Whilst it has been a tough season for Arsenal, fans can take some solace in the way that Jack Wilshere has come back from his long-term injury.
After facing more than a year on the sidelines, fans, pundits and various other interested parties started to question whether he’d ever make a return to first-team football. Well, he’s more than proven his doubters wrong.
Jack’s back and must surely now be at something approaching full fitness.This is good news indeed, but more pleasing still is the fact that he’s playing like he has never been away.
Aaron Ramsey is another Arsenal youngster who suffered a long-term injury (at this hands of pantomine villain, Ryan Shawcross). The young Welshman returned to first team football quicker than Wilshere, but his development seems to have been seriously effected.
The Ramsey we knew before his injury didn’t linger on the ball as long and didn’t misplace as many passes with gay aplomb.
Wilshere’s game doesn’t seem to have been affected at all. He always seems to have space on the ball, his passing game is quite astounding and he’s also developed a winning tendency for running forward with the ball and breaking into the opponent’s penalty area.
Then there’s his attitude. Arsenal are often criticised for lacking ‘fight’ or ‘character’. Little Jackie Wilshere has both these qualities in spades and has helped the Gunners come through tough battles against the likes of West Ham and Stoke City this season. He’s tough, tenacious and not afraid to stick his foot in. I think he’s the ideal all-round midfielder.
Roy Hodgson seems to agree with me: “I watch him play and think, ‘This is a very good footballer – if this man can produce this level of football, it’s a great boon’.
Wilshere has got the personality, the character and the quality to accept responsibility, to accept the pressure. I foresee a fantastic England career for him.” (Source: The Mirror).
He goes on to say: “Frank Lampard is to Chelsea what Gerrard is to Liverpool, what Wilshere could become for Arsenal and what Michael Carrick is to Manchester United.”
I’d say he’s already fairly close to reaching this stature at Arsenal. That’s a frightening thought considering he’s just 21-years-old. Exactly how good will Wilshere be when he’s 24-years-old? It’s impossible to say, but given that he’s already a world-class talent, it’s reasonable to expect he’ll be awaiting the Arsenal captaincy by around that stage.
And if he leads Arsenal to silverware, I’m sure fans will feel that it has been worth the wait.
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