There has been a big reaction in the newspapers to the emphatic win over Sheffield United and there is a genuine excitement over the Arsenal youth. The one player who the fans were eager to see perform well on Tuesday was of course the darling bud of the youth team, Jack Wilshere and he's been the subject of some real media focus, with a few full page spreads about him, about how we scouted him and how he's a proper Arsenal player.
The Times carried the story yesterday "Jack Wilshere can become Arsenal legend, says Arsene Wenger” and how the manager has compared the kid to Arsenal legend Liam Brady.
“He is a quiet boy, very determined and focused. For the rest, the talent is there. You have seen that again. When you are a manager of a boy like that who has the talent, you are always cautious to put too much pressure on him and too high a level of expectation. I believe it is all in there, but also that I have a responsibility to nurture him and get him in the right development over the next two or three years, that will be vital. From 16 to 19 is a very important age for the development of a football player – and Jack has skipped a few classes! People tell me he is a bit like Liam Brady, because he has good balance and change of direction. I believe later [in his career] he will be a central midfielder or behind the strikers.”
When you read a bit more closely, you can see that Arsene said that people tell him, but it may not be what he thinks, or too early to compare him. But accolades must be given for his performance on Tuesday. He was simply irrestible.
There has been a lot made of the “memo” that was left at the hotel after the Bolton game:
It’s true, that it’s a bit weird to read but it’s very much how the team has been acting, an insight into how they’ve united this season.
Anyway, back to the Carling Cup game, and Arsene is genuinely excited about the youth of the club. I do remember earlier this season when he said, “you’ll be surprised this year”…
“This is the best group I’ve ever had. There’s not one who is not real Premier League quality in any position. I would not be scared to play any individual player from this team in the Premier League. I’m not as surprised as you, as I see them every day, but you never know how they respond. We can go all the way and win it. These players don’t play like kids. They play like people with intelligence and great spirit. This team we played tonight can beat many teams.”
In other news, as you may know, Mr Platini has expressed some very nasty comments recently about our manager. It’s kind of surreal because it doesn’t make send and is totally untrue. I have no idea what prompted this verbal attack, but it may be because Platini is plain jealous of what Arsene has achieved. I can’t think of any other reason why he’d have such a go at Arsene.
“I like to talk about football, him (Wenger) about business. We must stop with Wenger and all that.”
Platini then said he hoped video assistance would never come into football, adding: “It would make me happy that Arsene Wenger never sees it. That is what makes football so great. It is what people like Wenger do not want, little clubs beating the big clubs, because they want their business.”
Which if you ask me is way off the mark. Arsene is more “Mr Football” than anyone else on the planet. The brand of football is pure, attacking, exciting football. Arsene was obviously stunned…
“I am stunned by the aggressive content of Platini’s words. I am effectively a supporter of video assistance for referees, like all coaches, and I believe Uefa have an important role to play in this. I am for sporting justice and Uefa must be the guarantor of it. I am a supporter of good management of clubs, for financial equilibrium. And Uefa must equally support this idea. I am fighting for the future of the game and of football. I don’t see why Uefa should take umbrage at ideas that are different from their own.”
Very true. Arsene has always supported football, through business, through politics, Arsene has always been a fan of the true game. He’s not adopted the mass market of high value transfers, instead he’s gone to the grass roots and nutured players from a young age to become superstars.
The LMA, though Howard Wilkinson has backed Arsene’s approach and the recklessness of Platini comments.
”Platini has made serious and personal comments about one of football’s greatest ever managers, who is also counted among our most respected members. If Platini wishes to address certain issues with Arsene Wenger this would better be done privately and not in the public domain. I believe Arsene has always acted in the best interests of the game.”
I’m glad that the LMA came out and said what they said. Platini reacted today with the follow statement.
“I was too hard on Arsene. My dad [Aldo Platini] told me off. He was the one who gave him [Wenger] his break (at Nancy). When I talk about business, what I am talking about is recruiting players when they are 13 or 14. I can’t stand it.”
Well, Mr Platini, I don’t know your motives, but you are a bit of an idiot. It’s that simple. Do you prefer random billionaires with no interest in football ruling the game, or a proper club with a proper manager doing things the right way, nuturing the world’s best talent?
The answer is more than clear.
I think I would probably headbutt* Platini if he was here right now…
* In no way am I threatening Platini. My comments are all in jest, and I would obviously not promote any violence in any way, shape or form.
Okay, I’ll leave you with Cesc’s comments on the game… I’m sure it will put a smile on your face…
“It was sensational. Everyone played their part and were fantastic. There were 56,000 fans at the stadium and they were really entertained. It does not surprise me or the rest of the team because we play with them in training every day and we know what they can do. Of course you are excited to see them play together in a real game, but you are not surprised by their quality. I hope this can turn out to be the greatest generation. There is definitely the potential in this side to do that because we are so young, even the players already playing in the first team – Denilson, [Alex] Song, I am only 21, Gael Clichy looks 30 and he is only 24. We all hope we can all keep progressing. With this manager, you know if you play well you will be in the team, so it is up to us to do it.”
Well said, Cesc.
The future is bright, the future is red and white…
Hull preview tomorrow… Til then…