So it turns out the reason Iwobi had a slightly better game than usual was an appearance he made a friends rave. He was pictured at 2:37am enjoying himself, likely jumping on the team bus at 10am the next day.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all done worse if you’re completely honest. We’ve all done worse with important meetings the next day. It happens.
I’ll tell you what’s wrong here, another young player disrespecting the manager. This is a broader pattern. It’s not just bad behaviour off the pitch, it’s not giving a fuck in general, and it being allowed to fly.
Could be Alexis skulking around like a brat on the sidelines, could be Chezzer smoking cigarettes or doing stupid things at parties, could be Jack Wilshere being a total lad in a London nightclub, could be Theo just existing in our squad.
It all flies with Wenger. Nothing is off limits in terms of discipline.
Iwobi’s behaviour isn’t surprising, firstly, remember he’s a kid and that’s what you do at that age. I don’t really care that much about the incident in isolation, I’m more concerned about what it means for the bigger picture of Arsenal. A place of relaxed rules an norms, because the manager didn’t need to have them when he first arrived. All his key players had already made their mistakes, and were there to keep the younger boys in check.
You wonder where that sort of guidance is in the current setup?
As a side note, people who sell pictures to newspapers are utter scum. Papers that report on the drugs, because it casts doubts over the character of a young black man are even worse. You’ll find drugs in every bar, pub and fine dining eatery in London. Insidious reporting, totally irrelevant unless the player was smashing back fat lines at the kitchen table in his pants while his mates Facebook Live’d it.
Wenger needs to dish out some punishment for this, because the optics when you consider the result are really poor. Leave him on the bench for month, I mean, not like his performances don’t deserve that regardless.
In other news, in a world of consistent footballing inflation, Arsenal have charitably decided to buck the trend. 8 months after the Franny Coquelin penned a new long-term deal, the club are flogging him on for £10m. For reference, Spurs managed to sell Nabil Bentaleb for a whopping £18m last summer. Unreal business from Arsenal. As someone mentioned on Twitter, regardless of price tag this represents a golden moment for Arsenal.
What I hope is this: The removal of the Frenchman is less reflective of an Arsene Wenger flip-flop, and more a sign that the new guys came in and were absolutely horrified a player of such low ability was so tantalizingly close from the starting 11.
Good luck to him, wherever he lands.
Alexis Sanchez could also be on his way out. Rumour has it we’re holding out for £35m. I’m not sure how much leverage we really have in this moment, even with Gabriel Jesus out for 6 weeks. We should probably just take whatever we can land and run to the hills. Or France. Or Germany. Wherever there is a man who can replace 126 goals/assists in 165 games.
Inward signings look super sexy. Johnny Evans is massively on the radar again, a repeat of last year. Be fair though, 3 times Premier League winner, tough, good in the air, with England caps. He’s not sexy, but he’ll do a better job than the utter dross we have at the moment. I know he’s very highly rated in the game by a lot of clubs.
There is such a major rework needed this summer. Santi is finished, Ramsey will likely leave, Cech and Ospina are finished, Koscielny is on the back 9, so is Monreal, Bellerin wants to leave, Ozil might go, Sanchez will go, and I’m sorry to tell you, but Debuchy might not make it.
That’s before you even get into the territory of who should go, like Welbeck, Iwobi and Xhaka.
It’s interesting reading everyone whacking skippy about Szczęsny and his keeping record at Juve this season. He’s conceded 6 goals and collected 9 clean sheets. I’ll give you that he’s performing well, but against the back drop of playing for the best in Italy, with a defensive coach, for a very rich team.
Anyway, would I have him back? No way. He failed with Arsenal.
What this tells me is:
1: Our keeping coach is neither a developer of talent (Fabianski, Almunia, Richard Wright) nor a sustainer of greatness (Cech)
2: The club has lost its way developing raw talent into the types of professionals they need to be in the modern era. Look at Iwobi right now. Look at Jack, Chamberlain, even Aaron Ramsey is unfulfilled. What would proper managers do with some of the talent we’ve had in our ranks?
I mean, you don’t need to ask. Just look at the career Ashley Cole and Cesc have had since leaving us.
Right, that’s me over for the day.
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