Afternoon, you wonderful people.
I like Velociraptors. They’re an amusing bunch, strutting around in packs and eating people. When I sat through Jurassic Park for the first time at the cinema as a young man, I wasn’t terrified or moved to shield my eyes with my hands. Not at all. My reaction was one of, “Awww they’re f**king adorable”.
The reason Velociraptors have made it into an Arsenal blog is simply because Carl Jenkinson reminds me of one. Whilst I’m pretty sure Carl hasn’t got any inclination to leap from the trees and devour a passing family, his running style and body language strikes me as eerily similar. I can imagine him solving puzzles like the navigation of door handles and showing a greater intelligence that experts initially expected.
Watching the game yesterday at work – without sound for the first 30 minutes, as I can’t work even the simplest of technological advances – Carl’s performance stood out in a lot of ways. I don’t want to pour scorn upon a young man with potential who rarely gives any less than 100% becuase that would be churlish. However, in the absence of Sagna, his slightly ungainly manner, like that of a Velociraptor, gave me moments of concern.
He is still a young fellow with a great deal to leanr. Over time and with greater experience, I have no doubt he will grow into the position. Yet, I cannot help be a little worried by him at the moment. The right back area seems to be the first area of the field opponents target when he is playing, and against the really tough tests that could prove our undoing. Small point of negativity that may be, I do hope I am proved wrong.
The 90 minutes at West Brom wasn’t our finest. Credit should be extended to our hosts who continued in the same form they left Old Trafford with. Albion looked threatening in attack with Sessegnon and Amalfitano scurrying about constantly, and our resolve and stability had a decent test. Perhaps some underestimated how stern a test we would receive.
The performance was kind of a bit tired, from what I could make out. We certainly weren’t bad, or especially sloppy, but freshness seemed to be slightly lacking. When the games come thick and fast, it’s handy too be able to rest 3-4 players at a time, and that’s a luxury we don’t have at present. Fortunately, there’s a convenient International break headed our way, and we can get some of the walking wounded back where they belong.
1-1 away from home wasn’t ideal, but far from a terrible outcome.
On the playing front, the most notable display was from Jack Wilshere. It certainly wasn’t his day. Most things he tried to do didn’t come off, and he seems to have become someone the opposition are targeting for the rough stuff. A great deal of people called for him to be removed at half time. He wasn’t playing well, of that there is no doubt. He’s not been in his best form all season. My favourite thing about Jack is that he doesn’t hide, and you can see the determination he has to be better.
Jack wanted to make amends for mistakes he made, he wanted to be involved and try things even if they tended to fail when he did. After such a lacklustre display, he still managed to pop up with the equaliser, and that was down to his resolute nature and will to be in there scrapping. His form doesn’t worry me. All players experience the occasional dip, what’s important is how the react to it. Some sulk and hide themselves, others blame everybody but themselves. Jack doesn’t. He puts the work in, and I believe he is far too good to not come through this.
On that note, the comments await your thoughts on Jack. Do you agree with me, or do you have an alternate opinion? Do you think his position on the field at the moment isn’t helping his cause? Let me know.
As always: thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.