Saturday, October 21, 2017

Jack Wilshere needs to start proving his worth

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 19 Sep 2017

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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere could be set to start his first game for the Gunners on Wednesday night for almost 16 months. The third round Carabao Cup tie against League One Doncaster Rovers will give Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger a chance to field some of his fringe players. Wilshere is now very much one of those.

The midfielder does not have long left to prove to Wenger that he is worth keeping around. His current contract expires next summer. With little talk of a new deal, the England international needs to start impressing on the field and quickly.

The Daily Star are claiming that Wilshere wants West Ham to save his career by renewing an apparent interest in him from the summer in January. Maybe it is not Arsenal that Wilshere is hoping to impress in the near future after all.

Wilshere was overhyped

When Jack Wilshere broke into the Gunners team at 16 years of age, many people got excited. He looked like a special player and English at that. England have not produced that many special players in the last couple of decades. When one with potential comes along everybody understandably gets excited.

Unfortunately, that excitement brings media scrutiny and the British media hype the player up. Tags like ‘wonderkid’ ‘boy genius’ etc. are rolled out. In reality, though, most of these promising youngsters do not become a great talent.

That is the problem Jack Wilshere has. He is judged on his fictional potential, instead of his actual current ability. At 25, he is no longer a youngster or a promising player. He now has to be judged on what he actually produces on the pitch.

Injuries have no doubt heavily affected his career. However, he has to try to move on and now stay injury free to have any sort of decent football career.

He did not shine last season at Bournemouth

Wilshere spent last season on loan at Bournemouth in an attempt to play some games in the Premier League. Injury problems had forced him down the pecking order at Arsenal. Therefore, it was not a major surprise when he left north London for the south coast on a temporary deal.

Wilshere was fit and raring to go for the Cherries. The expectation was that he would be a standout player for Eddie Howe’s team. However, he failed to shine on the south coast for the Cherries. The best aspect of his stay at Bournemouth was that he played 27 games in the Premier League before sustaining an injury.

A return of just two assists was not great, though for a player seen as a creative midfielder. If he is not creating for his teammates, then he has very little point of being on a football field. His tackling is not the best. In fact, every time he goes in for a tackle, he runs the risk of sustaining another injury to his bone china body.

Needs to improve and quickly

Wednesday’s game against Doncaster, a game that Wilshere is odds of 7/4 to score in, is a chance for the midfielder to start showing his worth as a footballer. The midfielder needs to start producing performances for Arsenal, even if it is to impress other clubs for January or next summer.

Such is the lack of central midfield options for England that the midfielder could get back in the Three Lions squad if he gets back in the Arsenal team for a couple of games. Jack Wilshere can no longer coast on his potential tag, though.

If he keeps coasting then he will probably go down as one of English football’s biggest waste of talent and technical ability in the last few decades. It is up to the player himself now. Sink or swim at the highest level, it is his choice.

Can Jack Wilshere still enjoy a good career?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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