Do We Play Ryo Miyaichi or the Twitter Flavour of the Month Next Season?

April 4, 2012

Not another kid!

We need Eden Hazard, Yoann Gourcuff, Mario Goetze, some other player playing in the French Ligue 1/Bundesliga who I’ve never really seen play, but a lot of people are talking about him on Twitter so I presume we really need him and am going to get really angry about it when Wenger doesn’t splash out £50million on him in the summer.

Of course, these were more than likely the same people who booed Andrey “established star who cost a few bob” Arshavin off the field when he was replaced by Alex “oh bloody hell another kid who cost us a small fortune” Oxlade-Chamberlain at the Emirates against Manchester United.

Now before you worry, this isn’t another pop from a blog at Arshavin. I am very fond of the Russian and do hope that if he can’t find form at Arsenal, he will somewhere else (in a different league) because he is a joy to watch. No, no, this is about the kids, and one in particular – Ryo Miyaichi.

Arsenal signed Miyaichi in January of 2011, and he immediately went out on loan to Feyenoord until the end of the season. In 12 games, he scored 3 goals and made a big impression there. At the time, a Dutch friend of mine told me that he was still raw but was an exceptional prospect. It was on such evidence that he was granted an “exceptional talent” work visa. Ryo was hyped up by Wenger when he signed for us, and again during last summer, but other than two short appearances in the Carling Cup, we saw nothing of Miyaichi. That was until he went to Bolton on loan.

Now, during the Fat Sam era I wasn’t a fan of Bolton, with their pedantic football and aggressive style. Things didn’t get much better under Gary Megson, but under Owen Coyle, Bolton are a decent side to watch, aren’t into the bully boy tactics, and as shown by Jack Wilshere’s successful time there, a good place for Arsenal to loan out some younger players to get some vital first team experience. Young Jack grew up a lot in his time at the Reebok, he was taken away from the comfy bubble of London Colney and thrust into a more no nonsense set-up at a mid to lower league side where everyone had to pull their weight.

The same has happened to Ryo, and he hasn’t even got the benefit of a few years at our academy like Jack had, which leads me to suspect Wenger may be tempted to give him a try-out in the Arsenal squad sooner rather than later. I’m not going to try and sound clever and pretend to have watched every game he has played for Bolton, but I do read all the reviews and in them, Ryo’s name pops up time and again. Reporters often claim he is Bolton’s most creative player, and often their best. In fact, he was voted the club’s Player of the Month for February by fans. His goal and 2 assists in just 6 games probably helps.

I’ve only caught highlights of Ryo play, but he is willing to take defenders on, and can whip in a fine cross. His reaction to Fabrice Muamba’s illness is also telling when it comes to Wenger’s favourite, his “mental strength.” At the time he was obviously and understandably shocked, this turned to a tear when Muamba’s name was chanted on the first game back at the Reebok, and that in turn turned to sheer determination to do well on the field. It is hard to know how he will re-act to playing in the famous red and white on a big night at the Emirates, but like with the Ox and any other youngster, there is only one way to find out – throw ’em in at the deep in.

I’m not much of a betting woman (lost €30 to Paddy Power during Cheltenham – so if anyone has any tips for the Grand National I’m listening) but if I were to harbour a guess, I can sadly see Arshavin and Benayoun leaving the club in the summer and Miyaichi given his chance to shine. That would give us the options of Miyaichi, Walcott, Gervinho, and Oxlade-Chamberlain out wide, and they all have one thing in common – SPEED!

So do we give Ryo Miyaichi a go next season, or some player we’ve never really seen play or heard of before Twitter told us we needed him?

Written by Irishgunner

Time for a change of fortune. Bolton preview

September 24, 2011

It is highly likely that the media focus on this game will centre upon Gary Cahill. No doubt he is a good player (though he was crap against MU) but the interest has little to do with his playing ability and more to do with the conflict between the clubs off pitch. Should we be surprised that Gartside decided to go public with the transfer negotiation and made a prat of himself? No, because this is a man who brought Fat Sam to Bolton. Perhaps Gartside thought he could entice a higher Spurs bid by highlighting how cheap their North London neighbours are. Unfortunately for Gartside his shenanigans are likely to cost Bolton a few million when Cahill moves for less money in January or for nothing in summer, ….. Good.

On pitch Bolton are a different team to the one we detested under the Walrus. With Owen Coyle at the head they have found a way to play attractive football. Bolton still have two of the dirtiest players in the PL, players who are very different from each other apart from their disciplinary record. Kevin Davies is the pantomine villain, a proper English Centre Forward and the last of his breed – I really like the man, however Bolton also include the repulsive Paul Robinson, all I need to tell you is that he was signed by Gary Megson!  At 32 y.o and definitely slowing his only hope against Theo is to do what he does best – kick two colours out of him.

The news of Wilshere’s surgery is a hard blow but the return of Ramsey and Rosicky is good news as is the knowledge that Sagna has recovered from his knock, he is such an important player in this team.

My team:



As a sentimentalist I would like to see Oxlade Chamberlain get at least 15 minutes as a reward for his fine performance midweek. We well know that our defence has been porous, in fact by far the worst in the PL which could (in part) be due to our move to zonal marking at set pieces. Thankfully, Bolton have problems upfront, I hope to see us keep a clean sheet.

Two interesting inventors were born in Bolton. John Harwood who invented the self-winding wristwatch, one of which I wear today, and  Robert Whitehead. Whitehead has a special place in history, he invented the self-propelling torpedo but more significantly he was grandfather to the Von Trapps, without whom the hills would not be alive.

Much is being made of the “crisis” at Arsenal; apart from the destruction of the reserves at OT we have suffered from indiscipline and bad luck. Today I will be going down to the crossroads to see if I can make a deal which will change our fortunes. Wish me a successful negotiation.

Relegation 6 pointer – don’t be silly


Jack Wilshere: The Surprise Star Of Arsenal’s Season

October 10, 2010

Yes, we’re only a few games into the season, and despite thumping Braga and Blackpool at home, it hasn’t being all that impressive. We’re still suspect at the back, and tending to play a pass too many in front of goal. It makes one wonder have any lessons from last season been learnt?! Well, one player who has learnt buckets from last season is our whizzkid Jack Wilshere. Chamakh has been very good, Koscielny better (but far from what we need) than what I thought and Squillaci looks like he could form a nice partnership with Vermaelen when he returns.  So while all these have been relatively nice surprises, the nicest and best for me have come from this young man:

Don’t worry, I can hear ye all from here! “What planet have you been on for the last few seasons? We all knew Jack Wilshere was going to make it, the young lad is a genius, future Liam Brady so he is.”

Yes, I’ve been well aware of Jack for some time now, just like the rest of ye. The wonder goals he has scored for the reserve and youth sides, he always playing one level ahead of his age group, but none of us are as green to not understand that it is a completely different kettle of fish playing in the Premier League and Champions League against some of the best players in the world. The acid test would always be how he would compare against them, and to date he hasn’t looked out of place.

He has already formed a great relationship with Arshavin, and this gives me such confidence on Wilshere’s footballing brain. This 18-year-old kid is already able to link up and read the thoughts of our Russian star in his prime?! If he can do that at 18, what will he be capable of at 23/24? Already he demands the ball, and his colleagues are so confident in his ability they make no qualms of giving it to him. Something Theo could learn from Jack is to have confidence in your own ability – we could perhaps name at least five examples that show Jack playing some wonderful passes that have either created goals or great goalscoring chances – the type of passes we are used to seeing from Cesc. That’s just the passes, there have been some clever flicks too.

However, the best thing about Jack to date has been his maturity, and it is because of this I mention he has learnt buckets from last season. Before he went on loan to Bolton there were a small couple of question marks regarding his temperament. There were suggestions he was getting a bit above himself and lacked some maturity (I can’t say this is 100% true and am not trying to portray Jack as a moany kid, just going on the information coming out at the time).

It personally shocked me to see Wilshere be sent on loan to Bolton last season, but it has to be classed as another stroke of genius by Wenger, or maybe by Liam Brady who may have had input in the decision. Either way, Jack was removed from the cotton wool effect of the Emirates and sent to Bolton were no inch is given. No doubt he was thought how to knuckle down and get work done by Davies and Co. None of us may be fans of Bolton, but for me at least I am grateful for the couple of months of footballing education Jack got from them. Already this season we’ve seen him getting kicked lumps out of, but Jack just dusts himself down and gets on with the game, none of this moaning.

It will be interesting to see how much game time Wilshere will get when Fabregas comes back from injury against Birmingham. Cesc probably won’t be a 100% match fit, so perhaps Cesc to start and Wilshere to replace him on the 60/70min mark, although Wenger may start the two of them in midfield with Song as DM? We’ll see next week, but for now Jack is developing very nicely as a player, one needed by Arsenal, and dare I say it, very much so by England.

Written by Irishgunner