Alex Iwobi opens up and tells Sky Sports that he’s always been seen as the youngster and now wants to set his own agenda. Fair play to him I see and having experienced something similar in my working life I can kind of understand why he might want to try something else.
I worked for a company for six and a half years and rose up through the ranks to middle management but when a seat on the senior leadership team came up I wasn’t even a look in. I was just seen as the guy who arrived I. His mid-twenties, the youngster, so I knew then it was time to move on.
So I kind of understand Iwobi’s sentiment, even if it didn’t quite happen that way in real life, because we all know that if he’d have been told by Emery that he is first choice left-wing forward for the upcoming season then he’d have stuck around. Sadly though Iwobi had shown little other than slight improvement in the last 12 months and his lack of end product in the final third cost him. Whether or not he can change that I’m not so sure. He will always be a player who is electric with the ball at his feet and running from midfield towards opposition defences, but it’s those daisy-cutting balls straight at goalkeepers, our wildly overshot crosses, that make me wonder whether or not he might face the same fate as Walcott. Time will tell.
As for us, with little else to talk about until Unai gives us a team update and press conference, we’re all left to worry about which song the Arsenal team comes out to each week at The Emirates. I’ve seen some of the crazies online have been suggesting a return of “The Wonder of You” by Elvis. May I lend my personal support towards any campaign that involves keeping that song as far away from the ground as possible.
It’s not that I hate the song, but more what the song represents, as well as the style of the song that I have an issue with. It’s melodic, it’s slow, it’s a little sleepy feeling. Are we really saying we want to spark fans in to life by listening to a song which feels a little old croonery?
I don’t get it. How could anybody want that to return to the ground? It has no links to The Arsenal, it isn’t steeped in personal history and to my knowledge Elvis wasn’t a gooner, so why on earth would anyone want it to return? Unless of course those people calling for it are those that are half asleep when the kick off comes around? Maybe that explains it?
Let’s have something that is either a) historical and has a link to the club, or b) get a really upbeat song designed to get fans going. Something really energetic which will stoke fans and players in to trying to make The Emirates a hostile atmosphere. That’s how we should be rolling and I just pray the club realise that too. I hope I’m not rolling my eyes at the reintroduction of Elvis on Saturday at home to Burnley.
I also hope I’m welcoming one or two new signings. I’m sure we’ll get an update of sorts on who’s available at the weekend but I’m keeping everything crossed that it’s a start for Pepe at least. Mkhi’s performance on Sunday will hopefully have put pay to him starting at least.
Who leads out the team is still to be officially declared but with Xhaka taking the armband on Sunday I suspect he keeps it on Saturday and I’ll be honest and say I don’t have a problem with that. He looks like a captain, he sticks up for his teammates, he has the air of a captain about him. There will be those that will argue he shouldn’t even be in the team and some that think he’s too error prone, but when you look at every player in this Arsenal team you can pick out faults, it’s just that Xhaka’s seem to be higher profile and punished. That’s what happened at times last season anyway. But we conceded 51 goals last season and they weren’t all his fault. There are plenty of culprits in that defence, that’s for sure, so perhaps we should just pick a forward?
Aubameyang for the way he gets on with the team has been suggested. It’s a nice idea but is he captaincy material? Does he lead a team? I’m not sure. He was influential on Sunday but he isn’t somebody who will coming rushing to a teammates aid as quickly as a Xhaka, Guendouzi or Torreira, is he? Not sure. I could be wrong but it doesn’t feel like a move that would make sense to me.
Now, if you told me Hector gets the armband, I could get behind. He’s been at the club a fair time, he knows what it’s like to be at The Arsenal, he’ll be well aware of the history of the club and he’s also as good on the pitch as off the pitch. He is welcoming to the new players, he’s a voice in the dressing room, it just feels like a natural appointment. And he seems to love the club genuinely too. For me that’s the first choice I’d have.
Whether my wish gets fulfilled remains to be seen, but I can certainly live in hope and on that note, I’ll get the heck outta here and get on with some work.