In a day and age where big name players dominate the tabloids, and the headlines, the boys down at Arsenal have been quietly educating themselves and on the verge of making their presence very much known in the world.
Watching The Gooner Review yesterday, it was a brilliant insight into our youth team and what they have achieved, in the way the way they have achieved it. Of course, Wilshere is the guy making the headlines, but we also have players like Sanchez Watt, Emmanuel Frimpong as well as the already established Kieran Gibbs. Watt a mix between Henry and Ade, and Frimpong a mix between Petit and Vieira.
It won’t be long until we see more of the youth players coming through and believe me when I say these boys are good, very good.
The man, sorry, I mean boy, on every one’s lips this summer is Jack Wilshere who somehow managed to surpass the exploits of last summer and the Carling Cup cameo’s to really show the world what he is all about this pre-season. Fabio Capello attended the Emirates Cup – a tournament which saw Jack Wilshere named player of match twice in two games as well as helping himself to two goals.
Capello said this:
“He surprised me. Really. I saw him last year two times because he played in the Carling Cup and he has improved a lot now. He plays without fear, with confidence. And the other players passed the ball always to him. This is not normal to be so young and so good. We have time before we have to decide if he will go to South Africa. It depends a lot on Arsene Wenger – if he will play him.”
And it’s a very high accolade considering he has relatively no experience in the Premiership, and considering the boy is just 17 years old.
Personally, as part of the players development, I would have like to have seen him at the European Under 21 Championships this summer, where England progressed to the final. However, even when players were not available, Jack wasn’t called up, so it’s only rightful that he has finally been given an opportunity now and news today suggests he will play in tomorrow’s game, Holland Under 21’s versus England Under 21’s.
Theo Walcott will play in the main England team on Wednesday and considering he’s only had 45 minutes this pre-season, it’ll be good for the kid to get some more playing time. Arsene also commented on Theo’s call up saying:
“England are playing a friendly and Capello told me they would call him up so I am not surprised. He needs competition so if he plays it is good for us.”
Both Jack and the gaffer have been in the papers last week and Arsene compared the young lad to Wayne Rooney. And boy do I remember that game when Rooney scored an absolutely brilliant game up at Everton when Everton beat us 2-1 to dent our challenge all those years ago.
“What is good in his case is he reminds me a bit of Rooney when he started, in his belief and his positive attitude to go forwards. For the rest, he has still a lot to learn, relations with other players team-wise, but there are some great basics there. As a manager you do not want a guy to be a star before he has delivered, and maybe here that is more difficult than anywhere else.”
But Jack Wilshere is a completely different player to Wayne Rooney. He’s more of a tricky player, reminds me more of Pele and of course of very own Liam Brady than Wayne Rooney, who has less trickery and more aggression and power… just imagine this line up at the World Cup:
Micah Richards – Rio Ferdinand – John Terry – Kieran Gibbs
Lampard or Barry or Hargreaves or Carrick
Wilshere – Gerrard – Ashley Young
Wayne Rooney – Theo Walcott
So, with the transfer window looming closer to an end, and the first game of the season next Saturday against Everton, it looks like we won’t sign anyone before then as Arsene re-iterated his focus for the start of the season and the fact that he is not close to signing anyone
“Not at the moment, no. We work always, but it would be pretentious to say that we signed anybody now before the season starts. I can’t tell you, I don’t know yet. I’m very optimistic about the season and I’m very positive about this team. We always have to listen to peoples’ opinions but you also have to trust what you see in the games and in training.”
And yes, he is optimistic and of course, we should be two, but I think it’s unanimous when fans think we need to bring in a new player, a defensive midfielder, it has been suggested for a long time, and if Arsene could just find that player, be it a big name or not, it would make all fans have a renewed optimism.
We’ll find out very soon, as it’s literally 6 days until the first day of the season.