Fast Track For Jeff Reine-Adelaide (JRA)
Fast Track For Jeff Reine-Adelaide (JRA)
That glorious sight when Jeff Reine-Adelaide first opened his legs, and we marveled at what we beheld. It was as though a new sun had appeared, more awesome, more wonderous, more splendid.
Now, I’m not one to overhype a young talent. There are those out there with that flaw. But I am not one of them. No. Not I.
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world Like a Colossus,
and we petty men Walk under his huge legs and peep about.
As Wenger is wont to do, he stuck JRA out on the wing, where he dutifully plied is trade for his Lyon cameo and most of the Wolfsburg match. But, after 50 minutes of the Wolsfburg match, JRA decided to fuck this for a game of soldiers and grab the game by the scruff of the neck. He cut across field and picking up the ball in the middle of the park, he spread his legs, rode a tackle or two where it looked like he had lost the ball, fought off two sharks by punching them in the face just before he delivered a perfectly angled, perfectly weighted diagonal pass to meet the run of Walcott
who plundered the booty of Wolfsburg’s stingey defense.
What amazes me is how LITTLE hype the media has given this player. Can you imagine how much hype Jordon Ibe, Adnan Januzaj, or Harry Kane would have received had they fought off two sharks to lay on a perfect assist? Exactly. Fucking media.
The amazing thing is, it wasn’t a “one-off.” How do we know? Just 10 minutes later he did almost exactly the same things a 2nd time. He ghosted into the middle, collected a pass, rode a tackle, punched two sharks (different ones,) and split the defence for The Finisher to pounce again. Alas, the Wolfsburg Keeper was from the Neuer school of goal-tending and was 20 yards beyond his box to sweep it away. The bastard.
Two runs that carved open a Wolfsburg defence that had stubbornly resisted our other assaults. Two times he kept his head up after the run before threading the eye of a needle. Always with an end purpose, rather than jizzing himself after showing off his skills in front of 60,000 fans – like any non-special 17 yo would.
“Reine-Adelaide is something special you know,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “He is a great talent and when he came on you could see that — 17 years old let’s not forget that. In fact I don’t remember how I played at 17 but I didn’t play like that!”
What does the future hold for Jeff’s Runny Marmalade? I think Arsene will keep him close: Train with the squad, get him some minutes in cups, and some U21s.
“He will definitely be here,” said Wenger after the match. “He is 17 years old and looks very promising, but he needs to work with us now for a year with the first team, to play with the U21s and develop. There is a fantastic potential there and he will stay with us.”
In some situations, of course, he has the game of a 17 year old, but on the other hand he has shown great potential as well…He looks very advanced physically and I’m sure that he has learnt a lot from these two days.”
But here is where I think there is a difference to Crowley, Zelalem and Co, even if they are the same age or older: JRA as a physical specimen has already arrived. He matched Lyon and Wolfsburg not just technically or with trickery or with vision and passing – all of which are no mean feat – but he rode tackles, he bullied players, he was stronger and faster, and he gave better than he got. And one other thought. What Crowley and Zelalem provide, we already have in our squad to some extent. We don’t have a Pogba/Vieira/Diaby type.
The guy is a stud. Keep filling him with turkey dinners and, by Christmas, he’ll be bigger than all them bastards. He kind of already is.
Where will he play? Wide, I would guess, for as long as Arsene is trying to scramble him minutes. But JRA is so dominant, he will be moved inside to dictate the game as soon as Arsene can do it. It’s a mistake to compare players to previous players. They’re all different. But JRA has a Vieira/Pogba feel to him – graceful, skillful, powerful, and the deceptive canter across open ground that gobbles up a midfield and has him threatening the box in the blink of an eye, bodies strewn in his wake.
Fast, dominant, powerful, his head always up.
Why would you put him anywhere else but the center? How could you put him anywhere else, if you like winning things?
First things first, Arsene will keep him close to home, rear him by hand-feeding him. But this lad is a fast-tracker if I know anything about talent-spotting (I don’t.)
Again, Arsene’s line that you may have too hastily discarded: “In fact I don’t remember how I played at 17 but I didn’t play like that!”
That is a man who has been made to dream again, living through a young man’s talent who has abilities the manager could only have imagined for himself. I’m not sure Arsene can do anything but play the boy as his precocious talent is matched by development.