Arsenal – Southampton | Jack Wilshere | Benzema y Zizou

by D-Sanchez-Cabello

The international break was as droll as expected and watching England left me colder than this weather. Not to mention: when an Englishman celebrates a German scoring a header against his country – what bloody hope is there for international football?

Not much, I watched both games with about as much interest as the dog that glances upon the T.V. The colours were bright, but that was about it. Townsend and Sturridge would both be unstoppable if they had a brain cell. The others, apart from Rooney, go without saying and Jack is completely off form.

A few notes on Jack

I am convinced that Jack is an exceptional player. I am also convinced that a huge amount of football is mental. The mind can inspire or wreak mischief, depending on its mood. If the mood is off, anxiety will push ability into a dark hole and from there it’s a vicious circle. The doubt is there – bad decisions get made, focus wanders, execution suffers and so it repeats, gradually worsening.

It all sounds dramatic I know! But anyone who plays football will know what I’m going on about – it’s hard to express. But when you’re confident… stuff just works. You see things earlier, clearer – you become audacious and luckier…

A player like Jack, attempting risky dribbles and passes (that naturally won’t always work) is more reliant on confidence than most. And his game will endure a far larger range of form than a James Milner. He may be in a bad patch at the moment; But things change, quality players escape poor form. Ramsey is living proof of that and those that turned on him last season are probably the same buffoons that now turn on Jack.

And what’s most annoying is these opportunists using his recent form as a platform to broadcast all kinds of prejudices. Some of them ex-footballers, who should be well aware of what strained confidence, bad press and playing with James Milner can do to someone. Saying someone is ‘overhyped’, when their self-confidence is about as sturdy as Gazza’s steering hand is cheap. As it won’t be called-out when a poor performance on ITV is there for all to see.

Take the example of Benzema.

Benzema’s form has infuriated the Bernabeu lately and only recently did it turn the mysterious corner. On scoring against Seville he ran to Zidane and embraced him. Something the viewer found out was because Zidane supported him though his poor form.

Now, sentimentality aside, it must have been nice to hear you were a “decent player” from one of the best ever. Indeed you’d probably not care what the others were saying. Jack hasn’t received that luxury and he’s unlikely to. Scholes hasn’t spoken since 1934 and Gazza is probably unsure of his own whereabouts. The rest of them are too proud or caught up in tribal allegiances.

So jack here’s my faith… I’m younger than you so appreciate this won’t be too rousing. But I’m pretty good at football, the best actually… the best in my street.

Those forgetting how good he can be should probably watch his performance against Bayern last season. Or Barcelona a few seasons before. And if you’re still unconvinced… let someone with a zest for neurosurgery have a tinker about with your brain.

Anyway, Southampton – They’re pretty good. They bought well in the transfer market and have a steady stream of talent coming through their academy.

They play an aggressive, pressing game – the sort we will have acclimatised to playing Dortmund. The pressing game has been a revelation in modern football and has received general approval. However as successful as it can be, it can also be a team’s undoing. If the players you press are unshaken, and able to weather that first wave of pressure, the game opens up and the defending team is badly shaped to repel an attack. Walcott is back and if he starts his pace can dissuade a team from pressing too aggressively. We saw this against Barca, where he caused them all sorts of problems.

The team:



                 Sagna                      Per               Koz           Gibbs


                                          Arteta           Ramsey


                  Cazorla                   Ozil               Rosicky/Walcott




Unless anything exceptional happens, we should win this game…  perhaps not comfortably. But what’s comfort?



4 Replies to “Arsenal – Southampton | Jack Wilshere | Benzema y Zizou”

  1. You were close. Announced starting lineup has Wilshere instead of Rosicky/Walcott.

    Damien Martinez started in goal for Sheffield Wednesday. The game ended 1-2, with Sheffield getting the late goal. Martinez gave up two goals on 3 shots (according to Press Association stats). The BBC hinted the first goal may have been offside.


  2. Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud

    Substitutes: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Monreal, Rosicky, Walcott, Gnabry, Bendtner

    Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Shaw, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert

    Substitutes: Gazzaniga, Yoshida, S. Davis, Osvaldo, Chambers, Reed, Gallagher

  3. From the BBC

    > 1436: Arsenal v Southampton (1515 GMT)

    > The kick-off in Arsenal’s game with Southampton has been delayed for 15 minutes in the interests of crowd safety as a result of ongoing disruption on the Piccadilly Line.

  4. Fuck me this is terrible for the after match report…..
    I have to leave to do my own match at the moment of the final whistle but now with this delay I will not be able to see the end of the match.

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