Last night I decided to watch the England game against Portugal. I’ve made plenty of bad decisions over the years. I once thought it would be wise to breakdance in the street whilst a homeless man did me a beatbox. I can’t breakdance sober, let alone heavily under the influence. I remember making a ridiculous bet on Twitter which lead to me having to do this and it still follows me around to this day.
Bad decisions build experience and teach valuable lessons. So, hopefully, I’m going to be that little bit richer in the knowledge department having subjected myself to that shower of sh*t on display last night.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t watch England. Regular readers will be all too familiar with my disdain for International football, but for those of you new to proceedings I shall elaborate. I find it near impossible to get behind my national team because, to be quite frank, I don’t especially care. Club football is where my heat lies. Arsenal have been and always will be my team. I’m not one of these individuals that has 2nd and 3rd teams in obscure divisions across Europe and beyond. I’m a one-team kinda guy. Because of this, everything else doesn’t get my gears grinding, my pulse racing or my juices flowing.
I’ll watch the Euros because I love the competition and all the talent on show, but I won’t be invested. Often I hope I’ll find something within England’s national team to enable that to change but such a thing regularly fails to materialise.
The game last night was turgid. Uninspired. Unimaginative. Dross. The first half was about as tedious a game as I think I’ve ever watched, brightened only temporarily by Bruno Alves’ extraordinary decision to launch a full-blown kung-fu assault on Harry Kane. A red card was awarded, and you’ve got to do something pretty f*cking stupid to get one of those in a friendly. England eventually won 1-0 and I can’t remember any of what happened the morning after.
The one thing I did notice is that England need Jack Wilshere. Much has been made of the omission of Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater. I was surprised he didn’t get a chance as he’s had a fine season. However, the choice between him and Jack is no choice at all. You have to take Wilshere because he offers something no one else can.
Admittedly, we have only seen his best in sporadic bursts over the past 3-4 seasons. That performance against Barcelona that rightly saw his stock rise to stratospheric levels seems an eternity away. Whether it be down to injury troubles or being played out of position, Jack has never been able to regain that groove, that consistency which makes him stand out. But, make no mistake, he has ability in abundance and when he does start to hit those heights, he is a joy to behold; a player so naturally gifted even Arsene Wenger rated him the best young talent he’s ever seen, and that is some accolade when you consider the talents he has nurtured over the years.
He’s fresh. He’s raring to go and he adds a combative, technical low centre of gravity that must be a nightmare to play against. Add to that an eye for a pass and a rocket of a left foot and you have someone capable of turning a game on its head. With a midfield that boasts very little of that talent, he’s invaluable. I love Jack Wilshere. I am an unabashed fan of him as a player. With a little more luck with injury and a bit more consistency on the pitch, there is no limit to how good he can become. With England at a major international tournament, the scene is set for something of a renaissance. If he puts in some good performances and gets himself some match fitness, it can only be could for Arsenal in pre-season and beyond.
That’s all for today, folks. The comments sections awaits your thoughts below. Tomorrow I shall return with more. I’m pressed for time, sleep deprived thanks to a combination of work and the stresses that revolve around moving house, but I shall return nonetheless. I’m that dedicated a blogger these days…
Until that time, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.