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Thursday, 4 June 2015

The surest sign that Arsenal are back, What's coming up

Jack knows what Tottenham are

I must start with an apology. I made a mistake in my post on Sunday and I'm really annoyed with myself. I stated that Aaron Ramsey played the ball wide to Theo Walcott in the build-up to the first goal but it was obviously Francis Coquelin. I hate getting facts wrong so I'm sorry about that. I take solace from the fact that the idiot writing for The People on Sunday claimed the cross that Alexis nodded back to Theo came from Mesut Ozil when it was actually Nacho Monreal - he gets paid to come up with this rubbish.
The Football Association has disgraced itself again this week by charging Jack Wilshere for saying that most heinous of words "s**t" during the Arsenal parade on Sunday. As usual with the wonderful FA they were reacting to a media storm. That's all they ever do. If the media were to really get behind a campaign to sort our fair allocation of FA Cup Final tickets then something would actually change. It's the same with team selection for England and that's how a number of people in the last ten or fifteen years have somehow won England caps, our own Calum Chambers an example (in order to provide balance, though the likes of Ryan Mason and Tom Cleverley are in there too).
The press and Sky fallout from Jack using a rude word on the microphone Sunday afternoon was ridiculously over the top. It was a sign that the football season had finished and Sky have a 24 hours sports news channel to fill, while the newspapers were in a lull between the FA Cup Final and England's latest pointless friendly this weekend. Maybe Jack shouldn't have done it, but I don't think there was anyone in the crowds outside the Armoury who was planning on writing a letter of complaint to Arsenal. The fact is that, had Sky not been covering the parade, there would have been no notice taken whatsoever. But once they were involved and their editors decided to make it a story then a large number of the written press decided to pile in. The Daily Mail bemoaned his "foul mouthed tirade" against Tottenham. After all, what better target than Jack Wilshere? Here is the lad who is always in trouble, apparently (we won't mention his redoubtable charity work or the fact that, to people who've met him, Jack is nothing like the media portrayal of the horrible, thick, young English footballer). Put together with the fact that he'd been out drinking all night (so what? Arsenal's season was over) he was nothing short of a disgrace in the eyes of the media - the same media who found it hilarious that England cricketer Andrew Flintoff was unable to stand up when visiting the Queen and Prime Minister in 2005. With all this nonsense, as I said at the top of this piece, it is no wonder the idiots at the FA have chosen to act. It's that stupid that even Tottenham supporters (the ones that actually understand football rather than idiots that think they're football fans - my Facebook page on Monday was a battlefield strewn with the casualties of nouveau, post Euro 96 types) are embarrassed by this - they know that if, by some miracle, they won something they would love one of their players to do the sort of thing that Jack did on Sunday.
There are two things I would like to see happen as a result of Jack being charged by the FA. The first is that I would like to see him develop an "injury" in the next couple of days and leave the England squad for his holidays. Why should he play for an organisation that treats him with this contempt? The other thing I'd like to see is for Arsenal Football Club to play the Alan Shearer card and make it clear that, if Jack is punished in any way, we will not participate in their Community Shield this year - Arsenal certainly don't need an extra game against Chelsea in their pre-season, and us fans don't need another expensive FA day out, so stuff the FA and stuff their curtain raiser.
I thought that was it until I saw the back of The Sun today. They've decided to go after Wojciech Szczesny who was photographed smoking this week after joining up with the Poland squad. Leaving aside the fact that Szczesny, despite all his words to the contrary, hasn't learned his lesson even though he's lost his place in the Arsenal team, it seems that the media have become infatuated with negative headlines about Arsenal and their players.
I know they slagged us off for not winning a trophy for a long time, but the targeting of our players in this way is music to my ears. Not since we were winning trophies on a yearly basis in the first half of Arsene Wengers reign has the press gone to town on us in quite the way it has this week. Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Tony Adams, Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp, Martin Keown etc all became media targets as they tried to upset the bandwagon time and again. They didn't like us being successful, and the game on Saturday has set them up to go after us.
I said on the way home from Wembley that our performance was the kind that lays down a marker. It sends out a message, not only to opponents but to our own players too, that we are now able to perform when it really matters. In short this Arsenal team showed that they are ready to mix it with the other top sides. It also sent out a message to the media who were waiting for us to fail. Make no mistake, it was Arsenal against the rest (apart from Birmingham City) last weekend. Having won, and done it with such style and dominance, people have had to sit up and take notice. We are now, with a couple of signings in important areas, a team that can genuinely challenge their new darling Mourinho and his Chelsea team. That being the case they have reverted to type and have chosen to go after Arsenal in their time honoured tradition. There can be no bigger sign that Arsenal are back, and I am loving every minute of it.
Over the next week or two there will be a new post unveiling a few "awards" for the season for the Arsenal players, then the annual season review, followed by the usual player reviews. That should get us through to the announcement of the new fixtures and the new kit launch (I'm not a "popular" enough blogger to elicit an invite apparently) and then pre-season will be upon us before we know it. Hopefully there'll be a little bit of transfer business thrown in as well, though I'm willing to give Arsene a week or two to enjoy his holidays before I start worrying about why we haven't added anyone to the squad. At least we can enjoy the Summer again this year with that beautiful trophy back in our care.

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