Later post today, a morning where the crapometer hit maximum splatter. Yeah, the sigh I exhaled was as heavy as that sentence sounds.
It’s just as well that this week has been about hopes for the future. Hope from the win over Blackburn, Robin van Persie hopes Theo Walcott will be a twenty goal a season striker and Arsenal hope that employing Bubbles the Chimp and his unique insights into oxygen tents, will speed Jack Wilshere‘s recovery along. Who, I wonder, will tell Ivan that in the rush to hire the hirsute “advisor” that exogen was misread.
There is something fetid around the national team, the lingering stench of the Terry affair, miring the manager and his employers in it’s acrimony whilst his heir apparent still waits for the Foreman of the Jury calling its verdict, knowing his hopes for national salvation have been quashed by this case even if found innocent. His friends in the media may still spin that he is nation’s saviour but ultimately, the whiff of wrongdoing will be too much for the Football Association. Rightly so; basing it on purely footballing terms, I see no reason for the Messianic qualities attached to his career. It is distinctly ordinary; if he is the cream of the native crop, once more his paymaster’s eyes will be cast to foreign fields.
Closer to home perhaps or is there a groundswell building in his native land that will make it impossible for Arsène to turn down the FFF? You have to admire the cunning of Remi Garde, getting Arsène into a new role leaves a vacancy at Arsenal; perhaps he can prove that off the pitch abilities are directly linked to less distinguished careers on it?
It is a largely academic exercise since my own feeling is that unless he genuinely feels that he cannot motivate better performances from current staff – as well as buying improvements – Arsène will not be ending his managerial tenure at the club.
As for Wilshere, he may find his load shared. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s eyecatching performances have been met with praise from his colleagues and a level-headedness on his part, in equal measure. According to Theo Walcott
He’s very direct and he likes to get at players, which is what any Arsenal fan likes to see. He has plenty of confidence and is young – he’s a player who nobody in the Premier League has faced before so he’s totally new to the game. He’s learning every day in training and you can see now that he is getting games, which is very important. I think with the way he is playing at the moment he will keep that position.
The anticipation and expectation on young Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shoulders is akin to that when a younger Theo Walcott arrived. Speaking of his ambitions to be a central striker, whilst being natural, has served to increase that; such aspirations require a consistent finishing ability if they are to be realised. If the player believes that the aim to be realistic, why should the supporter not follow suit?
When his captain opines that the player is capable of 20 goals per season, expectations do not seem out of place. With that, failure to achieve those targets is something which feeds criticism.
For my part, I find the finishing aspect of his game infuriating; he is capable of better and more consistency than he delivers. I’m sure he is annoyed with himself as well. Yet there is a wider contribution he makes and this is often glossed over by impolite detraction. His assists ratio for Robin van Persie shows a good understanding between the two; it’s not just with the Dutchman, others benefit also.
The improvement in the delivery of his final ball has taken time but is more often than not, better than he is given credit for. In fact he gets little credit for it most of the time. Perhaps if he talks more about it than being a central striker, the change in perception of his role in the side will come at the same rate as his continued improvement?
Elsewhere, taxi for Carlos Vela, or his Mr20% who is coming to Highbury House, perhaps holding the door open for Daniel Sturridge‘s agent as he leaves having negotiated a deal to move to Arsenal. Barcelona have suddenly discovered that there is DNA at La Maisa which belongs to Arsenal. There must be a lot of it if they are going to sell players to buy The Greatest Player There Has Ever Been. Things might turn Nastasic when they realise that there is still another four months until the transfer window opens again. A long wait as the tumbleweed crosses the Main Street of TransferWindow, a one-horse town.
Today over on Arsenal On This Day, a clash at the San Siro with next week’s EuroBigBucks League opponents.