What is Jack Wilshere’s best position?

Yeah, I know, Stevie G is a right old pain; excellent quarter-back when playing against us, has-been no-mark when playing for England. But fair play to him, in the aftermath of “Group D-Gate”, he made a really excellent observation in an interview with the Beeb. He said that the number of young players with the hunger and desire to play for England is diminishing because of the money in the game.  When asked if teenage footballers were becoming millionaires too quickly, he replied that “It has an impact on certain individuals. For those who want money, fame and everything that comes with football, of course it will have an effect.”

In a World Cup where the national teams of the three richest leagues in the world (England, Spain and Italy) have failed to get through the group stages, it is certainly worth asking ourselves what is wrong. There are of course plenty of reasons for the failure of our team, and in a sense none – there will always be random, unpredictable factors at play.  But to my mind, Gerrard has a very good point, there is a real problem of desire and hunger in our younger players, something that has been building all through the cash-rich Premier League era.

One player that seems to show precisely that desire, that hunger, is Jack Wilshere.  He takes a kicking every time he plays, his game of close control and dribbles opens up defences and draws plenty of fouls, some of which are even spotted by the referees.  And Jack doesn’t go around biting opponents, he just gets up and starts again.  When he gets injured (ie, very often), he does his rehab and comes back again.  And he talks a great game – he is clearly desperate to win, in both his Arsenal and his England shirts.  There is a very strong argument, that the future of the England team is Jack Wilshere.

But is Arsenal the right place for him to push on?  He loves the club, that’s clear.  He’s been with us since he was even smaller than he is now.  And he hails from the club’s home counties hinterland – he can probably see his parents’ house from London Colney.  I’d love Wilshere to succeed with us, if only so I don’t have to concede anything to LB.  But if I’m honest, I don’t see it happening, not so much on account of his talents, more because we aren’t going to offer him the right opportunity.  I’ve said before that I think he’s better suited to a four-man midfield, which I assume we’re not about to adopt.  In the current formation, his natural position (even without much by way of a shot) is in the middle of the attacking-midfield three.  And with Ozil, that means Wilshere is effectively an understudy.

Wilshere is reaching a critical stage in his career.  He needs to be somewhere where the team is built around him, where he’s the metronome, measuring and setting the rhythm of the team.  He’d probably be suited to being at one of the big Dutch clubs, or teams like Valencia, Real Sociedad, Marseille, Southampton or Everton.  He’d never do it of course, but Spurs would actually suit him pretty well.

I hope I’m wrong, but I’d say Jack’s time with us is going to end sooner rather than later.  And that would be good for him and good for English football.

Written by 26may89

 

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118 Responses to What is Jack Wilshere’s best position?

  1. john snowy says:

    The sad demise of England in the world cup is due to over relance on the older players like Gerrard who by the way contributed the second goal for Uruguay. Had he been younger he would have headed the ball away. Our man Jack should have played to add some bite into the English team, which was lacking.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    26. Firstly, I hadn’t connected the 3 richest leagues being the first home! Strange but perhaps it is because we have less homegrown players.

    JW: A conundrum. You are right insomuch as he suits a 4-4-2. He is not blessed with pace which is a problem in our team as fast transition between defence and attack becomes difficult when JW plays.

    The fact that AW has yet to find him a fixed starting position points to our manager having either a Plan B for Jack or your frankly unthinkable final paragraph. I would hate to see him leave.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    John. I think it harsh to blame Gerrard. I would look to the centre backs who didn’t cover Suarez.

  4. stevepalmer1 says:

    A very heartfelt post 26,
    Jack Wilshere for me has been a disappointment, his bouts of injury has left him with a crablike action, he runs down busy avenues and he see’s a bit to much turf for my liking. Jack as we all know is like a stick of Blackpool rock Arsenal right down his middle, but he is like quite a few Arsenal players where he doesn’t in my mind make that much difference.

    Every time i see Jack go down which i must say is far too many, i feel he will be out injured for quite a time Jack is similar to Theo who also see’s more of the sickbay than their families.

    I call these type of players as standby players because i expect them to be out six months of the season.Jack for me would be better suited to a lower league where he could show the talent he has as i feel the premier is just to physical for him.

    Jack runs down blind alleys where the Ox will make a passageway through, the Ox loves to get stuck in where Jack i feel waits for a touch before he goes down, The ox will take shots where Jack does not possess a shot, Jack is useless in the air in fact he doesn’t even challenge. I am sorry to say this but Jack playing for us and his country is not what we need. Jack see’s so much turf i think he should have been a Groundsman.

  5. andy bishop says:

    I guess we all noticed the work rate and desire of the so called lesser teams. Most of them are now organised and a match for anyone over 90 minutes. Our guys tried but fell short…in my opinion due to lack of quality and nous. The game is so quick that any miscontrol or poor pass selection is punished. That to me seemed the differences in all our games. To say we had more possession and were unlucky to an extent is true but something of an excuse that is made time and time again. Develop true skills, speed of thought and a belief will come.

  6. stevepalmer1 says:

    Reading back on my last comment i feel that i was quite hard on Jack. I feel that he does have qualities that do help the team. When he is injured he does from what i have read, works hard to regain fitness, which must be a good sign for others to see.

    Also he speaks well, certainly better than the early days. I like the loyalty he show’s and i like his team spirit, i liked the way he supported Wenger when all around was calling for his head.

    Jack looked as if he was going to be a bad boy, he had times where his personal life overshadowed his football life, but Jack got that together, he is now a Father which seems to have steadied him. Now Jack must be quite wealthy as he has been with us for some time, so by what he has done for us, makes me believe he would not be that sort after by others, but that is not a reason to keep Jack in the fold,

    Arsenal need players who will go the extra mile, players who can make a difference, although 26 has pointed out Jacks breaking through defences i have to be honest and say that i have not seen that too much, but then again i am no professional.

    Many see certain players, and many feel that player has what it takes, Jack does not do it for me but i am often wrong.

  7. wally says:

    Jack is still very young. Far too early to make judgements about the impact of his career, especially in light of his injuries.
    I don’t think he has the box to box capabilities of Ramsey. So he’s either got to play a Pirlo like role (I think his best opportunity), lying deep, playing in the hole, or in the middle of a 5 man mid-field. He’s a creator, not a scorer.
    I don’t think his tenacity or desire can be faulted. His style does lead him to being more exposed to injuries but perhaps with time this can be fixed.
    He’s an important part of the project going forward and would be very disappointed to see him pushed out.

  8. peter tosh says:

    With the same formation wilshere should play where ozil plays bt he should avoid tackling opponents ..even van pussy was once a injury pro,bt he should learn to shoot like ramsey

  9. stevepalmer1 says:

    Left something out, i am a man who likes to see pace, Jack is slower than most, must be his short legs.

  10. RA says:

    A multifaceted post, 26, and thanks for that.

    Just as an aside, isn’t the term quarterback more associated with American football? I usually think of midfielder, half back, wing back when thinking of offensive or defensive midfielders. Just curious. :-)

    There probably is something in the ‘too rich, too young’ theory but I do not think it is widespread, unless you think it is an English malaise, and I would not like to think that is true, despite ‘Arry Redknap’s unfortunate comment.

    As regards Jack, I am not convinced that he is the victim of either being played in the wrong tactical set up, or of being second choice to a more talented player.

    The fact is that his development has undoubtedly ‘plateaued’ and he seems to have even regressed somewhat from the fantastically talented young man we saw in his teens.

    My take on that is that he has become more injury prone, partly as a result of being targeted by other teams, and not getting the protection from referees that he should and also because he has been impatient and returned from injury before he was completely fit.
    I think Arsene commented on this sometime ago.

    The real concern, some of us have, is that he has been found out a little by the opposition, in that he is so one footed and addicted to playing the ball with the outside of his left foot that he has become rather predictable.

    On the other hand, and this is a little bit of an observation based on others’ pointing out to me a history of a similar problem experienced by some earlier ‘wonder kids’ including Rocky Rocastle, is that as certain players mature, they grow more muscular, (yes, even Jack) and slow down.

    Jack is often caught in possession of the ball because he seems to be unable to show a burst of speed, or alternatively, he makes a number of mistimed tackles, again because he is too slow into the tackle. Not helped by the aforementioned chronic injury worries.

    I hope both I, and the others who mentioned this to me, are wrong, because if a player loses his all important pace ,,,,,, there is no cure.

    Come on Jackie boy, show us we know nozzink! :-)

  11. stevepalmer1 says:

    Big Raddy, Suarez will beat anybody, the man oozes with talent, i hate to admit it but he is one player who no matter how good a defender, he will find a way.

    Suarez has problems that is plain to see, but a better striker you could wish to find. Suarez works hard in attack and in defence he is a game changer. I hate to watch him when he plays against us or England because he is special.

    Suarez will be heavily punished, rightly so, but when he plays again he will still need watching. Arsene could tame him, but although Liverpool will make waves i cannot see them off load him.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. I was just responding to John point about ageing players.

    Blaming Gerrard for trying to make a difficult header close to the halfway line seems misplaced.

    And you are right about Suarez- the man is a wonderful player

  13. GoonerB says:

    Thanks 26May. This is a real debate starter. I believe you will get many conflicting opinions on this one. As a confirmed Jack fan I will try and balance critique of him with support of him.

    I still think Jack is a unique talent and if he leaves us there is a real possibility that another big (maybe overseas) club, that plays an attack minded game will get him and develop him into that great and consistent player that is waiting to burst out. In many ways I see a bit of how things have gone for Rooney in Jack. Those early great showings that had us all salivating but which have tailed off more recently.

    Look at the clip of all Jack’s touches against barca in the 2-1 win at the Ems again to remind yourself exactly what he can offer. The international game against Brazil is another example. Even amongst the inconsistent performances there are still some excellent ones and excellent moments. Remind me who won goal of the season on MOTD just recently.

    I think Jack has been unlucky to a degree, firstly with the obvious injuries, but perhaps more subtely with how both his club and international manager have chosen to use him. Some great players are adaptable to a couple of positions but some are more suited to one position. I feel Jack has a best position but has not been used in it enough or with the right players in and around him to see him at his best.

    Last year he has played both wide attacking roles, number 10 type roles and deeper midfield roles. I think he is suited to a deeper midfield role but with a more box to box licence. As such I think he is best suited to a 4-2-3-1 set up where he plays as one of the deeper 2 but with the other being more a holding defensive midfielder to act as his foil. This would give Jack licence to get forward and carry the ball out from midfield knowing that he has cover in behind him. This role could also be suited to Ramsey but Rambo can also play higher up the pitch with his eye for goal, but then hey we need more than one option in a full season anyway.

    The 4-2-3-1 formation is how I feel Bayern line up with Schweinsteiger often occupying the box to box DM role with a holding partner that allows him to get forwards at times. I actually think this is the best formation for Arsenal and possibly England also.

    With England Jack was not played in this role and with the right partner. Hodgson seemed to opt both pre-tournament and in the Costa Rica game to play him with Lampard. Is Lampard the holding midfield foil to allow Jack to flourish? Similarly when he played as one of the deep DM’s for us last season it was mostly with Arteta. Does Arteta provide enough cover now in that deep role to give Jack the freedom to go forwards? How would Jack look if partnered with say one of Khedira, Martinez, Lars or Sven Bender or Luiz Gustavo? We rarely saw him alongside Flamini last season who would have been the most natural foil for him.

    Being critical I would agree with those that say he spends too much time on the ground. It seems to me this is because he shows too much of the ball to opposition players at times. He gives them a sniff but often just moves the ball away at the last moment only leaving his ankles as the final target for their studs. He needs to re-establish that balance in his game of knowing when to drive forwards and when to just evade or spin away from an opposition player. I would show him that video of the Barca game where he got the balance right.

    I think he is actually trying too hard at the moment to impress every time he gets the ball and as such is trying to carry the ball forwards too much. IMO this is the psychological result of coming back from injury and trying to over impress to nail down a 1st 11 spot, and also because he has been shunted around a bit positionally and not played with the right midfield partners. I do feel that AW and now Hodgson have some fault in this instance. Get him playing in his best position with the best players in and around him and get him relaxed about not trying to go past 3-4 opposition players everytime and to pick his moments better.

  14. GoonerB says:

    As an addition I don’t see him in the so called quarterback role. The deepest of the midfileders in front of the back 4 doesn’t look like him at all. For me that position needs to be a 6’1″ plus player with pace and good passing range. Most agree we need one of those types of players and I feel that JW alongside this player would see him flourish again. He can job share it with Rambo but as I said Rambo could also play in a more advanced role.

    Funny how 2 years ago while fighting back from injury Rambo looked slightly off the pace and should have been off-loaded according to many fans, while at the time Jack was the great hope in our midfield. Have the roles revrsed themselves now?

  15. arnie says:

    Absolutely brilliant stuff, 26may. Well played, Sir. :) :) :)

    Jack, a conundrum indeed. It is perhaps too early to say whether he will be the future of England, but he certainly has talent. And like so many other young footballers, his development has been uneven. But before we start casting doubt, let us revisit the Rambo case. The next year can well be his breakthrough year. Come on Jack. Keep your mouth shut, keep your fags away, keep your feet away from the hackers, use your brain and play your game.

    And yes, Arsenal is about the best place for him. It has always been for young players, potentially much less talented players as well (let me not take names here), so it will be for Jack.

    OK, Arsenal may not be ideal, I mean could be better. But where? Abroad is out of the question. When has an English young footballer, not yet a superstar, played in Europe? Southampton, Everton, Spuds? Nope. They have joined the bandwagon, they will buy expensive players and Jack will not have a shoo in. May not be ideal, but Arsenal is the best bet.

    On position, I agree with GoonerB, the forward of the 2 DMs. Competition with Rambo, so damned what? When has a healthy bit of competition harmed youngsters worth their mettle.

  16. LB says:

    Oh goodness, where to start, where to start.

    I suppose that firstly I should make clear that I don’t give a monkeys what JW does for England, there is only room for one love I my heart and as I have always said if I had a choice between England winning the World Cup of Arsenal winning the CL, it’s club over country every time for me.

    Back to Jack.

    I think with hindsight I initially started expressing concern about him when the hype around him was so thick that no one seemed to be able to see the wood from the trees. Wild claims were being made about how he was so talented that he could play anywhere in the midfield. My point then, as is now, is that he can’t and what I mean by this is that Szezceny could play CF but it is obviously a very bad idea.

    Things have settled down now, the hype has subsided and people are starting to be able to focus on his true attributes rather than the ones they assumed most demi gods have.

    Wilshere aint no attacking midfield player.

    My attorney above makes the perfect point when he says his competition is Ozil, I would also add Ramsey but either way he is not going to be first choice over and above those two.

    So what to do, what to do? I continue to maintain that he has a strong defensive side to his game.

    We could use him in a slightly more deeper role with a license to go forward but I fear that someone with more height, capable of adding to our aerial defence, would be much more useful.

    I think last season Wenger tried to find him slots in the team to give him match time, this drove me mad. Wilshere out wide left is like playing with 10 men. It is not fair on him, his team mates or us the paying supporters.

    What follows is that he is likely to find himself more and more on the bench, something that he claims makes him feel physically sick (FA cup final) That being the case he may well want to seek pastures new.

    And just in case there was any doubt, I support Arsenal first and foremost not Jack Wilshere.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    If, as I hope we do, AFC sign Schneiderlin where does JW fit in? Or Ox ?

  18. NW says:

    I agree that he is a disappointment so far but not a huge one.

    He is passed by Ramsey now. The team certainly have a place for Wilshere + Ozil+ Ramsey. The team does not need to be around 1 person but around these three and at least two of them would appear in any game.

    Add in Walcott and Ox, the team will stay as it is for a long time (and three of the back four too)…

    That least Cazorla out which i think is the reason he would consider his future at the club.

    However, with Arteta and Roisky both getting old there is certainly room for all if they decide to stay.

  19. LovleyStoryShane says:

    Jack is a CM that stays, playing with a CM like Ramsey who goes. He challenges well for the ball moves it quickly and his passing is exceptional.

    Faced with to much to do on the edge of their area he is not so good, but in the pocket just behind he is great with little flicks and chips into the box and spraying out wide.This is not to say he cant break into the box he is just better coming from deeper when he is not expected.

    He is surprisingly good on the ball a good turn a decent strength, he provides essential moments of inspiration during the game for the team. On the counter attack he is so very dangerous he bursts forward with his reliable technique and expert forward passes.

    So to summarise he is it’s what we always thought a true box to box player by definition because you don’t want him in your own box because how well he sets the team off on the break and to keep his discipline to play to his strengths to provide from pockets of space outside their box when attacking.

    He can really do it next season the main things I would like to see him do is put in my disciplined performances, with these in mind.

    1. Keep the ball always.

    2. Really make those cutting slide rule passes.

    3. Cover us on the counter more.

    4. Move the ball even faster to avoid challenges.

    5. Take more shots especially medium range.

    6. Pick your moments to beat players and breaking into the box.

  20. 26may1989 says:

    Afternoon all. Before looking at teh responses, some news:

    Fifa’s statement on Suárez: “Suspended for nine matches and banned for four months from any football-related activity”

  21. 26may1989 says:

    And he’s fined CHF 100k (about £65k).

    So Liverpool have to wait until November before Suarez gets to play for them. What a shame.

  22. arnie says:

    26may. :) What is there not to like about this breaking news? However, the cynic part of me says, not so quick! This is going into appeal, legal complexities and all that.

    At least the FIFA appears to have saved itself from problems relating to complaints from other opponent teams in the QF stage.

  23. My thoughts for what they`re worth !. First have to agree with LB on I`m only interested in Arsenal FC…..I`d even go as far as saying I`d rather we won the Capital One Cup than England win the World Cup !……..The Emirates Cup was a close call, so England can have the WC against that one !. hahaha
    I don’t even want Arsenal players playing for their countries. we have a history of players coming home injured and with our Injury League table topping position…internationals we can do with out !.
    Arsene Wenger has already said he see`s Jack as a deep lying midfielder, so the question has already been answered !.
    My opinion of Jack, is that he is in the wrong body !. Mo Farrah`s body would be fine, he is quick over short distances…..5 yards, but lacks the gears to motor. Having been a runner myself, I look at his style and it`s one of trying to catch a bus after Olive from On the Busses has sat on his face !…the most laboured running style I`ve ever seen in a footballer !.
    I`m a bit “Marmite” with him, at times he looks the biz and other times ordinary. I just wonder if he is going to be a footballer who looked great as a 17 year old, but got found out and then there`s the injuries, I hope he is over the ankle problems as we are always saying he needs match fitness after injury after injury.
    I think he knows himself that now he is 22 there`s no more excuses as him only being a youngster, he has the ability and we cant keep harping on about 2 great games against Barca and Brazil, be great consistently, time to deliver !.

  24. njstone9 says:

    Re Wilshere

    The lad scored the goal of the season. Yes quality through and through and next season he’ll improve, just like Ramsey.

    Better still, he’s Arsenal through and through and in 15 years time we’ll be hailing him as a legend just as Liverpool fans rightly revere Gerrard.

    We absolutely must learn the lessons of the past and show him patience.

    Re Suarez

    I think the ban is wrong. It should be a two year ban from all international football. No ban from the Premier League. Much as in deplore Liverpool for defending him during Evra-gate, it’s not fair to punish them in this way.

    A two year international ban would rule him out of this tournament and the next.

  25. Norfolk Gooner says:

    What an excellent post, well done 26.

    Before anything can be decided about Wilshere’s best position, he has to get himself fully fit. It’s hard to tell with some players when they are carrying an injury. In Jack’s case it’s even harder because he so sincerely wants to be fit and play every minute of every game.

    Playing in central mid-field for a top club in the English Premiership must be one of the hardest jobs in football, harder than even the England manager’s job :D, the action is non-stop, the tackles fly in and the margins for error are tiny. Players with the fitness and durability top cope are as rare as hen’s teeth.

    One thing is for sure, Jack on his own can’t cope for the whole season, he will at times have to be rested and will have to accept that as a fact of life. Will he make it? The jury’s still out.

    On the Suarez ban, is four months long enough? Just about, but a life-time ban must surely be the punishment for another offence.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Suarez: It appears that for some Monty Python’s “Crucifixion is too good for him” seems to apply.

    I agree that L’pool are being punished which seems unfair (but highly amusing). Expulsion from the next WC plus a two year International ban seems more just.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Rotation, Rotation. Squad depth

    Peter Storey wasn’t rotated, nor was Radford or David o’Leary or Tony Adams or PV4. Why do our precious ones need it now?

    And don’t give me that guff about pressure and game time and CL etc. they played more games on worse pitches in the past.

    Today’s players are all wimps bar Merts and Kos and Flamster and …..

  28. Lei says:

    10 me say :-D

  29. GoonerB says:

    LovelyStoryShane @2.44, I agree with all you said.

    Cockie, I would still use the Barca and Brazil games as an example because I feel he was played in his best role in these games and so we saw the best of him. Also the goal of the season when he started it from deep and finished it emphasised his box to box capabilities perfectly. Give him say a Bender as a partner and we can have him or Rambo playing that role but with Rambo sometimes playing with him but higher up the pitch.

    Also Cockie I run a bit like Wilshere but slower. Does that mean I run as if trying to catch a bus after having both Olive and Pat Butcher sitting on my face. You can answer me once you have come back from your naked run across the Cornish Moors.

  30. RA says:

    Just seen your Suarez news, 26.

    I have no idea what would be an appropriate punishment for him and that’s the tooth. :-)

    Leaving aside the international playing ban, the world wide 4 month ban seems at first sight to be a move in the right direction, although some might think it is a bit lenient for a three time offender.

    On reflection a 4 month ban, of which two months will be spent on the beach somewhere anyway, before the season begins, and therefore is really a net 2 month ban from domestic football, does seem a little lenient, do you think?

    Not sure about that myself.

    With the hoo hah this punishment is likely to cause, it would be no surprise to find that it is reduced on appeal, especially when those people with their own agenda try to claim the moral high ground and blame everyone, especially the British press, instead of blaming the only one responsible — the perpetrator.

    Let’s see.

  31. RA says:

    Radish,

    I think there is poetic justice in ‘Pool being pulled into this, after all their owner brazenly admitted they lied and prevented Arsenal signing him, even though the appropriate buy out clause did exist.

    Can you imagine how they would have laughed at us, if the deal had gone through, as it should have done?

    No sympathy from me. What goes around comes around.

  32. arnie says:

    Raddy @ 4:17. :0 :) Agreed.

    Redders: Poetic or not, justice indeed. :razz:

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Great stuff 26, thank you very much.

    Only just got in, and need to watch the WC.

    In very short, I can’t help thinking about what happened in the space of a year to Aaron.

    Where does Jack fit in? Always thought of him as a Manu Petit, which 4-4-2’ish. In the current Arsenal set up, it can only be as box to box or possibly CAM, but who knows. The other thing in the equation is The Ox. Right now, I’d play him ahead of Jack in any position, which given the pecking order of Mesut, Santi and Aaron leaves a problem.

    He needs to slow down his brain, move the ball before he collides, and perhaps try a lit less hard. Can’t help thinking the meteoric rise of Aaron has made him over keen to impress.

    Given that my gut feeling says Santi will go, I’d keep Jack for another year anyway.

    Finally, I can never ignore Arsenal DNA.

  34. RA says:

    Raddy,

    I too have a sympathy with your 4:17, but there always have to be exceptions to the rule.

    Consider Giro, because whatever his detractors say, he does put in a very good shift and covers every blade of grass on the pitch …… then he has to show one of his girlfriends a good time, and then to keep his wife sweet he has to do the biz for her too.

    The guy could do with some rotation — what do you think? :-)

    I have to say, there have been occasions when I have been teaching myself to touch type that I have wondered why the hell I am bothering.

    But watching the Germany v USA game, I can also type at the same time without looking at the screen or the keyboard and just have a quick look at the my comment before pressing the submit button to correct something.

    Cocky? You bet — it makes it all worthwhile.

    BY THE WAY where the hell is the big cheese himself — the Rocky Rocket man? Having a sabbatical? :-)

  35. hahaha GoonerB…..listen my young Tony Cottee doppelganger….Cottee was a great poacher in the box and Arsenal once tried to sign him, you however are a poacher in Pat Butchers box !….I`m telling…..RICKYYYYY !.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Sad for Podolski subbed for Klose at halftime when he was playing well.

    Still more rest for our lads!

  37. Big Raddy says:

    I much prefer it when Ozil is subbed after 60 mins

  38. RA says:

    OK, so we are losing at the mo’ but we have played so well.

    Give it eight years and the US of A will be seriously challenging for the WC.

    Are there any English dual nationality lads out there – come and join our German ones!! :-)

  39. arnie says:

    Good man, Redders, yes the US played with a big heart and deserve their place in the knockout stage.

  40. Vinay says:

    Jack is like our dear boy, the one we hope fulfils all our dreams and becomes the one club legend we can tell stories about. Yet he still remains an enigma. He can do things only he can but then he exasperates with his game as well by trying too hard to be perfect.
    Jack is doing what Aaron did a few seasons back, that magic pass, the waft of his left foot and that back heel, the headlines, jack seems to get sucked up into this.

    I would never want to lose him, it will hurt to much and it is like losing our very own but then he needs to have a deep look at himself and understand how good he can be, remember he can be, he is not yet that good. Anyone can install that in his mind, the boy has the talent to be a world beater.

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Crikey

    Just looking at my WC Chart, we have Costa Rica v Greece in the Last 16. Has to warrant an “eh?”

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    Looks like some late spring cleaning.

    Club announces 11 player departures

    Arsenal can confirm that 11 players will be leaving the club when their contracts officially expire on June 30.

    Nicklas Bendtner and Ju Young Park come to the end of their contracts, while Kim Kallstrom and Emiliano Viviano’s loan spells are set to conclude.

    As already communicated, Bacary Sagna, Lukasz Fabianski and Zak Ansah have completed permanent moves to Manchester City, Swansea City and Charlton Athletic respectively.

    Meanwhile, academy players Chuks Aneke, Daniel Boateng, Zach Fagan and Leander Siemann also depart having reached the end of their current agreements.

    Everyone at Arsenal would like to take this opportunity to thank all of these players for their contribution to the club, and to wish them well for the future.

    Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    The above means that we MUST sign another goalkeeper as Wojciech Szczesny is now our ONLY recognized goalie.

    I find it startling that we are in such a vulnerable position.

  44. arnie says:

    GN5: I suspect we must have tied up the GK position, otherwise we would not release Viviano. Poor guy. I feel for him. He had a lot of promise.

    How about Ospina, how about Schwarzer? :razz:

  45. arnie says:

    I am a bit surprised we have let Kallstrom go. He looked an OK fit for the team as backup. Yes, there may be amany better players playing in the World Cup, and some others not selected for their respective countries, but this would have been a good insurance plan.

    Maybe, Diaby is in for a big season! :razz:

  46. gart66 says:

    I’m sure to take fire for this and I’ve only been following the team for the last 2 or 3 years but regardless of why or how he got here I feel his best position is on the bench or with another club. I feel we are generally a better team with him off the pitch and I do tire of watching him go down again and again whining all the time. Could he makes a Ramsey like stride this year? It would be great but I am not counting on it. Also, Arteta has to go 8-)

  47. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all,
    Gardening all day cutting down trees and weeding and shrub cutting red ants everywhere and bitten everywhere, i now feel like Pat butcher is still sitting on my face.

    Have FIFA the power to ban Suarez for domestic games in the Premier league which is run by the English FA. I can understand how they can ban a player from taking part in any more World cup games, but in my opinion his country should be responsible for his conduct not his club.

    Uruguay are supposedly going to contest the ruling, so obviously they seem to think his punishment is unjust. Personally i feel that his country should be the ones to get the punishment as they should have handled him better. After the world cup is over Uruguay will walk away and not be bothered that cannot be right.

  48. stevepalmer1 says:

    Sorry Arnie i have to disagree with your comment about Viviani, When has he ever shown promise, we have never seen him.

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    26M

    We are over stocked in the mid-field department and it may well be that we sell off the surplus to help in funding for our weaker positions. However in my belief Jack will be around for many seasons to come – lets just hope its not in the sick bay.

  50. arnie says:

    Steve: Yes, we have not seen Viviano for Arsenal. Which I think is somewhat sad. But, he was no 2 for Italy, which is no mean feat.

  51. chas says:

    Cheers, 26.
    Jack played half of our premier league games last season and was out for a fair chunk of it.
    I’d imagine Arsene believes he has a big future at Arsenal.

    None of us seem to think we need strengthening in midfield even though we were down to our last 4 a couple of times last term. Why do we have to sell any of them?

  52. GoonerB says:

    GN5 @ 8.18, I agree with you on the overstocking in midfield department. At the start of last season, especially after bringing in Ozil, we were arguably over-loaded with central midfielders with, shall we say, a going forward type of attitude. We were arguably imbalanced with too many attack minded central midfield players and lacked maybe in a top level powerhouse DM, and another top level attacking wide player / wing forward with goals in them (and the obvious striker and powerful DM).

    I may be wrong but, with that said above, I could actually see Santi leaving us. Don’t get me wrong I love Santi and would feel a level of sadness if he left, but at the same time I have a deep feeling that fate always intended his time with us would be short but sweet. He has allegedly intimated that he would like to finish his career in Spain and at 29 with Athletico interested he may be thinking about it already.

    It may also not be the worst thing for us either. If we got somewhere around £20m for Santi and then got a top level natural goal-scoring wide player like Sanchez or Di-Maria for £25m-£30m. I would argue that would leave us with a better balance in our midfield / attacking department with an overall small outlay.

    We still have Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky and the Ox to play ACM roles for us, not to mention some quality youngsters in the background. If we added the right powerhouse DM and striker to the mix then a kind of swap of one ACM out and one attacking wing forward / wide player in maybe makes us stronger.

    Having said that I do love Santi and would still be happy if he stays. Not sitting on the fence at all then.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    chas. We shouldn’t. In fact we need to sign a young aggressive DM .

    Maybe he will not get much game time next season but the one after when Arteta and Flamini leave he will be vital

  54. GoonerB says:

    Raddy, I would argue for keeping both Arteta and Flamini and adding a top level aggresive DM, someone who can walk straight into the team as first choice immediately. It would leave us with a very strong squad if the player brought in was good enough to make the 2 of them 2nd choices in the role.

  55. GunnerN5 says:

    GB,

    I also like Santi (a lot) but we are overstocked and IMO something/one has to give, Although they are our best defensive type of mid-fielders maybe we could sacrifice either Arteta or Flamini, but once again I’m torn as I like the attributes that that bring to the team.

  56. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Brilliant 26, though I think your wrong.

    Jacks future is at Arsenal, though I understand the problems. We all know about the injuries but I feel the lad is suffering from delusions of grandeur. Hes done nothing yet, but thinks hes some kind of Prince.

    This happend to me when I succesfuly completed ny first tax return. I was in a restaurant were I proceeded to click my fingers at the waiters. The manager came over and asked me to behave myself, so when I responded with “Are you capable of calculating a complicated capital gains tax issue? Thought not. You probably wouldnt know which way to pass the port you pleb”. He reacted by poking me in the eye and throwing me out.

    I wouldnt have minded but I was on a first date with some girl, and as I peered through the rainy window, I could have sworn he was getting off with her. Though admittedly, I only had use of one eye, so may have been mistaken.

    Jack needs to get back to basics. Play football for the love of it, not for want to be loved by others.

    You know what i mean 26. Ime sure you remember that first big client deal. You know, the one were you acted for that fat rich bloke and got praised by the senior partner. You remember dont you? You evicted that frail old lady from her family home so Fatso could earn loads of money by turning it into a car park.

    If jack dont watch it, by the time his forty he will be thrown out of restaurants and own a multi storey car park

  57. GoonerB says:

    I agree GN5 that something may have to give and in terms of pure player quality you would go with Santi over Arteta and Flamini. IMO however we do have a lot of quality in the attacking central departments and desperately need a bit more balance in the squad.

    I think at this stage that both Flamini and Arteta, along with Rosicky, can become valuable experienced back up members of the squad and will likely not even argue about the role at this stage in their career. We need a (cliched) world class DM as first choice and, IMO, being able to fall back on players like them is potentially the difference between the title winners and also rans.

    If Santi was considering leaving us then I would suggest we use the situation to bring in another high quality attacking player who is slightly different to balance us out a bit more and leave us less overloaded with ACM players.

  58. GoonerB says:

    Hahaha Terry. I can never be sure if your comments are pure fictional comedy or actually have some genuine subliminal truth to them.

  59. stevepalmer1 says:

    Nice one Terry, you may have hit it on the head there as jack had a falling out with a cab driver, don’t know if he got poked in the eye but he had a long walk home.

  60. stevepalmer1 says:

    I have to say that the way Terry tells a story there is method in the madness, I can remember way back when i was lectured by a girlfriends Mother who after a pregnancy scare. She told me if i must, then i should use protection, some months later after drinking quite a bit, we went back to my girlfriends place, where my girlfriend fell asleep, but her Mother made a pass and i slept with her, It was a bit frantic and was over pretty quick, i realised that we had done it without protection, and the moral of this story. is that if you want to save money, do it with an older woman.

  61. stevepalmer1 says:

    Watching Korea and the Belgians what a match this has been 1.0 to Belgium, a cracker.

  62. stevepalmer1 says:

    Night all

  63. GoonerB says:

    Night Steve and I hope the mother in law isn’t staying currently.

  64. LBG says:

    What a post 26, and comments of real thought from many to follow it!

    I believe Jack will be central to our success for many years to come. I found myself agreeing with much of GB’s original thoughts. Believe Jack will hopefully end up in that playmaking/defensive role alongside a Schneiderlin- type player, with Jack having the freedom to push on on occasions. Ramsey, the Ox and Ozil will be my three ahead of him. I believe Santi might well go and contrary to many, would sacrifice Walcott. This leaves the fight for the true goal scorer and as I have said before, Remy and/or Bony to go all out for supremacy with OG, would suit me.

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Champing at the bit here to spout out the name of some horribly expensive striker, but I’ve gagged my self. Mmmmmmm

    Algeria going through has put yet another dent in my wall chart. Bloody minnows.

  66. chas says:

    Algeria goal reaction on 38 seconds.

  67. chas says:

    Micky
    Which horribly expensive striker should we buy?
    I think the Russian, Shatov, would sell a lot of shirts. :)

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Just read through the Suarez comments.

    Has a player ever received such a lengthy ban for a deliberate two footed studs up leg breaker?

    I’m assuming this punishment is more down to some kind of gentlemanly conduct kind of deal, like spitting, or wearing pink boots.

    The only lengthy ban I can remember was when Eric Cantona clobbered that oik with his Kunf-Fu kick.

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas

    mmmmmmmm mmmmmm

  70. chas says:
  71. chas says:
  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Not fair that baby pic, the poor bastard was at Crystals, Raddy and Chary’s Doom Party last night.

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok Chas

    Your pics tend to come in three flavours. Girls Butts, Punk Era Pics, or weird nature shit.

    Love two out of the three

  74. chas says:

    Haha, Doom Party.
    Actually, it did strike me that the photo bore a curious resemblance to Chary. :)

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha The Butt Fruit pic.

    Actually Chas, I thought exactly the same thing about the Chary likeness. Really similar.

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Now you’re winding me up : roll :

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Hark, is that the sound of very slow moving leaden footed steps. Could it be the first Doomer. Here’s my money on it’s opening gambit:

    “Urrrrrrrr, I feel terrible. Is it raining as usual. Had a dream last night where not every draw for every competition was rigged against us, and also not every ref hated The Arsenal, and the Media didn’t hate us, and eerrrrr, oh I feel awful, the dreams over and another looooong day of reality…”

  78. Eddie says:

    It is raining and I did have a terrible dream
    Chas – how to I move a photo from Twitter to AA?

  79. Eddie says:

    oh don’t bother dear, I ‘ve done it. This lovely family resides outside our apartment by the sea. Lovely creatures , so cute

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Terrible day yesterday followed by an awful nights sleep and then an awful start to the day. Worried – very worried about total lack ogf transfer activity (especially when Chavs have signed the best players in the whole universe) and how we are going to get relegated and then Ozil and Ramsey will get life for hiring a hit man to do away with Pocchetino.

    Other than that the sun is shining

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy :-)

    Eddie, apartment by the sea?

  82. Eddie says:

    yes Micky, sanatorium with my mum in Poland

    Raddy – I am away and blissfully unaware- whom did Chavs buy?

  83. chas says:

    I just wish the club would show some ambition like the spuds did last summer instead of just titting around on some beach.

  84. chas says:

    Evonne, those are some funny looking dogs. Are they Polish dogs?

  85. Eddie says:

    Chas!! They are urban wild boars, polish equivalent of british foxes

    Fantastic finish from Arsene, but I am not sure if kicking is allowed .

  86. Eddie says:

    Chas!!!! They are urban wild boars, polish equivalent of british foxes

    Great finishing from Arsene, but I am not sure if kicking is allowed

  87. Eddie says:

    comments disappearing sometimes

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    Fair point Chas. I mean how the hell is Arsene going to find players, let alone talk to them, while poncing about in Brazil watching the worlds’ finest.

  89. Gööner In Exile says:

    Patience patience patience.

    At 18 Jack held his own against the best midfield in World football, he has suffered injury hell since but just watch this and remind yourself why we all were so excited:

  90. Yeah but we can’t play Barcelona every week!!!!!!

    Morning all

  91. I’m watching that video thinking who’s the guy with the very blond hair in midfield?????? Then I remembered it was Song having a blond time :)

  92. LBG says:

    Eddie – “urban wild boar” would be much tastier than foxes!

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    Great vid Exile.

    In that game, or rather in those days, Jack rarely tried to beat more than one man. Shield, glide past, pass. Nice simple and very effective.

    Remain convinced he’s simply trying too hard. Remember, the was THE great hope, then got overtaken by the then no-hoper Ramsey.

  94. That game was amazing, just sensational stuff, look at how fast we moved the ball ………….. what happened to our football :(

  95. Gööner In Exile says:

    And watch this and see how he has got an eye for goal and a slide rule pass

  96. Big Raddy says:

    Strange concept an urban wild boar.

    Next week I retire to my Italian haven where there are proper wild boar. Nasty buggers who will have your eye out as soon as look at you

  97. Gööner In Exile says:

    He is a seriously good footballer and a lot of people will be made to eat their words

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches

    We have a deadly slow attack (when Theo’s injured), that’s what’s happened to our fast moving stuff

    I’d say Ollie is the slowest striker in the Prem, and Pod one of the slowest wingers

  99. LBG says:

    Yyyyyeeeesssss GiE. I knew there was evidence that Jack is the best left footed potential genius we have had at the Arse since the God LB himseilf!

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    Very jealous of your Italian trip Raddy. Sounds like heaven.

    We’ve got scaffolding up everywhere, house to be painted, windows changed and it’s absolutely chucking it down. Could well take a very, very long time.

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    And I know what Exile is saving for his piece of resistance.

    Yip, the greatest team goal ever scored :-)

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on Exile. You’ve been rumbled. Wheel it out.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Come on GIE…. I have work to do

  104. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky i agree i think there is an element of that trying too hard in his game, he is trying to make up for lost time, as Rambo did. Now when we look at Ramsey on the ball he is relaxed and has lost that tightness coming from trying to affect the game rather than doing what comes naturally. I think Jack is in the same place as Rambo was 18months ago.

    Lets hope he can come out of it. But what he needs to be is honest with his manager and himself and not overplay or play through knocks as they affect his game and he will never fully recover from the setbacks of the last few years.

    Watching the last vid i posted the one thing i would say is the first few frames are why i don’t think he is suited to defensive midfield, there was something very Scholesesque about those tackles.

  105. Gööner In Exile says:

  106. mickydidit89 says:

    Agree with that comment Exile, and I’ve been of the in-the-shadow-of, making-up-time opinion since I mentioned it here six months ago.

    Also, agree no way is he a dm.

    Mind you, switch to 3-5-2 and there’s space for him and Aaron :-)

  107. RA says:

    Morning, Peeps,

    No new players, no likely new players in the foreseeable future – actually no new players ever, Wenger has the nerve to relax on the beach when he should be scouring the NewNow blogs to see who is available – just like we are, Chelsea have bought the whole Brazil team, and City are going to give all their fans £1 million each just because they can — and their are cute wild boar likely to be scoffed by Raddy.

    Woe – Woe is me — and I am a bit worried that LBG is eating all the urban foxes!!

    I am turning into Mystic Kelsey!! :-)

  108. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent. RA has joined the Club of Doom

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    RA

    I saw the tastier than fox comment and err’d a little

    Mind you, why wouldn’t rural foxes taste good? Mmmm, maybe we bipeds prefer eating vegetarian animals like sheeps and cows

  110. RA says:

    That’s very much along the lines of a comment I made yesterday, Exile.

    Injuries, returning to action too soon, loss of pace due to the injuries, trying too hard and just cannot tackle without giving away a foul (lack of pace means he is too slow into the tackle.

    He has the talent to be the top man for club and country, but has to give himself the time to come back to full fitness first, (like Rambo had to) or it will not bode well for his future career.

  111. RA says:

    I saw a tasty looking badger in the garden yesterday, and he was so gorgeous I could never eat him – biped or not – me, I mean. :-)

    Cuteness is the key to the conundrum ‘eat, no eat’ unless you are Raddy or LBG. :-)

    Raddy, there is no chance of me ever joining the Wailers, so I just thought I would see what it felt to write such stuff —- Meh! :-)

  112. LBG says:

    Micky
    ……no meat on them.

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    LBG

    What do you mean “no meat on them”. What the hell do you think they’re made of? :-)

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Not much meat on a rabbit but they taste great.

    RA. Just joking :-D

  115. RA says:

    Not much meat on Megan Fox, but she …….. :-)

  116. We have a New Post ………………..

    Need posts for the weekend ;)

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