Carl Jenkinson. A Worry.

December 15, 2016

We do not think much about the travails of the modern PL footballer, we assume that the fame, bright lights, supercars, surgically augmented girlfriends  and vast wealth must make for a wonderful life, and in most cases it seems to – but as with most things this is not the whole truth. Let us look at one of our own, Mr Carl Jenkinson.

A gooner all his life with a dream to play for his club, something all of us have dreamt of but in Carl’s case it became a realty, sadly, not bringing the joy he must have assumed would come from his achievement.

Unknown.jpeg

The Birmingham Mail are reporting that Carl is about to be loaned to Aston Villa in January. Does this herald the end of his Arsenal career? Were a couple of quite frankly piss-poor performances enough to convince Mr Wenger that Carl cannot cut it at Arsenal? Perhaps.

West Ham Bob assures me that Carl did well in his first few games at WHU but towards the end they were delighted that he got injured, such was the negativity surrounding his play. Carl returned and got fit, Boosh was injured, Hector got injured, Carl got his chance, failed, Boosh got 20 minutes and Gabriel was brought in at RB. How will that affect the confidence of a man already questioning his abilities? Not well, one would imagine.

Arsenal are known to have a team of top psychiatrist and motivators, they realise how much stress is placed on young men with no life experience other than being lauded for being excellent at football. Just the fact that 80+% of footballers go bankrupt within 5 years of retirement highlights this naivety. Goodness knows how many succumb to addictions in a futile attempt to fill the gap of the dressing room.

Mental fragility is never discussed about top sportsmen but skill is not enough. In golf, there is something called the “yips”, when a player who has previously been able to putt with astonishing accuracy suddenly cannot. It is a nervous complaint and very, very difficult to remedy; it has cost players their careers. As a team sport footballers have less focus but not much.

Carl’s performance against Southampton when he couldn’t find a pass, completely lost his ability to judge where he should be in relation to the play and continually ran into trouble was reminiscent of the sad day when Eboue ‘s form disappeared. Eboue had the strength of character to resurrect his Arsenal career. Can Jenkinson?

On the AFC website today there is a piece on Jenks coming back from rehab, I could be wrong and Carl may well have a glorious future as Bellerin’s understudy, but I fear for him. Above all I wish him well.

Advertisements

Man Utd Preview.Where is the Glamour?

November 19, 2016

When the deeply unpleasant Me-rinho announced that he would be talking over from flaky LVG I was concerned; this was a chance for him to resurrect his career. Hopefully, he will continue the fine work done by his two predecessors.

Jose’s press conference yesterday told all we need to know about him; just watch his facial expressions, listen to his envy. If I were one of MU’s phalanx of spin doctors, I would be worried. The man is unspooling.

Long may it continue

Unknown.jpeg

Onto the game.  As always there is the truism – points lost at OT are no more valuable than those lost at say, Vicarage Road. Nonetheless this is an important game, we need the points to stay with the front-runners and doing damage to MU is always good.

November. Bellerin. Santi. Sanchez. We know the problems.

Team selection will be very interesting. Will AW go with a defensive midfield pivot of Xhaka & Coquelin alongside Elneny? Will Ramsey start? Or Sanchez?

And what of right back? Peaches put out the rumour that Coquelin could start rather than Jenks, I can’t see it. Jenkinson has experience and is likely to start. Or could AW play Gabriel at RB and allow us to play with 3 at the back, pushing Monreal into midfield and thus giving space for an  attacking MF (Ramsey?).

A little about MU. They seem a club without an identity. In times of yore there was always a glimmer about them, some glamour. This is why Pogba and Ibra are so important to United, Pogba in particular, will be the man to base the team around. They have young talent in Rashford, Martial (I would love him to work with AW at AFC), Shaw and Bailly. Keeping De Gea was huge – he earns them at least 6 points a season. Someone will make them into a Top 4 side – I pray it is not the obnoxious Jose´.

My Team:

Ospina

Jenkinson    Mustafi    Koscielny     Monreal

Xhaka     Coquelin     Iwobi

Walcott   Sanchez   Ozil

Given Iwobi’s midweek travelling from Nigeria it may be that Ramsey will take his place, but let us not forget The Ox whose energy would do well in a more defensive performance.

The pundits are predicting Me-rinho will PTB, it is his way when facing attacking quality. Without Ibrahimovic I expect him to play on the counter and defend deep. Mata always plays well against us so I would not be surprised to him man marked.

Unknown-1.jpeg

This will be a test for us, the portents are not good – the Mourinho jinx, November, our recent record at OT, injuries but this is the time when all good men come to the aid of the party.

COYRRG

 


Another Goal-Fest?

October 25, 2016

Strange how the EFL Cup has become such so much fun. A few years ago it was just anther fixture to be got through in a busy PL/CL season and one we hoped would not result injuries; today it is  (IMO) more interesting than Boro last w/e.

Why? Because:

A.  It doesn’t really matter if we win or lose.

B. We get to see the depth of our squad and in particular the young stars of the future.

C. It is potential Silverware (though not open-bus through Islington silverware).

Tonight we entertain Reading. A Reading who not so long ago were a PL team with good players and Steve Coppell as manager. Not so any longer and one must wonder why. Reading is a rich town, has a fine ground with a good fanbase evidenced by an expected 5,000 travelling fans tonight.

They have a good man at the helm, Jap Stam is a proper bloke, anyone who stands up to the Whisky Sodden SAF is OK in my eyes; whether he is a good manager is another thing altogether but I wish him well.

Players? No idea. I only know Paul McShane, who plays FB for ROI, and Steven Quinn who played for Hull when we smashed 😀 them at Wembley in 2014.

Our team is just a guess. I am delighted that Corporal Jenkinson makes his Emirates return tonight and hope he has a brilliant game. Hector is just magic but we need a proper back up.

Anther player returning is Didit’s favourite player Mr Giroud. I look forward hearing that Beatles dirge at least once tonight.

My Team:

Martinez

Jenks    Gabriel   Holding    Gibbs

Maitland-Niles    Ox    Elneney   Iwobi

     Riene-Adelaide        Perez

This team has two chaps with double barrelled surnames. I like it. Could this be a marketing plan to increase the costs of replica shirts? If so, AW is a genius and expect more such signings.

I expect a tough but open game and hope for a win.

Actually what I really, really hope for is a repeat of the 7-5  of which I am sure Chas will find a video for our entertainment.

COYRRG


Keep the Corporal

June 22, 2015

It is my belief that we should be looking to retain the services of one Corporal Carl Jenkinson at THOF for the immediate future and I will state my case as to why.

What would be the reasons to let him go? Firstly some would argue he is not good enough. Others would say that we are well covered in his position and that there is no place for him when we have Bellerin, Debuchy and Chambers who can all play there.

Out of all our British players the corporal is still playing catch up. He doesn’t yet have the experience of being a regular senior international player and is arguably not yet able to put in performances at the highest level on a consistent basis, as you would expect from the likes of Jack, Ramsey, AOC, Gibbs.

That doesn’t mean though that he will not reach this level and, as with many of our youngsters, it is too early to say whether he will cut it at the top level or not. There have been glimpses that he has that level of performance in him. His recent performances at U21 level have seen him looking like one of the best of the young England players participating. The one game though that above others sticks in my mind was his performance against Bayern Munich in our 2-0 away victory. I believe it was Robben and Muller that were changing flanks to have a go at our young rookie, but he managed to keep both of them quiet for more or less the whole game, which is no easy feat. If that kind of performance is in there and can be replicated consistently then we have a player.

What about the competition?

Bellerin is a fine player and would currently get the nod as first choice but I have 2 things in my mind where this is concerned. Firstly it might be nice to have the option of playing Bellerin as a speedy right winger at times with Jenks behind him. Secondly is the dreaded Barca DNA. I would say there is a good chance that we will lose Bellerin to Spain at some point in the future, and also while he is still in his prime, if not at his peak. If Jenks has developed into that consistent top level player the impact will be lessened, rather than facing the situation scrambling around trying to recruit a new top level player who may need to bed in.

Debuchy? Well he is over 30 so has a limited period that he can provide us with top level cover in this role anyway. Debuchy’s ability to cover at CD and possibly even for Le Coq, (according to RC he played there for Lille which I found an interesting option), means for me that we can keep all 3 with Jenks easing into a more regular role as Debuchy fades / moves on. If Jenks is not as likely to get that playing time right now then I would suggest we get another loan season going while making sure we have him secured on a decent contract term. Chambers can also cover the role but my preference would be to develop him as a CD.

Finally, and perhaps the most important of the lot is the home grown quota rules. This consideration really extends beyond Jenks to all our quality young home grown players. The home grown quota rule may start to bite on some top teams as much as FFP. The team with the greatest amount of high quality home grown players could hold a significant advantage in the next few seasons to come, and we are, in my opinion, in one of the strongest (if not the strongest) positions in this sense relative to our top table rivals. For me it is a hands off to the Chavvies and Northern Oilers with Jenks, Jack, Aaron, Kieron, Calum e.t.c

As always over to you guys for your opinions.

Written by GoonerB


Why did we loan out Jenkinson and buy Welbeck?

September 7, 2014

I am perplexed by all this loanee stuff. I understand that loaning a player helps the balance sheet and allows the loaning side to get a player off the paylist, whilst at the same time allowing the signing team to get a player without the transfer fee and risk but sometimes it is illogical.

Two things come to mind …. why have AFC not loaned Welbeck rather than buy him and why loan out Jenkinson when we are so short of bodies in defence?

Let’s look at Jenks first; we all know he is not ready to play as our first choice RB. However, he was signed to a long contract less than a year ago which indicates the Boss must have faith in him. Getting regular first team play at WHU under Fat Sam (who is a specialist at defensive play) can only assist the young man and assist his development. But why now?

We have just 6 defenders to get us through the season – or until the January transfer window – which given our players proclivity to injury is at best foolhardy. Jenkinson is a big lad and can cover for BFG (in emergencies), plus he has PL experience for when Debuchy get knacked.

You are all thinking “what about Chambers”? And you are right but what happens if one of our CB’s gets injured at the same time as Debuchy  as is inevitable goes into the red zone? Is it better to trust Gibbs will stay fit  and Monreal covers? Not in my opinion.

Perhaps there is a clause in Jenkinson’s loan deal which allows him to return to AFC  with immediate notice, I hope so.

Unknown

Which raises the question – is a loan deal contract a fixed loan? In other words if Monaco go tits up in La Ligue can they insist upon the return of Falcao? Or Negredo back to MC?

Onto Welback. Who insisted it was a sale as opposed to a loan? Did Mr Wenger get forced into the purchase by MU knowing the seriousness of our centre forward predicament with the injury to Giroud? In this case a loan with a possible purchase clause at the end of the season was the obvious course, Welbeck may well be the dog’s nuts but why take a £16m gamble?

We will never know how these transfer deals transpire which is a shame.  Were Arsenal (or MU) forced into the purchase? Did FFP have an influence (as they have at Monaco)?

What I do know is that AFC could use Jenkinson in the squad.

written by Big Raddy

 


RIGHT BACK to the issue

February 26, 2014

As most of us are aware our long serving right back is out of contract this summer. Many rumours are circulating about how the situation currently stands between Sagna and the club and as with most football situations played out in the media some reports will be close to the mark and some will be pure fiction.

Sagna has been an excellent servant at this club and has been considered, during certain periods of his time with us, as the best right back in the premier league. His recent performance against Sunderland was amongst one of his best and as a result I noticed that there was a strong feeling of “get him signed up again” as a result of this performance. Memories in football can short though both on the good points and the not so good, and it was not so long ago that he was having a poor spell leading many to comment (hands up, myself included) that his legs had gone, that he had sustained one injury too many.

bs 1

Behind Sagna we have the rawer less experienced corporal Jenks and the even rawer and less experienced Hector Bellerin. Jenkinson we have all seen more of and have a better idea with. My view is that when he plays his inexperience shows through at times and mistakes can be made. Conversely I have seen some fine performances from him, not least in the away leg against Bayern last year where he managed to shackle Bayern’s dangerous wide players, which few are able to do. Does he just need to play more regularly? Bellerin I must confess to not having seen. I actually don’t believe I have seen any action or footage on him so the feed-back of any of you who have would be much appreciated.

Back to Sagna and one report that I believe to be true is that Arsene wants him to stay and that the club are trying to get him to re-sign. Reading between the lines I feel Arsene may perceive the two younger back up players as not being quite ready to assume that role permanently and wants Sagna for a bit longer while they mature more. Assuming the likelihood that the club have already made him an offer I would conclude that it does not meet his expectations at this stage, or else we would be hearing about how he has signed on with us again or is about to imminently. There have been a couple of media headlines insisting that Sagna’s camp would like Arsenal to “start getting real” with the type of contract they are offering. Can it be confirmed that anything like that has actually been said? I don’t know.

When an important player is in this situation the game is very often played out in a smoke and mirrors type way. You rarely hear the player say anything in a direct interview that is there for all to see. What tends to happen is that the agent drops little double edged remarks out into the public domain or we get this often reported but vague reference to “someone close to the player”. Everything is obviously designed to gain the player the upper hand and as a result the best deal they can get, and to alert other suitors who can then come in with their offers which often put the current club over a barrel. It is a game of poker and I believe we are currently in the middle of a high stake hand with our long serving right back’s representative’s.

There have been further reports in the last 48 hours where they state the mythical “someone close to the player” has revealed his new contract demands”. It is very difficult to know whether these reports are close to the mark but they seemed to range from him expecting a signing on fee in the region of £6m and a 3-4 year contract of between £100-£115kpw. If he is looking at anything close to this I would personally feel those demands are somewhat excessive for a player of his age. Do we really know if the Sunderland performance is something that will be repeated on a regular basis in the next 3 years, or will time take its toll and there are more lengthy lay-offs around the corner and more periods of poorer form?

There is a very real prospect that we may part ways with our erstwhile right back at the end of the season, whether we want it or not, so I would like to throw the subject out there for debate to get your feelings on it. As a pointer you could maybe base your views around some key questions :

1 Do you ideally want Sagna to stay?

2 Should we re-sign him at all costs or is there a line we should not cross?

3 If he does leave do we have the required replacement in either Jenkinson or Bellerin or do we need to bring someone in?

4 If we are bringing someone who is your preferred choice and why?

Written by GoonerB


Arsenal Arsenal’s Friday News Roundup

October 11, 2013

Saturday:

The news broke that Jack Wilshere had been photographed with a cigarette in his mouth, naturally the anti Arsenal media jumped all over the story, they haven’t had much to moan about recently, Arsene Wenger “fumed” at the news, oh aren’t these journos funny, and claimed that the player was risking his health as well as his reputation, he went on to say that he would be “speaking” to the 21 year old about it.

Liverpool moved to the top of the table with a predictable win over Crystal Palace, Arsenal target Suarez scored after just 13 minutes. Man City came from behind to beat Everton as did Man U to beat rock bottom Sunderland. It took two goals from unknown teenager Adnan Januzaj to spare the blushes of Gollum and his two mis-firing strikers Rooney and the Dutch bloke, who missed an absolute sitter near the end of the game.

Sunday: On this day …

6th. October 1973 a seventeen year old mid-fielder made his debut for Arsenal, coming on as a substitute for Geof Blockley against Birmingham City, soon to become one of the best players to pull on a Gunner’s shirt, Liam Brady. Forty years ago and it seems like yesterday.. 😀

In the lunch time kick-off Chelsea secured a win with a late goal and a late, late goal against Norwich City to move into third place in the table.

Later in the day, with a somewhat stuttering performance, we got a point at West Brom which was enough to return us to the top of the table on goals scored. A good position going into the international break.

Spurs returned to their true form taking a three nothing hammering from the team from The Boleyn Ground. Despite wide spread chanting of the “Y” word by the home fans police made just one arrest, although they have announced that they will be looking at video evidence and could not rule out further arrests.

Monday:

Naturally Jack Wilshere grabbed the headlines, and the pun prize must go to Mr. Henry Winter of The Telegraph. “After all the controversy over pictures of him smoking, it had to be Jack Wilshere lighting up the afternoon here. It had to end here with the Arsenal mid-fielder enjoying a draw.”

The incident took place outside Dstrkt Club in Rupert Street, Soho on Thursday evening, the squad had been given two days off following the win over Napoli on Tuesday. Wilshere was on a “team night out”.

Jack Wilshere has admitted he made a mistake by smoking a cigarette but has insisted he will never be drawn in to it again in future. “Players make mistakes,” he said. “I am not a smoker. I spoke with the boss and he asked me what happened, I explained to him and we sorted it out”.

Editors note. It is believed that the owner of the club has an “issue” with spelling. 😀

Tuesday:

England called up Kieran Gibbs to the squad for the two internationals after Ashley Cole pulled out with a rib injury, Kieran gets recognition for his excellent early season form.

Aaron Ramsey received the Barclays Player of the Month award for September and Arsene Wenger picked up the Barclays Manager of the Month award. Ramsey scored five times in five appearances while Wenger oversaw a perfect month with six wins in six matches.

Wednesday:

In the wake of the FA’s attempt to poach a player born in Belgium of Albanian/Kosovan parents Jack Wilshere entered the argument over “foreign” players playing for England. “The only people who play for England Should be English people”. Wilshere was talking at St Georges prior the upcoming internationals. “If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English. You shouldn’t play”.

I want to come back to Arsenal, says Bergkamp: Yes Dennis would like to return “at some stage”, “but maybe not for at least another three to five years”. “I don’t see myself as a manager. I see myself as part of the coaching staff. I really enjoy training with the strikers”. Yes please Dennis anytime you like. 😀

Nicklas Bendtner’s reputation for arrogance often precedes him but the Arsenal striker believes such preconceptions are inaccurate.

Star (in his own mind) striker Nicklas Bendtner says he is a changed man. The reason the Great (in his own mind) Dane gives for his resurrection is that he has had a baby. Now I’ve heard of virgin births, but this is virgin on the ridiculous. During his time at Juventus some accused him of being “too fat to play”, well now we know the truth, he was pregnant. Talking to Arsenal Player he said “First of all I had a baby, which changed me a lot, I think a lot of people say that you have babies and they change you and stuff but for me I could really feel a big difference to my life. Being abroad showed me a lot of different things and different aspects of how to live and how to cope with problems. That has given me a lot more as a man for now”.

Thursday:

Overnight news – Carl Jenkinson was called up by the England U21s, recognition for that will help his confidence and could be a good thing for Arsenal as well, some competitive game time for him ahead of a couple of games standing in for the injured Bacary Sagna.

The furore over Jack Wilshere’s comment “only English players should play for England” continued with an attack on him by a South African bloke named Kevin who plays cricket for England. Most of the critics seem to have missed the context of what young Jack was saying, Professional players brought into the country should not be able to play for England, thus preventing home grown youngsters having the chance.

Backing for Wilshere’s stance came from Harry Redknap on Radio 4s Today Programme.

Tony Adams celebrated his 47th birthday.

Later in the day Arsene Wenger revealed that he may remain in England for the rest of his life. As reported in the Evening Standard. “I can see the rest of my life in England, why not?” he said. “I feel comfortable in this country because we share a common passion for football and as well I am very thankful for this country for having accepted me and giving me a chance. “I am happy on the football pitch.”

Written by Norfolk Gooner