A new season, a new issue for Jack Wilshere, this time getting himself sent off in an under-23s game against City yesterday. But whilst I’m sure it will fit the media narrative to lambast Wilshere for his ill discipline, probably unsurprisingly I have to leap to the guys defence based on what I’ve seen from footage yesterday, because it looks pretty obviously like he’d been set up by the pathetic excuse for footballers that were playing in sky blue. If you haven’t seen footage yet have a look at this. Even the commentator says the guy was pushed not in his face and yet went down holding his face. Real Rivaldo World Cup style.
I get that these are youth players. I get that as a player in his mid 20s Wilshere should be setting an example. But the City player has steamrolled in to a man who’s lost literally years off his carer due to injury and is trying to return to fitness by playing in this game. There is absolutely no sense in steaming in, then feigning injury, other than to try to catch a few headlines as somebody who riled Jack Wilshere up. It is too pathetic for too many words. I’ve given enough as it is.
At least Wilshere is up and playing though and at least this suspension will do nothing for his ability to play for the first team. Call me crazy but I think Wilshere can be useful this season if we can get him up and running. He may have had a difficult time at Bournemouth and hardly set the world alight, but let’s not forget that if he plays in this Arsenal team he’ll be playing with payers who are better on the ball and who will also make him look better, which is hat always happens when you see players joining one of the top sides. Wilshere is hardly the Kantesque roaming defensive midfielder we need (especially given the aches afforded to Stoke in the build up to their goal last weekend) but with Xhaka and Ramsey sure to pick up knocks and reds along the way, i’d rather the Wilshere ahead of the other options in our midfield, should he be fit.
The other news coming out of the club yesterday is that both Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Brammall have joined ‘Arry’s Birmingham on season-long loans. From what I’ve heard the Jenkinson deal is one in which I think we’re even paying a large chunk of his wages and if that is true, you can be damn sure that there is no loan fee either, which gives you and idea just how poorly we’ve been managing contracts. We can’t get some players who are in the first team new contracts, whilst for other players we simply can’t shift because of their mega money. And we thought that ‘Deadwood’ ended in 2009. Turns out it is back like pesky bit of ivy on the side of one’s house. Derbuchy, Jenkinson, Chambers (although he shouldn’t be considered, but it’s clear he is), Theo and Perez – yes folks ‘Deadwood II’ the sequel is very much alive at Arsenal.
And the more depressing side of this looks like we’ll not be signing anyone else either, because it’s all gone rather quiet, which means unless something amazing happens in the next week we’re going in to this season having picked up Lacazette and that’s it. It’ll be a summer with so many questions that Arsenal had to answer, that the club, manager and Ivan have just avoided. And if anyone believes we’re anywhere near good enough to challenge for the league then I’d say they were delusional. Signing one striker and having two of the marquee players running down their deals is not what we were expecting and it points to a total lack of planning and foresight on the clubs part. When all around us are enhancing their teams, we continue to do the bare minimum to get by, which is both maddening and saddening. A friend of mine said that he thought this summer could end up like the Petr Cech summer in which we didn’t sign an outfield player. What happened that summer was that we failed to strengthen and the net effect was that a couple of years down the line we are in the position we are in now, having gone just one year without properly bolstering the squad. The impact of the poor summer we’ve had so far may be felt this season, but it will also be felt next season and the season after that, I expect.
Still, as Arsene says, we ‘shouldn’t go overboard’ at the moment. After all, it’s not like improving your squad, being ready for the first game of the new season, sorting out issues that have been outstanding since last summer and getting contracts negotiated, is anything to do with a successful football operation that we want to see, is it?