First things first, some theme music for today’s blog:
The music included above accompanies the most excellent news that Kieran Gibbs, foot-breaker extraordinaire, has avoided a fracture of the second metatarsal. With every Arsenal fan expecting the worst after Gibbs limped off against Spurs, the news from the doctor is that the left-back only suffered bruising of the bone and will only be out of action for a short time.
With Gibbs playing arguably the best game of his Arsenal career against Spurs the news is obviously a huge relief. I said in yesterday’s match report that Gibbs looks in the zone at the moment and on this form, deserves to be given an opportunity in the first team at Gael Clichy’s expense. Although that won’t happen immediately, with Gibbs likely to be sidelined for a week or so, I’m delighted that his season has not been cut short and he will very quickly be able to stake his place for a spot in the team again.
Gibbs was my (and Yemi’s) Man of the Match on Tuesday night but the man who ran him a close second was Jack Wilshere. The English midfielder was absolutely superb in the centre of the park against Spurs, combining tenacity with technical quality and received some lovely words from Tomas Rosicky regarding his performance.
“When he has got the ball he is very calm, that’s something that sometimes younger guys don’t have – they panic a little bit or something. With him you don’t see that though – he is very comfortable with the ball. That’s the first quality you are looking for and he has got that.”
Wilshere has had an up-and-down start to the season, combining some excellent play with a lack of awareness at times, but as Rosicky says he certainly has something special and his confidence on the ball cannot be questioned. One excellent supporter has made a quite excellent HD YouTube compilation of Jack’s performance against Spurs and if you watch it below, you can see exactly what Rosicky is talking about. The music’s not even that bad…
To complete today’s Great Young Englishman News-a-thon are some terrific comments from Henri Lansbury, the scorer of the first goal against Spurs, the first goal of his Arsenal career.
“It was obviously a big thing for me to start here tonight and to show what I can do. To come in against our rivals and score is a dream. Coming here [and playing] is massive. I’ve had all my mates on the phone today saying ‘Are you starting? Are you starting?’.”
“I’ve just got to keep working hard in training and hopefully I’ll get my chance. It was good to get on the score sheet and it was a great performance from our team. Coming into a London derby is a great experience. Seeing the tempo of how the first team play – I just want to get involved in that. To come here and win is always a great time for the fans. We put on a show tonight for them.”
It’s always great to hear comments like these and I think there’s always some extra-special when they come from an Englishman. Arsenal is unfairly criticised time and time again for their apparent dislike of English players so when someone comes through from the youth ranks and makes an impact like Lansbury, or indeed Wilshere or Gibbs, it is particularly satisfying. I mean, look at the following photo and tell me it doesn’t bring a smile to your face:
I thought, leaving aside his goal for the moment, that Lansbury was very strong against Spurs. He clearly has an eye for a goal and his decisiveness on the ball, as evidenced by a few snapshots from distance and some very good passing, is a good sign that he is a player that can make the step up. He’s also a reasonably big lad too, which is always good for a team that can at times be a little lightweight, and I am really hoping he can make the grade at Arsenal over the next couple of seasons.
Anyway, that’s all for today. Speak to you tomorrow!
Have your say on Gibbs, Wilshere or Lansbury by leaving a comment.