Irony is not a word often used in football. When you think back to Wenger’s earlier days of Vieria, Petit, Anelka, Henry and Pires to name but a few, Arsenal fans could never escape the stigma of being called ‘The French National side’ however it could be argued Wenger now holds the three lions in Wilshere, Walcott and Gibbs that will lead England to long over-due success.
The emergence of Jack Wilshere as a key first team player for club (and now, perhaps, the player to officially end the Gerrard and Lampard ‘partnership’, that has never really quite worked for England) is a credit to Wenger and his philsophies. Wenger has always argued that if the english players were worth buying for reasonable prices then he would! For years Wenger plucked future stars from all over the globe ignoring the english talent, but when Wenger paid £10 million for Theo Walcott and then the same price for Jack Wilshere; eyebrows were raised but few doubted that these ‘kids’ would one day be special. Admittedly, Walcott’s progression hasn’t been as quick as the ever improving Wilshere but he has now appeared to have edged out the the ‘mis-firing’ Andrei Arshavin. Wilshere’s tenacity and vision combined with Walcott’s blistering pace and ever improving goals and assist ratio, the prospects for England are exciting ‘to say the least.’
Arsenal’s contribution to England’s future doesn’t end there. Kieran Gibbs, a pacey, talented and exciting left back has been dubbed ‘the next Ashley Cole’ and whether an Arsenal fan or not, no-one can deny this is a huge compliment. Gibbs, who very much plays the way Cole continues to do now for club and country, hasn’t quite stamped his mark upon the first eleven of Arsenal due to injuries and the performances of Gael Clichy (despite a few voicing their opinions on some costly mistakes from the frenchman early season) but with Clichy being the last remaining ‘invincible’ and constantly being linked with a move to Italy, 2011-2012 season could be the time for Gibbs to become a fans favourite for both club and country.
Arsenal could yet add more positivity to the future England squad with fourth choice keeper James Shea earning rave reviews, which prompted Southampton to take the hot prospect on loan for a month.
Brazil 2014 is still a few years off but who knows, Arsenal could become the team that lifts the World Cup for England, just like West Ham did in 1966!