Jack Wilshere has thrown his support behind England’s national team and praised the performances of its Tottenham Hotspur stars. The 26-year-old was in contention for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man World Cup squad but narrowly missed out with England manager opting to bring Ruben Loftus-Cheek instead.
“They’re playing with confidence, no fear and they all want to play for each other,” Wilshere told Football FanCast, just as the second half of England vs Colombia got underway at the William Hill Arms.
“You’ve got to take it game-by-game of course, but if we get through this we’ve got Sweden next, so why not go all the way?”
As a former Arsenal player and lifelong Gunners fan, Jack could have been forgiven for not enjoying the heavy Tottenham presence in the team. He first joined the Gunners when he was just nine years old and remained with the club right up until this summer. But still, he was quick to praise his former arch-rivals.
“I’m a big fan of [Harry] Kane,” Wilshere said. “They’re all doing really well, but he’s probably the most important player we’ve got. He scores goals which is the hardest thing to do and as long as he keeps it going I’m happy.”
Kane is currently the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, whilst club-mate Kieran Trippier has been winning plaudits thanks to some outstanding displays at right wing-back. But the Tottenham boys are not the only players who have caught Jack’s eye.
The way the Three Lions have defended in Southgate’s 3-4-3 system has also impressed him, with one player, in particular, standing out.
“I really like the way John Stones is playing. Not many players can play out as well as he does, especially under pressure in the position that he plays. He’s in that central position, he builds up the play and he’s playing really well.”
“We’ve got three defenders who can play out and it gives the midfield more security knowing you have three at the back and it’s working well.”
Away from England, the midfielder has been impressed with how some of the less fancied sides have handled themselves this summer. The likes of Sweden, Japan, Mexico and hosts Russia have all proven to be tricky opponents for some of the world’s most star-studded teams. He says that it is these team performances that have surprised and stood out to him rather than any individual player.
“Obviously everyone knows about France and the players that they have. But it’s the lower teams that are making a name for themselves and making themselves difficult to play against. So, I suppose it’s not really an individual performance but more from the team.”
Wilshere is currently without a club having decided against signing a new contract with Arsenal after new manager Unai Emery said he could not promise the midfielder game time. There has been talk of a move abroad but for now, his next destination remains a mystery.
England will take on Sweden for a place in the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday at 3 pm.
Jack Wilshere was speaking at the WilliamHill.com Arms which offers fans the ultimate England experience with expert analysis, Love Island stars serving William Hill’s own craft lager, Fat Les singing Vindaloo and Kirsty Gallacher’s fan Q&A. Join the fun by searching #ThisIsMore on social media #itscominghome