Champions League returns today but Arsenal won’t be involved in today’s round of fixtures. Our match against Olympiacos is scheduled for tomorrow and that gives the players time to rest their bodies for another 24 hours at the least. However, that wasn’t the only return that we’re waiting for. We ended one such wait yesterday and arguably the best piece of news that can follow up a home defeat to Chelsea.
Jack Wilshere played in his first match since limping off at the Emirates Cup in 2011. He managed 63 minutes and by all accounts, doesn’t seem to have suffered any ill effects of it. 63 minutes of hustling, bustling and rustyness, by the make of this video uploaded by ArsenalVison. The same is also being reported by the person who’s alongside Wilshere throughout his rehabilitation and even in this game. Emmanuel Frimpong is glad to see Wilshere back in action and has praised him.
When you take that into account and compare that with the history of Eduardo, then the nature of the injuries aren’t the only thing that separates Wilshere from the Brazilian born Croat. There’s some steely-ness about this prodigious English midfielder that is hard to find with most other players. The desire and determination covered with that layer of fearlessness. That fearlessness that doesn’t make him jump out of tackles or change the way he plays that might make him a worse player that he was previously.
A player of Wilshere’s quality is valuable to any squad, even that of Barcelona. Had he been available, there’s no doubt that his services would be called upon when we had to chased the game on Saturday. It would be remiss of me to focus completely on Wilshere alone when Frimpong is also making his first start since his own long term injury. A combative midfielder whom we could also have used on Saturday when it looked like we were losing the midfield battle against Chelsea.
A battler and an all action midfielder, the injury gods have not been kind to Frimpong after 2 consecutive cruciate problem. By that I mean he barely had a full year of football before the second injury struck. Such is his luck and perhaps there’s an element of truth should anyone associate his stunted development with those injuries coming so close to each other. A period which also saw him losing a yard on a friend off the pitch but a rival on it, Francis Coquelin.
The Frenchman perhaps could have played just as many games had Frimpong been around but nonetheless gained from the latter’s absence. Mikel Arteta has taken over the mantle as the most defensive of the midfielders, from Alex Song and has thrived in that role. Yet, we cannot underestimate the wealth of experience that Arteta can draw from, to perform well in that role. However, we cannot play him in every game, that much is obvious. Should either Coquelin or Frimpong be given the role, our game could very well suffer but if both start as a pair, to compensate for that awareness and experience, perhaps we’ll be fine. Time will tell later on in the season if these partnership will get to see the light of day.
After the disappointing surrounding our last match, the news of Wilshere playing his first game since resuming full training would definitely lift the gloom around the camp. Hopefully, the spirits will be high up until the game tomorrow, where the result will impact the next mood.