Will Jack Wilshere Grab His Chance?
When Jack Wilshere deservedly won the 2011 PFA Young Player of the Year award, greater things were expected of him but unfortunately, injuries have plagued his career and dented his progress at Arsenal. The English National Team also has some measure of expectation on the young lad and I can’t really say if he has lived up to them yet. Wilshere missed the European Championships in 2012 due to his long-term ankle injury and many thought that the 2014 FIFA World Cup would serve as a platform for the maestro to excel at the world stage but he featured sparingly in the England side that was sent home after the Group Stages.
This season, Wilshere had a good preseason preparation under his belt and he has featured consistently for the Gunners in their new-look 4-1-4-1 tactical setup. Jack Wilshere has continued to make those his lung-bursting runs and he put up a Man of the Match performance against Manchester City, where he was a colossus in midfield. However, Wilshere has been fouled consistently this season and with the way he hugs onto the ball, the foul count is going to pile up. When the Gunners played Tottenham in the North London Derby, Wilshere twisted his ankle in an awkward manner but he managed to play for over an hour before he was substituted as he clearly struggled. The same could not be said about Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey, that had to be replaced immediately. When Arsenal hosted Manchester United in November, Wilshere was on the end of a very nasty tackle from Paddy McNair and he was sidelined for the best part of three months.
With Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta suffering injury layoffs, the door will be opened again for Wilshere to get a consistent run out in his coveted box-to-box role. Arsene Wenger could also play with Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla in the middle to accommodate an extra winger like Theo Walcott. Wilshere is a player that many feel hasn’t played to his ‘full potential’ but he has shown his glimpses of quality occasionally, even though the fans will prefer to see it on a consistent basis. Wilshere is a creative footballer that likes to stamp his authority in the games he plays but sometimes his inability to release the ball puts his team on the back foot and as McNair’s tackle showed, it could lead to an injury.
This season, players like Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Flamini and Danny Welbeck have lost their first-team places in the squad because of the forms of the players that replaced them. David Ospina has raked in more clean sheets than Szczesny and has looked very assured since taking his place, Nacho Monreal has been a much-improved beast whether at center back or in his natural fullback position, Hector Bellerin has taken the Debuchy’s deputy spot from Chambers, Francis Coquelin has been a different level of awesome and Olivier Giroud is a such fine goalscoring form.
I honesty hope his injury problems are now behind him and with a game against Crystal Palace coming up, he would be one of the options the manager could consider. This would be another opportunity for Wilshere and if he doesn’t grab it, he’d have himself to blame.
The more players Wenger has at his disposal, the better for everyone.
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