I am so very much looking forward to the media savaging of a Chelski team that is clearly lacking in one department and yet has failed to address this, consequently falling to the sword against one of the best teams in Europe. Perhaps they will be described by the English media as ‘naive’, whilst some of their players will be labelled as ‘flops’ and a single player hoisted out from amongst the crowd to be labelled as a thief by taking wages from the club.
Perhaps I should focus a little more on matters closer to my heart, such as the positive noises made by Gnabry on the official site. He’s still in his formative teenage years, but with 14 appearances under his belt he’s admitted it’s been a welcome – albeit big – step for him to get in and amongst the first team squad.
There’s been a lot of people more regularly calling for his inclusion in the first eleven, based on what we’ve seen so far, which shows how highly regarded he is by the fans. And by the manager as well I might add. In Arsene Wenger he has a man who is fiercely loyal to his players, but if he doesn’t have the trust of Le Boss then he wouldn’t have managed to rack up as much game time. He’d probably have been sent out on loan like so many other players around his age, to see if he could ‘cut it’, build him up physically for the demands of the Premier League and hope that he’s a Wilshere in waiting for subsequent seasons.
I’ve often questioned why he hasn’t been able to force his way into the team, particularly on as a sub in more games, but it’s important to recognise that he is still a young player who is capable of mistakes and almost needs to make mistakes in order to learn from them. We don’t have to look too far to see what happens when a very young player gets into the first team and the whole world expects an instant impact. When The Ox first joined us he had a similar trajectory to Gnabry and put in some particularly impressive displays (a great game against Blackburn springs to mind), but last season found form a little bit more hard to come by. Injuries also stunted his development this season and whilst we’ve seen some great performances from him since returning from his cruciate injury, The Ox has still put in some poor performances, like Chelski. It happens. He’s a young player too and we’ll probably get a few more of those over the next year or two, but the important thing is that we see more positive performances than negative ones and I think that is certainly happening with The Ox at the moment.
It’s the same with Serge and that is perhaps why Arsene is so keen to use him sparingly. In fact, had we been able to field a more full-strength side at this stage in the season, there would be few that would be hollering for his inclusion in the first eleven. That he offers something slightly different at a time in which we look like we could do with it – most notably pace – only seeks to enhance the desire to see him play a bigger part. The mind has a very poor way of recalling events, which often means that those players that are not playing are always afforded an extra 25% of awesomeness added to their game as our minds cast back to when we have seen them. For me I am as guilt as the next man, as I mainly recall his impressive display against Swansea and the goal that helped set us on our way to victory as well as winning the penalty against Palace, but I can’t really recall his individual performances thereafter and so my memory is deceiving me into thinking those two performances are the least we can expect if Gnabry starts against Everton.
It’s for that reason that I can understand why Arsene is using him sparingly. He doesn’t want the hype to become too much, yet at the same time he doesn’t want any inevitable mistakes to be magnified, which tends to happen when you have a young player at one of the top clubs in the division, that get most of the attention in the media.
I think he’ll go on to be a great player and the way he is being blooded by Wenger is the right thing to do.
There’s only one other bit of Arsenal news I wanted to touch on today, which is the bit of gossip about Arsenal’s supposed interest in Younes Kaboul. I resisted the temptation to write an entire parody blog about the farcical and spurious attempts at winding us fans up with the Kalou stories that dominated from the gutter press earlier in the week, but this one surely has to be another attempt at getting us to bite, no? I mean, what do we want a shaky, bulbus-headed looking Spud in our squad for? Move along folks, nothing to see there.
Back tomorrow where hopefully Arsene’s got some news for us.