Black Knights, Injuries, Alexis & Jack

It’s been a while, you have to admit. The past few international breaks have been a breeze, players went and they came back uninjured. It was our job to knacker up our assets, no-one else’s. After all, I’m sure Arsène thought in a quiet moment, I’ve suffered enough in the past with this.

Apparently not. Alexis’ injury is considered worthy of recalling him to the club despite the player telling the world there was no issue and he’s fine. The Black Knight approach to fitness is not going to serve him well in the long-term. It begs the question of what is more important in a player’s mind.

In Alexis’ case, it’s “I walk therefore I play”, we know that but at some point, he and others have to be pulled aside and told to look at the bigger picture: aggravate an injury this week and you miss a longer spell. Better a rest this week – as Germany did with Mesut Özil – and have a player available for a full season than sideline him for a spell.

Not that Chile care, their objective is the World Cup and with two home games against team’s above them in the South American qualifying group table, winning overrides any common sense or duty of care to Arsenal. It seems unlikely that they will have the power; FIFA has emasculated clubs in this sense and the final decision always rests with the national FAs.

As Morrissey wailed, “Manchester, so much to answer for”.

Hector Bellerin is on his way back from Spain with a touch of ankle knack while Lucas Perez has returned to Spain to continue his rehabilitation. So that’s our first choice right back and central striker we may be going to Old Trafford with. Has Carl Jenkinson played there for us since the 8 – 2? It might just play on his mind, if it is. That and the red card he received that day. It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill defeat; it was humiliation, a battering never to be forgotten.

On the subject of injuries, it was interesting to read Jack Wilshere’s view that he’s “almost having to fall back in love with the game again”. Other players often cite recuperation as the hardest part of any injury and the mental impact it has. For Wilshere, the recent match against Tottenham was the first time in 771 days he played a full 90 minutes. Two years; it’s an incredible run and if anyone thinks he should be running things at Bournemouth, worth bearing in mind.

Whether he returns to Arsenal is another matter:

“It is a difficult one because I love Arsenal and I’ve had great times there. If I go back and I’m still not playing then of course I will have to think about things but at the moment I’m concentrating on Bournemouth. I want to put myself in a position where I go back next year and I’m a better player. I’m fitter, I’ve proved to people I can play week in and week out and I’m ready for the challenge.”

The first step as Wilshere says is getting fit this season. You have to wonder if his future is intertwined with that of Santi Cazorla with the club seemingly in no particular hurry to renew the Spaniard’s deal. Is he going to be offered a short-term deal if Jack returns? Are the club waiting to see if Jack wants to return, knowing that Cazorla is still there and for all intents and purposes, first choice in the team?

Wilshere, in my view, is good enough to command a place in the Arsenal first team provided he is fully fit and capable of retaining that as well. Jack has become a ‘Marmite’ player, divisive in some eyes due to his injury record. Predominantly impact injuries, there is a school of thought that he needs to release the ball sooner, something Wilshere has previously acknowledged.

Let’s not forget he is ‘only’ 24 and whilst experienced, is young enough to change his style of play to suit the team more in the longer term. Whether that opportunity arises is a different matter.

It’s a situation which will become little clearer – in public at least – before Arsenal have to act on Cazorla. Maybe they have and been told Santi wants to wait to see his options next summer. Who knows? Not us, that’s for sure.

’til Tomorrow.

43 thoughts on “Black Knights, Injuries, Alexis & Jack

  1. Didn’t Jack talk about not changing his style though, previously? The thing is, its not really his style that’s the issue, its running into a wall of players or instead of playing it a bit quicker. Thr thing with Jack taking over for Santi is that they are different types of players; Santi prefers to let the ball do the work and remembers ball moves quicker than man, while Jack is the opposite.

  2. Yep agree with C,
    They are two different players. What’s Santi, 31? The way he plays he’s got another 4 yrs in him if he can stay fit. Why can’t we have them both?
    I’m happy for Wilshire to move on though. Too many injuries to seriously think he can play wk in wk out over the course of a contract.
    knackered = Wilshire

    Guinness anyone?

  3. I cant see Santi here next season, and it wouldn’t surprise me if jack was fit more often than Santi this season. I’m a fan of Jack always have been, so hope this pans out well for all

  4. YW,

    Well than lets see if he does.

    I think though its not just Santi, but Ramsey and Xhaka that are of interest to be Santi’s replacement. Xhaka sitting next to Jack I would prefer over Xhaka sitting next to Ramsey.

  5. A mate once had a girlfriend who was nicknamed krony 1664. because she looked 16 from the back and 64 from the front.

  6. @Dukey,
    You shouldn’t make comments like that. Old men could have a seizure laughing and pass away and you would be to blame. 😉

  7. If I may get back to futbol for a moment.

    Ibra isn’t going to be eligible to play for Manure against us due to yellow card accumulation.

  8. Arsene apparently commented on BeIIN Sports about Sanchez:

    “I got a text last night (to say) that he has a hamstring injury. The team from Chile has travelled without him and they kept him to try and get him fit to play Uruguay for the second game on Tuesday night.

    “I believe that with a hamstring injury. We have to get access for our medical staff to the MRI scan to see what grade it is, how bad it is and make absolutely sure they don’t make any suicidal decision that could harm his future for two or three months.

    “That is absolutely important. It’s a grey area between the national team and the club team and of course they look at their own results which I can understand but we have to preserve the health of Alexis Sanchez.

    “He always wants to play and that’s where it is a more sensitive case because he’s always ready to play even when injured.”

  9. Evening,

    How about a pint of cider C? A pint of Thatchers Gold or Stowford Press, but never with ice. That’s a trick invented by the drinks companies to get the ladies to drink it. Do you want ice in that? Would you put ice in a pint of Stella? I think not.
    Watching the highlights of the Bournemouth game in MOTD at the weekend, a lot of the play was going through Jack and there were some nice touches here and there. He was nowhere near at his best, but he has the chance to get up to speed again and can do it in full view of Arsenal fans whilst at Bournemouth. Maybe that was part of this thinking, to make sure Tge fans wouldn’t forget him.

  10. Ah, Stella – Old Wife Beater I believe it’s also known as……

    Quite like a cider, a decent lager (Skol and the likes from the late 70’s set that bar pretty low tbh), and as any (ex) biker knows you can’t go far wrong with a JD & Coke (just a splash).

    I would have thought though for some of the (ahem) more mature contributors to this fine site bladder regulation might by now have an significant influence on which type of beverage you favour…… 😉

  11. Wavey,

    Had a couple local ciders, one was decent the other was shit. Ice, no I’ll pass.

    Have a friend who thinks cider of all kind if great. Give me a nice rum, Bourbon or white lightining and I’m a very happy man.

    The thing is, they are playjng through Jack, just want more if he is the player they so habe chosen for that.

  12. I guess with Jack it’s all about if he can keep fit, and we’ll see how he does with Bournemouth. I’m not convinced that Santi has too many more years in him if I’m honest, some players can keep going but he’s never been the most athletic and even though he does let the ball do most of the work the pace of the EPL is going to become a problem at some stage. There have also been rumours that he (and his family) would like to return home to Spain so maybe he and Arsene have come to an agreement (hence no contract extension).

    So if Santi does leave then JW will be waiting in the wings hopefully after proving he can avoid injuries. If not I can see us in for a replacement in the summer (and there goes the budget for a top class striker once again).

  13. @Wavey,
    Having tried virtually everything (except perhaps Bluebell metal polish, during my time in the Far East) I have never really taken to Stella A. But at the risk of upsetting our Hampshire brothers, the worst beer ever I had the misfortune to risk was Brickwoods. 😉

  14. andy1886,

    I think the thing with Santi, is that next to Xhaka or Le Coq he does have some years left. He does let the ball do the work and I tend to think he could play, maybe 2 years but certainly another year at the top. The other thing with Jack is that Arsene has spoken and played Xhaka in that role to be the kind of Kroos for Ozil. I think its a big year but the other thing that some are dismissing is the potential of Adelaide and Iwobi if both are able to figurw out the defneisve side of the match.

    If there was one player I think would be a brilliant addition would be Veratti who doesn’t seem to be in the plans recently at PSG. Then again, it what Arsene wants to do. For me, I would rather a ball player being in that position position that understood and wanted to so the defensive side and for me Jack doesn’t do it but doesn’t mean he can’t learn how.

  15. C,

    Well we know Arsene doesn’t need much incentive to buy a ball-playing CM, so it wouldn’t surprise me. As I suggested, if comes down to a choice between that and the top class CF we’ve all been hoping for I’m sure Arsene will make do with our existing CF options and indulge his habit!

  16. andy1886,

    Yup, don’t mind it, actually when you think about it, even the Invincibles with Gilberto and even Vieira were ball players. Veratti paired with Xhaka and Ozil would be the best in the world at club level; fight, quality, leadership, power, literally everything you would want in a midfield three.

    Between a CM and a CF, well buy a CF. Unlike most others I think Elneny is quality and is more an heir apparent to Santi and what he brings than eirher Jack or Ramsey. So a CF while selling Giroud would be perfect.

  17. consolsbob,

    I was raised on bourbon, white lighting and rum. Sorry to offend, just my preference. May the beer and cider in over there is better, but not a fan of beer if its like what we have in the States!

  18. I’m a dedicated beer drinker, but which beer to drink depends on a number of factors. For drinking outdoors on an English summer day, Adnams Regatta, a light refreshing bitter with a clean taste and not too strong.

    For drinking by an open log fire on a winter evening, Greene King Abbott Ale, fruity, malty and nicely hopped. Warming and at 5% abv quite strong.

    Of course I could go on…..and on……and on. But just to mention a beer that was ever present, and ever welcome, when I was in China, Tsingtao. Pronounced Ching Dow. Brewed using the pure spring water from the Laoshan mountains……..I’m getting carried away, I’d better stop.

  19. Morning Orse,

    What? You …. like beer? Can’t believe that.
    Altho, now I think on it, I think you may have told me you had worked your way thru all the local Norfolk ales, and then started all over again — on the same day! 😀

  20. Actually, my horsey friend, whenever I go to China I like the odd flagon of Chingchow too — that is to say the China Jumbo Restaurant – they probably have a sister China nosh shop in Norfolk. 😀

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