OH KAY ON…STEVENAGE, BEING 17, SIR BOBBY AND SCOTLAND

oh kay andy kayWhat is it about Stevenage?

Interesting place Stevenage. For a relatively small town, it’s produced Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and now, perhaps the brightest young star in England football, Jack Wilshere. A month or so ago, Wilshere signed an extension to his contract at Arsenal and this week, he was named man of the match twice as the Gunners beat Athletico Madrid and Rangers to win the Emirates Cup.

There’s talk that Stuart Pearce is thinking of elevating him to the England under -21 squad. Sod that. Get him in the senior side under Capello. If he’s good enough, he’s old enough. And he looks good enough to me, just as a 13 year old Hamilton looked good enough to F1 boss Ron Dennis.

What is it about being 17?

It’s a good age at the moment. 1992 was obviously a top vintage. There’s Jack Wilshere, as mentioned above, while at Charlton, their wunderkind is Jonjo Shelvey. He’s been offered the chance to join Chelsea but in an incredibly mature decision, has turned the London glamour club down. Why? Because he was worried that he wouldn’t get enough first team football.

Whilst every player should be encouraged to back their own ability, Shelvey looks to have a very wise head on young shoulders. Appealing though the thought must have been to share a training pitch with the likes of Lampard, Terry and Drogba, Shelvey has decided to move when he thinks he’s up to it. And when he can demand a place in the starting line up. Smart lad.



What was it about Sir Bobby?

He was, simply, a great man. A gentleman, lover of the game, generous, thoughtful, a good player and a top coach. I can’t recall anyone having a bad word to say about him. He achieved so much in his 76 years but you got the impression that he still had more to give, certainly with regards to raising money for cancer research.

He may have got the odd name wrong over the years (he used to call Des Lynam ‘Les’ every now and again) but such was his stature within the game that it didn’t really matter. Cheers Sir Bobby. We’ll miss you.


What is about Scottish football?

Let’s hope that Celtic can do the business against Dynamo Moscow tonight in UEFA Champions League qualifying. If not, the picture looks pretty bleak for Scottish football even before the season proper has got underway.

Falkirk are already out of the Europa League, beaten by that well known football powerhouse FC Vaduz while Aberdeen and Motherwell shipped eight goals between them, scoring only one, in their third qualifying round, first leg matches against FK Sigma Olomouc and Steaua Bucharest.'  As well as that, the game in Scotland has been through the Setanta TV debacle and the national side aren’t exactly tearing up World Cup qualifying. Scottish football fans are amongst the most loyal in the world. They deserve so much better.


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3 Comments

  • “Falkirk are already out of the Europa League, beaten by that well known football powerhouse FC Vaduz”
    That is a classic!!

    I think Wilshere just needs to prove himself in a Premier League match before Capello can really justify putting him in the senior squad as pre-season matches even if you do win something from them are not played with the high intensity that League games are played with.

  • Wilshire needs to be introduced slowly into the Premiership, and Wenger is the perfect coach to see his development through properly. Nothing could be worse than striking down this promising talent with a bad injury in some of his most critical, formative years. The Prem’ is probably the toughest league in the world, extremely athletic and often nasty, and a couple of good performances against teams at home in friendlies shouldn’t encourage people to demand he’s thrown senselessly into top flight games where he could easily get injured by an atrocious Birgmingham tackle (…you know, just as an example…)

    Go Gunners!

  • There have been plenty of examples over the years of very young players being fast tracked to success and while I agree, any 17 year old has to be nurtured, it seems to me that if he’s up to the task of running rings round Atletico Madrid and Rangers, then he can certainly hold his own against the vast majority of sides in the EPL.

    Also, how big a star could this kid become for Nike??

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