Jack Is Over-Rated
I’m assuming that anyone reading my blog is already on “our team,” so let me cut to the chase here: Jack is not over-rated. He is quite probably still under-rated outside of the Arsenal community. Ever so slightly. His performance against Swansea didn’t help with this, however.
But we need to get Jack off the radar. Off the media’s radar. Off Bayern’s radar. Off Barcelona’s radar. Off England’s radar.
It’s Time To Get Jack On The Down-Low
Down-low is an African American slang term that refers to a subculture of men who usually identify as heterosexual, but who have sex with men; some avoid sharing this information even if they have female sexual partner(s). The term is also used to refer to a related sexual identity:
“Tyrone and Jamaal appeared like thugs on the street, but in the bedroom they experimented with every hole they had. They kept it on the down low, though.” – Urban Dictionary
Now, I’m not saying that Jack should start having sex with black men, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean the other part of being on the down-low. He needs a cover story to stay off the radar. He needs to be hangin’ with some other brothers. Hence, I will shortly commence a sustained misinformation campaign. And I will need your help.
Pile on board on twitter when I go with Gibbs for MOTM, when I claim Jack’s goal was a miscue (he was aiming for the left corner), when I announce that Jack has declared for Ghana because Frimpong told him it was great fun.
Take The Pledge
Repeat after me: “I, (state your name,) do solemnly swear that Tom Cleverly is a better player than Jack Wilshere, that he is superior in every aspect of the game, for example he is taller, and that he is the future of the England national team. So help me, God.”
Anything to get Jack off the British media’s conveyor belt for building up the next Great English Hope until they’ve extracted every bit of juice from the lemon, and so turn to tearing down the demi-god they created piece by piece, game by game. They will attempt to inflate Jack’s ego to a point where there is no club in England big enough for him.
When Jack has an okay game, please say he was shit. When he has a great game, please use terms like “meh,” or at best “decent” or “solid.”
In the meantime, please join me in saying “Shhh!”
Wenger Vindicated for just one night
Without trying to score a political point here, join me if you will in savouring the delicious irony of Wednesday’s victory. Who was the midfield? The 2 crocks and the wannabe that Arsene was slammed for betting on when no one came into the squad on August 31st.
Now don’t get me wrong. Don’t get all pissy with me. I’m not saying it makes him right on that. I know that “argument” wasn’t about one game. And that we are in a hole we need to dig ourselves out of in the league. And in a sense, we are still relying on a crock and a wannabe right now.
That’s not my point. But…Wilshere, Diaby and Coquelin. You do have to laugh, don’t you? They put in a performance we haven’t seen this season. They lit up every area of the pitch, with a little help from Santi, and Gibbs, and Giroud, and Sagna, and even Walcott.
So, let’s give Arsene this one night. These are the players he was reluctant to kill off. These are the players Arsene believed in. And they had a great night.
Even Arsene must have had this thought as he wistfully pondered before the media how the City game might have turned out with this performance and formation.
The Blog I’ve Been Itching To Write
I’ve had a blog I’ve been itching to write since the Chelsea game. In the Braveheart Scottish accent of Mel Gibson, it goes something like this: “You thought you could stop Arsenal by stopping our midfield. You can mark Arteta out of the game. You can mark Arteta and Cazorla out of the game. But you can never mark Arteta, Cazorla AND Wilshere out of the game. You fools! You’ve killed your own midfield and given ours freedom!!!”
The problem was that we’ve never played well enough to write that blog. We’ve never blown a decent team away well enough where that hyperbole was warranted.
It turns out that the midfield that blew a well organized team off the pitch was Wilshere, Diaby and Coquelin with Santi rotating into it from the left wing and with Wilshere and Diaby turning their men and bursting forward, tearing holes in any chalkboard formations Swansea may have dreamed up.
Who the fuck are you going to mark out of the game now? Are you going to follow all 4 of them around the pitch? Good luck. Diaby and Wilshere will turn you and leave you the wrong side all day. Cazorla no longer has responsibilities and will nomad you across the desert. He will fuck you up.
The goal? Cazorla rotates deeper into midfield, picks up the ball from Gibbs, and whips it forward at pace to Giroud, who Girouds it to Jack charging forward like a number 10 who bangs it with his laces, bulging the back of the net. Who are you gonna mark, bitches?
It’d be like a Harlem Globetrotters spectacular where the plodding white players amble behind the dribbling Globetrotters all around the court, there only to play the role of witless buffoon.
It would be like Buster Keaton, with the Keystone Cops in hot pursuit, running in through the revolving doors of a building and emerging unaccompanied from the same doors only to join even more cops on the way in a second time and re-emerging on his own. In fact, that’s what happened at one point in the 2nd half. Jack got the ball just inside Swansea territory and then proceeded to do a 360 loop with 3 Swansea midfielders left in his wake before breaking up field and distributing.
Who you gonna mark now, bitches?
The Template. The Benchmark.
Did we glimpse of heaven on Wednesday? Did we see the future? Is the future now? Far too early to say, but that was a benchmark for this team. This is what it looks like when it happens.
Jack talked recently about how this is an all new team for him. He only played for 1 full season and then he missed 17 months. He hasn’t played with Cazorla or Arteta. He hadn’t played with Diaby much. But then who has? Coquelin, Gibbs, Giroud, Vermaelen, Mertesacker. All new to Jack.
But now Arsene can use that benchmark performance as the calibration for a team understanding of how arsenal plays.
The Cesc is dead. Long live the Jack.
Once you’ve gone Jack, you’ll never go back.
Why Can’t Football Be Just Like Basketball
One of the beauties of basketball is that you often play your opponent many times in a season. And if you make the playoffs, you may face that opponent 5 or 7 times, back to back. If you make it to the finals, we will have played 5 to 7 games against each of 4 teams. And it turns the sport into chess.
You know, kind of like we just did with Swansea a bit. 3 games withing a matter of weeks. It was a bit like getting jumped in a dark alley-way and having them steal your identity and your wallet (“Swansea out-Arsenalled Arsenal today”). You get the chance to make adjustments. You get a chance to meet up again that next night in that alley-way and jump that fucker back for your wallet.
That’s the beauty of basketball. I don’t fully understand basketball’s mumbo jumbo: pick and rolls, belly up, trapping and double-switches, but I understand it well enough to appreciate the power of all those time outs plus the 3 breaks between quarters, or the chance to come back a couple of nights later and beat the victor with your adjustments and your new game-plan. It makes you a better team. And a smarter team.
That process is what formed Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. It’s what taught Jordan that his individual brilliance wasn’t enough. When the Pistons schooled the Bulls in 89/90 winning 4-3 before going on to win the finals, they proved to Jordan that teamwork beats brilliance. The next year the Bulls came back to face the Pistons again in the playoffs and swept them with brilliance and teamwork. Jordan’s Bulls went on to become the greatest team by a mile in basketball history with Jordan the greatest player of all time, and arguably the greatest athlete and the greatest winner of all time. He had a mentality as cold as ice in the biggest moments. He believed. It was Jordan time. Time slowed down for him with 3 seconds left on the clock. Everyone knew he would be given the ball. But they couldn’t stop him, and watching him play the biggest moment of his career was the most powerful sporting moment of my life. (Sorry for that confession.) He was the real deal. The realest. In any sport. You may not understand that. But if you were there, you would.
And how does this relate to Arsenal? Well, we just played Swansea over 283 minutes and 6 halves. That’s nearly the same number of minutes played in a 5-game basketball series. The Swans out-Arsenalled us for the first 2 or 3 halves. And then we got our Arsenal back. With each half we got stronger. Until the 6th half when he crushed them.
It’s a shame we can’t do more Basketball-style series against other teams. You learn a lot about yourselves when you learn to vanquish an opponent to the point of domination. It’s a very mental game, basketball. This can help you fix a lot of shit. There is no hiding or excuse-making over a 7 game series. You got out-played or you out-played them.
So, thank you, Swansea. You may have helped us turn our season around. And thank you for letting us take our wallet back. It was a valiant attempt at identity theft.
Would You Look At The Tits On That Laudrup!
I liked Swansea till everyone kept saying they were a better Arsenal than we were. And those stupid fucking Michu puns piss me off so bad. But the Swans looked pretty smug about being called Arsenal. And then our own supporters started fantasizing about replacing Wenger with Laudrup, when our man is fighting for his life and the life of his footballing vision?
I do understand though. I remember the time I took my wife in for a cancer screening test. We were both worried sick about her. We looked to each other for strength and comfort in this ordeal. But there was this smoking hot nurse, bending over the equipment provocatively, measuring stuff willy nilly. Her name was Gloria. Busty and curvy with legs that went on forever. When the doctor came back in, I blurted out, “So how long does the old bag have, doc?”
Oh, Swansea. You, who thought you were the new Arsenal, who were lauded from one end of this Sceptered Isle to the other as having exposed this emperor to be wearing no clothes. In the end, we out-Arsenalled you to a pulp, we pistol-whipped you to the point that when Chris Brown saw highlights of the match he suffered a flashback and released a statement: ‘I sincerely apologize to Swansea for the beating I put on you, though I’m sure you bitches must have had it coming for mouthing back to me or something, but I’ll try not to do it again. Take me back, baby.”
Let Us Pray That Superb Performance Was a One Off
We can only hope and pray that performance on Wednesday was a one off. We can only hope and pray that Jack and the boys can’t put it together like that on a regular basis. We hope this, if the “We” we are talking about is Rafa Benitez and AVB, because if they saw that performance, I’m pretty sure they damn near kacked their pants. Our rivals for the 3rd and 4th spot will have found that match to be uncomfortable viewing. That was the Arsenal they had been assured no longer existed, the Arsenal that others such as Swansea had usurped.
Come on, Arsenal. Chelsea at the weekend. I hope they still have a copy of the “If we mark Arteta and Cazorla, we will kill Arsenal” game plan because they aren’t going to know what hit them, if our boys click again one more time.
So…Shhh! Remember, we’re still crap and Jack is totally over-rated and Gibbs was MOTM. And Jack has declared for Ghana.
But, oh, have you seen the wonder that is Tom Cleverly…