Is Wilshere The New Ramsey?

There was an interesting discussion in comments here on Arsenal Arsenal yesterday about the current form of Jack Wilshere.

And we are not the only ones talking about our Number 10.

With a couple of England international fixtures on the horizon his progress was always guaranteed to be a hot topic among the media.

And Jack added smoke to the fire after being caught out by The Sun newspaper while sucking on a fag*.

He subsequently apologised for polluting his body, but I suspect his actions endeared him even more to Arsenal fans of a smoking persuasion (GiE – please confirm).

But the cigarette business was really just a sideshow and the important stuff was what he did (or didn’t do) on the pitch.

Some seem to feel his performance against West Brom on Sunday was pants. Others feel he had a poor first half but a good second half. Others still that he was below par but generally OK.

My impression from watching the game live was that he was having a frustrating time. For one thing he was being played wide left, when clearly his preferred position is in the middle.

But it wasn’t just that. It seemed that he was dwelling on the ball too long at times; he was turning into trouble instead of skipping away from it; and he was too easily muscled off the ball.

He redeemed himself with two pieces of fine play in the second half: the shot which Lamparded its way into the Albion net and earned us a point; and one exquisite long pass to pick out Giroud in the box – the Frenchman only being denied by a good save from Myhill. (Jack should also have been awarded two absolute bang-on penalties, but that’s another story).

Overall the impression was of a player who is out of sorts. Not bad, but not as good as we have seen him in the past.

However, when Chas uploaded a video yesterday of all Wilshere’s moments in the game and I watched it through, my assessment of his performance went up. Yes, he lost the ball a few times, but in general he moved things along well. It was like he did the opposite of flattering to deceive, whatever that is.

It just shows what a conundrum the “Jack question” is.

But the thing that struck me most was how similar his play has been in recent outings to the form shown by Aaron Ramsey last season.

As he battled his way back from his maiming at the hands of the Shawcross orc he often seemed slow in possession and ponderous on the ball.  Some Arsenal supporters became frustrated with him; his mistakes were greeted with moans and groans; some dimwits demanded that he be dropped, sold, loaned out, beheaded… whatever.

But Arsene Wenger knew that only match time could rub the rough edges off Aaron’s game, so he stuck with him.

In the second half of the season the Welshman’s performances started to improve considerably and he was a vital component of our run to the Champions League positions and to eventually – hilariously – finishing above the Spuds yet again.

Fast forward to this season and Aaron has become as undroppable as Mesut Ozil.

Interestingly, I thought that his renaissance began when he stopped trying to be the best player on the pitch. He was so desperate to make up for lost time and to silence that awful moaning from the crowd that he kept trying to do amazing things: the Hollywood pass; the impossible dribble; the 35 yard screamer.

His confidence and form were low, so none of these over-ambitious attempts came off. At some point he was either told, or figured out for himself, that he should focus on the simple things: don’t try and win the game with every touch – just move the ball on quickly and simply.

Once he simplified his game, more things worked for him, the crowd got off his back and his confidence started to return. Finally things turned round completely and he was able to start pulling off the special stuff because he had the confidence and composure to do it.

So, the relevance to Jack Wilshere is this: is Jack trying too hard to get his form back rather than just letting it come  naturally? If he stops trying to do too much every time he gets the ball, will he – like Aaron Ramsey – slowly but surely return to his best?

It’s probably not in his nature to do that. And, given the hype surrounding him from the national side, it’s hard to imagine him deciding to play conservatively – but it may just be what he needs for a few weeks.

Anyone who remembers him looking like the best midfielder on the park in a game against Barcelona that also featured Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas knows that Jack has what it takes to be world class.

Although he did not have as traumatic an injury as Ramsey’s he nevertheless missed the best part of two seasons with his own injuries and if our Number 16’s rehabilitation has shown anything it’s that these things take time. Quite a lot of time.

But Ramsey’s resurgence also shows that it will be worth it in the end.

So the moral of this tale is this: Arsene should keep playing Jack in the first team; and perhaps Jack should opt to play a more “percentages” type of game for a while until things really start to gel.

There is much discussion about who gets a starting berth on our midfield when everyone is fit. The usual “nice problem to have” clichés get bandied about. I could see Jack potentially slipping down the pecking order, but not for long.

By the end of this season he will be a first team regular and will have re-established himself as one of the best talents in the country.

Right LB… over to you.

  • Note to American readers: it’s not what you think.


107 Responses to Is Wilshere The New Ramsey?

  1. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Rocky.

    I am worried for Jack. Yes, he is hard working, he gives his all for the team, but we have too many central players, and if he cannot operate well from the left wing, he may have to spend a bit of time on the benches. But he is young, he will learn and be back with a bang.

    Here is what Arsene had to say on Friday: “You ask every good football player where they want to play and he says to you, ‘In the centre.’ Nobody says, ‘I want to play wide.’ I’ve never heard that. … But on the other hand, I had Nasri, Silva. They all play wide. Jack can play basically everywhere”.

    I guess Jack will get a couple of chances to start on wide left, interchanging with Ramsey, but leaving the centre free for Ozil. Hopefully he will learn how to go down the line behind the back 4, and then cross into empty spaces in the box, because that is what we need him to do. Not cutting in and jostling for space in our overcrowded centre.

  2. arnie says:

    chas: what a fantastic way to start the day on AA. First, Copland and Kubrick (thanks a lot), and then Rocky and Jacky!!!!

  3. chas says:

    Cheers, Rocky.
    Seeing the game live, I didn’t think Jack had played badly at all. Just an average performance in an average team performance.
    Stats-wise it’s interesting to compare Jack and Rambo.

    34 successful passes out of 46
    35 successful passes out of 46

    I read a post the other day about passing stats meaning pretty much nothing when reviewing a team performance. The writer was pointing out that goals scored and conceded are the only two important ones.
    In that context, too, The Invincibles are now always painted as a team that only played fast counter-attacking football. This isn’t how I remember the 03-04 season. I thought we had as much possession then as we do now.
    Is it just revisionist thinking in the same way that we never remember Seaman, Shilton, Clemence etc making any mistakes?

  4. Räsp says:

    Excellent observations Rocky. To be pedantic, being the ‘new Ramsey’ should be considered a compliment on current form so maybe it should read ‘the new old Ramsey’ 🙂

    I don’t think Ramsey has ever shone playing out wide and I’m not sure Jack will either, they only look dangerous when they cut in – hopefully Arsene gives them free range to do just that.

    Cazorla has to be a starter when back to fitness so I assume he will get the wide left slot and probably Theo will resume on the right too (for most games), so it seems both Ramsey and Jack will feature centrally only as part of squad rotation and from the bench.

    Ozil will need to be rested so I see plenty of scope for interchange in the middle. The luxury is that the alternatives are all top quality, I hope their team spirit means they don’t mind sitting it out to allow others game time.

  5. Arseniel says:

    It’s not only Rambo and Ozil who are undroppable. Giroud, Walcott, Cazorla, Flamini, Bacs, BFG, Cozza, Gibbo and Chezza are also undropable unless injured or fatigued! This pretty much picks our strongest 11 at the moment.

    Wow what a bench

    Jacko, Arteta, Rosicki, Poldi, OX, Diaby, Jenks, Nacho, Verminator, TBSTEL, plus the youngsters and reserve keepers. These could well in the cups if played.

  6. JM says:

    Aaron Ramsey and Arsène Wenger have been named the Barclays Player of the Month and Barclays Manager of the Month respectively.

  7. Anonymous Ozil says:

    An excellent article and in the whole very accurate. I just dont think this is the season gor Arsene to let players play off their poor form. This is the season we are ruthless and win the league with our best 11 on form and fitness regardless of who they may be. Rosicky was easily the man who should have startred ahead of jack on Sunday…would have given the perfect balance I am pretty sure we wouldnt have gone into the break 1nil down.

    No time for egos…big names or celebrity!

    Its our year to win the league and we must be ruthless!

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all.

    Well done Rocky an excellent post, and not just for an international break week.

    I was one of those critical of Wilshere’s performance on Sunday and I stick by that criticism.

    Chas offers up the passing stats for Ramsey and Wilshere but they do not tell the full story, as Rocky says, he too often took the ball into dead ends and lost possession.

    I don’t agree with Arnie’s suggestion that Jack needs to learn to go past the fullback and get crosses in, Gibbs can do that very effectively. We do need to see him cutting inside, with the ball at his feet, taking on and beating defenders. It’s what he is best at, it just hasn’t been working for him lately, particularly against West Brom.

    Congratulations to A&A for their Barclay’s awards. A perfect September, played six, won six.

  9. Sai says:

    Wow! A well accessed and extremely well written post Rocky! Especially the bit about Ramsey’s fall and rise is nicely put.

    Wilshire on the other hand hasn’t been performing too bad. Moreover, he is forced to play wide, which is unnatural for both him and Ramsey. They both were tired lads who seriously need a break! In fact, the entrie team looked tired and lacked pace perhaps due to injuries sustained to our regular Wingers.

    Btw, can you elaborate about “percentages” type of game? I might look dumb and illeterate, but that might be some real spot term I am not familiar with. Hope it’s not Math! 🙂

  10. Jack will be World class. Great read Rocky

  11. I actually thought MOTD’s assessment of him was ok. He’s not a wide player and wanted to come inside all the time.

  12. chas says:

  13. arnie says:

    NG: Thanks and yes, hasty suggestion indeed. Perhaps a bit unhappy with the way the game was played on Sunday. Cutting in will be brilliant, but with the ball and moving forward, taking defenders on, trying to move into the box. The movement was too lateral for me, or even backwards (and passes to Gibbs and Arteta likewise), and not far enough upfront. Also holding on to the ball too long.

    But let us not be too critical. Early days, and We are Top of the League. Tougher tests to come, and then we will see the mettle.

  14. JM says:

    Arsenal’s new PUMA SE kit for season 2014/2015?

  15. chas says:

    I’ve just stumbled on another chart of which GIE would be proud.

    Our big red bubble means we win, right GIE?

    In other news, bsr has a toe injury. Apparently he stubbed it either on his gold-plated throne or on a bag of 50 pieces of silver, sources are unclear which.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:


    “Our big red bubble means we win, right GIE?” ROLF

    Superb graph. Exile really needs to up it, and Rasp needs to get with the times and scrap all that stuff on the right, and get some really useful information to stare gormlessly at during the next two weeks.

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, Rocky.

    The really good news is that I was genuinely thinking of writing a similar Rambo/Jack flavoured piece myself.

    Even better news is that yours is superb and better than I would have done.

    Even better better news is that leaves me done for the break, so I’m off the hook.

    Everyone happy 🙂

  18. GoonerB says:

    Nice one Rocky. I was going to do a Jack related post about him and performances and positions but you beat me to it. Yours is a mighty fine post however and I could never reach your heights of postism Rocky. You will however have to indulge me in a post size response to the Jack conundrum.

    I have to agree with you that maybe at times JW is trying a bit too hard to make things happen. I am not a big fan of comparisons to other players. Saying things like he is no Cesc or Gazza is not helpful. He will be his own player with his own subtle strengths to his game and the most important thing is that he is 21 and has the potential to be world class. I also agree that JW’s performance was not that bad and he was often involved in key moments. He gave the ball away more than we are used to but for me there is a reason for this (see later).

    Firstly Jack was played out of position and I like many of you are looking at how many players we have who are best in the ACM role and wonder if we are unbalanced. It is hard to criticise when we are top of the league and with 2 good ECL wins under our belt, but maybe this is the best time to criticise our set-up so that it doesn’t look like a knee-jerk reaction if things aren’t going so well further down the line. I still feel we are playing at 80% of our potential most of the time and don’t think AW has found how to get the best format with the players he has. With 2 more attacking midfielders to return in AOC and Santi trying to get players into the best formation will become even more difficult.

    I think the format we seem to be settling on is a back 4 with 2 DM’s in front, but with one of them being more disciplined and holding and the other being more box to box. In front of this I think we now need to look to an attacking trio who play behind a lone striker. When Poldi returns I would start to play him more as a lone striker and less as a deeper attacking wide player so that alongside Giroud we have 2 senior players who can alternate that role. That takes him out of the attacking trio predominantly, and therefore leaves that position for other players.

    The attacking trio behind should be able to interchange places as they did to great effect against Napoli. This system is very similar to Bayerns and sometimes Barcas, and if you look at the Bayern squad, which everyone raves about, then try and name the world class number 9 they use. For me they have a couple of very good number 9’s but not world class, but the team still performs as a world class one. That for me is because their strength is in what lies behind the lone striker, and in our squad I feel it is shaping up to be the same.

    So the question is how do we get the best of the players playing behind in the attacking trio, which I don’t feel AW has nailed yet. There is one big glaring area that I don’t quite understand with AW at the moment with the players who are taking up the wider roles in the trio, and that is his reluctance to try playing a left footer from the right and a right footer from the left. I think this is something that GIE also highlights.

    Most other top clubs do this e.g Messi from the right, Ronaldo from the left, and if we are trying to emulate Bayern then they use Robben from the right and Ribery from the left. All opposite side wide players who can come in on their dangerous foot.

    Now look at us, and when we look at the players that often end up as the wider of the trio then, maybe a few exceptions aside, it is always Poldi left, Jack left, Ramsey right, Walcott right, Gnabry right, AOC (last year at least) right. I wonder if this is where we are going wrong with our potency. The natural instinct of most of our players that take up the wide roles is to come inside. That doesn’t have to be a problem as it can create space for over-lapping FB’s, but why not have it so that they are coming in on their favoured foot or can slip a little deceptive reverse pass in for the FB.

    There is one other big point about using opposite side wide players, and this particularly pertains to Jack on Sunday and is maybe even more important to us with the players we have who are not all natural and pure wingers. It was also very well highlighted on MOTD2 (they do sometimes make good points).

    That point is that Jack will want to instinctively come infield slightly if playing from a wider attacking role, and when he does (at the times he is not driving directly forwards) he is usually moving sideways or angling forwards and sideways at a diagonal angle. As a left footer he will want the control of the ball on his left foot which coming from the left leaves the ball more exposed for the defenders to get to. From the right his body shields the ball when he comes infield, and for me he does shield it well when he is coming from these angles with defenders in front of him. It also makes it easier for him to play a forward or defence splitting pass with his body shape facing forwards and slightly towards the left side than the other way round.

    The question is are we going slightly back to the square pegs in round holes scenario and it is was more to do with AW’s preferred set-up that has exposed some of Jack’s deficiencies on Sunday? Is Jack, like Ramsey last year, taking unnecessary flak for something which is not really his fault but is more to do with our chosen tactical formation?

    This opposite side wide player vs same side wide player is something I have questioned before in reference to Theo, Poldi and AOC, but is maybe even more pertinant where Jack is concerned.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    On a less serious note Rocky.

    The similarities between their situations (ie post Rambo injury comeback) are startling and well worth comparison.

    This is the main reason I don’t get on Jack’s back, as deep down I’m actually far more convinced he will be a top, top player than I ever was with Ramsey, and we all know how that turned out.

    I remain sure that playing him, or anyone, out of position is a pointless exercise, and still think Rosicky should have started at Brom. Let’s face it, Tomas is more likely to get injured in training or on National duty, than he ever is while playing for The Arsenal. So Play him!

    My biggest point of agreement with your post regards his being fouled.

    If I was an opposition team/player/manager, then last season I would have said “stop Santi, stop Arsenal”. This season it would be Ramsey, and I’m sure soon Ozil and Santi, but Jack? No.

    He walks/runs into fouls. The one thing that would elevate him several notches as a player is to move the ball faster.

    Did some big head of a manager say great players don’t get injured?

    Thanks Rocky, great read.

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow GB

    Great comment, or is that your post done as well? 🙂

    Back to Jack. Where will his best position be in a year or so? Don’t know, but I’ve always likened him to Petit, but that doesn’t really help much as given his age, things change.

    Another thing is his DNA. The Man is a Gunner and that carries an awful lot of weight in my book.

  21. arnie says:

    Well said, GB.

    Micky, I love this: “The Man is a Gunner and that carries an awful lot of weight in my book.” Agreed, 100%

  22. evonne says:

    Bang on the money Rocky. I felt many times that Jacko is trying too hard. Each time he throws himself between 2 usually much bigger opposition players my heart stops and I want to scream – stop it, you will get yourself injured!

    I don’t know if it is Jack unnecessarily complicating his game or his impatiance to play again at his best. We know what he is capable of, but he knows that even better. Given his age and enthusiasm for the game, one can hardly blame him for trying like a man possessed. I am sure AW sees that and will try to calm the lad down a bit too.

    All in all, we have a great player in JW and can rest assured that he will only get better and better with each game

    Ta Rocky.

  23. gart66 says:

    This is tricky because clearly Wilshere is a top talent but I don’t think he belongs in the starting 11 when we are at full strength with his current form. I think he would do himself a huge favor with refs, fans and even opponents if he didn’t whine and cry about every single call that goes against him…He needs to mature a little bit I think that’s his main issue. With the league being so open and our excellent start I think we play for this year and get Jack in where we can, relief and cup games. Just one American gunner’s opinion.


  24. jnyc says:

    Rocky, good article– people are focusing too much attention on jack right now, just let him do his thing.

    when we get some wingers back, i expect more competition in mf, and i really would rather not have Arteta and flamini playing at the same time unless we are yrying to grind out a result, or one as a sub to protect a lead or go defensive.

    GoonerB, great point about wingers coming in on their shooting foot a la bayerne. That is my preference. Theo would be a monster running onto Ozil passes and curling some balls in the far corner on his right foot from the left.

  25. GoonerB says:

    Yep, that would have been the gist of my post Micky on that topic. I will think up a different one on another subject for the near future. I like the man is a gunner reference Micky. He is definitely our warrior but a warrior with great skill also.

    I am calm about where Jack ends up as his best position and think he will likely be at his best in 4 years, and still only 25 then. I don’t think he is a wide left player though and think he should be either the box to box CM, ACM or at times wide ACM but from the right and not the left. I think if you go through all our ACM’s and list their best positions but also the second best position they can play and remove the position they are least suited to then you can nail down the best formation depending upon who is available.

    For example I think AOC and Santi could play anywhere across the Attacking trio but probably are better from the left than right, Jack could play centrally either attacking or more box to box or from the right if needed, Ozil can play attacking central or from the right, Theo could play attacking right or left but maybe not centrally e.t.c e.t.c.


    GM’s “Jack will be world class” and Mickys “The man is a Gunner”, sums it up for me Rock.

    I get your point about Jack trying to hard, but after hours of research staring at my goldfish bowl, I have come to the conclusion that one must know his place.

    Brady is a lovely fish. He is distinct from those fair ground types by virtue of his golden colour and attractive eyes

    When I first got him I was concerned he would not make it. Rather than go round the bowl in a smooth graceful circle, he was darting around like a maniac, almost hitting the sides.

    I thought it could be my ugly face pressed up against the glass, so via the telescope I observed form a distance, but still the same thing, behaving like Adebayor chasing a £50 note.

    However, about a month ago, I was listening to adagio for strings when I noticed Brady elegantly swimming his way round, it was breathtaking. If any one is interested, I took photos.

    At first he calmed down only when hearing classical music, but now he is tranquil all the time.

    That’s the problem with Jack, he is a fish out of water. Just like Aaron before him, he has come back from a long injury and needs to find his feet and place.

    Its not easy coming back into a side that has new faces, a change in playing style, and a general “the game has moved on” environment.

    Lets be patient, Jacks a great player and .will help us win plenty of leagues and European Cups, of this I am sure.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Apparently, you are a Cornflake or something 🙂

    Mind you, there is a subtle difference between you and it. You like Arsenal to win games. It doesn’t.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Brilliant 🙂

    “needs to find his feet”. Fins, surely?

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thing about being a Goldfish is this. The little fella must live in a bowl that’s diameter is greater than his speed around it. He has a memory of five seconds, so if it’s a six second paddle around the bowl, then bingo:
    “Wow, what a great view”
    “Wow, what a great view”
    “Wow, what a great view”

  30. Bayonne JeanJ says:

    Rocky, no need to translate English to English for us Yanks; have been doing an online course from U of London in “English as a Second Language” which helps.

    On Wilshere; the features of Jack’s game that stood out vs. Barca were outstanding close ball control and the ability to drive forward and AWAY from traffic. Since the injuries, he seems to have bulked up (translation to Queen’s English: added upper body muscle and a stone and a half), and his current game is more bulldozer than Artful Dodger. With added game time, feel confident that he’ll be back to his earlier form with enhanced strength.

  31. The reason he is called Cornflake !. Basically he had a bad experience with Sugar Puffs………The Honey Monster ( unrelated by the way ) was taking him in the mouth and I was ramming the cookies from behind !……… that’s the way the cookie crumbles !.

  32. Red Arse says:

    Just woke up and the sun is shining here and it is lovely and warm, then having a stretch (and it isn’t what you English boys think!), I was panicked when I saw Rockadiddly’s Monday Post.

    Relief – I had not lost a day – the Canadians are just running a day late it seems. The sooner we invade and put their clocks right the better! 🙂

    I am not in the least worried about Jack.

    By his standards he has not been hitting his straps lately. And that is the point – by his standards. For anyone else he had a good game, but we have come to expect more from Jack.

    There are a number of reasons for his slightly below par performance on Sunday; played out of position; not fully fit, according to Arsene, and the opposition have done their homework and now close him down pronto with a little ref condoned physicality thrown in for good measure; and, oh yeah, sucking fags can’t help.

    Nope, I’m not worried about Jack, even his biggest critics cannot overlook the equalizing ‘Lampard’ ** goal he scored which kept us all smiling and top of the league, rather than hitting the sulky face button.

    Don’t know what my kissin’ cousins have lined up for me today but I know it will be exhausting, and there was some mention last night of buffalo ……?? 🙂

    ** Thanks, Rock My Boat, a ‘Lampard’ goal indeed!

    Terry, you old Billy Goat, if you have moved on to goldfish, having grown bored with molesting the ‘thirty, thirsty goats’ I know a man in Devon who might have your girls as ‘special guests’ at his next BBQ party! 🙂

  33. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Isn’t it refreshing? Even the “disaster” of dropping two away points hasn’t brought the usual trolls out of the woodwork. The word “crisis” has disappeared from the Arsenal lexicon and nobody has called for the manager to be sacked or Alisher Usmanov to buy out Stan Koenke.

    Furthermore, the “scandal” of highest ticket prices in the world has died down and we are no longer a feeder club to the top teams.

    I wonder how long the love-in will last. 🙂

  34. Norfolk Gooner says:

    BJ, if you are studying English as a second language, what’s your first language? 😀

  35. Red Arse says:


    Now that I am well past 35, the memory is hazing over, and, like you and the goldfish, I find myself repeating things, but there is nothing wrong with that, wrong with that, with that.

    What? What were you saying? Did you say something? I can’t remember if you did … or not. Maybe it was the goldfish …..

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Good to hear your “take on things” again 🙂

    You mention a bbq. That’s on Saturday for surfers, then the highlight on Sunday.

    Well it’s Didit’s Apple Day on Sunday. Spit roasting Pork for about 20, children collecting apples by the barrow load, crushing and pressing. They then make the apple sauce, and apple crumbles while drinking the juice they’ve made, and the adults get pissed on cider 🙂

    What can go wrong? Oh yeah, remember last year’s now. We ran out of sober parents to drive their flocks home. Oh well.

  37. GoonerB says:

    I don’t feel the need to refer to a “best 11” and certain players being in it or not if all are fit. I think it is more realistic to have a best 18-20 and the natural order of things, i.e injuries, suspensions, some players needing a breather and the type of opposition being faced, will dictate who starts and who comes off the bench in certain games. I think we will need all our best players to win the EPL this year, and that will almost certainly include Jack. I really am not sure we will enter a situation where everyone is available and the problem that it could bring with certain players not being in the squad.

    Terry, I love your story about Brady the goldfish but I can’t for one minute entertain that, a man so naturally blessed with the chiseled facial construction of the Mancini, could have had anything to do with his behaviour.

    I would suggest a different theory whereby things are often distorted when looking through water and glass, and maybe this is contorting your usual Adonis type features to a facial appearance similar style to Dhakka’s gravatar.

    I would put forwards an experiment where if you put Brady in a filled sink for a bit and then put the water filled goldfish bowl on your head and look at a full scale picture of yourself in your best lycra budgie-smugglers, and then you will maybe get a perception of how Brady sees things.

    I do feel it is important in this age for us all to try and get a perspective of how others see us, even goldfish.

  38. arnie says:

    NG: What a fantastic pleasure indeed! Having a full scale constructive but robust and critical discussion on AA without having “brought the usual trolls out of the woodwork”. Ah, what pleasure!!!! Who would have thought we would see such a day!!!!!

  39. Red Arse says:


    Just on my way out the door when I noticed your comment to Terry explaining your experiment.

    Right over my head I am afraid, so I have asked a big, fishical American goldfish to interpret for me. He is a nuclear fishicist during the night – very hush-hush – but in his spare bowl-time he is a bit of a fishionary thinker and can get to the nub of things.

    He says your nub is beyond the understanding of fish and men, but Terry might understand! 🙂

  40. 26may1989 says:

    Love Rocky’s post, love GoonerB’s treatise (78 words longer than the headline post!), and I love jnyc’s comment at 2.19pm: that one captures my thoughts on the subject completely. Once Jack is able to revert to playing in one of the deeper roles, and not do a job for the team while our flank specialists are all out injured, he will come good.

    As GoonerB says, the first XI concept is all but irrelevant. Even without any injuries (ha ha ha), the top 18-20 players will get plenty of action. And in many ways, the role of the subs is often more important than some of the starters.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Lovely read as always.

    My opinion ….. see above (26)

  42. GoonerB says:

    Hahaha 26May love it, I am not sure who is worse, me for my protracted point or you for counting it.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Transplant, RA and GoonerB

    🙂 Class Acts

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Just the Man. Saw your flight lands Dusseldorf at 20:10. Exact same time as me. This means, either, there’s going to be trouble on the runway, or you are coming via Heathrow, and we’ll be on the same Luftwaffe Airlines Plane. True?

    I thought I had emailed you.

  45. LB says:

    An excellent, thought provoking post Rocky.

    I have some thoughts that I am working on.

  46. evonne says:

    September 2013
    Reasons to be cheerful are 4:

    1 Aaron Ramsey Barclays player of the month
    2 Arsene Wenger Barclays manager of the month
    3 Arsenal are top of the league
    4 Spurs are minding the gap again
    🙂 🙂

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Indeed Kelsey. Sounds to me like things could turn ugly in Dusseldorf, and I’m not referring to the fact that Raddy is rocking up in his lederhosen 🙂

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All fair points, Evonne. Not much wrong with the world right now.

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not sure I’ve ever “worked” on a thought. Does it involve wearing exercise shoes?

  50. evonne says:

    yes Micky, things are looking up all right 🙂

    I checked which of our players can come across nasty Serbians you fear so much. It is good news and bad news – Vermalean who can take care of himself and Aaron that we cannot lose. Both to play Serbia next month

  51. evonne says:

    daily arsehole

  52. Bayonne JeanJ says:

    Norfolk, my native tongue is Left Side of the Pond English. My comment was simply a reference to the “two countries separated/divided by a common language” concept, popularized by Churchill, attributed to GB Shaw, but probably originated with Oscar Wilde.

    Enough esoterica; here’s a suggestion for an interlull discussion topic. Is it an issue/isn’t it strange that the team captain can’t get in the side? Does who the captain is really matter? If it does, when would be the best time to make a change, and who would you want in that role? Or, given the potential logjam in midfield, is it actually a positive to have, serving as an example, a captain who is not a guaranteed starter but who continues to (as far as we know) stay positive, work hard, and not complain?

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Bayonne. Get writing. Send to Arsenal Nuts link above …..

  54. LB says:


    Working on my thoughts does not require sports wear but it does require alcohol.

    Written with a smile on my face.

  55. chas says:

  56. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Quality read that Corky.

    Jacks definitely been guilty of overplaying of late. He used to beat one (or two at once) then pop the ball off, lately he’s finding a lot of blind alleys.

    Luckily he has one of the most supportive and patient managers in world football. He’ll be fine.

  57. Jamie says:


    I just put together a few thoughts and thought you use as a post sometime. How do I get it to you.

  58. Räsp says:

    Hi Jamie, thanks very much. Please email it to

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Jamie. Go to Be My Guest and follow link.

    Top man, we need posts during the interlull

  60. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, hectic couple of days here.

    I wrote a while back that Rambo has provided us a lesson in patience, at the end I suggested we may now need to exercise the same patience with Jack.

    But with the current squad I think Arsene needs to find a way to get the best out of te plethora of talent around the club.

    I don’t believe that players can’t play well wide even if it is not their best position, they have to adapt, the best players do.

    People use Ramsey playing wide as an example, he started wide against Napoli and looked every bit the winger when bursting away and to the bye line to lay it to Ozil. I remember his goal against Wigan last season scored from the left wing.

    If we are to play Arteta and Flamini together I think we should be ale to allow the full backs to provide the natural width with more freedom, this should give te advanced midfield three a similar licence to roam. As GoonerB says I would like to see Jack on the right and Aaron on the left. Rosicky starts on the left more often than not. With Özil’s ability to spot space this shouldn’t be overly detrimental to the team.

  61. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the comments anyone.

    Can you believe it’s two whole weeks before we see the boys playing together again?

    Stupid Interlulls. Stupid Fifa.

  62. RockyLives says:

    oops… meant everyone 🙂

  63. Gööner In Exile says:

    It’s a travesty Rocky but as Norfolk pointed out earlier isn’t it lovely that the two weeks will not be filled with fretting about the next game.

  64. RockyLives says:

    Haha – that’s definitely a silver lining. Well spotted Mr Norfolk.

  65. RockyLives says:

    So GiE, did you have a sneaky feeling of “that’s my boy” when Jack was caught smoking? 🙂

  66. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha…..not really I do think its mountain out of a molehill stuff.

    Jack posted a pic of Zidane having a smoke on twitter. Bit cheeky but makes a point.

    Listening to The Game podcast they said a lot of footballers smoke. But they won’t name names because it’s not their job to. Which I agree with.

    Wouldn’t be like the English media to drum up a story to unsettle the national squad would it? Last game it was Kyle Walker and the 100% legal laughing gas. What made me laugh about that story was if he was having a drink it wouldn’t have been a story, after all as I heard Alistair Campbell say recently, we are the only nation that has to make an excuse when not taking an alcoholic drink at a free bar….”I’ll have a coke ….I’m driving” “I’m on antibiotics better have an orange juice”. That story about the laughing gas was ridiculous as the paper listed all the possible side effects. But do they post a picture of a player having a beer and list all those side effects? No because it’s acceptable to get drunk it’s what Brits do.

  67. RockyLives says:

    Good point GiE.

    I’m off to get drunk 😀

    Til tomorrow…

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yikes, this is going to be a long break.

    Damn these Internationals.

  69. evonne says:

    oh yeah, long internationals? And what happens if they decide to play the World Cup in Qatar during the winter? I’ll be too old to care, but your season Micky will be truly fecked up

  70. evonne says:

    Real Madrid are allegedly in serious financial trouble. Someone has even mentioned administration.
    Now, here is the serious question – if, the big if, if Real went into admin, does it mean that they would not pay Spurs the rest of the Euros for Bale? That would be funny, no?

  71. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, Evonne it can’t really be a surprise as they have been spending like crazy for years.

    What would really set the cat amongst the pigeons of European clubs would be a change to the transfer system.

    Currently FFP states that any club failing to pay transfer creditors (ie Spuds instalments for Bale) would be excluded from European competition, what if they instead stated that all transfer fees have to be paid when the deal is done, surely this would see the deals reduce to less insane levels and also remove the problem of non payment.

  72. chas says:

    “I think it [the break] comes at a really good time because we have played a lot. Obviously everybody is tired physically and tired mentally because you have to give 200 per cent in every single game. For us it is a chance to have players coming back into the group like maybe Theo [Walcott] and Santi [Cazorla]. I hope everyone will be back soon,”

    It always annoys me when players say, ‘we gave 110%’ or some such garbage.
    200% is just ridiculous. 🙂

  73. kelsey says:

    I mentioned this a few weeks ago and no one either challenged what I said or responded.

    The Bale deal was subject to RM selling a player of approx half the value.That was stipulated by RM’s bankers.

    Ozil only then came into the frame as far as we were concerned He was not top of our wanted list (not that i am complaining).

    Both deals were tied up two weeks before being publically announced.

    The Levy story was a red herring and complete bolloxs.

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Evonne

    I could not possibly publish on here my feelings about the Qatar world cup, other than to say that a few hundred Nepalese workers dead so far comes as no surprise to me.

    Really don’t know enough about Real and their financial arrangements to comment. I know Spain and the City of Madrid are in financial trouble, but at the same time Real Madrid must be providing someone with huge revenue streams, and that has enormous value.

  75. Sav from Australia says:

    Top quality post Rocky. Got to it a bit late but thought I would say thanks. I think you are spot on. Now off to read the comments!

  76. chas says:

    Another of my bugbears is “learning curve”

    Can you explain to me, calling on your huge experience with graphs and charts, what does learning curve mean?
    If your rate of learning increased at the same rate as your level of experience, then your graph would be a straight line.
    If you learnt a lot very quickly in a short time but less over a longer period, then your graph might look curved but facing downwards.
    If it took a lot of experience to gain some learning and then your learning increased dramatically, then your graph might look curved but facing upwards.

    So what the feck do people mean when they say, ‘it was a learning curve’ ?

  77. chas says:

    Assuming experience on the ‘x’ axis and learning on the ‘y’, of course. 🙂

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas My Dear

    Go find yourself a teacher who has never done anything worthwhile in the real world, and you could spend many rewarding hours discussing pointless terminology, and they could even line up a Workshop for you to attend, which you will enjoy very much 🙂

  79. chas says:

    I remember someone said on here a few weeks ago, (can’t remember who) that,

    The Bale deal was subject to Madrid selling a player of approx half the value.That was stipulated by Madrid’s bankers.

    Presumably that’s because it’s all about to go tits up.

  80. Morning all

    Really busy here …… someone has sent a post to nuts but I don’t recognise the name, can anyone tell me if someone has put on the blog that they are sending a post please.


  81. chas says:

    Are you trying to tell me that discussing pointless terminology is pointless?

  82. chas says:

    Jamie did, peaches @10.20

  83. On the subject of posts we have a lot of days to fill – damn these International breaks – so all contributions will be greatly appreciated.

  84. What a team 🙂 thanks chas xx

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    More graphs please Chas. They are brilliant, and light up my day.
    Really. Love them 🙂

  86. chas says:

  87. chas says:

    someone 🙂

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    He’s good that Arseblog Fellow

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. Mrs Raddy is a teacher and did something very worthwhile just last night ……

    kelsey. No-one challenged you because you made much sense. No-one spends that kind of dough without a great deal of talking and money earning for lawyers, accountants, agents, merchandisers etc etc

  90. Jamie says:

    Yes, Peaches the post was mine. Sorry I didn’t indicate.

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Just made a cup of tea. Put in the tea bag, added water and then the milk. Tried to drink it ….. had forgotten to boil the water.

    I hate getting old .

  92. Räsp says:

    Morning all, the Qatar farce should have been stamped on the moment they were announced as winners. A tiny country, with no established football league, no stadiums, totally inappropriate climate ….. and now people are dying in the name of this travesty.

    The OJ Simpson trial is peanuts when compared to this glaring and universally accepted corruption. As I said at the time, if they persist with Qatar I expect the World Cup to lose all credibility and have about as much integrity as the Eurovision Song Contest in the future.

  93. chas says:

    It was because you were still thinking about last night, wasn’t it?

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:


    All AA’ers, their friends and families, are all immune from my long list of “I can’t stand those sorts” 🙂

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Wish you hadn’t just introduced me to the Daily Mash site.

    My morning blogging loyalties could now be re-visited 🙂

    Brilliant, thanks.

  96. GoonerB says:

    Morning all.

    Chas, Haha I just read your 8.42. You asked what a learning curve was then proceeded to answer your own question with a multitude of examples of different types of learning curves. Sorry, it just tickled me.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Funnily enough Raddy, earlier this morning I was watching some Pete ‘n Dud clips, and Dud couldn’t poor the tea. He discovered he had Martin Peters stuck up the spout 🙂

  98. chas says:

    Pointless discussion, but I didn’t answer my question.
    If someone says ‘it was a learning curve’, this is useless info unless they say which way the curve was facing and its steepness as represented by a binomial sine wave extrapolation.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I wish I shared your positivity.

    IMO the days of integrity died with The Kinks. Since then only one thing talks and that is money.

    Who would have thought that a bank could fail thanks to the immense greed of a few? Or that a country could fail (Greece etc) Or that thanks to Thatcherism there would be no possibility for employment in so many of the Northern towns resulting in a disaffected youth who in turn create a society with no respect (simplistic but you get my drift)?

    Money is all that drives the world and we can see it everywhere in modern society. That the global football family has surrendered to the greed of a few is no surprise just hugely sad.

    Right, off the soapbox and back to light entertainment 😀

  100. Räsp says:

    Morning again everyone ……..

    …… New Post ……..

    ………from the keyboard of a new author. His name is Jamie but he is not same the ‘Jamie’ as already in our list of authors. I put the term ‘deadwood’ in room 101 but Jamie has chosen to use it in his article, please cut him some slack and enjoy the discussion 🙂

  101. GoonerB says:

    Sorry Chas, you lost me at bi, but I just get a sneaky feeling you know more about it than you are letting on.

  102. Big Raddy says:

    Micky 9.24 😀

    Can you recall the title of the sketch?

    “binomial sine wave extrapolation”. 😀 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: