Saturday, September 23, 2023

Jack’s knacked, Theo’s a net visionary

Morning all, sorry about the technical issues if you were trying to get to the site this morning. Gremlins. And not the cool kind that you get when you make Junichi Inamoto wet after midnight. Should be cool again now.

And speaking of gremlins, Jack Wilshere has got them in his ankle. Turns out that story yesterday in the Mirror was on the money, sadly, and Jack confirmed he’d be out for 2-3 months on his Twitter. He told Absolute Radio at the weekend:

It’s massively frustrating. Having had a successful season last year, it’s even more frustrating. This year I really felt I could push on, I’ve had a bit of a setback but I’m still feeling good about the season. Hopefully I’ll be back as soon as possible

It seems Jack picked up the injury while on England duty in June and we know it flared up again in the first few minutes of the Emirates Cup game against New York Red Bulls. What we don’t know is whether or not he was feeling it before then or if it had been bothering him during the pre-season preparations and tour of Asia. No doubt fingers will be pointed at the medical team but Jack was quick to defend them yesterday, saying:

Hear a lot of people giving our Medical team stick? I can assure I am in very safe hands and we have top class physio’s and masseurs.

You know, I think we could have the finest doctors in all the world – Kildare, Beat, Who, Jekyll, House and Spock – and people would still criticise. And that’s a consequence of the number of long-term injuries we seem to have. To be fair to them, there’s not much we can do about cases like Ramsey, Eduardo, Diaby (for whom the litany of injuries he suffers are directly related to that Dan Smith challenge at Sunderland), but there others when you do feel like we might be able to do more.

Perhaps we’re just a bit unlucky, the uniqueness of Rosicky’s knee problem, for example, and Vermaelen’s achilles problem were not the usual, run of the mill strains and aches, but it says a lot that as soon as any player is out for a couple of weeks the running gag is that we’ll see him next season.

Another question raised about Wilshere’s problem is whether or not he’d have suffered the injury if he hadn’t played as much. 50+ times for Arsenal plus his England appearances at just 19 years of age might be seen as too much for a body that is still developing. I think it’s a reasonable question but for me the answer is far more simplistic – he gets kicked a lot. An awful lot. How many times last season did we see him crunched in a tackle, hobble about for a bit, then just get on with it?

We love him for his robustness but surely it’s the fact he got kicked from pillar to post throughout the season that is the real issue? Injuries to other key midfielders – especially Cesc – meant that he probably didn’t get as much rest as he needed and maybe we have to factor in the player’s enthusiasm for the game. Did he play down little niggles in order to stay in the team? It wouldn’t be a surprise for any player of such relative inexperience to want to play as much as possible.

So, really, there’s no point trying to apportion blame unless we know everything. It’s a combination of things and the most important thing is to get him fit and well as soon as possible so that when he comes back he doesn’t suffer recurrences or setbacks. Get well soon, Jack.

In other news, Theo is excited about our new signings, and hopes they’ll give everyone a lift on return from international duty. He says of the deadline day deals:

I have never seen Arsenal do that in all the years I have been there. A lot of teams leave it until last so it was interesting to see.

Clearly he’s being paid to endorse a travel website, product placement via press conference, clever stuff. He goes on to say:

New faces tend to get everyone We all have to lift our and hopefully those will do the job. They’ve had so much Arteta in particular is a fantastic He can definitely spot a and I am looking to playing with

Clearly it wasn’t ideal that in the wake of the United defeat all the players went away on international duty. On their return some kind of post-mortem needs to be held, but more than the players it was the manager of whom most questions were asked. He’s responded by adding five new players to the squad. The players can return, consolidate, and hopefully use the humiliation of Old Trafford, as well as the new arrivals, to kickstart the season. And while there’s no point dwelling on what happened up there, I don’t think it’s something the players should just forget about either. Use the hurt.

Finally for today, Arsene Wenger will find out from UEFA later on if the two game ban he was given for doing exactly what UEFA said he could do will be upheld. After a weekend in which racist chanting was on the agenda again, it’ll be good to see the governing body come down hard on the real scourge in the game – a man talking to another man who then repeats to another man what the first man said. It’s a true stain on the game we all love.

Beyond that not a great deal going on. So, there. See you

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