After a few years of disappointment, for both Arsenal and England, and with a few pieces of bad publicity following him around, the young Gunner Jack Wilshere has admitted that this season is an absolutely huge one for him. It is no exaggeration to say that the next nine months or so could make or break his career at Arsenal, with the club.
With the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Mesut Ozil and the promising young players like Gedion Zelalem pushing on, Wilshere needs to stamp his authority on the club this season and start to show some of the brilliant play that made him such a teenage sensation.
And it looks to me as though he is starting to find his form again. Against Besiktas last night, in a very tough and competitive midfield, Jack produced some good stuff. He still lost the ball at times, but not nearly as much as he has been doing. He also gave the Gunners a real spark with his powerful and mazy running, with signs that his old burst of pace is getting back to what it was.
Just as important, for me, was his attitude, which showed the fighting qualities and determination that a great central midfielder needs. It is still early days in the season, of course, and it is important for the 22-year old to stay fit and injury free, but as long as Arsene Wenger does not overplay him, I reckon that we could soon see the old magic back with Jack.
With Ozil back, Wenger could rest him this weekend and have him ready to replace the suspended Ramsey on Wednesday, when he could be vital in seeing Arsenal into the next round. Do you think Wilshere is getting ready to prove his critics wrong?