The football season is back with us. The games at the Emirates this weekend enabled AW to showcase his two new signings, both of whom rose admirably to the occasion and gave a good account of themselves. We have a new attacker and defender that are comfortable on the ball and capable of seamlessly fitting into the Arsenal system, whilst adding a much needed touch of aggression at either end of the park.
This tournament last year introduced the chirpy Little Jack Wilshere to a wider audience than those real fans who were already in the know. Having gone to Barnet to watch the reserves play or sad souls like me who having subscribed to yet another pay TV channel saw the precocious 16 year olds awesome, performance against West Ham. Capped with a curling Henry like goal, right in front of the watching AW, sat on his own behind the goal.
Needless to say he was named man of the tournament last year, as indeed he was yesterday, somewhat luckily I felt. He played well enough and his shot on the volley that cannoned off the bar would have been another collectors piece had it been 6”lower. His immaturity showed through when he was conned by a clever body check into conceding a penalty.
His real success this year and the exciting part for many fans was his link up with another unknown from the Academy conveyor belt Emmanuel Frimpong an 18 year old, solid, tough tackling, defensive midfielder who will collect a card or two along the way but looks the warrior many have been crying out for. Together the two took on the Milan midfield and were not found wanting. To young to do it week in week out, but by the season end I am sure will be regular squad members who have a number of first team appearances – ready to become regulars next season.
Theo has taken a lot of stick recently, but I thought he showed on Sunday with two assists, what his pace and crosses can do for us, if only his team mates would attack the far post when he is making for the goal line. He too is far from the finished article but seems to me to be growing in confidence.
Finally, AW stated he was still in the market for a defender and yet still a hard core of Arsenal fans continue to doubt his word. I have been staggered by the number of conspiracy theories that follow AW press conference statements since the transfer window opened. Do we really doubt the integrity of the man that much; how would his constant critics react if they were treated so shabbily, it is not his fault that we are linked with half a dozen different defenders on a daily basis. Shouldn’t we wait until the window closes before we crucify the guy?