I was a bit dismayed to read Jack Wilshere's quote yesterday where he said he will "never leave Arsenal." Of course it is wonderful to know that the best young midfield player in the Country wants to be an Arsenal player. However, it is impossible for him to know he will be an Arsenal player for his whole career. Jack is so good that, if the team does not have the quality to win trophies, then he will have to move on to fulfill his potential. Wilshere can be World-Class, there is no doubt about it, and that will bring the Spanish team's and Manchester City knocking on the door with their bottomless pockets. I think we have to put Jack's comment down to the exuberance of youth, but we must accept that he might not be with us as long he thinks, or hopes.
By chance I am currently re-reading a book from before the Invincibles season called "The Glorious Game - Arsene Wenger, Arsenal and the Quest for Success" by Gooner editor Kevin Whitcher and Alex Fynn. On page 34 there is a quote from Thierry Henry where he says "...the only way I will ever leave Arsenal is if they fire me." Within three years of this book he had already had his head turned by Barcelona, and would leave the Club in 2007 after a campaign where his commitment was seriously questioned by many.
The point is that the future in football can not be predicted. I remember that, as a youngster, I could never imagine Arsenal without George Graham after the success he had enjoyed. Similarly, until the past couple of years, I could never foresee a situation where Arsene Wenger would come under such pressure from Arsenal supporters - things were just too good to imagine anyone calling for him to go. That is why, despite being more than happy that Jack Wilshere loves Arsenal (and that he will say so in public), I am unable to accept his promise. You can rest assured that, if things do go wrong between Arsenal and Jack Wilshere in the future, the press will dig his quote up and beat him over the head with it.
I am disgusted with the decision of FIFA, and their corrupt cronies, to refuse permission for England players to wear the Poppy on their shirts this weekend. As regular readers will know I have no interest in international football matches (unless it's Summer and there's no other football to watch) but this is a matter of national importance as far as I'm concerned. The symbolism of the Poppy is profound for British people. As a nation that is still losing men and women in an ongoing war it should be in sharper focus as every year goes by. That FIFA refuse to see that shows just what a terrible organisation they have become.
The FA must show FIFA that they will not stand for this. The England players should take to the field on Saturday with the Poppy proudly displayed on their shirts. So what if it upsets FIFA? What will they do - strip England of the World Cup? Of course, they can't do that as they accepted money to ensure someone else got to host it.
FIFA is an organisation that deems a nominal fine acceptable for racist chanting at international matches. They really couldn't touch the FA on this. Such an act of defiance would also erode the power that people like Blatter exert on the World game. I would love for someone at the FA to grow a pair of balls and show FIFA that their edicts are of no interest to us.