Arsenal lost 3-3 today and it was a match that could well have been our most important step to continuing the dream of the title yet. That was not to be and while we all have our views (and some of us have abuses) I am not here to talk about that game, thankfully.
Yesterday I opened up twitter and the first tweet I saw was Mesut Ozil wishing Jack Wilshere the best for his comeback game with the U-21 side on the night. I immediately went about finding a live stream of the game and could not do so before I remembered that my Arsenal account enabled me to watch the match live on Arsenal Player.
Unfortunately, I had missed the first half and the half time talk was mainly about how well Arsenal had played and that the senior players were also making quite the show pushing the youngsters backstage and taking on the limelight.
To my utter dismay, Tomas Rosicky had been withdrawn at half time and the commentators were saying it was only a while before Jack went the same way as it was impossible he would play 90 minutes on his first game back.
Jackie Wilshere made up for that with some juice long balls and a particularly well timed and weighted through ball for one of the young ones to score from, but the attempt went just wide of the post. Another couple of long balls and Wilshere was off to the bench. Not before he managed to have a bit of a scene with one of the Newcastle lads though, and my oh my, Twitter was ablaze about Wilshere’s passion setting even an U-21 game on fire. To be honest it was good to see he had lost none of his game or ‘Shere Will Power’ as a banner strung on the Emirates stands was proudly proclaiming. The boy had more game than the entire Newcastle United squad. I daresay he has more game then even Alexis Sanchez at the moment because Alexis isn’t the one being lambasted for the promises made by Roy Hodgson publicly about Wilshere’s spot in the England squad. With this season done and dusted, we are going to need Wilshere’s drive to pull us above Tottenham if that is to happen at all this season.
The other good that came of watching the game was that I got to see a couple of our much hyped ‘youngstars’ in action. I was quite impressed with a few from the game, particularly Krystian Bielik, Stephy Mavididi and the Jeff. Bielik looks really good for his age and even against people with better developed physiques he is not shy to go all in. Plus his close control seems to be very good, and why the Arsenal Academy staff play him at CB is beyond my understanding although if Monreal is anything to go by, if you want consistency from a player, just stick him in CB for a while. That should fix him right up.
The Jeff as always looks calm with the ball at his feet and just like he did against the Wolfsburg team in our pre-season friendly, riding challenges is something that comes to him very naturally. His passing was amiss at times but that was mostly when he was looking to make something happen and he can be forgiven that in an U-21 fixture.
Stephy Mavididi is a highly rated prospect from what I have heard and read and it is not hard to see why. The timing of his runs is much better than many senior players we have and that says a lot. He scored a goal too, which was assisted by the ever effervescent Rosicky.
Even Serge Gnabry got himself on the score-sheet with a ferocious drive that gave the keeper no chance at all. He looked sharp and any weight issues at West Brom seem to have been left far behind. At times his passing was not on the same wavelength as his U-21 team mates, but maybe that is because he was in a different set up for a while or maybe even because he was looking for 1-2’s where our academy is taught to play it safe. In either case, I am happy to see him back and on the comeback trail. He is certainly good enough to outgrow the U-21’s sooner or later. Expect another loan move for him.
Happy days watching our academy brim with hope while the first team takes every chance they get to bottle our position. In supporting Arsenal I have given myself over to the possibility of pain and hurt with the first team and that shit game hurt a lot today. We played well but were sloppy when we should have been confident and tight defensively, it came back to bite us in the ass. That’s okay though, because the U-21’s gave me some hope and I am going to live on that till next week. Maybe next season even, depending on how much our first team is going to bottle this one.
Onwards, hopefully upwards. Forever Arsenal. COYG.