Where there’s a Wilshere, there’s a way

Arsenal 4-1 Norwich

I don’t wish to get all meta about things, but do you ever wonder why you like football? The comfort of routine, the camaraderie, the sense of belonging, the escapism, the commitment and the competition? Well, yes, it’s all of those things.

But sometimes the pleasure you take in football can be summed up in one pint-sized package of play, lasting perhaps no more than ten seconds. It doesn’t have to be a moment of real consequence, such as the one that ended with Thomas squirming in the turf in 1989 or Adams barrelling through to score from a Bould assist in 1998. It can just as easily be a split second of pure skill and nerve, like Bergkamp spinning on a sixpence to score at Newcastle in 2002.

We all remember those moments, the ones that take your breath away and make strange parts of you tingle whenever you think of them. Because they are so out of the ordinary, so rare in the grand scheme of things, they give you a warm fug that’s sometimes hard to explain and – I suspect you know where I’m going with this – I got it when I saw Wilshere’s goal yesterday. And when I thought of it just now. And when I think about it tomorrow, it’ll happen then too.

It was just so preposterously good. To pull a move like that off, one between that many players, requires confidence, skill, but above all luck – those touches are so deft, the smallest error or the most infinite of hesitations would have brought the move to a crashing halt. Everything worked, from everyone. Gibbs, Cazorla, a flurry of outrageous touches between Giroud and Wilshere then a one-touch finish. That’s football, for me. That’s why I love it. It was worth the £35 on its own.

Other moments of great skill yesterday will justly feel left out of my paean. Ramsey’s this-way-and-that jink and finish, his cutback for the fourth, Giroud’s laser-guided cross onto the Ozil bonce for the second – all magnificent. Just not quite as magnificent as that first.

Soak it all up, because this is good stuff. The irony has not been lost on me that in a season where Arsenal have made the best start in ages, and are playing their best football in ages, my own attendance is showing relegation form. I’ve been away, or otherwise engaged, for four of the six home games this season – very much a case of #eastlowerout.

I intend to start putting this lamentable form right, beginning on Tuesday against Dortmund.

In the meantime, I might just watch those goals again.

And again.

And again.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jeff

    I agree about that Wilshere goal.

  2. East Lower

    Lost track of how many times I’ve watched it now.

  3. PDDD

    I didn’t quite get how good Jack’s goal was first time around….it actually gets better with each viewing. Goal of the Season wrapped up already ??

  4. Jeff

    And the Ramsey goal was definitely my second favorite – and sort of a close second, but he’s scored a bunch already this season, so it lacked the rarity of the Wilshere goal, which was pretty much out of this world. Wenger never said the word “luck” when he described it, but I consider it a major factor. No matter how good you are, and how good your form is, or who you’re playing – the probability of it coming off is still 1 in a 1,000 at best.

    I’m thinking that it was better than Bergkamp vs. Newcastle. Wilshere and Giroud’s goal was even better than that mastepiece, which I still force people to watch on YouTube.

  5. East Lower

    Hmmm – that’s a bold call. Bergkamp one pips it for me, on pure skill alone. Though this was (obviously) a better team goal.

  6. East Lower

    It’ll take something extraordinary to be better than that, you’d think. That said, these things are often subjective.

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