Thursday, 8 November 2012

Wilshere wants Walcott stay -Taarabt on January hit-list -Podolski wants central role

Morning Gooners.

Jack Wilshere spoke to the media after the 2-2 draw on Tuesday night and told them he wanted Theo Walcott to stay at Arsenal.

Wilshere said:
"Theo has been great. His future is down to him and the boss to sort out.
"I hope he does sign. He has been great for us. He’s an English lad and great to have around."
I think I would be right in saying that in the modern Wenger era since moving to the new stadium that no English player the manager has signed has left the club. Walcott would be the first if he does move elsewhere at the end of the season.

I know that Wenger doesn't like the English premium added to the transfer fee of English players and that's why we've not signed many, but it would be a huge statement that the one he did sign left the club without fulfilling his potential.

As I said yesterday, I'm not Theo's biggest fan but even I can see that he's progressed as a player under Wenger and there is more to come from him. If he's developed under the right coach.

The manager was keen to talk up at the start of the season an English nucleus he was building at the club. How he wanted a certain percentage of his players to be British and you could see that could well be the case in the future with Walcott, Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Aaron Ramsey in the team.

I believe the club needs to reach an agreement with Theo. We cannot continue to either sell or let our big players leave for free. A line must be drawn. And for all the talk of how well the club is run financially (and it is) and how we qualify for the Champions League each season is a trophy (it's not), we need silverware to actually celebrate not good accounts or a big cheque from UEFA and we'll only achieve that by keeping our best players.

And there is talk of replacing Theo in the squad by signing Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha in the January window, according to the Daily Mirror. And if we can't get him we'll try for QPR's Adel Taarabt. I'm sure if the manager has identified these two as players he believes have the quality to play for the club I'm sure he'll do everything to get them. But they won't be players who can help us win the title this season.

If the manager didn't have enough on his plate at the moment Lukas Podolski has just added to it. He's told the media he wants to play through the middle, just like Walcott wants to.

He said:
"I’d rather play centrally up front. On the left, I have to do a lot of defensive work, constantly running up and down. But I am not a classical winger. 
"Arsenal was a change, a different country and a new club.  
"I am getting along well, for sure, but I demand more of myself – I want to play even better."
I'm glad he wants to push himself and work harder but I really think his game is suited to the left of our attack. He links up so well with Kieran Gibbs and is proven in that position for his national team.

Personally I didn't think he looked suited to playing down the middle in our first game of the season against Sunderland but it's good he wants to take on the central role.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.



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