Just a bad day at the office: is Jack Wilshere right?

By Avenell Dave

I love the fact that some of the Arsenal players are on Twitter.

I agree with some other sites that we shouldn’t use it as an opportunity to suck up to them but at the same time, it gives a little insight into the players away from the sanitised, PR-controlled Arsenal machine and in a way, it harks back to the past when players would mix with fans more freely and even join them in the pub for a pint afterwards.

Jack Wilshere is probably the most candid and regular Twitter contributor and it’s great to see him engaging with fans.

He admitted on Sunday that he was “So so disappointed” but on Monday, was more defensive about the criticism which he had undoubtedly seen about the manner of our defeat to Newcastle.

He said (tweeted): “Thinks it’s funny how everyone jumps on the 'same old Arsenal, to soft to win anything' band wagon! Bad day at the office.. .nothing more nothing less! Long way to go yet and we will be back stronger on Wednesday!

In some respects, I admire his team loyalty and determination to stop lamenting the defeat. It’s gone now and there is nothing that can be done about it.

As my esteemed neighbour observed on Sunday, while we’ve never paid much heed to the assertions of the media that Arsenal need more English players, the fact remains that Denilson and Abou Diaby, to name just two, could learn something from Wilshere when it comes to application and determination.

No doubt Jack is one of the most talented players of his generation and if he stays away from nightclubs, he could become one of the greatest players in Arsenal’s history.

But this is his first season and unfortunately, us Arsenal fans have got used to seeing a side packed with talent and potential lose or draw games we should be winning – and that’s the difference between us being trophy winners and admired for our glorious failure.

Can you imagine M*nure or Ch*vski losing at home to two newly-promoted sides in the same season? It just wouldn’t happen.

What these sides realise is that you have to fight to win games, fight to take control of matches and then play the football that will brush the opposition aside.

It’s all very well thinking or hoping that every team will play like Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle, allowing Arsenal to play through them and score for fun, but any manager worth his salt will cut off our supply lines and make it difficult to score.

And as we saw when Arsene Wenger went to his Plan B, 4-2-4, on Sunday, we failed to muster a single shot on target of any worth when we had four forwards on the field.

You only have to look at how M*nure have been playing this season – terribly – to see what it takes to keep momentum going even when the going gets tough. They remain unbeaten in case you didn’t know.

I love the fact that Jack seeks to defend the team – though it would make for negative headlines if he said anything else – but what this team needs more than anything is his edge and his determination to spread to the rest of the team.

Where are the shouters, the bawlers, the guys who inspire and drag the team through the difficult moments? Jack is probably still too junior a member of the squad at present but in time, he will be one of our leaders, captain or not.

What this team needs is a few more players shouting and screaming and getting the rest of the players up for the challenge for each and every minute of each and every game.

Just a word on the support at Arsenal, of which there’s been a lot of debate recently.

I’ve been going to Arsenal since the late 1970s and seen some terrible sides play. Expectations are higher these days, and the ticket prices are so ridiculously high that us fans do expect the team to be consistently competitive.

I HATE losing, but if we lost the title each year having played well, that would be one thing. The fact that there are glaring weaknesses, significant underinvestment and lamentable performances such as this weekend, make it hard to take. The following week is shrouded in gloom.

That said, I end each game hoarse from cheering on the team and however bad it gets, I get behind the team and applaud them off the field.

Are standing areas or singing zones the answer or will the pursuit of food and drink sales before matches and Club Level tardiness always prevent the intensity of atmosphere that we need?

Note to Arsenal – get the stewards to back off and let us stand when we get excited – that’s what the game is about after all.

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