It’s been a long road for Jack Wilshere since he began his career at Arsenal, and unfortunately for him, and those who enjoy watching him play, that road has been full of unexpected turns, and random speed bumps. But despite all of that, the feisty Englishman has never dropped his head.
His loan spell at Bournemouth was supposed to be that opportunity with less pressure, where he’d be able to stay fit and play regularly. Unfortunately it didn’t necessarily go as planned.
Now that he’s back at Arsenal, the work he put in over the Summer was tremendous, and we are now beginning to see the benefits of it. While most neutrals had already written him off, most Arsenal supporters weren’t far behind in thinking the same. Some even compared him to Diaby, which is ridiculous considering the fragile Frenchman had more injuries than Theo Walcott has offside calls, and we know how often Theo is caught by the linesmen.
Arsene Wenger has opted to ease Wilshere back into the team, and for now, he finds himself featuring in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, but it’s time to see him feature regularly in the Premier League.
The away match against Red Star showed us glimpses of what Jack can offer the team.
He may not be an out and out ball winner, but he has that in his locker. Going forward, his vision is as good as some of the best, and with the ball at his feet, he is capable of turning nothing, into a goal scoring opportunity.
On Thursday, he once again put on display his silky smooth style. Time after time he’d pick a pass that made you nod in approval. Well, at least I did on a number of occasions. He even had a soft chip over Borjan, only to see it cleared off the line.
At this point, it pains me to see him putting in 90 minutes, without having players with the quality of Alexis, Lacazette or even Ozil alongside him.
Speaking of AÖL, that could be part of the problem.
We know that if healthy, all three will start. Behind them, Aaron Ramsey is another one that Arsene Wenger has a man crush on, sometimes even if he isn’t healthy. Even to the point of playing him out wide where he has no business being, but, he’d rather that than leave him on the bench. Alongside Ramsey, Xhaka has become an automatic.
Wilshere’s style is better suited further up the pitch. If he features further back where he’s forced to be a ball winner, he tends to get himself into tackles which more often than not land him in the medical room, although he looks to have changed his approach a bit.
Whether he plays in the front three, or further back, I think it’s time Arsene Wenger rewards the Arsenal number ten for his patience, as well for his performances this season.
Since Santi Cazorla has been out, we don’t have another player that can pick the ball up and link up play, while also picking out a pass in our own half. Ozil and Alexis are capable of that, but we’d prefer them to do that in the final third. Just like Santi, Wilshere can fill that role, although in a different style. In addition to all of this, there isn’t a player in the squad that bleeds Arsenal like he does.
He has returned to the club he loves, he’s worked hard to get back in shape, and he’s playing better than he probably ever has in his time at Arsenal. Come on Arsene, give him his chance! He has earned it!