I wrote a piece on Arsenal and Jack Wilshere the other day, my point being that the 22-year old midfielder was showing signs of getting back to the form that made him such a sensation before his fledgling career was interrupted and nearly ruined by a series of long term and niggling injuries.
But I also thought that it would be a good idea to rest the England international for tomorrow’s game away to Everton, because the Gunners will need him more than ever for the home leg against Besiktas with Aaron Ramsey being suspended. Jack is the natural replacement for the Welshman and with his fitness issues, Arsene Wenger needs to be careful not to overplay young Wilshere.
But now I think that he has to start at Goodison Park tomorrow, because the boss has spoken to the press about his player and defended him rigorously against what he sees as unfair criticism from the media, as reported by Arsenal.com. The Frenchman suggested that Wilshere was being made a scapegoat for England’s latest tournament flop and insisted that his form is coming back and his main concern is to stay fit.
Wenger said, “He pays the price for England not winning the World Cup.
“Before he was in Chambers’ position, then suddenly when you get to 22, the expectation level comes on you. Wayne Rooney has gone through that, now it goes through Wilshere.
“I believe at the moment he should not respond to it, just focus on his game. If Wilshere can maintain physically to be fit then he will make a huge career.
“At the moment, I believe he should just focus on that – being fit, present and to improve physical. The rest will come along.
““I think he is on target of where he should be. He is not as far as everyone expected him to be from when he was 18. But he’s not as far because he was injured, not because he doesn’t train seriously.
“He is a guy who when he goes out there, he wants to play, he works hard but he was out for one-and-a-half years.”
They are wise words and should help Wilshere to relax, if he takes them on board, but if the boss then drops him for the very next game, they may seem just like so much hot air by the midfielder. If you are going to back him verbally, then you need to show faith in him with your team selection as well.
And the fact that there is no sign of Mesut Ozil in the pictures from Arsenal training today, means that his inclusion is more likely anyway. So do you guys think Wilshere should start against Everton?