Written by Alistair Bayliss
At merely 19 years of age, the manner in which he plays the game with such efficiency and simplicity is quite astounding. It’s becoming abundantly clear, as the weeks progress, that he has fully cemented a place in the highly competitive scene of the Arsenal midfield.
It was thought after the first game of the season, away at Anfield, that Wilshere was out of his depth. He had been overrun by more senior players, such as Steven Gerrard, and his timid performance was encapsulated by poorly losing possession, which in turn led to Liverpool’s goal. However, since then, Wilshere’s season took a turn for the better, and he really stamped his authority on the subsequent matches in which he was trusted to play.
Arsene Wenger had a choice to make after the Liverpool game, and he made the correct one. He stuck with Wilshere, when a manager of lesser courage would have made the easier decision to drop him, and side with a more experienced option. Wenger trusted him in the first home game against Blackpool, and he was arguably the man of the match that day. From that game onwards, with the occasional blip here and there, Wilshere has proven his worth to the team. There has been no bias shown to him because of his roots – he is simply Arsenal’s most valuable option in that position.
However, the one worry that Arsenal staff and fans will have is that the youngster may well get burnt out. Wilshere has played more minutes than the vast majority of the remainder of the squad, and for someone so young, in his first year in a very physical league, there will come a point in the season where he will need to take some time off. Given the importance of the latter half of the campaign though, it seems unlikely that Wilshere’s resting period will materialise to any great extent. The workload shall have to be taken off him by such players as Abou Diaby, Denilson, Aaron Ramsey or even Tomas Rosicky.
Jack Wilshere is a remarkable talent, and his level of play this season has been extraordinary. However, this cannot go on forever. There will come a point where he tires, and there will be a necessity for him to be replaced in some games which Arsenal shall be expected to win easily. Of course, the problem being, that those matches deemed easier to win have been the very same matches in which Arsenal have dropped points.
Therefore, there may be a couple of minor storms brewing in the distance. How will Jack Wilshere be replaced, if of course this does ensue? Will he sustain an injury or become burnt out? Perhaps neither will happen, but it does seem likely if one is to look at the history of young players in the Premier League.
Wayne Rooney’s early seasons at Manchester United were perfect examples of a dip in performance as the season reaches its climax. Regardless of the potential problems ahead, there is no doubt that Wilshere is proving to be one of the biggest positives Arsenal have had this season, and whilst he is in form, there is nothing to do except appreciate him.