By Walter Broeckx
If we would believe the moaners, our club is run by a bunch of nogoods who know nothing about football. And who have appointed and kept a manager that knows nothing, is outdated, a dinosaur, a dictator and a ditherer when it comes to transfers and spending money.
The last thing might carry some truth in fact. Because Wenger loves Arsenal so much that he doesn’t want to risk bringing Arsenal in to trouble by spending reckless the money we have so slowly saved for in the last years since building the Emirates.
So yes Wenger will do all he can to avoid costly errors in the transfer market. I think he should be applauded for this, not blamed at all. After all there will be an Arsenal long after Arsène will be gone. And that will be also thanks to Arsène for being a wise spender. Give this club in the hands of some big spenders and we will spend, win maybe a few titles and the to bankrupt. Or end up in miserable times.
Anyway on twitter the specialists in moaning were after one player in particular in their hunt for scalps. Theo was the player they would try to get out of the club.
You should have heard the outcry in some corners when Wenger said during the preparation that he had complete faith in Theo and that we would see a new Theo.
Sell him “they” said. Give him away for free. Some people offered to drive Theo in person to any place in the world as long as he would be out of Arsenal. Waste of space, waste of wages, waste of…. He was declared rubbish. Dead wood was one of the kinder ways of name giving.
Wenger was mocked by them when he said he still believed in Theo. He had lost it. You know the usual shit that is thrown at Wenger. When Wenger stubbornly keeps his faith in a player. Some moaners wanted Theo out at all costs. Give him to State Aid United they said. He is rubbish after all.
But now 1.5 month after the start of the season nobody wants to be reminded about what they said about Theo. I think a lot of moaners have been working overtime to delete all the twits insulting Theo and Wenger in one tweet. That will free up some space on the twitter servers I think.
I think now at this time we can say that Theo has been in great form since the start of the season. It seems that Theo has changed and that something has changed.
That something is rather simple. In January 2014 Theo had a terrible knee injury. Despite Theo sitting upright when he was carried off the nature of the injury was bad. He was out for a long long time.
I am not a doctor but have been told by people who are (I see a knee specialist myself from time to time and can talk with him as he is specialised in treating top athletes) that such knee injuries take lots of time to heal. But what people tend to forget that there is the healing process that ends with getting the green light to train with the group.
But after that… the real process only starts. Because it is one thing to run and run and run some more on the training pitch and do exercises to make the knee stronger again. That in itself is hard and painful work but that is only half the job.
Because being a football player is not just about running around. No you have to twist and turn, avoid tackles, be brave, get stuck in to tackles…..
And to come back to the top level doing all that…. That takes even more time than just the physical healing process. Because it also is a matter of the mind. You have to trust your body and play without any mental handbrake in your head.
A mental handbrake that is inside the head of a player after an injury. The slightest doubt about your body will reduce your levels on the field. You have to completely forget about the injury and act as if it never happened. I think we have seen how long it took for Ramsey to do this and it took him a long time. Eduardo never really got over his terrible injury and saw his career ending at Arsenal.
Despite Theo not having a limb being almost cut off, the mental hurdle will have been there. And I think that it is this mental hurdle that has been removed from his head.
Because Theo is back to being the attacking Theo he was in his best years (the RVP – Theo combination season) and he is scoring at a regular basis. But Theo is also transformed in an all-round player.
He tackles, he defends, he throws himself in to shots when needed…. Things he was doing in the weeks before his injury but that we missed seeing him do last season.
And in the last matches I have seen him do skillful things that were out of his reach. Amazing controls on the side line taking the ball past his opponent in one moment and being free, quick passing with teammates completely in control, running up and down his flank helping Bellerin when his presence is required in the defensive part of the field. In fact I think Theo is a better defender than Iwobi is for the moment. As there is one thing Iwobi has to improve on it is his defensive work and helping Monreal a bit more. But Alex is still young and he seems to improve on this match by match.
Wenger and Theo had a chat over the summer. And Wenger doesn’t want the credit go to him for the new Theo we have seen the last weeks. No, he puts the praise at the feet of Theo himself. And for a part he is right. It is Theo out there on the field who has to do his thing.
But the credit we have to give Wenger is that he is the one that stuck with Theo during the summer. When almost the whole moaning internet part of the Arsenal fan base was screaming to get rid of Theo it was Wenger who rightfully so didn’t listen to the hysterical part of our fans.
Wenger knew better than all of them together. Let’s hope Theo will stay injury free now and will play like he did in the 2012-2013 when he started 31 matches in total and scored 21 goals and had around 15 assists.
Let us keep our fingers crossed for Theo… and I hope he doesn’t get a call up for the English team though I fear he will. Cross some more fingers if he gets a call up and pray for a safe return then if you like to pray. And let us be thankful that Wenger knew better than most of us. But that is nothing unusual I think…..
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From the anniversary files…
29 September 1951: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1. The game is noteworthy because of the variation in crowds reported. Ollier has 68,164 while Newkey-Burden in “Gunners Lists” (a book which acknowledges Ollier as a source) has 72,164. That figure would make this the third highest crowd to see a home league match for Arsenal.
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