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Every end is a new beginning.

August 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Cesc has one foot out the door. There is no other way around it. It is tough to lose our captain, but it must be done. For the future of the club it has to happen. But no matter how much I love Cesc and what he has done; I can’t get past his, dare I say it, lack of commitment to our club. The thing is, I don’t want a player on our squad who doesn’t want to be a Gunner. No matter how good or important a player, I want someone who loves the club and wants to be an Arsenal player. Someone we can look to as our guy.

In thinking more about it, there are three words that can perfectly describe what Arsenal needs.

Emotion. Passion. Loyalty.

Emotion. We need someone who cares about winning and isn’t afraid to show it on the field. They need to play with conviction.

Passion. Arsenal needs a man who is passionate about his club, his teammates, and his fans. I’m talking about the guy who will get in another player’s face when they take a Gunner out with a nasty tackle. We need someone willing to put themselves out there and mix it up for the team. But to also be the guy who loves his fans as much as they love him.

Loyalty. Last on this list but never the least. No more growing in our squad then ditching us, we need a franchise player who will stick with us and make the team his. Someone who can lead us to trophy after trophy. Think about it, how easy was it to love Henry? He was, in my opinion, the most loved player our club has seen. The fact that he was with us for many seasons, along with his dazzling play, shows why the Gunner faithful cherished him. Loyalty is key in earning your managements, fans, and teammates respect.

The funny thing is, I think we already have that player.

Emotion

Passion

Loyalty

Jack Wilshere.

He has it all. On top of it he has the talent too. I agree that we need to buy talented players in this transfer window. Without them you can’t win a trophy. But if they don’t want to be here or are indifferent, then I say be gone. Jack has shown that he loves the club and the fans. Follow him on twitter if you want proof. But look at the pictures above and remember those moments.

I dread remembering the Carling Cup final. That game pretty much sealed our downfall last season. But as I watched Jack cry on the pitch after that game, I couldn’t help but feel anything except absolute pride. He was brilliant that whole game, and his emotion after the game showed me how much he wanted it. A moment of vulnerability when professionals are usually solid rock. You can say that it was because he is young and doesn’t know better than to wear his emotions on his sleeve. But I say shame on you. I want more players like that. Emotion. Passion. Loyalty. Jack Wilshere embodies them all, and that is why he is my favorite player in all of football. Not because he has dazzling moves or scores goals in droves, but because of his raw desire. With Fabregas leaving, it is now time for Jack to fully step up and start leading us. All I can do about the future is hope that he stays with us well into his career, because losing him would be huge.

Which is why his injury means so much. We don’t know how long he will be gone for, but losing Cesc and Jack is a massive blow to our midfield. Not to mention Nasri being in doubt on top of it. All I can do is hope he recovers quickly to give our midfield some backbone. I could comment on how many players we need to bring in during the next two weeks, but frankly I am sick of it. I am ready for Newcastle tomorrow and to finally talk about the matches instead of transfer rumors all the time.

Hope everyone enjoys the game tomorrow and that the team can give us something positive to build on. Including the recovery of Jack Wilshere. Cheers and Forward Arsenal!

Image Sources

Emotion

Passion

Loyalty

Categories: Opinion

Oh Captain, My Captain

July 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m sick of it, and I am sure you are also. The never-ending news stories, debates, and idiotic offers by Barcelona for our beloved Cesc. Lately, I have started thinking about Arsenal without him. If he truly wants to go back to Spain, for personal reasons, then I say Wenger makes sure AFC gets what he is worth in the transfer and let him go. The only problem with that is Barcelona is being a bunch of snooty dingbags. If I were Cesc I would be a bit insulted that they say they want him but won’t pay for him. The best situation that could come out of this is if he loves Arsenal, plays for us until he is older, and then goes to end his career in Spain. But at this point that is a doubtful conclusion.

It has come to a head in the past couple days. With Arsenal higher-ups finally telling Barcelona to either cough up the required cash or get out. It took long enough for them to do it with all the putzing around that Barca have done. At this point, with the transfer window getting ever closer to finishing, we need this issue resolved. Not just to save us from the unrelenting news and rumors, but so we can move forward with our other transfer business. It’s obvious Arsenal needs some new blood for us to get back into the winner’s circle. But if you haven’t noticed, all of our possible big developments seem to depend on whether we sell Cesc or not. In more than one news story, I have read that Arsenal will use the funds brought in from the Cesc transfer to pay for said player. The most recent being Mata from Valencia. But if nothing else let it end for the sanity of Arsenal fans everywhere.

On the Boca game yesterday, there was absolute outrage in the Twitter Goonerverse over Nasri wearing the armband(not to mention the outrage over our poor play also). The question I have is why give the armband to a player supposedly leaving? Does this mean Nasri may stay? Who knows but we don’t need another thing to quarrel about right now. But this also showed how much of a presence Cesc is with that armband.

So to bring it home, whether Fabregas stays or goes, this needs to be resolved. So that we can move on with our lives and decide how we will attack the rest of this transfer window. But on a positive note let’s be excited about the season to come! I can’t wait for all this dreadful talk and Arsenal hate to be over, and for the actual playing to begin. Cheers.

Categories: Opinion

Is Gervinho the answer?

July 19, 2011 3 comments

To the chagrin of Arsenal fans, yesterday marked what many think was the first real signing of the summer transfer period for our beloved club. Yes, we picked up Jenkinson and Ryo, but it’s safe to say even with good performances in Asia, both are young and unproven. We have been craving a signing that has already played professionally for a measure of time; a difference maker to put us back into an era of trophies. But is Gervinho the one to do this for us? All of us have asked it, and for the real answer we will have to wait until mid-August. But for now we can only look back on what he has done and what we have as a squad, and contemplate.

The most well-known statistic being thrown around by optimists and pessimists alike is his 15 goals and 10 assists in Ligue 1 play this past season. According to the Ligue 1 site, that was an average of a goal every 190 minutes (about a goal every two games). Not a bad season at all by most standards. But while Ligue 1 isn’t a bad league, the EPL will be a much different experience for him. I don’t think you can expect him realistically to put up the same numbers in 2011/12 that he did in France this past season. And unfortunately for him, that is what a lot of the Arsenal faithful is expecting. Now to make things clear, I am hopeful the Frenchman can come in and dazzle us. I want to get that pang of adrenaline every time he gets a touch because we know he could do something special. I’m just not sure that is going to happen. I think to get a view of where Gervinho may or may not fall short, you have to look beyond the stats. His traits more than his numbers may decide what he does this season. So let’s take a look.

Gervinho is known to have some slick moves and plenty of pace. Check one for the optimists. Arsenal needs someone to take on a defender one on one and create some chances. Yes it’s risky play, but at this point I am prepared to accept some risk. His pace makes me want to put him on the wing. I can picture him and Theo bursting down the wings and setting up RvP. Nasri has his moments with ball skill but not quite the pace that can really put a team in trouble. No offense to him. His finishing ability far surpasses Theo, who still has a lot to prove as far as being a forward goes, but he really dropped off his productivity after the new year and the whole transfer saga is creating doubt. So pace and skill are two things greatly needed. But where Gervinho may struggle is also his ball skill. He has some nice moves, but at times it looks like he gets a bit out of control, and I keep wondering if he will get put on his arse by a physical defender. He is going to have to fight to keep the ball and learn to play a more physical game. That is where I see the biggest question mark lies. But there is one more that pulls at me still, and yes it’s a stat, his shots and chances. Gervinho hit the target on 47% of his shots last season. That is behind a 52% mark for a struggling shooter in Theo Walcott, 58% for RvP, and 77% for Nasri. He doesn’t convert chances as well as I would hope. A man with the creation ability he may possess needs to finish or we are going to have a bunch more head in hands moments like last season.

So to answer the question, is Gervinho the answer? At this point unfortunately I have to say no. I am hopeful, but I see him being a depth player when Nasri or Theo need a break on the wings. I recently saw this quote by Gervinho via ESPN Soccernet, “Do not compare me to [Marouane] Chamakh. I’m going to Arsenal to play and be in the action. I’m not going there to sit on bench.” If people are comparing him to Chamakh he has quite a ways to go before he plays any amount. But for now I am going to follow the rumors, speculate with the rest, and hope that somehow this transfer window proves to be important for us going forward. I am looking forward to sharing the new season with you all, and Arsenal ‘Til I Die!

Photo Source: Shazhell

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