It’s fair to say that almost every member of the current squad is a ‘marmite’ player and Jack Wilshere is no exception. He found himself the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons last night, with a red card for a contretemps in the U23’s 4 – 3 win over Manchester City.
Many will argue that Wilshere, in his mid-20s, should know better. And that’s right if you like your players anodyne and sterile; god knows we have plenty of those at present. Indeed, there’s a strong case to be made which points to that being part of the current problem. I’m not saying that we need eleven Steve Williams but some personality which lifts the XI out of their numbness on the pitch.
In case you haven’t seen the incident:
The typical reaction on social media was abuse; it’s social media’s default response to anything and everything. Looking at it, you wonder whether mandatory IQ tests for web access are required.
First and foremost, Wilshere’s anger at the challenge is understandable. Given his history record and that he’s just recovering from a serious injury, it’s safe to say that most people would react similarly. If not, here’s your squad number; you’re a perfect fit at Arsenal.
There was no attempt to play the ball, it was a case of frustration at being given a footballing lesson and an attempt to wind Wilshere up. It succeeded but my godfathers, it’s no wonder the academy leagues are in disrepute. The big names are there to be shot at and if they don’t go down, there are always some irksome oiks who want a piece of them. Jack was only too happy to oblige.
Tunnel of Love
Most of it was a Vince McMahon Production; arms flailing, shoves, faces held when contact was nowhere near but it seems the real action was in the tunnel; Keegan and Bremner without the shirts off.
Now, Jack should have know better, a point he will acknowledge but jesus wept, anything goes these days when it comes to the media; Jack dealt with it:
Evening Sam…Intrigued to hear more about how you think this is a career low for me? Would love a sit down with you? Look forward to it. https://t.co/nyVzXGyNxA
— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) August 22, 2017
Mind you, anything goes in blogs as well. I’ve spent 400 words talking about a sending off in a reserve match. But let’s be honest here, most football supporters like a rumble on the pitch; it’s an outward display of showing the players care. Think back to some of your favourite moments for Arsenal and I genuinely will be surprised if at some point you don’t mention Old Trafford in 2003 or if you’re of that age, 1990. Norwich City too, when Spider lost it.
These are the things you can waste a day talking about 20-30 years later and bring a smile to your face. Not quite as broad as remembering a goal but it’s part and parcel of football. Unless you want the sporting equivalent of a night at the opera, that is.
Fair play to him for giving us a break from the routine sterility of the Premier League.
The Exit Door Opens
Away from bundles, Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Bramall joined Birmingham City on a season-long loan for very different reasons. In the former’s case, he’s in the shop window and at a level where he ought to excel. The offers from Championship teams ought to flood in but I would have thought one in the bottom half of the Premier League will probably step in as well.
For Bramall, it’s a way of finding out if he is the ‘next Jamie Vardy’ as the PR email called the programme. Can he cut the mustard in first team football or is there still much work to do? Good luck to the pair of them in their quest this season.
Chuba Akpom is also on several clubs radar. Brighton used him sparingly during his loan spell so a proper run in a side will do him good. If I’m honest, I don’t think he’s going to make the grade at Arsenal and will be another promising striker which didn’t work out. Can the next one on the production line step forward.