Just weeks after being photographed holding a shisha pipe in a nightclub it seems Jack Wilshere is now the subject of rumours suggesting that he will be leaving the club in the summer. I doubt very much that these rumours are true, more a lazy attempt to gain reads through a speculative manner but let’s play devils advocate and assume for a moment they are- Would Jack Wilshere be a huge loss to the team?
On paper Wilshere is the perfect person to have at the club. He is the best player to come out of our youth team academy in the last ten years and having been with us since the age of nine he has shown real dedication and hard work to get to the first team. At 16 years old it paid off, he became the youngest person at the club to make their debut and months later he earned his first cap for the England National team and became their youngest player to make a debut for the first team also.
For the first few years of his professional career he was one of the hottest youngsters around and rightly so because he was so full of talent. In his central midfield role Wilshere was strong and tenacious, his ability to tackle was spectacular and something reminiscent of the 90’s style of play. He was fast, talented, creative and still had the ability to score and assist as well as improve the standard of our set pieces especially after losing Fabregas in 2010.
It all started to go wrong for Wilshere when he fractured his ankle in a pre-season friendly with NY Red Bulls and this ruled him out for 17 months. The following season he appeared for the last few months on a regular basis before getting injured and having another operation on his ankle. He returned to action in 13/14 season which was his most consistent period of football for us and he played well, we actually saw glimmers of the old Jack but once again he suffered a fracture on his foot during an England game which put him out of action.
It’s fair to say that Wilshere’s injuries have really affected his career, not being able to stay fit for a consistent amount of time has really deflated the expectation we all had for him. It’s not his fault that he has suffered injuries but with our team constantly gaining more strength especially in his position he is going to find it hard to bench someone if they are in form.
The thing that doesn’t help Wilshere in his quest to be a great player is the smoking incidents. There is no place for smoking in modern day football, with all the fitness and training regime involved it can’t be doing Wilshere any good, especially in recovery.
There is also the question of reputation and bringing the club into disrepute, we can all say a player is entitled to do what they want in their free time but it crosses a line when it impends on their career. He is an athlete recovering from injury, he should be proving to the team that he is doing everything he can to regain fitness and not go out clubbing. His blatant disregard for his actions doesn’t help, he’s happy to smoke in public which generally means he’s a social smoker at the very least.
His attitude and lack of professionalism beg the question, how many other players would act in this way? Only last week a story emerged on Twitter that Sanchez was told to rest and minutes later he was found halfway up a training wall, that’s the kind of story we want to be hearing.
Wilshere is a fans favourite and he is very lucky that it has always been that way but he’s more fortunate that Wenger seems to back him no matter what. With three smoking incidents behind him I can imagine that he is starting to lose his patience with the midfielder, especially as he is very strict regarding fitness and health. If he has to choose between Wilshere who smokes or Cazorla, Sanchez or Ozil who don’t….it becomes very easy to slip into being a bench player very quickly.
It would be lovely to see Wilshere back in the team and back to full fitness consistently but if that doesn’t happen in the next year then and maybe only then it could result in a move away. Would we really miss an injury prone player who has a cigarette or should we keep him in the hope that he bucks up. You can only give someone so many chances before someone better comes along and gives their all.
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