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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Just when you think it's getting better...

Jack where he belongs


As I was driving back from work last night I was thinking about how nice it was going to be to write a piece this evening that would be positive. It was going to be an article celebrating the first win of the season and two new signings - okay, they're ridiculously late arriving following three months of inactivity, and the striker isn't exactly what we were hoping to see, but new signings nonetheless. All of my newly happy frame of mind was shattered as soon as I switched on the TV to see the Sky Sports breaking news that Jack Wilshere was being made available to leave Arsenal on loan. Fuming isn't the word.
I have followed Jack Wilshere's career since I first saw him playing on Arsenal TV at the age of 15. He is, without question, the most brilliantly talented young footballer I had ever seen. My Dad said he was the best young Arsenal player he had seen since Liam Brady in the early 1970's. I was at Blackburn when he came off the bench to make his debut. I was at Emirates to see him score a cracker on his first start at home to Sheffield United. I was there when Per Mertesacker put the armband on him as he went off injured himself during a game. I was there when he finished the finest team goal I've ever seen, at home to Norwich. I was there when he came off the bench in two FA Cup Final's and celebrated with the trophy in front of the fans. Having come through at Arsenal from a little boy all the way to the first-team and in to the England side he was the most "Arsenal" player we'd had since Ashley Cole. And now Wenger is allowing him to leave. Without a change of boss next season we have seen the last of Jack Wilshere of Arsenal Football Club. I am gutted.
Jack has suffered with numerous long-term injuries, of course, and that has checked his progress badly. I am convinced he has been let down by our medical people at times, but he has also let himself down with his behaviour off the pitch. For all his own personal misdemeanours he was still Arsenal. Jack Wilshere, like Ashley Cole, should have been the Arsenal Captain for years to come. And now he's leaving. I could possibly accept it if we had a load of players who are better than Jack is. We don't though. We certainly have a number of players who occupy his area of the pitch, but not one of them is as good as Jack Wilshere. Xhaka is yet to settle in so we don't know if he's really got it, Coquelin is established but Wenger is slowly forcing him out too, Cazorla has not looked good in the opening matches this season having missed most of the last one, Ramsey is frighteningly over rated, while Elneny is simply not a top Premier League midfield player. The fact is that, if they want Jack to get first-team football, the solution is simple - put him in the bloody Arsenal team!
In the last eleven years we have been continually kicked in the teeth by seeing our best players moved out. Patrick Vieira was sold and that crushed the entire club for years. Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell were ridiculously allowed to move on while never being replaced. Thierry Henry was sold for nothing like his actual value. Gilberto was forced out by Wenger's failure to recognise who the main man was in his own squad of players - and never replaced. Nasri went for the money and we sold him for a pittance. Fabregas forced his way out and was sold for even less of his actual value than Henry. Van Persie was sold and won the Premier League for Manchester United - and was never replaced. Now we are losing a player who is truly one of our own. Meanwhile Yaya Sanogo continues to be paid as a professional footballer by Arsenal - just consider that for moment; Jack Wilshere is going but Yaya Sanogo isn't - any wonder I'm annoyed?

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