By Dan Ferguson
Jack Wilshere went ice skating with his family.
Wenger wasn’t happy. This isn’t news except that Wenger is probably looking to sell him and an injured Jack isn’t any use to anyone.
I don’t think anything was intended by it and it is exactly the stuff of media nonsense. He starts tonight, so he obviously managed not to banjax himself. But it does make me think about the insatiable desire ‘fans’ have for football news.
The crowd for kick-off is as scant as I’ve seen. (Later confirmed by Ian Darke as the lowest ever at the Emirates) A total new XI for this game from the starting line up against Man United. There was plenty of experience but also a lot of sour grapes and chips on the shoulders of this side. Would they gel?
Elneny should have scored on 3 minutes but hit the post with a wellington boot shot. Lots of nice touches for ten minutes and then Debuchy on 13 scored after a blatant handball by the BATE defender. It was a rasping crisp shot. 1-0
Arsenal knocking the ball around well. Very much like a training game with BATE very wary of Arsenal’s attackers. Really unsure where to commit or jockey, and Wilshere causing them all kind of problems.
Horrid defending for 2-0. Welbeck, ponderous and selfish, is looking to shoot and when the defender nicks the ball, it falls to Walcott, who buries the easy chance. More nice play follows.
Wilshere’s goal on 42 is a beautiful strike like Debuchy’s. He’s growing with each game he plays. This really is the Jack Wilshere show tonight.
3-0 at half-time.
A player I have really massive doubts about is Chambers. He is a gifted player in some ways, but he is truly ponderous. Just a little cumbersome and sluggish. Surely the training has him relatively sharp? The own goal on 52 was as good as all the other strikes. A shame for the defender but a tough cross to bear.
Giroud for 5-0 and this is starting to get a little tiring to watch. Walcott upended by a very clumsy challenge. Giroud had to take it twice and hit them both to the same spot. He’s a good penalty taker.
BATE still offering so little in terms of a challenge. Very hard to evaluate the impact of this game.
Elneny’s finish for 6-0 was lovely too but Bate’s defending is so positionally poor that I don’t know how emphatic I can be. Still how have to beat the team in front of you.
Arsenal played well in the main. They dropped off a little when the kids came on, but that’s to be expected. All in all, a very experienced Arsenal team battered a team with far less resources and competition. They did what they should do very professionally, and I congratulate them on that.
VERDICT : Jack should play instead of Xhaka, even on ice skates.