Thursday, 5 May 2011

Wilshere's pledge | Vermaelen to return? | Steve Rowley to join Chelsea?

Morning Gooners.

There is continued concern about the announcement that season tickets are to rise at Arsenal, with chief executive Ivan Gazidis admitting ordinary football fans are being priced out of attending live games in a letter to the Arsenal Supporters Trust.

While the club has promised a full review of ticketing, I can't help but feel should have been implemented before rather than after any increase was put in place. The cheapest season ticket at the Grove next season is £951 and you can never see the club bringing the prices down - unless they were forced to.

It is great to see so many supporters groups coming together to campaign against the rises. I hope we can all put pressure on the board to ensure that all fans no matter their financial situation can continue to watch Arsenal in the flesh.

One player that every fan enjoys watching is Jack Wilshere. However those going to games in the early part of next season will be left disappointed if he's still recovering from being involved in the under-21s European Championships.

Wilshere himself has admitted he'd never say no to England but something will have to give and that is sure to be Arsenal if he continues with his plans to represent his country this summer.

And astonishingly Trevor Brooking, the director of football development at the FA, says that any burnout Wilshere suffers will be down to the number of games he's played for Arsenal this season and not the fact he's being forced to play for the national team at both levels.

Brooking told the Daily Express:
"There is no difference to being with the seniors, playing one game and then going off to the tournament. That is not the issue. The issue is ‘X’ number of games for Arsenal this year and whatever.
"Every other country picks their players, but it becomes an issue with an English player. Abroad, they just enforce it and no one bleats about it."
And by bleating, he is of course talking about Arsene Wenger. Who is rightly sticking up for Wilshere's employers - the one's who pay him £50k a week.

Wenger has every right to voice his concerns. I don't buy the fact Wilshere needs tournament experience. He's played for Arsenal in all competitions this seasona and that will provide him with more game time and practical learning of the game than time spent with players who aren't as good at him at some unimportant tournament in Denmark.

Meanwhile looking ahead to Sunday's game and Ryan Shawcross has been speaking about how he loves playing against Arsenal because he enjoys getting stick from us Gooners.

The player has been talking with The Sun.
"I got booed and abused when I went there and it didn't really affect my game. 
"If anything, it spurred me on to play better. I'm sure I'll get more of the same this time but I'll be ready and I'll be able to deal with it."
We saw at the Grove earlier in the season he's yet to learn from the tackle he made which broke Aaron Ramsey's leg. He was flying in two footed on players all over the pitch and quite rightly it's understandable Gooners don't like him. He was the one who charged in on Ramsey and snapped his leg in two.

The fact he's still making these dangerous tackles means it's only a matter of time before another player is seriously injured. He's obviously not clever enough to have identified this part of his game that he needs to work on and modify.

Instead it's a case of more of the same each game. I hope he's got the fact that with an FA Cup final to play in the following weekend, a sending off will ban him from playing in that game and he reverts from type. But then perhaps I'm crediting him with having some intelligence!

From an Arsenal point of view, there is speculation that Thomas Vermaelen could get some minutes after Johan Djourou's knock last weekend. It would great to see him back, but I wonder after all this time out whether Arsene Wenger will risk playing him from the start.

Sebastien Squillaci is the alternative option.

A couple of transfer rumours for you. Real Madrid are interested in Cesc Fabregas if he were to leave the club this summer according to The Sun.

Whilst the Daily Mail suggest Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian could be lined up as a replacement for Samir Nasri if the Frenchman doesn't put pen to paper on a new deal.

Finally, there are rumours circulating that Arsenal's chief scout Steve Rowley is to join Chelsea. There was speculation earlier in the season that they'd offered him a shed load of cash to go to Stamford Bridge but since then it's all been pretty quiet. If these rumours are indeed true it would be a huge loss to Arsenal, but I'm sure we'll cope.

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