On Iwobi, Rambo & L’il Jack

The back of the international week is broken and players are one game away from returning to Arsenal. Which means football is nearly back.

Congratulations to Alex Iwobi on netting the winner against Zambia, a goal which confirmed Nigeria as one of the finalists at Russia 2018. If they are lucky, they will be drawn in the same group as England which should see them through to the knockout stages.

Granit Xhaka netted the easiest goal of his career with comedy goalkeeping from the Hungarians which set the tone for their defending in the Swiss 5 – 2 win which sets up their trip to Lisbon on Tuesday rather nicely. Avoiding defeat sees them through; defeat sees them fall into the play-offs with Portugal topping the group.

Aaron Ramsey meanwhile faces a make-or-break match in Cardiff against Ireland, which even if they finish second in their group may see them eliminated, depending on Slovenia vs Scotland and Ukraine vs Croatia. A summer’s rest might not be a bad thing in any case.

Maybe he could join Jack Wilshere on the beach. Gareth Southgate is in no particular hurry to recall him to the England squad which is understandable given Wilshere’s injury record.ย “Everyone knows the quality Jack has,” warbled the England boss.ย “But he’s got to be playing regularly. He has the quality to play at highest level.”

“Playing regularly” is a broad church. To most, the immediate interpretation is to be in the starting line-up at club level but then you look at Ox and Lindegaard, who play regularly from the bench. England is not blessed with its most talented squad.

Not Everyone Can Carry the Weight of the World

Arsรจne got the Jack ball rolling last week when interview on beIN Sport,

“Wilshere struggled historically with repeated injuries. Nobody would question his talent. Nobody would question his exceptional ability to beat people with the ball. But in this job you need first health. Today the requests and demands in the competitions are so high physically that you can only be your best physically if you can play at least 10 games on the trot.

“That is what’s at stake for Jack Wilshere. Keep health and compete and be capable to compete. If he can play from now until December at the top level he will be back. If there are other setbacks then it will be difficult for him. It’s a vital season, it’s the end of his contract, a World Cup year. He’s an Arsenal player since he’s a kid so all that is at stake for him.

“You would love a player like him, of that quality, to come back. In fact he had a very good game in BATE Borisov, a very brilliant first half when he was back to his best. So he’s not far away now. But let’s hope in the next two to three weeks he can play regularly in the first team.”

The only man who can answer that last question is the one who, by his own admission, overplayed Wilshere when he was in the red zone. But he does that will players regularly and Wenger is not unique by any stretch of the imagination. A results-based business means making the best of assets available.

Combien de Temps?

Talk of Jack’s contract being at stake makes it seem as if we’ll get stacks of cash if he isn’t offered a new deal. Instead it’s another player walking on a free – or hobbling might be a better description – and the funding requirement to improve the squad increases. Little wonder Stan’s trying to buy the whole club; it’s a prelude to selling so the begging for transfer cash is heard by someone else’s ears.

All that in a World Cup summer and a shorter domestic transfer window. Thank god the native talent is thin on the ground. So thin that we’re looking to sign Anthony Martial as a replacement for Alexis. Yes, that’s right; we’re going to sign a player from a club managed by Mourinho. One who isn’t at the end of his career but one with the future ahead of him.

Cech was a one-off, a case of Abramovich honouring a promise to the player but Martial? This is a manager who wouldn’t even loan us Demba Ba…

Ah, the joys of the transfer market yet to come.

’til Tomorrow.

21 thoughts on “On Iwobi, Rambo & L’il Jack

  1. Thanks for the post Yogi.

    Having watched the stultifying performance last Friday, in my opinion a fully fit Jack Wilshire would walk into the present England midfield. Neither Henderson or Dier have a spark of creativity between them.

    I see no reason why Jack wouldn’t start against Watford on Saturday. Ozil is injured, Ramsey will have played two games for Wales, Iwobi involved with Nigeria and the resultant travel fatigue will need a rest. The ideal opportunity to give Wilshire some much needed game time.

  2. ๐ŸดnKaert,

    What magic do you use to keep everyone away, or is it just your eau-de-nag? ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Afternoon all
    Just made a sausage sarnie …..oooh……luvverly,read the daily from YW…..and here to assure โ€˜enry that OK doesnโ€™t keep anyone away.Go and pick on someone your own size Henry …..err…maybe not ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  4. When I was a kid with an enquiring mind, I was really keen to see what made a watch work.

    One day, I surreptitiously purloined my dad’s watch when he was kipping in his trusty armchair one boozy Sunday afternoon, as I had grown impatient for it to ‘break’ needing me to become a family hero by fixing it, at no cost.

    Stealthily I took it apart, memorising where each part had come from so that I could reassemble it after I had divined the magic by which it worked. In no time I had gutted disassembled it into maybe a hundred cogs and springs, and was none the wiser as to why and what and how it worked.

    Hearing a reduction in my fathers snores, I set to and reassembled it as best I could. The problem being that taking it apart seemed relatively easy with a judicious tug here, and a twist there, but the reassembly was plagued with a lack of ‘tools’ and bits seemed to have changed their shape under my masterful destruction.

    The inevitable result was that altho I managed somehow to get all the pieces back into the case – sort of – it just did not work, however much I shook it, tapped it on the table, or twiddled the winder.

    I sneakily left it near my dad’s chair, hoping he would not notice it had come off while he was sleeping, and now said quarter to fifteen permanently.

    The watch was bust – broken – inoperative – useless. There is no point in going into the punishment meted out to an innocent putative scientist – but it paid me not to exercise my enquiring mind anywhere near my father’s possessions after that.

    I am not saying that L’il Jack is bust – broken – inoperative – useless, like the watch, but after all the injuries he has had he is more akin to a sway-backed nag only fit for the knackers yard.

    He should see this as a challenge — and show that this aspiring, male Cassandra is talking out of his substantial rear orifice — and that he is well on the road to conquering his chronic injury problems (an oxymoron in and of itself) and will delight the Arsenal and England fans for years to come — or a few months, at least, or perhaps, we would settle for a few weeks – or so.

    Nah! He is bust — a gone Gooner. ๐Ÿ™

  5. Hi Jonny G,

    I would never pick on ๐Ÿด as he is the fittest 80 y.o. I know. If you ask him nicely, and maybe offer him a bit of your sarnie, he will regale you with his activities on any given day, usually starting with a cross-channel swim – there and back — and …….. no – I do not want to steal his thunder. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Suffice to say, he takes no prisoners — or boxers, like yourself! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Afternoon all

    Henry once again showing his creative side. I wonder if he is as creative with his accounting, not that I can afford to find out.
    I fid it hard to believe Jack will go through the rest of the season, without a significant spell with injury, but can hope. More likely play slightly more intelligently and play for an improved deal or golden handshake, because we are really good at this buying and selling lark.

  7. I am not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages, JG.

    But as you ask, and we can keep it a secret – just between ourselves – I may — and I say may, as I can’t remember — have been coerced into a small drinky poo, or two, by some very naughty friends, who are now all three sheets to the wind! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But that is no excuse for my loquaciousness — that comes naturally. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Sarries v Wasps are on TV shortly — so I must not tarry here longer – as I have to go find a BT Sports customer among my loony friends, so I can watch the game! So sayonara until later, if I can keep my eyes open — and do not worry — I have my hand clasped around my Timex to stop anyone possessed of an enquiring mind pinching my time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hasta la vista, amigos.

  9. Great post Yogi

    I think a lot of people still blame Arsene or some other external problem for the fact that Jack is injury prone. The first stress fracture may have been the result of playing to much in 2011 but there are plenty of players who play just as many minutes as Jack and very few develop stress fractures. That stress fracture was the first indication that Jacks body is just not built with strong enough protoplasm to be able to tolerate the rigors of being a professional athlete. That first injury did not somehow turn Jack into an injury prone player and no amount of managing his usage or wrapping him in cotton wool is going to change his protoplasm. We should have sold Jack 3-4 years ago when he was still worth a lot and reinvested the money to buy a better player.

  10. Another scintillating one nil win for England, a Kane penalty and the rest of it was eminently forgettable. Almost as boring as Hamilton’s win in the Japanese grand prix. Saracens walk over against the Wasps wasn’t much better.

    Some of the most highly paid sportsmen in the world and they can’t entertain us for a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon.

    Oh well it’s back to Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment I suppose.

  11. damn….we are truly fucked with mustafi injury when the guy has finally found form in the center of the defence for arsenal…to make matter worse..kolshieny is still out injured, Chambers injured… remaining just holding and metersacker…am sure debuchy will accidentally find his way to the team now

  12. Not good news at all, according to the German team manager, Mustafi has torn a thigh muscle and will be out for the rest of October but possibly even longer.

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