Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Wilshere's role intrigues me - Bendtner's quit threat - Bacra give up on Cesc

Morning Gooners,

I'm sure you're wishing as I am that the next 24 hours see the Arsenal players on international duty come through their matches uninjured. I'll no doubt end up watching the England game just to see what kind of role Fabio Capello has instructed Jack Wilshere to play. Will he be allowed to get forward in the way he does with Arsenal or will he get told off if he enters the final third?

I'm sure Theo Walcott will play a part to for England. I just hope there has been an agreement made with Arsene Wenger over ensuring neither Arsenal player is on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes. We've got important games coming up and it would be very disappointing if Wilshere or Walcott were unavailable for them.

Nicklas Bendtner will line up against his club team mates in the Denmark side.

He's been talking about Wilshere's situation with the national side and how the same mistakes should not be made with the midfielder as they were with Walcott.

Bendtner said:
"Theo can be a lesson for the way you treat Jack. It's important to take it easy and realise he is a kid. He's still young, even though he seems very mature and seems like he has played a long time.
"Young players are always put under a lot of pressure very early in England. You always throw players around really quickly. Jack has got potential, he is a grounded lad and can be a great, great player for England."
I think Wilshere is player who will be in Arsenal's first team for the next decade but needs to be handled well early on in his career. He's having to grow up fast in his first full season in the Premier League. He's done well but from time to time you see him drift out of games because he's playing against more experienced performers.

Sometimes his physical strength lets him down and that's when you remember he's only 19. For me he's up there with Nasri, Fabregas and van Persie as one of the club's stand out players this season.

Bendtner has also talked about his own future. He said:
"I have a lot of feelings for Arsenal and it means something great to me. I would be sad to leave it, but you have to think about yourself and, with the career goals I have, I cannot be sitting on the bench.
"That's the way it is. I will do my best for Arsenal throughout the season. Hopefully I will be there next season as well but we have to wait and see. But, if my situation at Arsenal doesn't change, I will have to look at it because I want to play football.
"I am at a stage of my career now where I think I should play every game and I should develop and score goals."
My gut feeling at the moment is that he'll leave Arsenal in the summer. His personal circumstances have changed and he's coming back into some good form and has arguably overtaken Marouane Chamakh in the pecking order as the first attacking substitute change.

But he won't get into the team unless Robin van Persie or Theo Walcott get injured.

Personally I would like to see him stay. I know he is a player Gooners love or hate, but our squad is stronger with him in it and he's coming into his peak years. How many other 24 year-olds have his goal scoring record?

I hope Arsene Wenger finds a way of persuading him to stay.



Away from the Denmark v England game, the Daily Express are reporting Barcelona won't be bidding for Cesc Fabregas in the summer because they can't afford him.

I love the way they plead poverty yet spent £30+ on a striker last summer and have just signed a multi-million euro deal with Qatar Foundation. Yes they have their money problems but I'm sure if they really wanted him, they could find the cash they need to tempt Arsenal to let Cesc leave.

Not that I want him gone, because I certainly don't. I just think Barcelona are a bunch of liars who want to sign our captain on the cheap because they mistakenly believe they have some right over him because he once trained in their youth academy.

Anyway, I'm sure they aren't telling the truth about their intentions so there is really no point speculating any more about what might happen in the future.

There is talk of which players are in a position to win the PFA player of the season award in the Daily Telegraph. They place Gareth Bale as the front runner with Carlos Tevez and our very own Samir Nasri just behind the Tottenham player.

Well I'm sure you can guess what I think about that. I'd just ask one question... what has Bale done since Christmas?

Congratulations go to James Shea who has signed a contract extension with the club.

And finally Arsenal announced yesterday that the game with Stoke was being pushed back 24 hours because our FA Cup tie with  Leyton Orient is being played on Sunday January 20 at 4.30pm. This is the third separate date the Stoke fixture has been scheduled for. It really isn't good enough when fans plan ahead to ensure they can go to games. Surely the club could have told ESPN that we would be happy with a Saturday slot rather than a Sunday one because of our arrangement with Stoke over the Premier League game?

I just hope the club will do the honorable thing and offer to pay the costs of those who have brought unrefundable or transferable travel tickets. There must also be consideration given to those who have taken time off work to get to a midweek fixture.

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

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