Carl Jenkinson is a player who whenever picked leads to a chorus of “hoho, Jenkinson a? Bloody hell”. I’ll admit to being an ex member of that choir, but now I’m breaking away like Beyonce and I’m ready to say it; Jenks is fucking class now.
Last season his crossing was undeniably excellent, but whenever in a one on one defensive scenario he looked a bit of a bomb scare. He would lunge in early, giving a skilled winger plenty notice to jink past jenks and smash in a cross for the defence to panic at like a girl, desperate to let you know how very girly she is, discovering a spider.
There has been talk of Bould working on one on training with each member of defence and the change in Jenkinson is remarkable. When in one on ones he holds his ground, timing his tackles for when the winger makes his move rather than lunging in early and lying helpless as the winger goes by. The result is several very impressive games that makes you think we might just be able to cope with Sagna’s biannual leg breaks.
The thing with Jenkinson is that he’s still very much seen as the weak link in the squad, so opposition attacks always seem to be heavily biased to the right flank, heaping pressure on our young hero. This means that any weaknesses are made clear, but also that his development should be rapid as he sits in the pocket while heavyweights swing at him. He’s handled tricky challenges with aplomb so far this season; managing to keep Raheem Sterling, a man as dangerous as he is fertile, quiet at Anfield and a mature performance against Montpelier extra impressive given the dribbling and diving skills on display.
There is also something endearing about a player playing for the team he truly loves. From a family of die hard Arsenal fans and season ticket holders it’s always clear how much it means for him to wear the red and white of Arsenal. His bedroom at home is like an Arsenalised version of a serial killers’ nutty room. Human skin and bible passages scrawled in faeces substituted for a plethora of scarves and posters of past greats (http://www.arsenal.com/assets/_files/images/mar_12/gun__1331312043_jenkinson_bedroom1.jpg)
There can be no doubt that he’s not yet the Finnished product but he is showing signs that he’ll certainly be a useful player and may well be first choice one day. He’s blossoming from an awkward Finnish Caterpillar into a glorious white and blue Butterfly and I bloody love him.