I am fairly sure that I was not the only Arsenal fan to be a little bit surprised to see the Gunners starting XI for the trip to face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. My main surprise was to see both Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini on the team sheet, but then Jack Wilshere was suspended for that game after picking up five Premier League red cards.
But I expected Aaron Ramsey to come in for the England international midfielder and the fact that the young Welshman only came on for the last few minutes suggests to me that Arsene Wenger is being very cautious in bring Ramsey back into full action after his latest injury problem.
And I think there was quite a bit of caution in the manager’s approach to our last game as well after a stuttering start to the season. But with two wins on the spin, however lucky we were to get them, Arsenal and Wenger should be much more adventurous about a home game against Burnley, who are yet to register a win since being promoted from the Championship.
So surely that will mean that Wilshere will be back in the starting line-up on Saturday and the 22-year old is very keen to build on his much improved form this season, as he told Arsenal Player. Jack also spoke of his thoughts on how and why he has been getting back to the player that he once was and who had the Arsenal and England fans buzzing, revealing that he thinks his own pride played a big part in it.
Wilshere said, “I’ve been very pleased. I said at the start of the season that it was going to take me a few games to come back to the level I was at.
“When you miss time at this level you lose a bit of pace, a bit of form and it takes you time to get back. I’m very pleased.
“The main thing that got me back is my pride. I never wanted to stop – I was never satisfied with the level I was playing at.
“I always knew that I could come back to a level that I wanted to be at and be able to dominate games. I’m happy at the moment but I still think I can do a little bit better.
“I’ve said before that my goalscoring record has never been good enough and that I always want to add more goals.
“You look at the top midfielders in the world like Lampard and Gerrard who were getting 15 or 20 goals a season back in their day.
“I’m not saying I can get that many because they were specialists at that, but I could definitely get into double figures.”
A home game against the bottom club in the Premier League, whose confidence must be lower than a snake’s bellybutton, is just about the ideal opportunity for Jack to get closer to his scoring target. And it is also an opportunity for him to show the boss that he should be first choice every week, even when Ramsey is fully fit again. Do you think that Wilshere will continue to improve for Arsenal this season and do you think he will reach that magical 10 goal target?