Seeing Jack Wilshere thunderf*ck some no-name Man City youngster into the ground for having the audacity to tackle him is something Arsenal supporters should be celebrating. The only thing that could top it would be if Wilshere punched the ref and lit up a cigarette on his way the locker room.
For about a decade now, Wenger has been trying to purge the “bad” elements from the Arsenal backroom. Squad harmony is, for some reason, a hugely important thing for the professor, who nowadays gets rid of this type of personality swiftly and refuses to buy good players if there’s a potential issue about ego and attitude.
William Carvalho once swore at a kid five years ago so we can’t sign him, and André Santos isn’t even allowed to go 180mph through a school zone in a rented Lamborghini without getting fired ffs.
The thing is: there’s no evidence that squad harmony is needed to win titles.
Chelsea have tasted victory in league and cup with catastrophic disorder among players for years, and Man Utd were constantly winning titles even when Eric Cantona was ploughing studs-first into the lower tier at Selhurst Park and Alex Ferguson thought it reasonable to kick football boots into David Beckham’s dumb metrosexual face.
Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Martin Keown…all players with huge personalities that Wenger probably wouldn’t even sign today because he would perceive them as disruptive to team spirit. But the main thing they had in common wasn’t outrageous personalities – it’s that they were winners. Passion, temperament, fire…all important attributes in order to develop a winning mentality in football.
It’s puzzling that Wenger can’t appreciate this. Just look at Diego Costa and ask yourself if he has a Premier League trophy *despite* his personality or *because* of it. I’d say it’s more likely the latter. It would be one hell of an achievement winning trophies at the highest level in sport with a roid-raged serial killer archetype if it wasn’t beneficial to have that personality in football.
So when Wilshere clatters a junior petro-mercenary to the floor, we should relish the moment. Jack is the last rusty disruptive cog in Wenger’s soft shiny machine, and probably the last player we have with actual winner’s mentality.
Can’t complain about the glory days being over and then moaning as soon as a player of ours overreacts to a challenge.
After all, those glory days consisted of Vieira getting red cards every fortnight, Henry exploiting as many rules as he could and Keown assaulting Ruud van Nistelrooy for missing a penalty.
It remains to be seen if Jack will still be an Arsenal player on September 1st, but this incident might just be the final nail in the coffin for him. Or if all goes tits up this season and Wenger is removed, perhaps the next manager will be able to see the value in having a player with that level of British Grit™ in the squad.