So another interlull zips by, and there was me thinking this one would be a blessed relief. It may well be for the team, for Wenger and for the fitness coaches, but as is often the case I’m already a little bit more excited than I ought to be about a game eight days away against the kind of northern outpost not usually noted to bring out the giddiness in me. Even by my own standards, this is an early bout.
Ramsey v Wilshere will more than pass the time on Saturday. It’s always gratifying to see two extremely talented Arsenal boys lauded as these two have been. I don’t know whether, as some have said, Wilshere will be the finest English player of his generation – I wouldn’t want to burden him with such an absurd and premature label – but I do know a good player when I see one. He’s without doubt – with a cap doffed in the direction of the tireless and underestimated Raymondo Parlour – the best English midfielder to come through the ranks at Arsenal since the rich mid-80s seam containing Rocastle, Thomas & Davis.
From last season being a young footballer who desperately needed games to progress, he’s gone, in a short period of time, to playing every game and being lined up for every tournament known to man stretching away into the future. He could be at the Euro U21s this summer, he could be playing for GB at the Olympics in 2012. He could be shagged out by 2013. It’s a tricky one to manage though.
Ramsey – well who knows how his progress would have measured against that of Wilshere? He was ahead of him in developmental terms before his sickening injury. Now he’s behind him, for obvious reasons, but he’s once again staking his place at international and club level. Given that I get twinges in my own leg when I think of his injury, he has done remarkably well to get both physically and mentally fit, and to thump into tackles as he has done since his return. It’ll take a bit of time to regain the sharpness needed but in a midfield containing players of oscillating form, he could be a big addition for Arsenal between now and May. Especially if he can play goalie or centre-back [that’s quite enough of that – Ed].
This morning, you will find my dulcet tones, as well as those of Arseblogger [of course], Goonerholic & Arse2Mouse, on the Arsecast. My suspicion is that I am a bit mopingabout-ish, but not I hope, overly so.
I do feel in recent weeks that I have been dunked, Obelix-like, into a vat of woe. I certainly appear to have superhuman levels of pessimism, but they’re wearing off, albeit slowly, and unless Blackburn Rovers dip me once again into the cauldron of gloom, I can feel the tingle of a rising tide of random optimism just around the corner. I’m leaning towards the notion of absurd blogging positivity, whatever happens, just to balance the books.
Five points behind you say? Game in hand, is that? Win them all and we’re the champs – you sure? Let’s magic some form out of the ether for the Blackburn game and take it from there.