Arsene Wenger praises Jack Wilshere’s decision to retire early from professional football

Arsene Wenger has spoken to Sky Sports after Jack Wilshere decided to quit playing professional football and take up a coaching role at Arsenal.

The Frenchnan was the man to oversee the former academy graduate’s breakthrough into the senior side, and the pair are believed to have had a strong relationship over the years.

Unfortunately for Jack, his injury struggles meant that he suffered recurring setbacks over the years, and never managed to truly meet his full potential, and will forever be remembered for his special ability shown as a teenager.

Wenger opened up about what made him stand out when he stepped up to the senior side, before moving to agree with Wilshere’s decision to move into coaching at the age of just 30.

“He was brave, he was talented, he wasn’t scared of anybody. Which is why we thought he could start at a very young age. Straight away he showed he had the ability to be a main player,” Wenger said (via 90min) on Jack Wilshere.

“He was an exceptional talent, but didn’t play enough games because of injury and in the end that is why he’s had to stop. It’s very difficult for a star like he was when you cannot play at your best anymore. That’s difficult to swallow. Which is why I think he’s taken the right decision.”

I cant help but wonder how good he could have been, considering he was as good as any teenager out there.

He’s now set to try and pass on his invaluable experience to our next crop of youngsters who will be hoping to have some sort of impact for the first-team in years to come.

What traits do you think Wilshere will be best at passing on to the next generation of Gunners?


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  1. Not that it’s his fault but if I were AW, I’d have a few regrets about this. Did wilshere need to play so often early on, could he have played a bit less especially after the injuries started accumulating, and did he need to play in centre midfield?
    I think the fact that fabregas was able to handle it from a young age might have been a factor – AW compared their characters (bravery) – but not everyone is built the same, and JW had a much more intense playing style.
    Then again, some players are just prone to injury. We can’t really know.

    1. @Davi
      To me, Jacks main problem was, as a short player, he wasn’t taught how to use his low centre of gravity properly or to dribble. Since he liked going forward, this created problems for him because he always ran into obstacles, inviting the tackle. He lacked the agility and dribbling skills to avoid defenders…Otherwise, he has a brilliant footballing brain which will help him in his current job. Sure he has much to teach the future first teamers. I would like to see him manage the senior squad some day…

      1. I think he was quite good at dribbling, although maybe effective is the right word. Wenger said in this interview that it was one of the differences between JW and fabregas – that Jack was able to make a difference with his dribbling, and cesc was more of a passer. Personally I don’t think fabregas was less capable a dribbler, his goal vs spurs is strong evidence of that, its more that he looked first for other solutions. Jack chose to run into traffic and put himself at risk much more often, like you say, inviting the tackles.
        I remember him playing RM in our old 442 formation when he started, and I always thought that was a nice fit for him, and I’m not convinced CM ever should have been his main position, but the formation change to 433 might have made it difficult?
        Agree with you on agility – would have helped with injuries I’m sure.

  2. Great overview NY.

    Agree with Davi to an extent, but he was such a talent, it would have been a crime not to play such an exceptional player.

    I guess Mikel is in the same situation with Saka and I have been critical of him not giving this other exceptional player a rest.
    Your post made me rethink on that stance.

    1. I think we’d know by now if Saka was at significant risk of suffering the way wilshere did, but I’d still rather we weren’t so reliant on him at this stage. He’s a key player, but giving him a rest from time to time might be better for him physically and mentally.

    2. @ken1945
      Had Jack those missing ingredients in his locker, he would have been unplayable. Because he had everything else…IJS

      1. I watch some videos of Jack from time to time and he was such a brilliant one off player.

        We always had a magnificent crop of attacking midfield players from the minute Wenger arrived and I would place Jack up there with the best of them.

        Everyone talks about Wrighty being a proper Gooner (quite rightly) and Jack is the same breed.

        Good luck in your new position and thanks for those magnificent memories

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