Arsenal really missed the play and influence of their dynamic and skilful midfielder Jack Wilshere after he was injured during pre-season game in 2011 against the New York Red Bulls. The ankle fracture was supposed to keep him out for around four months, but further problems meant that he missed the whole season, and the start of this one.
Obviously, Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal fans do not want this to happen again, and the player, who turns 21 on New Years Day, thinks there is a lot less chance of that happening now because of the time off he was forced to endure. Wilshere played 49 games for the Gunners in his breakthrough season and some internationals as well. That may have contributed to his injury and have had adverse effects to his later career, but the year off gave his body plenty of chance to recover. He was also trained specifically to strengthen key parts of his body that will come under stress during matches.
“My body is stronger than it was before. I’ve done a lot of work with Declan Lynch and the other physios here over the past year. I’ve improved my core, improved my leg muscle strength, everything.
“Cesc used to say to me `take it easy, don’t play too many games. Obviously I didn’t want to have a year off, but when I’m 24 or 25 I won’t have played as many games as someone like Cesc, and that will help me.”
Another benefit that Arsenal will get is from how the lay off affected Jack mentally. He was desperate to play, and now appreciates even more that he must make the most of the time allotted to him for his career. He will be hungrier than ever, which can only be good for Arsenal.
“I was at Emirates for every single home match. It was hard at times because I really wanted to be out there. Not just for my own selfish reasons, but I wanted to help the team too because we had some difficult periods last season.”
Wilshere is almost back to full speed and Arsenal fans will really see the benefit of having him back at his best, provided he can stay injury free.