Stuart Pearce has left Wilshere out of the U-21 squad. Coming soon after the honest interview given by Denilson that filled most of us with hope, this is the second piece of highly encouraging Arsenal news. I hope this trend develops and the summer turns out to be as memorable as the last few weeks have been miserable.
The England youth manager explained his decision by indirectly hinting that Wilshere wanted out.
I spoke to Jack last week and he explained that while he told me in March that he wanted to be part of the squad, he now feels he is not in the best condition to take part in the finals. That is based on the number of games he has played for Arsenal this season, sports science data which Jack was presented with last week and concerns he has for his fitness looking ahead to next season.
Since these aren’t the exact words of the Arsenal star, I don’t want to read too much into it. Some people could turn this into a negative story saying Wilshere’s turned his back on his country, but, thankfully, this particular news doesn’t seem to be going in that direction.
I think that Jack has been extremely smart about this issue and has taken the right decision based on valid, scientific facts and most probably his own exhaustion. Even without that data, many who watched the last few Arsenal games could clearly see that the youngster was struggling physically and perhaps mentally as well.
I am amazed by the maturity shown by someone so young. Playing for one’s country, even at the youth level, is a matter of pride. Balancing the requirements of the body against the emotional urges anyone is likely to feel when presented with such an opportunity requires exceptional clarity of thought and decision making abilities.
Going to Denmark would have done no good to Wilshere, Arsenal, or the English team in the long run. It was a classic lose-lose situation and the key men in the English set-up should have been experienced and knowledgeable enough to see that on their own.
A small but important point worth noting is that Wilshere was shown some sports science data last week that helped him make the right choice. I wonder who could have done that 🙂 The complexities and subtleties of a football manager’s job never cease to amaze me.
Hopefully, there won’t be further twists to this saga and the future of Arsenal will get a well deserved rest in the summer.
In another interesting rumour, that could further enhance the trend mentioned at the start of this post, Bendtner’s father has reportedly said that his son wants to leave Arsenal.
Nicklas is 100 per cent open now to a change of clubs. He has made his decision and he has told it to Arsenal. Nicklas needs to be playing regularly from the start, so, sadly, he must leave. He wanted to finish the season first, so no-one could say he didn’t fight for a first-team place right until the end.
I am not a fan of attaching too much value to third person statements on what a player wants to do, even if that person is the father of the player. But the future of Bendtner has been open for discussion and I have a feeling the best option for all concerned would be to let him go.
I like Bendnter as a player and admire his confidence and professionalism. He can carve a fantastic career in Italy or Germany. At Arsenal, I am not convinced he will be that useful in the system that Wenger is using. And based on the manager’s recent interviews, I am not sure he is too keen on adding certain variations that could get the best out of the Dane and make him a valuable player for the Gunners. If the manager cannot adapt certain aspects of his tactics to suit the players he has, he will have to find players who better suit his style.
This transfer could be another win-win for all parties if Arsene can get good value for the Danish international.
I want to discuss some other points covered in the recent interviews and press conferences that Wenger has given, hopefully in the next day or two. Some friends had come over from Canada and the weekend just passed in a blink without giving me much time to write. I wasn’t even able to watch the game so the match report will be delayed till later tonight when I can find a few hours to watch and write. Apologies to those who are interested in the match analysis and have been waiting.