Dear Ray Wilkins,
as a former Manchester United and Chelsea player I have never really liked you. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that you are tainted by association. I have to admit I took umbrage at your remarks yesterday in which you claimed that playing young players in the Carling Cup devalued the competition.
To my mind this was an obvious dig at Arsenal. In a way I can understand it. You say your focus is on winning the Carling Cup so you’ll play your first team players. It’s a decent bluff, in fairness. Chelsea have a good record in the competition as Arsenal fans know only too well. Your lot did us in the final a couple of years back.
But let’s be honest. The real reason you play your first team players in this competition is because you don’t have any kind of youth system to speak of. As your team has been assembled by the chequebook there’s no need to waste any time on anything as paltry as young players. If a star leaves you can simply buy another star.
While Arsenal see the Carling Cup as a way of blooding fresh talent and giving them the chance of first team football, Chelsea see it as just another trophy. Which is fine, one man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that. But surely as a former Chelsea apprentice, who made his debut in 1973 having just turned 17, you’d like to see some young players get their chance. Imagine if you were a youngster at Chelsea now. You wouldn’t stand a chance of getting anywhere near the first team. Chelsea would simply go out and buy somebody who could pass the ball sideways rather than bring through a youngster who could pass the ball sideways all day long.
You said “Playing a young or weakened team undermines the value of the competition. And we have not and will not do that. We want to win it, big time”. Far be it for me to suggest otherwise but perhaps some young players might have approached the game against Burnley with a little more effort than some of your ‘big time’ players.
Oh, you can put it down to a freak result, these things happen in cup football, blah, blah, blah, but we all know that’s not true. Chelsea lost because you happened to open your big mouth and then you sideways passed your own foot into it. You totally and utterly jinxed them with your comments. And it’s brilliant.
Did you see Arsenal against Wigan? Did you? Do you really think seeing young players enjoying their football is undermining the value of the competition? Do you think Arsenal slashing ticket prices so more fans, especially young fans, can attend the games is undermining the value of the competition? Do you think those young fans seeing incredible young talent like Wilshere, Ramsey, Vela, Djourou, Merida and Simpson is undermining the value of the competition?
If you do then you might need to step back and have a little rethink. Surely Chelsea’s ‘big time’ players bottling a penalty shoot-out undermines the value of the competition more. Surely Didier Drogba throwing a coin at the crowd, Carragher style, undermines the value of the competition more. Surely even playing Drogba (a man whose behaviour in the Champions League final was so appalling that most clubs would have sold him in a heartbeat) ahead of some, young, eager teenager undermines the value, not only of the competition, but of your club. That’s assuming there are any values there to begin with. Which there aren’t.
We beat Wigan with kids, you couldn’t beat Burnley with your first team. That’s proper ‘big time’. Anyway, I’m rambling here. I’d best leave you to work with those ‘big time’ players. What joy it must bring you to coach £140,000-a-week been there, done that, worn the t-shirt players and have them lose in a cup game to a team with Ade Akinbiyi in it. I’m sure it’s nothing like the pleasure gained from taking young players, developing them the ‘Arsenal’ way, and seeing them destroy a Premier League team. Not that you’d know.
ps – undermine my hole you poxy, uncle Fester looking cuntwrench.
In other news today some people are calling Jack Wilshere the ‘new Gazza’. That is grossly unfair. Jack is obviously not a mentally deranged cunt with the IQ of a wellington boot. Some background on Jack in The Sun and the Independent, who make those outrageous claims of Gazza similarity, run a piece which suggests he could even be called up to the England U21 squad for the European Championships next summer (Stuart Pearce saying he nearly went to the box office to get a season ticket after Tuesday’s game – there’s a waiting list, Mr Pearce. Thank you). Meanwhile, Liam Brady, who I’d much prefer Jack was compared to, says the comparisons are a compliment to him. Now there’s high praise.
The English press do love the homegrown prodigies. Jack is certainly that but I’m sure between his folks and the education he’s getting at Arsenal that it will be well managed. He doesn’t look like the kind of kid that feels any pressure though. You just think back to the summer when he absolutely creamed Michel Salgado in the Emirates Cup. That’s a boy who cares not for reputation or experience. Still, slowly slowly catchy monkey, as they say.
The Daily Mail (spit) has a piece on Carlos Vela and how he became an Arsenal player.
And that’s really about it. Tomorrow we can look forward to the Villa game, we should get team news and such later on. And there’ll be an Arsecast. Number 100 too. So I have to think of something special to do for that.
I’ll get busy, till tomorrow.