Mails: Where did it all go wrong for Wilshere?

Date published: Tuesday 25th July 2017 2:30

Keep those emails coming to…


Honestly, what did you expect City to do?
I’ve read a lot this week about City again ruining football and money and stuff and Pep’s a fraud etc and that’s fine but what I haven’t really read is what people expected us to do.

We don’t have a defence and are very rich so we’re prime targets to get ripped off and that’s obviously what’s happened, but what’s the alternative? It’d be lovely if the entire team was made up of 20 year old academy players but they might not actually be good enough, so we had to buy some players.

Everyone is smarter than me so I’m obviously missing something but what is it?
Cal Loftus


Wilshere’s problem: Too much muscle
Seeing Jack Wilshere linked to a middling Turkish team fills me with regret, especially as recently I came upon the highlights of the Arsenal – Barcelona game a few years back. His performance was so accomplished that I feared he’d be joining Fabregas on his way to Barcelona. As we all know then the injuries hit and he’s never been the same.

Even in the bouts of being fit over the last few years he has seemed sluggish and looks quite laboured getting around the pitch. While this is always put down to his injuries I have always thought there has been another issue: his size.

Now I’m not saying he’s fat, if anything its the complete opposite! When he was young he had a very slight build. He had an agility or nimbleness that was like Iniesta. Then after his first major injury he came back looking like he had spent all the time doing a variety of upper body weights. He easily put on 5-10 kg of muscle over that time. He was never the type of midfielder who was going to out-muscle people so this sudden change in body shape was strange. The muscle build-up seems to be a purely aesthetic choice for me which has been to the detriment of this career.

When you look at all the great midfielders who you could compare him (or at least what we hoped he’d become) with he seems to be the odd one out. None of Iniesta, Xavi, Pirlo, Alonso were built. Even more recent newcomers such as Verratti and Alcantara are small.

I for one would be interested to see how shedding some of the weight could help him rediscover that spark. Furthermore surely losing some weight would ease the burden on this legs which seem to struggle to recover from injuries etc.

My thoughts are based on nothing but some intuition. You’d have thought medical staff at Arsenal would have thought of this and yet they don’t exactly have a glowing reputation so I wonder if anyone would agree with me on this?
Cathal, AFC, Ireland


Hernandez is the steal of the century
Am I missing something or have West Ham just pulled off just one of the biggest steals in recent memory..

Signing Javier Hernandez for £16 million! Really? £16 million for a proven goal scorer (I don’t know his official stats and couldn’t be bothered looking them up, but all I know is he’s scored a few goals in his time). When you see the amount of money being spent this window it just seems like an absolute bargain to me.

I for one am delighted to see Chicharito back in the PL.
Kieran (mufc) Ireland


Mixed emotions on Chicharito
With the news of Chicharito coming back to the Premier League with West Ham United, I felt I needed to share my emotions about it:

Ecstatic! – He is still one of my favorite players to ever wear the Manchester United shirt! I loved his enthusiasm and excitement he generates with the fans when he plays!

Sad but I understand – I wish he had never left United and was very sad to see him leave but circumstances made it impossible for him to stay. No one can ever say he didn’t give his all every time he put the shirt on for us. Sad that he couldn’t join us back. Can’t blame him though. I wouldn’t want to join my old company just to get the same job I had when I joined them.

Anxious – I cannot wait to see him play in the Prem! He has always been a joy to watch and I for one will start following West Ham matches as well as United matches now because I get to see him play again!

Satisfied – He is finally going to get what he has deserved for a really long time. The spotlight only focusing on him. He will be the main striker of a Premier League team on the up! The team will be built around him! That is just perfect! I am so happy for him!

I am sure most true United fans will cheer for him when he plays us on 13th August! He will also receive a Hero’s Welcome on 17th March 2018 when he plays at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture.
Dan S


A superb email on ‘The Boys’
Just finished reading Johnny Nicholson’s article about “the boys”. It was an interesting read and oddly enough, I have on this same day decided not to accept an invitation to a big “Viking Feast” which could have been fun, because from the description of the event (unlimited booze and buses home)– I knew “the boys” would be there.

Where the article really hits the nail on the head is in pointing out the boys are just “attached” to football, rather than an inherent aspect of football. So if football did made their culture unwelcome and they left – the majority would enjoy football more. But “The boys” won’t disappear. They will appear somewhere else, and they will still be the most frequent flyers at the police station, cells and emergency departments.

Chances are, that when you were young you knew one of “The boys” and hung out with him for sometime. Then you grew up. Eventually you stopped hanging out with him – either having confronted him about his behaviour or not. His behaviour probably became so extreme that at one point you decided – nup I don’t want any part of this. You don’t miss him.

Thing is, this story will be true for most reading it regardless of their social/demographic background. Most communities produce their boys. Even old money produces them (their the embarrassing cousin who is always getting into criminal trouble and has become quite an expense for Aunt Trudy to maintain. Unsurprisingly there is a family rule that no female guests are to be left alone with the cousin without being forewarned about him).

Most of them come from (trigger warning)– especially bad child abuse. Lets call it like it is.

A football forum isn’t really the appropriate place to discuss this in full, but I’m guessing a few football fans are as confused as I was about this behaviour until I started working with “the boys” as my full time job, trying to help them successfully manage in society for a living.

If you really want to know, read up on trauma and abuse. Read up on attachment disorder and the phenomenon of abused kids growing up into adults in a cycle of deliberately pushing everyone away from them so they never have to fear being abandoned again. Read up on maladaptive behaviours that helped a kid survive the home they were born into – but don’t work in mainstream society. Hear from some of the survivors who impressively have decided to share their history. People aren’t just “the boys” by chance.

Some, manage to escape, get help and function in society. Many do not. Boys aren’t supposed to admit there is a problem, because that’s weakness and where they came from – showing weakness was dangerous. It gets in the way of accessing support.

Solving “the boys” is a society problem. Not a football one. But the football is almost a safe space for them. Safer than home. It we want to do a little bit to chip away at the problem of the boys, start by understanding they are not just acting this way because they want to – and that for them this *is* normal and mainstream society is weird. This isn’t meant to be some call to action (I did after all just admit to not attending an event because I didn’t want to spend my weekend among the boys) but hopefully it’s somewhat helpful to plant seeds of understanding about what produces this behaviour.
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide


But we can’t let the minority spoil it for the majority
Just a response to John Nicholson’s piece about ‘ending the culture of ‘the boys”. First of all, let me make it very clear my view on those idiots; violence in or around the football grounds is abhorrent (not sure i’ve used that word before) and obviously archaic in nature and probably more of a reflection on those people’s lives away from football rather than their so called passionate defence of their beloved clubs. I’ll also note that cheeky John Nicholson is obviously and purposely attempting to be provocative….however I shall bite.

Those idiots apart, and I’m going to pluck an uninformed number out my arse and say they would only account for 10% of regular stadium goers. Most enjoy going to the stadium, watching the match, supporting their team and possibly have a bit of banter (maybe not the friendliest) with other supporters. I don’t think there are many that go there wanting to fight or even consider the possibility of fighting. Maybe I’m being naive.

I’ll tell you a couple of my experiences that made me bite to this article.

I’ve got dual cititzenship, Canadian and British. I grew up in Canada till I was 14. Football has always been my love and passion since Eric Cantona graced my TV screen as a young lad, but I enjoyed many sports like basketball, ice hockey, baseball etc. I loved and still love going to sporting events, but nothing comes close to football. I say football, football in a football mad country. I used to go Vancouver Whitecap (who were then in the NASL) and Canada matches and it was all mixed seating…i mean there were hardly ever away supporters but still. I enjoyed the football.

It wasn’t till I moved to the UK in 2000, when I went to Southampton vs Coventry at The Dell when I realised how brilliant a sporting event could be. It was a different world, it was pulsating, it got your blood pumping, it was incredible watching the fans go at each other and taking the mick. I know I’m talking about saints v coventry, not boca v river plate, but it was something so different to what i had experienced. it was f*cking wonderful.

A few years ago I lived in Turkey for a year. I ended up becoming matey with some Beşiktaş ‘ultras’. It was incredible …other than the time I was made to sing ‘we’re forever blowing bubbles’. Didn’t matter how many times I told them I didn’t follow West ham. We’d go to the fish restaurants drink raki and beer till we were smashed and head to the stadium all together. I’d be asked my perspective on them, how they were, what they did. I said, and I believed at the time that, if they fancied beating the shit out of other like minded football fans from opposing clubs then so be it, I just always said I thought weapons were cowardly and wrong.

My view has changed since then but that’s that. The atmosphere was always great, I went to a few Istanbul derbies…insane. But there was something missing. Because of previous trouble, away fans weren’t aloud to come. It wasn’t the same, there were no fans to give a big ‘wheeeeeeeey’ to when the striker fluffed a chance, no section of fans to grin and give a show of your absolute joy to when your team scores. As i said, it missed something. Something important.

Just a note that in Turkey, if there’s trouble in or around the stadiums, for future matches men are banned and only women and children can attend. It’s something to think about.

My main point is that the fun and the tribal nature of having football fans from opposing teams separated and able to exchange the admittedly sometimes aggressive banter is something that is so very football and if we can slowly but surely weed out the idiots then fantastic, but don’t take something away from football that really contributes to setting it apart and makes going to a match a truly wonderful experience.
Mika (BIG D), Beijing


An important question
An interesting list of players whose buy-back options were taken today, but one important question raised by the article remains unaddressed.

Why on Earth is Ian Rush pictured holding an over-sized bottle of Frascati and a head of celery?
A rather confused Bill Handley, Gloucester

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