Any guesses on what’s the top word any Arsenal supporter would associate with Jack Wilshere? Some may say potential, some may say wizard but many would say injury. For someone who’s long been touted as the midfielder to hold his own for many years, Wilshere has spent more time off the pitch than on the pitch.
For other players, the time off the pitch could be because of loss of form or any other problems. But for Wilshere it’s always been injuries. Time and time again, the supporters brace for the worst news on Wilshere when the medical bulletin is released.
No wonder then that most of the fans feared the worst when news broke out last month that Wilshere had suffered a hairline fracture in his left ankle (again!). While the initial assessment was that the midfielder would miss four to six weeks, there are suggestions that he could be in contention for next week’s trip to Stamford Bridge.
There is a mix of caution and optimism at the Emirates because on one hand they want the midfielder to be back in action sooner but they also do not want to rush his return.
Factor this – Wilshere has suffered 21 injuries in the last 6 years and has missed more than 100 weeks of action because of injuries. Considering the fact that he broke into the first team squad in the 2008-09 season, that accounts to more than a third of overall action missed through injuries.
There are growing concerns on the rehabilitation program at Arsenal with many players getting injured more frequently. Wilshere too has on many occasions expressed his unhappiness on the treatment he has received. It is often mentioned that the England midfielder would get actively involved in his rehabilitation plan.
Early in the transfer window, there were reports that Manchester City would be interested in signing Wilshere but he has quashed any such reports. Wilshere has often spoken about his desire of becoming a club legend and there are reports that he would soon sign a new contract.
It is imperative now than ever that Wilshere gets back on the field and probably stay fit for a longer period of time. Not just Arsenal fans but also Roy Hodgson from the England national team will be offering a silent prayer for this.