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When will this season ever end?
First, Arsenal crash out of the league-running in mid-November. Then we do well enough to reach the semis of the Cup and the Champions League and even give ourselves a chance at snatching third before being given lessons in street smart football and then…
We have to put up with two finals that we can only wish we were a part of. Manchester Utd vs Barcelona, as well as Chelsea vs Everton.
Sleepless nights in the lead-up to Arsenal vs Barca and the Toffees, anyone? I wish!
Alas, it was not to be, down to the faults and bad fortunes of a number of parties.
Instead, we’re left to rot away on our couches and watch others kick around for a coveted trophy, or worse, go to work and listen to weasely manc-supporters act like they have any breadth of football knowledge when they’re not watching rugby league on the sly.
But we pay the price for our club’s faults, like every fan must.
Yet there was a glimmer of hope last night, with Arsenal’s young gunners winning the Youth Cup after a 6-2 aggregate win over Liverpool.
Best of all, the 2-1 second leg win marked (to the day) St Michael Thomas Day which has been covered enough for you to know how special a day it is.
I think enough has been said about the talents of a young Jack Wilshere. He looks a special, special little player and I can only hope he keeps his head down, does not get too carried away with any delusion of grandeur and becomes the player we all hope he’ll become.
But three players really stand out to me this season from the reserves.
The first – Jay Emmanuel Thomas: An imposing player with style, pernache and just a bit of goof-off about him, he has both likeable and frustrating qualities, but looks like he’s capable of something special whenever he rampages forward.
The second – Francis Coquelin: Sometimes appears as a blur on the pitch, closing down and snapping at players’ heels, quick as a flash. Give him three years, he might just sneak into the team somewhere.
Finally – ‘Dirty’ Sanchez Watt: A striker blessed with great pace and smooth finishing skills, he’s done enough to impress the gallery of a very knowledgeable Arsenal fan base.
Reviews short and sweet, you’ll notice, but there are others like the always-excellent YoungGuns to give really in-depth reviews.
Also, I keep them short so as to curtail my expectations just a little bit. I had high hopes for Jeremie Alliadiere and Sebastian Larsson in years gone by and they just could not quite make it.
And by ‘just could not quite’, I sincerely mean that they were a very short distance from making a future for themselves with the Gunners.
Yet you see the teams they ended up with and what divisions they now ply their trade in. Even Jermaine Pennant isn’t missed.
My point is – it’s all such a fine line between success at the top and an every-man’s career somewhere in the middle.
And most of it, I’d bet, is mental. If these players get too big for their boots and start believing their own hype, you can almost certainly bet it will be curtains to their red-and-white careers.
This certainly looks the most talented batch of players produced in North London in a decade, maybe more, but they also seem the most susceptable to taking in the media hype.
Onto first team matters and rumours abound that Brede Hangeland, Norweigian defender extraordinaire and Fulham servant, is willing to reject an Arsenal approach to stay with Fulham.
EDIT: I’ve just realised I mistakingly typed the headline as ‘Bredeland’, but have decided against changing it. It seems to gel together nicely.
Sometimes players find their clubs and become great players within that setup. Some go for the ‘big move’ and find it does not work out at all.
The man could be happy where he is, or it could all be complete codswallop. But I’ve turned a leaf with regards to transfer rumours.
This summer, I’m going to try and enjoy them as much as I can.
If my armchair-Wenger devil wants to play, then so be it. Last summer was awful, not only for the lack of proper signings, but also because of the horrible negativity that abounded in the fans’ corner.
We’ll see where that goes, this time round.
Coming up in another blog (and they’re coming regularly now, just you watch!), I’m going to preview which defenders would most suit Arsenal’s needs.
Until then, I bid you farewell with a view to something sweet.