Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hands off our youngsters, Capello!

"Jack Wilshere is an interesting player, who is very good. Kieran Gibbs is another. I hope some good young players will be okay in the next six months."

- Fabio Capello, with a rapacious eye on our youngsters

Fabio Capello wants fresh blood in his England side for the Euro qualifiers. He's identified some promising Arsenal youngsters who can help England move past the traumas of the Golden Generation. I'm not sure we should be that happy about it. If you consider the scrutiny that England players receive, and combine it with the pressure that a fresh batch of debutants would be under, you've got the ideal conditions to nurture a whole set of England neuroses.

I'm kind of hoping that Capello will leave our youngsters alone. I don't want to see the tabloids slamming Jack Wilshere for having a dip in form. I don't want to see them blaming Kieran Gibbs for a defensive lapse which led to a conceded goal. I've heard first-hand the kind of vitriol that Theo Walcott gets from Ingerlandish Mancs, and I don't want the rest of our kids getting that kind of abuse. I just want our players to be nurtured at the Colney creche for another few years, learn how to be nice boys like Theo, and then get their spirits crushed with unrealistic expectations from their fans. THAT's the Arsenal way.

I'm not sure why I'm watching World Cup matches anymore. I don't remember them. I got up this morning to watch Brazil vs Chile, and by the end of the day, I'd forgotten the match. When I watched the highlights in the evening, I didn't know who had scored, nor how. Each goal was a surprise. It's a bit of a concern, but still, one must press on.

So on the 299th last day of my 20s, I worked, came home, really want to sleep. Think I'm coming down with a cold. Got to get up tomorrow at 4am for Spain vs Portugal. One of these days, the enormous population of East Asia will mean that every other World Cup will be held in either China or Japan, and I'll be able to watch it during sensible hours. I just wish that those days will come sooner rather than later.

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