Wilshere Makes A Telling Comment

The other day I read this article about Wilshere that had a few quotes. A couple of lines stood out.

You never get ahead of yourself, you just can’t. Take the boss, for example. He won’t say too much but he’s never completely pleased.

Even if you’ve had a good game he’ll always say, ‘You could have done this better’.

I’ve always believed that people who achieve greatness can only do so if they are constantly challenging themselves and those around them to do better. If one has real talent it’s not difficult to stand out from the pack of average humans (no disrespect to anyone, I consider myself pretty average). Moving from good to great is a much harder step.

If we take football for instance, most genuinely good players make it to the top leagues and the best clubs. The relatively ordinary ones play in lower divisions while many don’t even make the professional grade. But only those who really buckle down and challenge themselves to improve constantly can move from the genuinely good to the truly exceptional level.

Part of this process is acknowledging the areas of improvement and working on them. Unless mistakes are identified and acknowledged there can be no hope for betterment. This is where the above comment is so pertinent. When we add the fact that Wilshere is not the first Arsenal player to mention this, it shows that Arsene is rarely satisfied and is looking for more even from his best players and even on days when they’ve had a good game.

The reason I’m discussing this issue is that there is one criticism of Wenger and the players that really irks me. One of the great myths built by some bloggers and quite commonly seen on the internet is that the Arsenal players are a pampered lot and don’t care enough or get away without putting their heart and soul into games/training.

While I can see the observations behind these opinions – at times Arsenal players look disinterested, or lazy, or passionless – it’s really difficult to take them seriously. The main reason behind this is that judging based on appearances, and that too from a distance, without having any idea of the details involved is rather harsh. A player might be playing with an injury, there might be a tactical change that he could be struggling with, or the opposition might actually be playing really well. There can be so many reasons for a lacklustre performance that we cannot even imagine simply because we don’t know the crucial details.

More baffling is the persistent demand for using the so called hairdryer treatment. There are three inherent assumptions in this that are flawed. Firstly, it assumes that the players are not playing well deliberately or that they’re not trying hard enough. The second assumption is that just by shouting at the players the manager can change this. Finally, there is an assumption that all players will respond positively to a telling off irrespective of their personalities!

Can you really imagine any organization in the world, in any field, performing at the highest level if the leader/man in charge has to constantly yell at his co-workers/employees?

The way I see it, getting the best out of players from different nationalities and cultures, varying talent and experience levels, with diverse expectations and life goals, and unique personalities is a herculean task and should never be trivialized.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Arsene is perfect in the way he deals with the players. I’d not say that for any manager because there is always some room for improvement even if one wins all the trophies. So when the team is not performing at a level it should be there is definite room for improvement. But what we can see from Wilshere’s comment and those of others before him is that the manager is constantly looking to do better and wants more from his players. Without knowing actual details of what goes on in training and the dressing rooms, can fans really ask for more?

Unfortunately, too many fans can’t see beyond the ‘no trophies for five years’ curtain and in that blinkered approach any criticism seems valid and justifiable, but isn’t the view a lot different for those who can take distance and attempt to analyze individual issues objectively?

27 Responses to Wilshere Makes A Telling Comment

  1. gazzap says:

    I can see that wenger can certainly improve and coach attacking creative players, I think there is plenty of evidence to prove that. the questions would be more around his blind spots, can he coach defence, not just of defenders but of every player? and when there are weak links, is wenger prepared to go and buy the necessary quality to give us a winning team?
    He gets this part wrong and sticks with a few players that clearly are not good enough. Having faith in a player is fine when that player is as talented as Jack Wilshere but when certain players have been given 3 or 4 years and still are not good enough, decisions have to be made.

    • typeface says:

      Have a little respect to the author and read the post before you write. Otherwise you come across as quite a clueless person.


    All gooners must pray and hope that DENILSON leaves our club asap. He is that rubbish.

    i beleive few lower clubs are after DENILSON.

    i will pay for DENILSON’S Taxi fare. i promise.


    • KBevers says:

      Selling denilson without buying another, better player to cover CDM would be a mistake. We’re already short at this position, and i would be fine if we bought someone and kept denilson as a squad player. He is inconsistent, but many people don’t see his value because when we win, his role is to be invisible, and keep the midfield ticking over, but when he plays well, he’s ok. His problem is he doesn’t track runs or tackle enough

  3. Filip says:

    But the hairdryer treatment worked against Liverpool, desigunner ! And it works for Ferguson.

    • desigunner says:

      Yes it worked at Anfield, didn’t it!? But do you think it would have worked if it hadn’t been a surprise for the players? How often does Ferguson use it?

      I’m not saying the manager should never get mad at the players. The point is, he’d be the best person to judge when such a treatment is required and will prove useful.

      • santori says:

        Point about the hairdryer treatment is not to employ it all the time. Clearly this will diminish the fact.

        Judging by what Wilshere is saying (and it is important not to read too much into it), it would seem le boss is better at carrot than stick.

        Advocates of the hairdryer treatment I would think just feel that at times, Wenger must also demonstrate a certain ruthlessness.

        Talk softly yes but walk with a big stick.

        Point in case is Wenger’s constant public backing of his young players coming through the Academy.

        He simply goes oberboard. I would think it would be wise to keep the young players on their toes and NOT to have them take for granted their natural progression to the first team or their place therein.

        In which case the message to them would have to be, we will give you a chance to break in but if you continue to underachieve, at some point, we will have to look toward market for a suitable alternative.

        Without this dictum, I’m afriad it leads some of our younger players towards an element of complacency. Now where have we ween this before?

  4. claver says:


    Actually, of all the teams in the top 10; I think that the hardest working are Arsenal and Man City.

    This is why Arsenal play the football they do!

    You cannot play a ‘movement’ game without having to work your socks off. Arsene, it is well known (I thought), revolutionized English football with his innovative approach to training.

    • desigunner says:

      I agree to an extent. Off the ball movement is probably the most underrated quality in football.

      Which team works the hardest is difficult to say and probably varies with game to game. Even defensive teams have to chase the ball a lot and that too is hard work. I guess Arsenal would be in top 3 in the League in most weeks.

  5. dave highbury says:

    Thoughtful Right up. There are some fools that think they are Arsenal “supporters”.
    “Don’t get me wrong,I am a supporter but *** is ****** shite” Is about as far as they get. They’re sheep that listen to the press and miss the match altogether because they’re too busy moaning at the players. CHECK THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HOME CROWD AND THE AWAY CROWD…. NOW CHECK OUR HOME AND AWAY RESULTS. Think it’s time to enjoy the positives, because we are sitting pretty right now, and the 12th man is the difference.

    • Talia says:

      Nice one.

      Problem identified, but where are your solutions? Because just asking the Ems to ‘loud it up’ isn’t going to achieve anything.

      Ps. Really, really, proud of our away support. (Sniff).

      • desigunner says:

        On a slightly lighter note I was wondering if we could borrow some members of the Barmy Army. I caught a few sessions of the first two ashes tests and they created a fantastic atmosphere 🙂

    • santori says:

      There is no 12th man @ the Emirates. As soon as we go behind, you can cut the tension with a blunt spoon. Please.

  6. ak47 says:

    home crowd suck 😦

    • santori says:

      Yes…we could well do with a little more vocals.

      • 7masters says:

        Sorry in Emirates @ you dare not stand up or make any movement except to wait when everyone celebrate a goal why? Arsenal stewards are over jealous lot and constantly telling people to sit down. I feel sorry for you guys who never go to emirates yet are ready to judge supporters based on press lies..

        The corporate atmosphere is so bland that it look like the club has sold it soul. It great Stadium but it like going to your squeaky clean neighbour house you hardly dare do anything to annoy them. Arsenal need to continue personalisation process otherwise the status quo would continue. The reasons why people keep quite is cause it obvious some players are that good and watching them everytime making mistakes simply numb them it silence. Arsenal fans are most loyal to there players etc Alex Song,Denilson and others have played many games costing the team valuable points but people have kept faith. Last season Alex Song played well but now it obvious he has fallen back to bad habits and is only there for lack of replacement.

        I think so many lies are peddled about Arsenal that even these blog has been caught in these web. Very few Arsenal supporters. Really give a damn about lack of trophies last five years. What the fans really like to see players and team making best effort and in dignified way. Presently it not been case and losing in sloppy manner has been normal. Yet all those valuable experience from last few seasons has been discarded why?

        Sometimes it obvious we have quality but lost it very fast, Sami Nasri would score two good goals yet Arsenal would concede three and lose the game why?

        Reality is there for all to see,it true we don’t have choices at the moment but can the situation be changed? Yes we can change destiny is our hands.

  7. Pete says:

    Good article

    There are many different styles and a manager has to be faithful to his own. It has to be asked, which established player has played his best football after leaving Wenger’s care? I can only think of Anelka and yet, I bet if you asked him, whom was the best manager he ever worked under, he would say Wenger. Surely if it was as simple as who can scare the players the most, Roy Keane would better than Jock Stein and Brian Clough put together.

  8. winner says:

    I am very worried about continued reports of Wiltshere’s brashes with the law at very odd hours of the morning. If he does not attend to that aspect of his life all the words that he says will ring hollow and ultimately he may ruin his future as a professional footballer. The world is full of examples of very talented people that mess that mess themselves up.

  9. deephenry says:

    whatever you say, results on the pitch says a lot. attitude of some players have been shocking this season, season after season the mistakes are being committed, and you want us to believe that problem areas are being looked into, i dont buy that, there are serious flaws in arsene’s management style in recent years, his recent comment that if we buy established players we will go bust, how pathetic and puerile is that, he is only interested in earning money for the board and owners and line his pocket with bonuses, he has not won anything for the past 5 years, why on earth will you pay such amount of bonus?

  10. GoonerDave says:

    Excellent article, impressive.
    Puts to bed a few myths, and well done for spotting it.
    This blog is one of the better ones, thank you!

  11. Ajinkya says:

    Bored of watching blackburn vs west ham over and over again. Please, no more snow, no more…

  12. realistic tony says:

    As a fincially-driven and astute coach Wenger has no equal…he is generally brilliant where money matters in football are concerned. His philosophy on how football should be played is respected by everyone (sane) in the game. He has principles to the point where he wont shake a rival managers’ hand if he doesnt respect his attitude. He has done a fantastic job for arsenal fc…the infrastructure etc. Even the way he respects the players, gives them faith, belief etc is laudable. But he is stubborn and seemingly unable to change or modify the “youth-project-wenger” that has been rolling along for years…UNSUCCESSFULLY.
    If he bought a top central defender in january…one with proven quality and experience…then i would begin to feel that he hasnt really lost it!

  13. GUN says:

    poda poorimone

  14. […] Wilshere Makes A Telling Comment The other day I read this article about Wilshere that had a few quotes. A couple of lines stood out. You never get […] […]

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