Posts Tagged ‘Jack Wilshere


Forget Arshavin, Jack Wilshere is like a new signing! Plus, Eboue gets a new contract.

Animated GIF of Wilshere scoring a wonder goal.

Oh man, I had a good sleep in today: I hit the snooze button twice! So while I normally get up at 4:30, I got up at 5:30. I’m not complaining though, the reason I slept in was because I got up at 1:30 the day before to buy my match tickets for the Sunderland game. That’s right, yours truly is heading to balmy London for vacation — I wonder if I should pack a Speedo?

Anyway, you’re not here to hear about me in a Speedo (which is a magnificent sight) you’re here to hear about the latest transfer news amiright? Right.

Let’s see, Arshavin is praying to the God than isn’t his omnipotent agent that a deal will go through that takes him out of Russia. What are the stages of grief anyway? Doesn’t it go: bargaining, threatening, praying, and then acceptance? It better have acceptance in it somewhere because despite the one report that has Zenit going from the lead role in 300 to Monty Hall in saying “let’s make a deal” Arsenal are steadfast in their valuation with Peter Hill-Wood publicly saying that they have reached the limit they are going to spend. I have to think that the Zenit position is just there to save face. They know Andrei can buy out his contract in November, and so he has them over a barrel a little bit but not as much as many will claim.

First, he can’t go on strike. Well, he could, but if he did that then he might not qualify for a work permit in England (depending on national appearances). Second, he can buy out the remainder of his contract, but only in November and remember Zenit are a bunch of disgraceful human beings. I have no doubt that Zenit would keep Andrei in court for months while they haggle over his price. That’s the threat Arsenal used on Hleb. Plus, there’s still the summer transfer market to go through and I’m confident they could sell Arshavin in the summer for £10m. So they lose a few million, which brings me to my final point, so they lose a few million. HA! They don’t care. They don’t need the money. Make no mistake, this isn’t like Valencia and David Villa, where the club is over-pricing their superstar because they need the money. Zenit is doing this because, well, because they are a bunch of whackos.

In his little statement Peter Hill-Wood sounded a lot like a jilted lover by saying that there were “other fish in the sea” but the truth is that there are other fish; Fabio Simplicio could be a set up man to challenge Diaby/Denilson and Stéphane Sessegnon could be a good wing player to challenge Theo (when he comes back). Now, as for a hard man, well, as Mae West said “a hard man is good to find.” As soon as I find one I’ll let you know.

While we’re waiting for PHW to grab his fly rod and fish us a hard man (seriously, this is getting a little gay – ed.) we should celebrate “new signing” Eduardo and his first full 90 minutes of play. He still hasn’t scored (he had a goal disallowed for offside yesterday) but getting out there and playing for 90 minutes and giving yourself chances to score are huge, considering the damage that Taylor inflicted on him. The player feels ready to go out and play first team football, but I’d like to see him get a goal in reserves first. Sorry, but I’d hate to see him rushed back and something horrible happen.

The player who does seem ready for some first team football is Wilshere. Well, some folks are tipping him and after watching his audacious outside of the boot left footer (obviously in the GIF above) I’d be tempted to agree with them, except I kind of think Vela is ready-er and more naturally a wing player. Irregardless, I think we’ll see a bit of both players in the weeks to come, the squad is that thin.

By the way, I found that animated GIF over at Gunnerblog.

And finally, the most incredible story of the day award goes to… it’a a fight to the death! In the periwinkel blue corner, it turns out that City could have signed de Jong for £2.3m if they had just waited for his release clause to kick in this summer. Instead, they put up £19m to get him right now, incredible stuff.  In the red corner, Arsenal turned down an offer from Athletico Madrid for Eboue and instead are racing to give him an improved contract. Let me put this as diplomatically as I can; Eboue has not done anything this season to warrant a pay raise. Not one thing. He’s done his job, he’s done what he’s told to do, but I haven’t seen anything from him that warrants an improved contract.

Ok, that’s as diplomatic as I can be. In my heart I’m screaming “I don’t care how little it was, TAKE THE OFFER” but you probably already knew that.

Ok, so that’s it for today, we’ve got the Friday press conference ahead of Sunday’s game tomorrow where I’m sure Arsene will be all “we’ve bid what we can afford” and ” we live in the real world” and “this is a young team” and “Cardiff will be a tough match.” If he says anything new, I’ll be sure to report it.

Until then!


Liam Wilshere Dominates the News

The press, the fans, the boss, pretty much everyone is totally stoked on Jack Wilshere. I’m so excited that I have already created a new masthead featuring Jack and had his left boot tattooed on the small of my back — right above my Arsenal tattoo.

Seriously, the kid looks good and I’m as excited as anyone about the prospect of having another full England starter on the squad (as it will keep the foaming dog Nationalists at bay for a little bit) but before we go off and crown him the next Liam Brady, let’s let the kid grow a bit, shall we? I mean, I realize that he’s a midfielder, he’s got a left foot, he’s silky smooth with the ball and at $150 a week he’s paid the same as a footballer from the 1970s but that’s where the comparisons end. Frankly I think the boss is talking with tongue firmly in cheek when he says

People tell me he is a bit like Liam Brady, because he has good balance and change of direction.

But there’s still a lot of work to be done with Liam, I mean Jack, and everyone just take a step back and let the kid have some room to breathe. Besides, the team is what utterly destroyed Sheffield United and I’d rather have this team than the team that Liam Brady played for in the 70s. Again, Wenger puts it in perspective

When you are a manager of a boy like that who has the talent, you are always cautious to put too much pressure on him and too high a level of expectation.”I believe it is all in there, but also that I have a responsibility to nurture him and get him in the right development over the next two or three years, that will be vital. From 16 to 19 is a very important age for the development of a football player – and Jack has skipped a few classes.

Aye, so run out quick and buy your England shirt with Wilshere-Brady on the back, it’s the only sensible thing.

What’s amazing here is that the real Liam Brady as the Head of Youth Development and the Academy Director is the person who is most directly responsible for this class of super talent that Arsenal have amassed and yet nary a word is spoken about the man’s contributions.  Just look at all the players in that article linked above and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Certainly, the scouting system is important, the team’s philosophy is important, the boss’ program of bringing players up through the Carling Cup and his general footballing philosophy are all important but Liam is the dude who runs the show for these kids. I just want to give kudos to him, by all accounts he’s doing a terrific job.

The one “youth” player that the boss seems most effusive about is Carlos Vela with Wenger saying that “Carlos has everything in his locker.” Maybe his locker is like a door to Narnia and Carlos can reach in and pull out literally anything. If so, I’d like $50,000 to make up for the value I’ve lost on my house this year — and could you move the Emirates Stadium to Tacoma?

Carlos is another guy that I’ll be waiting to see how he turns out. I do think it’s funny that when he came into the EPL, Tottenham signed Dos Santos and everyone (even Thierry Henry) was high on Dos Santos and Vela was sort of seen as an afterthought. What a difference a hat trick for a first place team can make eh?

And finally in the Carlos Vela Children’s Bag of Endless Treasures, Lyon has stuck a $160m price tag on “Arsenal target” Karim Benzema which prices the 20 year old right out of the Arsenal market. Hell, they might as well have put a $700b price tag on him given the fact that Arsenal are in “development” mode and probably wont pay more than $20m for any player ever again. It does make me wonder, though, what Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott are worth if Karim Benzema is rated at $160m. First, they’re English, which doubles their price tag because talented Englishmen are like hen’s teeth and second, well, Benzema is rated at $160m. So, I’m rating both players at $200m each.

Take THAT Lyon!

Croatian Racists

FIFA paused for a moment from their feeding at the trough of South Africa to assess a $27,700 fine on Croatia for their fan’s racist taunts during the Theo Walcott match at Zagreb on September 10th.

A whole $28,000!  Oops, I forgot, FIFA also doled out a stern warning! If that doesn’t work, I’m thinking that FIFA will just have to get tough, you know, have a whist drive, a “car wash against racism” and maybe even organize a bake sale.

Come on. This is the same national side that was just fined $17,000 by FIFA in June for their fan’s racism at Euro 2008 against the Turks. If FIFA seriously wants to crack down on these people they are going to have to do something a little harsher than a piddly little fine and another warning. How about holding their national games behind closed doors or just baring Croatia fans from coming to the matches? And if that doesn’t work… suspend their license? This stuff has no place in modern football and should be stamped out, with extreme prejudice.

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June 2020