So Eduardo’s left for Shaktar Donetsk. I think he’ll do well there, providing he gets the games he needs to improve his confidence. There’s a lot of Brazilians there as well. Wish him all the best, and hopefully, we’ll see him sometime in the Champions League.
And Wenger wants Wilshere to stay at the Arsenal and fight for his place. He said:
"At the moment, I want Jack to gain experience and, if possible, at Arsenal. I will give him a chance to play - now. I want to see if he can integrate with the first team. Of course, I will make that decision later (next month). Ideally, it is better that he gains experience with us.
"Jack has done well. I am keen not to create too much hype around the young English players because they need to work hard. We do have outstanding English talent at this club, though.”
It’s an interesting quote because of two points.
Firstly, Wenger tends to keep his most promising players at the club. The ones he sends on loan tend to be sent out to gain exposure for a transfer. The ones he loves (Diaby, Denilson, Cesc, Song, Clichy, Theo) he keeps close beside him. Which means that Jack’s probably going to get a few matches at the Arsenal this season. Can’t wait to see the little guy play.
Secondly, Wenger’s referred to the young English players needing “to work hard”. It’s interesting because last season we saw a bunch of our senior players lacking motivation, determination, and a pressing need to “work hard”, and still be able to front up game after game after game. So I think maybe all of the Arsenal needs to buck up and “work hard”. Also, the Gunnerblog has been profiling a number of our more promising youngsters, and the one common theme seems to be that our youngsters are all technically gifted, but don’t really like tracking back and tackling. Perhaps we’ve missed a subject or two at the Academy?
I’m excited about next season. It’s the first season where we’ll get to see the first batch of our Academy kids integrate with our existing senior squad. For those of us who believe that the Academy (and not the youngsters brought in from outside the club) is the true Wenger legacy, it’s Year One of the new era. This is when we start to find out if the past five years of parsimony have been worth it. Will Jacks, JET, Gibbsy, Le Coq and the ‘Pong have the talent and the determination to make it? We’re going to find out this season.
So on the 277th last day of my 20s, I went to work, bummed around for eight hours, and then came home. Not a lot to do today, a bit cruisey. Spent a lot of it wondering whether I should take a month off and go travelling around South-East Asia. I’ve been meaning to go for a while now. It’s just a matter of getting the motivation to do something about it.