By Avenell Dave
Congratulations to Jack Wilshere on signing a new contract yesterday.
We never know the length or size of the deal but I hope it's at least six if not eight years with incremental increases based on the term and appearances.
He deserves it. As I said yesterday, Jack will be a first choice pick in this Arsenal team for the long term but was anyone ever in any doubt that he would sign a new deal?
Put yourself in his shoes. He's 18 and playing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. He's learning from one of the best creative midfielders in the world, who might leave in a year or two and allow him even more opportunity to shine.
It's fantastic news, but there was good and bad news yesterday that deserves some debate.
Woijech Szezcney has said, according to reports first mentioned in Young Guns yesterday, that he won't sign a new deal until he knows how much he's going to play.
Can you blame him?
Bob Wilson said on BBC 5Live yesterday that when he came back from his loan last season, Wilson said to him "Brentford was good for you, well done!"
To which Szezceny replied: "No. *I* was good for Brentford."
We all mock the arrogance/confidence Nick Bendtner shows but as we saw last week against Newcastle, Szezceny is the real deal.
When he sees Manuel Almunia ahead of him, he's got every right to wonder if he'll get his chance.
Joe Hart has shown that age should not be a factor even for a goalkeeper and Wilson said the only young keepers he encountered who showed the same sort of confidence and ability as Szczesny were Peter Shilton and Pat Jennings. And neither of them were lacking in quality.
I'm sure he'll play against Wigan in the Carling Cup, but the key will be if he remains on the bench when Almunia recovers from injury.
I already fear another Fran Merida/Mathieu Flamini situation, so let's hope this oversight amongst the raft of new contracts for youngsters in the Ivan Gazidis era doesn't come back to haunt us.
On a more positive note, great to see that Benik Afobe looks set to join Huddersfield on loan.
If true, let's hope he has as much of an impact as Jack did during the albeit more challenging spell at Bolton last season.
He's a highly prolific goalscorer, stars for the England youth teams and was subject of interest by none other than Barca last season.
Jay Simpson he ain't and I wouldn't be surprised to see him get some senior starts sooner rather than later.
With Carlos Vela not really impressing and RvP constantly injured, Afobe could be the goalscoring striker we've missed for a while.
Finally, a word on Abou Diaby's comments that he doesn't feel the Arsenal fans put enough pressure on the team.
Er, excuse me?
Look at any Arsenal blog, Twitter feed or Facebook page and you'll see a raft of despair when we lose big games and an even bigger groan when we fail to make big signing the transfer window.
True, it's rare that Addicts boo the players - we have more class than that - but what exactly has Diaby been smoking?
Apart from the fact that he said recently that he wants to win the Ballon D'or, laughable in itself, to not feel pressure suggests a lack of professional pride on his part.
You and I might be different, but if I ever got the chance to represent Arsenal - or any team to be honest - I'd play as if my life depended on it.
That's part of Diaby's problem. He doesn't look like he wants to be involved in the game in the way a midfielder should (like Jack, for instance) and when he has the ball, he hasn't thought about what he's going to do with it so his skill isn't matched by his impact.
So take a look at yourself, Abou, and don't think for one second that Arsenal fans don't live and breathe the club and the pursuit of glory.