Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wilshere is a shining light -Jenkinson's British core -Sagna's comeback is on

Morning Gooners.

It's been a while I know. I've not been in the mood for blogging. Again the narrative of this season has been similar to those of our recent past. But this time round we don't have a star player who can turn a game on its head and win it single handedly.

We've got Jack Wilshere at least. He's been our shining light since returning from injury and has dragged us through a number of games we didn't seem capable of winning points in. But he alone cannot carry the burden of our season on his shoulders, we need other players to step up.

Carl Jenkinson has spoken to the official site about having a British core of players in the squad.

He said:
"The boss just wants the best players for Arsenal Football Club. If he thought they were from elsewhere, I’m sure he would sign them. He obviously thinks that [by signing the British players up] we’re as good or better than any other options that he had. That can only be a good thing for us. 
"From my point of view, I think it’s good to have an English core. We’re an English club and with English players and an English squad, the fans can relate to that. Arsenal Football Club are going to sign players that are the best and I don’t think it will really matter where they’re from."
While it is good to have players you can identify with as being one of your own - Jenkinson is the only Arsenal fan at the club - there was never any doubt in my mind that when Patrick Vieira or Freddie Ljungberg played for the club they were any less committed to the cause than Martin Keown or Ray Parlour.

The manager has had his fingers burnt in the recent past by signing young players, developing them and then handing them their chance when they were still young and inexperienced. They've not been able to prove themselves as winners in a team of their peers and have left the club before they've reached their peak.

British players are less likely to move abroad, so by having a core of them at the club the manager hopes they won't leave for our rivals. Very few British players move between one of the big top four clubs. So it's now more vital that we maintain our status as one of the Premier League's elite clubs.

To do that we have to finish in the top four. And as the manager has said earlier in the week, there is still a mathematical chance we could finish second if results go our way. Heading down the Seven Sisters Road and coming away with something from the game is vital. We've had three wins in the league in February, so we have to continue that momentum this Sunday.

The Daily Mail is reporting Bacary Sagna may or may not be available to play. We've seen that Carl Jenkinson still has a lot to learn from his performances this season but it a more than capable back up to the Frenchman. And despite Sagna's dip in his usual high standards this term remains the best right back at the club.

With the treat of Gareth Bale coming down our right hand side, we need to ensure that who ever plays in front of Sagna/Jenkinson is fully aware of his defensive duties. Walcott who has held that position for the majority of the season has tended to let some of his defensive duties go. That cannot be allowed to happen on Sunday.

Things are so tight at the top this season (apart from who the champions will be). If we continue our momentum in the league there is no reason why we cannot finish in the top four.

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

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