By Bulldog Drummond
Interesting reports today that even though Héctor Bellerín and Mathieu Debuchy, are out injured Carl Jenkinson won’t play at the Tax Payers Stadium (TPS) because Mr Wenger feels Carl is suffering a crisis of confidence.
Traditionally psychological reasons for not playing players have been scorned by the pundits and sneered at by the morons but the reality is that a player has to be fit both physically and mentally to be able to perform in front of a baying mob – which is what Carl would get at the TPS.
Speaking on the issue Mr W said “The Jenkinson you see at the moment is the Jenkinson who can play but is not completely Jenkinson because he has no confidence. That will come back. He will be in and out and, suddenly, after one or two months, he will make the step and play. It is natural and very difficult. Today it is even more difficult because he gets quickly hammered by everybody on social media. I hope he doesn’t read all that and focuses on his game.
“Jenkinson has not played for a long period,” he added. “He had knee surgery after he had two shoulder surgeries and what he is going through at the moment is, for me, normal – but very difficult to live with for a player.
“You think you are there … you play and realise you are not as good as you think you should be and you lose confidence. He is going through that period at the moment. Bellerín is one of the best in his position certainly in Europe but Carl can compete with him. At the moment, no, because mentally he has not found his total level of his confidence.”
What this means is that Gabriel Paulista is most likely to play with Ainsley Maitland-Niles perhaps on the beach – unless of course the manager thinks Maitland-Niles is ready to be thrown into the running track.
Besides Gabriel at full back with the regular two centre backs could be a particularly good move with the Andy Carroll character on the pitch.
Bellerín of course is still out and will probably miss the games against Basel and Stoke, but could come back after that.
So that is one problem that will repair itself over time. For the other issue (what to do now Santi won’t be around for a while) is still open to discussion, although maybe Mr Wenger already knows.
As we pointed out the other day there are six options
- Coquelin / Elneny
- Coquelin / Xhaka
- Coquelin / Ramsey
- Elneny / Xhaka
- Elneny / Ramsey
- Xhaka / Ramsey
which is better than there being just one and not being very happy with it. A pairing involving Xhaka looks the most likely as Mr Wenger said, “We are close with the balance as Granit Xhaka in midfield is moving upwards. He has a different influence to Santi. Santi is more of a guy who gets out of very tight situations with a very short technique, right and left foot, while Xhaka has a pass and is not a dribbler. He passes through the lines.”
As for the notorious ground, and the wild and whacky Karren Brady [“The move has been a complete success on every level … Be in no doubt, we are part of the most successful stadium migration in history,”] Mr Wenger said that Upton Park was always a favourite place to visit, particularly when he first arrived in England 20 years ago. “I preferred the first version of the West Ham stadium, which was very tight; one of the most intimidating stadiums I knew. I must say the atmosphere was always very heated but quite respectful always.”
Mr Wenger also agreed with the analysis we gave in the It’s the stadium stupid article, saying that he thought it could take years for West Ham to settle at their new home. The Independent noted that Arsenal suffered what it has called “teething problems” at the Ems but adds, “That is nothing compared to the issues at West Ham’s Stratford base with the problems lying deeper on and off the pitch at the London Stadium.”
The contrast between the teams is profound at the moment if we look at the home and away comparison