Happy Friday folks. Looking forward to the weekend? No? Why not? Is it because there is practically zero football on that is worth thinking about or watching?
Internationals, eh? They’re like a six month check up to the dentist; thoroughly unwanted.
Incidentally I’ve decided to compound my own misery by having to do that this weekend n’all.
Maybe I’ll have something on in the background as I’m doing other household chores, but I possibly won’t, so it’ll be a weekend away from the Football and that suits me fine after last weekend’s results. But for a professional footballer like Jack Wilshere, playing for your country in any game is a thrill and an honour, so this weekend I can understand why he might be a little frustrated.
After all he is playing. He is getting game time at The Arsenal and he has proved his value to the squad this season. Arsène has already said he is going to get minutes in the Premier League and the hope has to be that we see that transpire into some England call ups, for Jack’s sake.
But what has prompted me to talk specifically about Wilshere the morning is the interesting article I read by Henry Winter, who talks about the confusing messages when it comes to Wilshere and the need for him to play in his position and play in the Premier League.
Henry uses examples of Loftus-Cheek and Joe Gomez – both currently playing out of position in their current teams – to show that despite his comments his actions run contradictory to what he’s saying. And he’s right.
But where Henry doesn’t go into much detail is why he might think Southgate is behaving with one rule for Jack and another rule for others. I get that. He has connections, he attends press conferences, he is a professional journo and can’t just play the guessing game as to an England managers motives.
I can though.
I think Jack isn’t being picked because it’s an easy target for now. Southgate wants to show a bit of strength and also perhaps have less and less to do with the old regime so when he has even a sniff of a chance of dropping one of the ‘old regime’ he’ll take it. Wilshere not playing in Premier League? Take it. Wilshere not playing in a deeper lying role? Take it. Arsenal play a different style to England in the way they press? Take that too.
It suits Southgate not to have him in this squad.
Of course if Jack does start playing regularly in the first team he will most likely get picked out of necessity because England don’t have another player anywhere near his talent and vision right now. So if he does start playing I think Southgate chooses him out of necessity rather than choice. But right now this works for him and he can get more weeks under his belt with distance away from the former regime.
Of course from an Arsenal fan perspective that suits us fine because we all get to sleep safe in the knowledge that Wilshere won’t be Daniel Aggered on international duty. There’s also the benefits of Not having to bother watching England because he’s the only real reason most of us would tune in.
So that’s my thoughts on that. A Friday deserves a good conspiracy theory and now you have yours.