    What Wenger doesn’t understand is the reason he was able to elevate Pv4 and Henry to greatness was because they had class pros to learn from around them. This combined with their innate skill took them up to the next level.

    That’s why losing Sanchez is not just bad for the playing squad now but the message it sends to our youngsters…

    Who do you think would have more to offer the youngsters watching Sanchez or Coffee Machine Walcott?

    PS : Apparently Barca is now interested in Fekir and Lemar. If this is true, we might as well forget them.. Wenger doesn’t have the stomach for a transfer fight. THat’s why we have the most tillustrious “I could have signed” list of world football.

  42. Cesc Appeal


    This is the thing we’re stuck in a never ending loop.

    That is why for so many fans Wenger signing on and hearing him say he has no intention of retiring was just the end of their enthusiasm for this club.

    What you have seen for the last ten years you will see for the next ten years, same mistakes, same approach, same stubbornness, same running of the club as if it is a real chore, same amateur decisions, same lack of evolution on or off the field, same approach of basically trying to do just enough to give the appearance of a football club without actually putting the work in.

  43. Leedsgunner

    I for one wish we never moved in the Emirates… we’ve completely wasted 10 years of strategic advantage that a new stadium gave us. Bringing in some of the most match day revenue in the EPL week in and week out and what do we have to show for it?

    Star players wanting to leave us.
    Club being unable to compete with the best best players for wages and transfers.
    No UCL football.

    This season, under Wenger’s outdated leadership, it’s as if the move to the Emirates hasn’t even happened at all! What was the point of the new stadium if we continually CHOOSE not to compete to the best of our ability?

  44. Leedsgunner


    I know I may come across as a moaner but I really really hate to see Arsenal do badly… and it annoys me no end that we see the same mistakes being made by Wenger on the field… and the Board continually give him a carte blanche and let him get away with it!

    The powers that be at Arsenal have utter contempt for us. They are the real hypocrites and the villains in this piece.

    Sure, sure they are happy to drink the champagne and attend the red carpet receptions at the “89” premier and talk about how they want to bring Arsenal back into success.

    Please. Try to fool someone else.

    As long as they are bringing the cash, it would not bother them one bit if we didn’t win the EPL for the next 50 years.

  45. Jim Lahey

    One thing we can all agree upon is the existence of the toxic miasma which surrounds the club. From top to bottom the club is rotting away. Fans voting against the appointment of board members and booing them off stage. Our fan based is divided and at each others throats on blogs and in the stadium, the atmosphere during the games is malignant. There is no unity in the squad, certain players won’t pass the ball to others..

  46. Pierre

    I do share your sentiments and many of the mistakes we make year after year seem obvious but we never seem to learn from them.
    Why Wenger stayed on for another 2 years god only knows… He has repeated the same mistakes this season.. Failure in the transfer window.. Failure to get the team prepared for the start of the season.. Failure in his team selections, especially against Liverpool and city.

    I always live in hope that it will all click and we will go on an amazing run as in 1997/98 season when we were down and out in November after losing at home 3-1 to Blackburn…can’t see it though.