Jenkinson Could Prove Answer to England’s RB Problem

Hello all, please enjoy the guest post. My views on England’s pursuit of Carl Jenkinson were addressed in an earlier post however I’m open-minded enough to see another persons take on the matter, enjoy.

Arsenal fans already aware of how far Carl Jenkinson has come on this past season will rightly agree that the young defender deserves a call-up to the England team. Although still 20-years-old, Jenkinson has excelled in the early stages of this season, filling in for first-choice Bacary Sagna at right-back.

Jenkinson has been one of Arsenal’s top performers and his nine appearances so far this season have coincided with the Gunners’ defensive tightening that has seen us concede just eight in 10. Wenger’s side once again look an attractive proposition with fans placing a bet on who wins Premier League. 

He is a different player to the one that started in Arsenal’s 8-2 drubbing of Man United just a year ago and he had Man City’s £6.2m man Scott Sinclair in his pocket last month.

So consistent has Jenkinson been that there were strong calls for him to be given an England call-up for last week’s international break but appearances for Finland at under-21 level means he cannot play for Roy Hodgson’s side unless the FA appeal for clearance to transfer nationalities.

There are strong hopes that the FA will get this matter sorted quickly, so that England can have a half-decent right-back in their defence for once. England managers have been somewhat restricted with the availability of international-class right-backs since Gary Neville showed clear signs of deterioration around Euro 2004.

Think what you like about Neville, he was a far better RB than his predecessor, Glen Johnson, was, and Kyle Walker is yet to make the position his own. Jenkinson has the potential to become a real leader for England and Arsenal, and hopefully he will be granted clearance to play for his country before the World Cup qualifiers are over

Still only 20, there is a lot for Jenkinson to learn but his performances this season for Arsenal suggest that he can go far for both club and country.

Article courtesy of Tom Brown

Santos to leave rumours, England continue Jenkinson pursuit – AFC

One round of internationals down one more to go, we are getting there. Less than a week left before we have premiership football back with our away game to Norwich. From Friday’s games the biggest talking point was the on-pitch assault of Theo Walcott against San Marino that has ruled the winger, striker forward out of England’s next game against Poland. We probably won’t see him in arsenal colours for at least a couple of weeks due to the injury, he has returned to arsenal for further treatment and so far no return date has been mentioned. Not ideal for the club though given our strength in numbers in midfield his absence won’t be felt as hard as in previous seasons.

Away from the England camp a few reports surfaced over the weekend that our very own Andre Santos could be in line for a return to Fernebahce. Understandably this season his opportunities have been limited due to the form of Kieran Gibbs in the left back spot. Santos also wasn’t helped by the recent court case and charges for speeding on the way to training. The negative impact from that incident surely would have influenced Arsene’s decision making when picking the starting XI’s this season.

Given the good start to the season winning teams don’t usually get shifted around for the sake of it, Santos just needs to bide his time and take his opportunities when they come. This logic doesn’t sit well with the gossip makers and the news of Fernabahce seemed an obvious assumption to make. Maybe there is a little truth in the rumour but our Brazilian no.11 took to twitter to express in his words the truth behind the talk.

In his tweets he disregarded the rumours of any deal in the making with the Turkish club. Just my luck that he decided to tweet all this in Turkish so I pretty much had to rely on Google translate to understand what exactly he tweeted. And in true Google translate fashion the words read back like something Borat would say. The main gist of the tweet is enough to make out that he denies the rumours. He did go on to state that if any move were to happen in future it will be made with consideration of what’s best for his family.

I think even Andre knows it would be silly to leave arsenal this season; there is no other competition for the left back spot beyond Gibbs. Knowing his injury record there will be plenty opportunities during a long season for the Brazilian to play.

England have not given up the pointless pursuit of Carl Jenkinson to represent England. Given the fact that England use our facilities at London Colney to train when they play home games Roy Hodgson took the opportunity to invite Carl to train with the senior England players before they fly off for their game with Poland. I noted in a previous post that I didn’t agree with this sudden pursuit of Jenkinson. The only motive I can see from the sudden interest is to ensure he represents England rather than Finland. The pursuit is not to have Carl in the team now, there is no shortage in the right back department for England and if Carl was to make the decision to play for England he will just end up on a long waiting list. Carl definitely deserves the plaudits for his performances this season but talk of England is very premature in my opinion. There is no way he would be selected ahead of what England has and there is no guarantee he will even be first choice right back for arsenal once Sagna is back to full fitness.

The experience of training with the England guys will do no harm in boosting his current sky high confidence so I have no problem with that. But please Roy don’t pick him for the next international friendly only for him to become a bit part squad player unless you honestly believe he can bring more to the current set up than Johnson, Walker, Richards et al.

Enjoy your day people.

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Carl Jenkinson: not ready for England

The international break is trudging along at a snail-like pace and boring the pants off premiership football fans across the land. I know there are those of you out there that actually have a concerted interest in their national team’s fortunes and follow their games at the same level as they would a club at domestic level. Don’t get me wrong I’m fully behind England and want them qualify for the world cup I just wish I had the equivalent of a Sky +/Tivo remote so that I could fast forward past all the advert like qualifiers and get straight to the good stuff: the finals.

Now with most of our squad away with their national teams the focus over the past few days has been focused on those players who have not been called up to their national squads; most notably Carl Jenkinson and Mikel Arteta. Our rejuvenated full back Jenkinson has been the subject of many pundits opinion on whether he should pledge his future to England before Finland snap him. As we all know he qualifies for Finland through his mother and has represented Finland for the majority of his youth up to U-21 level.

I have been very impressed with Carl Jenkinson this season along with everyone else who has watched him. I feel his performances have been deserving of the plaudits but I do feel the England calls have been very knee jerk which is a common fault with the English press/pundit system. We are quick to jump on the bandwagon of any players that emerge and tend to throw them to the top of the tree before they have had a chance to prove themselves. Maybe I’m old school but I feel some players are elevated to international football far too quickly; we end up with a high number of players on the scrap heap with a few international caps because they were thrown in the deep end and then the national exposure highlighted parts of their game that was not up to standard yet. There is no patience playing for England, its sink or swim and many a time players sink because it’s too much too soon. There’s nothing to say they will not be great players but my argument is that a good start to the season should not mean a starting spot for your national team. An apprenticeship should be followed; if a player is under 21 he should play for the under-21’s at some point then experience being called up to the full squad to train with the seniors but not play any games for a few call ups until they are deemed by the manager to be on same wavelength as the senior players.

Many players that are deemed true talent are fast tracked straight into the full squad, our own jack wilshere is one of those players who bypassed his apprenticeship but his quality was evident from the off and he definitely swam when thrown in. when you see a player like Raheem Sterling who in my opinion is going to be a massive player seeing him in England squads already is a bit of an insult.

We must also consider that the fast tracking and avoiding the apprenticeship can have a detrimental effect on the player’s psychology. When you give a young player too much too soon it can harm their career as they lose their humbleness and start believing they have made it, they are surrounded by people telling them how great they are, they are representing their country and everything seems easy before their career has even started. David Bentley could be an example of such a player, where is he now? Despite being a complete knob he did have talent but he believed he was the next David Beckham without putting in the work David Beckham did to become…David Beckham. Now he is trying to reinvent his career somewhere in Russia.

oh dear…

Now the example I used for Raheem Sterling is possibly one similar to Carl Jenkinson, the England hierarchy want to secure their services for England before they pledge to their other eligible countries (Jamaica and Finland). But I feel despite the possible chance of missing out on a player because they are offered international football a lot sooner; it says a lot more about the player’s character. If you have real plans to be a top player then im sorry Finland and Jamaica are just not going to put you there. If you as a player really want to reach the top and England is your option then you must be prepared to wait for when you are ready to represent England and not settle for the easy option elsewhere.

Its playing for England that will give you the opportunities to play in international tournament showpieces (how well they do when they get there is another story). But it is the utmost importance that when representing your country you have earned the right and have not got there by default. A player like Stephen Warnock at Aston Villa was part of the England squad during the world cup in 2010, today if you ask anyone their opinion of the player you will struggle to find anything positive said about him. Had he become a bad player overnight or was he never good enough to start with?

Now is Carl Jenkinson a player good enough to play for England? The answer is yes. Is he ready to be England’s first choice right back? I would say no. I have to take my arsenal tinted glasses off and admit there are English right backs well ahead of him at this time. Carl has had a great start to the season and what he needs to do is put the international talk aside and focus on building on his development this season. The only real test this season he should face is the competition when Bac Sagna returns to the first team squad. England selection is not a burden he needs right now, his fight is for the right back spot at arsenal is. If he can overcome that hurdle then he may be ready to move on to the next stage which is international football.

Sagna – soon to fight for his spot back

In fairness Jenkinson has played down the England talk and I hope he continues to do so. I do believe in him but I just don’t want him to be thrown in the deep end before his time. He has made a great start to the season but it is only 7 or so games this season I believe he needs to continue on this season as he’s going then maybe come end of the season the England people can really assess his capabilities. It was good he wasn’t included in latest squad, at the moment he is first choice at Arsenal by default but let’s see if by end of season he is first choice by merit.

NB: No disrespect is meant in this post to Finland or Jamaica. If a player feels strongly enough to represent their country of birth then fair play to them.

Enjoy your day people.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain For England – AFC

So the rumours were correct, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has made it into the England squad for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.  If it wasn’t for Theo being picked by Sven all those years ago maybe there would be uproar at the inclusion of the 18-year-old Ox . Instead in comparison Chamberlain is a couple of years older, has experience of not only playing in the premiership but also showing enough to stand out in many of the games he has featured.  He seems a lot more ready than you would expect most youngsters at similar age and experience.

The Ox has been putting the performances in for the England U-21’s over the past season and I suppose even before he was an Arsenal player. I believe that was one of the major factors in Roy Hodgson selecting him. It appears to me Roy has swayed towards giving chances to those who have performed and stood out at U-21 level this season. At times the Ox has made a mockery of that level with the perceived minimal effort he needed to put in to show how good he was.  The likes of Henderson and Butland being included all be it at standby shows Hodgson has really taken this into account.

Admittedly my theory is slightly flawed as Henri Lansbury would be a shoo-in for the squad if it was based on England U-21 form. He has actually been one of the leading players this season and has scored some cracking goals to boot.

One important outcome from the England squad is the inclusion of Theo Walcott. He is in the perfect position to pass on advice and share his experience of the 2006 World cup.  He is quite close with Chamberlain and so should help put him at ease. I remember at the 2006 world there were not many arsenal players in the England squad and so a young Walcott was surrounded by all the Chelsea and Man Utd players who based on all the scandals that have come out between now and then were not the best role models to be around. 

Luckily Theo wasn’t corrupted by the likes of Terry, Cole et al and is still pretty grounded in his personal life.  Now Theo is in best position to keep Chamberlain grounded during the experience.

Experience aside this has to be one of the most negatively perceived England squads in a long time. The royal mess the FA made with the timing of the appointing a new manager did not help matters one bit. Hodgson can do no right in the public’s eye and hopefully this will not filter too much through to the squad.  The Terry vs. Ferdinand debate has already dominated the squad selection and it makes you wonder if sides will be taken within the squad. Last thing England needs is a divided squad. France showed how much a mess that can be in South Africa and to an extend England had their own problems themselves within at the World cup. 

 Let’s hope any negativity does not affect the Arsenal boys.

With Theo and Chamberlain being selected for the Euros it means they will not be involved in the Olympics. A good thing I guess and they will have a bigger gap for recovery and wind down before the new season starts.

Doesn’t mean any other Arsenal players are immune, Gibbs could be considered maybe even Lansbury since Pearce knows him from England U-21. A very long shot but you never know.  We will cross that bridge when it comes.

One last thing to consider from the inclusion of Chamberlain into the England squad. There is every chance a clause will be triggered when he makes his international debut. Southampton will be due some form of payment for this achievement. 

Let’s hope it doesn’t eat into the new RVP contract budget…

 Enjoy your day people