There’s just no stopping us. Every day we speak about trophies won. What is becoming of our club? Robin Van Persie adds the Footballers Writers Award to his PFA one and that makes it 3 for us this season. Only after listening the Arsecast yesterday, I was reminded that we’ve already picked up one earlier for the groundsman of the year. Who wants a Champions League trophy anyway.
It would just like yesterday’s post to say that it’s another one which RvP well and truly deserved. While the first one was recognition from his peers, this second one should be more priceless. I wouldn’t trust most players with my financial investment in the same way I won’t put so much into how the players evaluate each other. FWA award is different in the sense that these people are without bias (sometimes) and analyses the game from a broader sense. To have their recognition must be rather pleasing.
Linking the way players think, we come think Stuart Pearce. Here is a former professional player turned coach/manager. To think that his wealth of experience could guide him on how to be a coach but that feature is rarely seen. The fact that he still considers Jack Wilshere in contention for the Olympics squad is unbelievable. This, after Arsenal has ruled out Wilshere for the rest of the season as well as the European Championship.
I know it’s an 80 man list and it will shrink down further. Wilshere might not even be in the final squad announced. But to have him there is ludicrous. How can Pearce expect people to take him seriously for the job if he makes such a stupid decision. If they harbour any ambition of winning the gold medal, why take a chance on a player who has not played a single minute of football this season to an intense competition where every few days, there’s a match.
Why is the thinking so short term? I can understand that managers/coaches has a short shelf life at clubs and they want to do the best they can to prove themselves. Football is a cruel business and you’ll want to make the best of it while still in the job. However, how can that come in the expense of the long term health of any player is beyond me. Especially so with Wilshere, a remarkable talent, the likes of England has rarely ever seen before. You simply don’t take the risk with the arguably the best asset you have.
That is exactly what we did with Thomas Vermaelen and now we’re being rewarded for it. We were patient with his recovery and allowed him to return at his own pace. Knowing Vermaelen, he was probably chomping at the bits and wanted to return sooner. But he didn’t and we have seen him played 37 games this season thus far. There’s no niggly injuries and being out for the odd 1 or 2 weeks. That’s the clearest sign of one being completely recovered from his injury concern.
While Per Mertesacker held the admirably in the absence of Vermaelen, it is good to have the Belgian back. His desire and passion has earned us winners in recent months. That said, he’s not perfect and at 27 years of age, he can still improve and learn from his mistakes. Vermaelen has since built up a commendable partnership with Laurent Koscielny and 5 in 7 clean sheets is prove of that.
I can’t finish without touching a little bit on the semifinal of the Champions League tie yesterday night. Chelsea got through and did it where we couldn’t. They had to go the most difficult of circumstances. Losing one centreback through injury then the other sent off by virtue of his name being John Terry. Having someone name Cesc diving to win the penalty. They had it all to do. In so many ways, similar to what happened to us last season.
But that is where the similarities ended. This time Lionel Messi failed to find the back of the net with that penalty and Chelsea didn’t have Nicklas Bendtner. Fernando Torres expertly controlled the ball and scored. I still don’t think that Chelsea will win the cup. Anyone from the other semifinal could easily outclass Chelsea with their star players. This time though, they won’t have to be worried about Terry slipping and missing the penalty as he will be suspended.
I hope they won’t do it before us.