A precocious talent who was billed as the man to lead England into the future, Jack Wilshere is now quickly becoming the victim of the media storm that was once so quick to elevate him.
The Arsenal man at the age of 21 has already enjoyed something of a tumultuous start to his footballing life. On his day Wilshere is the man to pull the strings at Arsenal, a tenacious midfielder who doesn’t shy away from a tackle he has the ability to single handedly dominate opposition in the middle of the park. Categorising him as a defensive midfielder perhaps does Wilshere a bit of a disservice because in reality he is so much more than that. Able to unlock a Premier League defence with consummate ease, Wilshere is the perfect cog between defence and attack for both club and country.
People were right to jump on the bandwagon with Wilshere at such a young age because he offered everything that we want to see in an English midfielder. The perfect balance of defensive resilience and attacking guile, Wilshere is an asset that just doesn’t come around often enough for us.
So why then is the Stevenage born midfielder being subjected to such poor treatment by the English media?
Wilshere’s troubles are well documented both on and off the pitch. His personal life has been marred by police run ins, apparent personal issues and most recently the much publicised cigarette scandal. Add to this a career already dogged by reoccurring ankle problems and you can start to see why those in and around the game continue to be frustrated by the whole situation.
In England we have an issue with chronic short-termism and clearly Wilshere is no longer the flavour of the month. Now people are fast jumping onto the Ross Barkley bandwagon, another young talent who may well have a huge future coming up. For me though this just isn’t the way to cultivate our youngest stars, someone like Wilshere needs nurturing and not dismissing. At 21 he is a long way away from his prime and for people to expect so much both on and off the pitch at his age is absolutely ridiculous.
You don’t gain the admirers Wilshere has by fluke, and it is high time we started to show a bit of faith and loyalty to our young stars. Bastian Schweinsteiger made the following glowing report of the England man before their Champions League encounter:
“But they still have a good team. You only have to look at Jack Wilshere who is an excellent player. After he was out for so long, he is back now and showing his form.”
“In his position, he is one of the best players there is. He is dynamic, he has a good left foot and he has a good eye for his players around him. Those are his talents”
Wilshere’s form has been far from consistent of late, asked to play in all manner of role whilst lacking the match sharpness to impress. Too many expect Wilshere to be a consistent superstar and if he doesn’t meet their expectations they are all too keen to criticise and dismiss him. At such a young age it is ridiculous to build him up only to shoot him back down. Maybe it is a sign of how desperate we are as a footballing nation that we have to rapidly clutch at any potential young face that enters onto the scene. Other top nations don’t do this; of course they have their prodigal talents but they don’t place the weight of a nation on any one individual.
The Spanish get excited about an Alvaro Morata or an Iker Munian but not to the extent that they end up crippling their futures. If you look back we have a continual stream of young prospects that never seem to quite make it, and to be honest our treatment of them hardly makes this fact surprising.
Jack Wilshere’s future seems to be imminently going the same way, and this is something we just cannot afford to see happen.
A potential superstar of the world stage, we are fast becoming the burden to the youngster that may ultimately see him fall short. Cutting the midfielder a bit of slack wouldn’t go amiss, its in our national interests and I’m sure most would be keen to see the midfielder continue to prosper and grow.
Is our treatment of Jack Wilshere ultimately going to lead to his downfall?
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