Do Bournemouth hold the key to Wilshere’s fitness?
In a move that shocked many on the final day of the summer transfer window, Jack Wilshere left his boyhood Arsenal to join fellow Premier League side Bournemouth on loan for the 2016/17 season.
The transfer, which was a season long loan deal in which Bournemouth will reportedly pay for all of Wilshere’s £80k per week wages, will benefit all parties in a number of ways. For Bournemouth, they will get a quality midfielder when he is fit. For Wilshere he gets to improve on his fitness, whilst hopefully having a regular spot in the first team – and for Arsenal, the Gunners get to keep track of the midfielders progress without the burden on the team, in hope that he responds well to his move away and comes back as the player he once was.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, who has been linked with the Gunners job after Arsene Wenger hangs up his reins, has been speaking today about Wilshere’s progress with the Cherries so far and he spoke very positively about Wilshere’s fitness plan.
Speaking in his pre match press conference, Eddie Howe said: “He [Wilshere] has not completed all of the training. We have had to manage his training time on the pitch to make sure we get the balance right between getting him fitter and making sure he does not break down. There are certain players who have had serious injuries in their careers that we have to manage. We have to fine-tune the workload that they get.”
Even though it hasn’t been that long since Wilshere completed his season long loan move to the south coast, it actually comes as a surprise to many people that there has been no bad news surrounding the midfielders fitness, despite partaking in a friendly match for the Cherries as well as their training ground exercises. Given Wilshere’s history of fitness, even during training ground exercises at Arsenal, it wouldn’t have surprised many if the Englishman picked up a setback early on in his Bournemouth stint. Whilst I’m therefore pleased that he seems to be progressing well, because the ultimate goal of Wilshere’s loan move is to improve his fitness and so he can get regular playing time, you cannot tell me that a club of Arsenal’s size, didn’t think of perhaps reducing the number of hours he does on the training pitch?
Although less hours on the training pitch would probably mean a lower level of fitness when it comes to playing in competitive matches, surely the odd 45 minutes on the pitch here and there is much better than spending the majority of the season on the treatment table. At Arsenal, Wilshere wasn’t going to be a regular player completing 90 minutes week in week out, because competition for places is far too high. Therefore a reduction of training exercises, in order to benefit his overall fitness, would surly have crossed the minds of the medical staff. Unfortunately it seems to be the case that with Arsenal, you really cannot tell.
All the best for Wilshere for the course of the season!