Daily Archives: December 18, 2013
This season hasn’t exactly gone according to plan for Arsenal’s poster boy, Jack Wilshere.
Since breaking out of the scene in the 2010/11 season where he deservedly won the Young Player of the Year award, great things have been expected of him and his performances were monitored closely by the club, the English national team and of course, his ever-adoring fans.
He was fondly remembered for his 5-star performance against Barcelona at the Emirates that season where he completed 93.5% of his passes overall and 91% of his passes in the final third of the pitch. However, Wilshere couldn’t build on his brilliant season as a stress fracture in his ankle sidelined him for the best part of 14 months.
When he made his long-awaited return against Queens Park Rangers (home), every touch was appreciated by the Emirates crowd as they saw their No. 10 strut his stuff for the first time. Things turned sour for the Englishman when he received his marching orders against Manchester United (away) but he learned from those events and scored a goal against Montpellier after some good work from Olivier Giroud.
However, he still suffered more injuries that made him miss the key fixture against Bayern in the Allianz Arena and he subsequently lost his place in the team to Tomas Rosicky. Towards the tail end of the campaign, he was nominated for the 2013 Young Player of the Year award alongside Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku, Danny Welbeck, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale.
This season, the acquisition of Mesut Ozil and the emergence of Aaron Ramsey coupled with injuries to some playing personnel has seen Jack Wilshere play out of position for a considerable chunk of the campaign on both flanks. This has considerably affected his performances and we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly from Wilshere this season.
He played very poorly throughout September but managed to break his scoring duck when he found the net against West Brom and Norwich. During that period, he was also pictured smoking a cigarette, which caused a stir in North London, as his manager expressed his disappointment in Wilshere’s act.
Then there was his bizarre foray into the Adnan Januzaj naturalization debate in which he said “the only people who should play for England are English people” and that if you lived in England for five years it didn’t “make you English“. This didn’t go down well with a lot of people and all of a sudden, Wilshere began to enter some bad books.
His performances on the pitch failed to improve as he kept on losing possession and couldn’t connect well with his passes but he put on a great show when Olympique Marseille came to the Emirates scoring two goals that put the French side to the sword.
He then slammed the bar when he played Cardiff but his performances against Hull and Everton weren’t too inspiring. Last week Saturday, Arsenal came up against a Manchester City side in bullish mode following their amazing return in Munich and as the final result showed, the Sky Blues outclassed the Premier League leaders with some excellent attacking football that saw them net a whooping six goals.
Wilshere had 67 touches in that game, managed a meager two shots, attempted only three tackles and made just one dribble in the entirety of the game. His pass completion percentage was 83 percent, and his sloppiness was on show again. As if his atrocious performance against Manchester City wasn’t enough, Wilshere was caught on camera making an obscene one-fingered gesture at the home supporters.
Arsene Wenger was notified about the incident in his post-match press conference but he stated that he didn’t see it and accepted that Wilshere will have to be banned if he did it. According to the official website, the FA has released a statement charging Wilshere for making an “offensive and abusive gesture”.
It was also stated that the incident is equivalent to a sending off offence, which would mean that Wilshere might miss the games against Chelsea, West Ham and Newcastle. This same scenario has happened to another player in the past, as the notorious Luis Suarez earned himself a one-match ban for his gesture against Fulham supporters.
If Wilshere is slammed with a three-match ban, it would be a real shame but Arsenal will have to face the music and play someone else in his stead. With Theo Walcott back in contention, the right wing will be his for the taking while a poor Santi Cazorla will probably man the left flank with Mesut Ozil playing in the hole behind the striker.
I really hope Wilshere learns from this because he’s no longer a kid. If my memory serves me right, he even has two children so he shouldn’t be making “gestures” that would put him in hot water.
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