I think the question ‘is Jack Wilshere playing today’ is going to come up a lot over the coming months. I’ll be gutted if he is sold in the January transfer window, so I hope the question keeps being asked right throughout the season. We all know the lad has talent, that’s never been a doubt but what has been the problem with him in recent years? I want to say it’s just the injuries, but can you solely blame that for the lack of football we have got out of this truly talented footballer or is it something more?
Jack proved last season whilst on loan at Bournemouth that he can play regularly and it was great to see, however did he produce any match winning performances? I don’t think so but maybe that is a good thing. If he can keep his fitness up and keep working hard at it in training too, then gradually he’ll be back in regular contention for a starting place in the team week in, week out. Once back he just has to do the basics and perform consistency as we know he can and not worry about being the one we rely on. Unlike when he first broke into the team way back in 2008, the expectation that was on him then to be our engine room and a world beater was crazy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s excellent when a youngster comes through but it would be even better if then they went onto be become a regular for many a year.
Jack will be 26 at the turn of the year, his career is far from other so let’s hope this season he can just become performing player that contributes to our team this season. Of course England need him next summer, why wouldn’t they but that the World Cup is over eight months away. Talk of an England recall after just a few games back for us are ridiculous, they know what he can do so let him find some form first and maybe, just maybe he’ll be on that plane to Russia next June. For now though, helping out his Arsenal team mates on the pitch is the main focus.
Onto our #AFCpredictions once again this month and as usual we’ll pretty much backing the team before each game to win hopefully. Although we’re playing Manchester City away this month? If you’d like to join us each week in doing your predictions as well, then as always please do give us a shout by clicking here.
Thursday 2nd November @ 20:05 Europa League (H) vs Red Star Belgrade – RESULT 0-0
A very dull affair but it sees us qualify from Group H with 10 points already and into the next stage of the Europa League. Despite the scoreline we did have chances and Giroud was guilty of missing a couple as well as a great chance for Wilshere, but his shot was cleared off the goal line. A narrow victory would have been a fair result but the Serbian side kept a clean sheet Our predictions before the game were: David : 1-0 Arsenal / Jason : 2-0 Arsenal / Alex : 1-0 Arsenal / Lewis : 2-0 Arsenal / Vas : 2-1 Arsenal.
Sunday 5th November @ 14:15 Premier League (A) vs Manchester City – RESULT 3-1 LOSS
City – De Bruyne (19′), Agüero (50′ pen), Jesus (74′)
Arsenal – Lacazette (65′)
It was always going to be very difficult against a truly fantastic Manchester City side at this moment in time and it proved that. I honestly thought we might have a chance but their class shone through right from the off and even when we got back in it late on, they just came back at us once again. Our predictions before the game were: David : 2-2 draw / Jason : 3-1 City / Alex : 3-0 City / Lewis : 2-0 City / Vas : 2-1 City.
Saturday 18th November @ 12:30 Premier League (H) vs Spurs – RESULT 2-0 WIN
Arsenal – Mustafi (36′), Sánchez (41′)
A win against Spurs, the way it should be. Over the moon to beat them but I don’t feel any different to any other win from years gone by. Too much was made of this “power shift”, it’s not something I’ve ever been concerned about to be honest. If a power shift consists of winning nothing each year then something has seriously changed in the world of football. Anyway, I’m not here to talk about them. I’m here to talk about us. What a performance that’s putting the goals to one-side. I thought every single player put a shift in and we absolutely dominated from start to finish and I cannot praise the lads enough. The only issue I do have is why we cannot do that week in week out? Clearly we were all confident as our predictions before the game were: David : 2-1 / Jason : 2-0 / Alex : 1-1 / Lewis : 1-0 / Vas : 1-1.
Thursday 23rd November @ 18:00 Europa League (A) vs FC Köln – RESULT 1-0 LOSS
Koln – Guirassy (62′ pen)
Wenger said afterwards “You feel you have done the job to finish top of the group,” and “We now play our final game at home against Bate Borisov without much at stake, other than the fact that we want to win the game. It’s what we wanted.” That is true and I suppose that is the most important thing, however even with a poor display as such it’s still nice to create a few chances. We didn’t do that though apart one Francis Coquelin chance where he hit the post, but that was about it. Okay they probably shouldn’t have had a penalty themselves but there you go. Our predictions before the game were: David : 2-0 / Jason : 2-1 / Alex : 1-0 / Lewis : 1-1 / Vas : 2-1.
Sunday 26th November @ 14:00 Premier League (A) vs Burnley – RESULT 1-0 WIN
Arsenal – Sanchez (90′ pen)
Credit where credit is due, Burnley are currently playing some good football. Of course they’re not free-flowing going forward but they’re definitely better than you think. The played well today and defender brilliantly and when Gudmundsson hit the post there was a huge sigh of relief. Saying that, I thought Jack Wilshere’s deflected shot with not long to go was in. Sanchez won it thought with an injury time penalty that some will say was harshly given to us, but for me it clearly looked a push in the back. Our predictions before the game were: David 1-1 / Jason 1-2 / Alex 0-1 / Lewis 0-2 / Vas 1-3.
Wednesday 29th November @ 19:45 Premier League (H) Huddersfield Town – RESULT 5-0
Arsenal – Lacazette (3), Giroud (68, 87), Sánchez (69), Özil (72)
Our predictions before the game were: : David : 3-0 / Jason : 2-0 / Alex : 3-0 / Lewis : 4-0 / Vas : 4-1.