Of course, I want Ryo Miyaichi to become a legend at Arsenal. I have some very strong Japanese connections, so I’d love to see players from ‘the Land of the Rising Sun’ succeed in the UK. But we do tend to get carried away by good goals in this day and age, when few have enough time to attend games. In short, judgements are made from highlights and, based on that, you’d have to say Miyaichi’s goal for Bolton at Millwall in the FA Cup fifth round was reminiscent of the great Thierry Henry.
Miyaichi left a sleepy Millwall defence for dead and curled his shot around the keeper to score his first goal in English football. I felt very excited for him and thought he would now go on to give the Millwall defence a torrid time.
However, the talented teenager struggled to make a significant impact thereafter. He was hauled off late in the second half after enduring a heavy challenge from Alan Dunne and replaced by Chris Eagles. It was a decent enough display from Miyaichi, but does he really look like the new Henry?
I asked my dad, who attended the game with me. He should know a few things about wingers, being an ex-professional wideman (no pun intended) himself, playing in all four divisions throughout his career.
So what was his view of Miyaichi? My dad’s damning verdict was: ‘He’s got pace but he won’t make it in the Premier League. Ryo’s got some ability but Arsene Wenger hasn’t got a good track record when it comes to developing wingers. Look at Theo Walcott. That boy’s got a lot of latent talent, but has he improved much since arriving at Arsenal? I don’t think so.’