a quiet one as we are at the very height of the Interlull. I watched Wales v England yesterday, out of interest in Ramsey and Wilshere. The former, captaining his country for the first time, had a tough game but I think that’s only to be expected. There were glimpses of the talent, for me he’s got the same ability as Cesc to turn away from players and make space for himself, but he looked rusty. Which is only to be expected after so long out of the game. The 90 minutes will have done him good, even if the result didn’t.
Jack was his usual robust self, getting knocked down, picking himself up, and had Darren Bent been sharper he’d have had another goal from a clever Wilshere through-ball. Thankfully both of them seem to have come through the game unscathed, and as far as I can gather there are no reports of injury to anyone else at this stage. Let’s hope that remains the case.
Speaking of Wilshere, the Mirror reports that he was called into a meeting with Arsene before he left for international duty and told his off-field behaviour had to improve. I suppose like any manager he’d be concerned with his young, impressionable player going away for a long period with players who still believe drinking and behaving like twats is part of the footballing culture, especially at England level.
Jack’s had a couple of little incidents about which I only know what was reported in the papers, so I’m not going to pass too much comment, but there’s no harm in having a word at this stage. He’s just 19 and I think most of us have done things at that age that we’d rather forget, so hopefully he’ll take on board what’s being said to him. I do love this line though:
Wenger also accepts that fame – and not inconsiderable fortune that has allowed Wilshere to buy a Range Rover – have come to the player almost overnight.
A Range Rover? Good God. What a terrible thing for him to have done. No wonder Arsene wanted to have a word.
Also in the Mirror, Jens is set for a reserve game in midweek ahead of a much rumoured first team comeback. I don’t know that the two things are necessarily linked. Obviously it’d be better if he had a game or two under his belt but just because he’s going to play for the reserves doesn’t mean he’s nailed on for the first team. It’s just common sense.
And the dangers of bringing him back are spelled out by John Lukic:
Picking Jens for a Premier League game would be a massive risk. Imagine a goalie who’s been sidelined for eight months with injury. Would you pick him after one comeback game in the reserves? I think not. Jens is almost 42, he hasn’t played for eight months.
I really don’t know how he can be expected to step straight back in – and especially at the business end of the season.
The bottom line is that it would be a massive gamble and while you might think the law of averages suggests one of Arsene’s punts has to come off sooner or later I would still err on the side of caution. That means Almunia has to play. If he chucks Jens in and he makes an error then even those who loudly proclaim that he should play ahead of the Spaniard would spew forth a shit-storm of epic proportions.
Like it or not, Manuel is the best option we have at this moment in time.
Beyond that really not a lot happening, although it’s a busy day here at Arseblog Towers. We’re moving to new hosting, provided by our friends at Tagadab, so there may be some downtime over the next few hours. Please bear with us as we try and make Arseblog fitter, stronger, faster and more responsive.
See you on the other side.