The Curious Case of Jack Wilshere’s Future?

Is the clock ticking down on Jack Wilshere’s Career? by JH

At the tender age of just 16 Jack Wilshere made his debut for Arsenal against Blackburn, becoming the youngest ever player to play for us. He followed this up just over a week later, by scoring his first competitive goal for the club vs Sheffield United, he became just the second 16 year old to score for The Gunners.

Just under 50 Arsenal appearances later was when Jack Wilshere really announced himself to the world, Arsenal played in the Champions League, against the best team in the world, the best midfield in the world, Barcelona.

Xavi and Iniesta had come 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Balon D’Or that year, And here was Arsene Wenger, Having the gall to play a 19 year old kid against them?!

But it got even worse. That 19 year old kid then had the cheek to almost effortlessly dominate not just one of them, but both of them, for 90 minutes, his passing was superb, he battled, every time the spanish geniuses came forward, he was there with a crunching challenge to get the ball, he had the confidence to demand the ball off more experienced teammates, no matter his situation, facing his own goal, tightly marked, it made no difference, he received the ball and as a result of either his immense skill or his animalistic desire, he broke free of two of the best midfielders ever to grace a football pitch and effortlessly glided forward. His was rewarded for his immense showing against Barcelona with the MOTM award, and that was that. He was called the “Future of English Football” by then England manager Fabio Capello, heralded as a future captain of club and country, someone both teams simply had to build around. He was going to lead both Arsenal and England to inevitable glory.

But that is not how football works.

Very rarely does someone make it to the top level in this game without being tested, And Jack has been tested more than most. By the end of his breakout year, where he earned the title of “The Future” He received his first major injury, an injury to his ankle, sustained against New York Red Bulls in a friendly, although Wenger claims the damage was done earlier Vs Switzerland for England, which begged the question, why the hell did he play against the Red Bulls in a friendly then?

He missed 65 weeks to this injury, and from there, everything spiralled out of control. Injury after injury have continually halted his development development, for every good moment in his career, from his goal of the season vs Norwich, to being England’s best player during the Euro Qualifiers to scoring the goal of the season vs West Brom, an injury is waiting round the corner to curtail his momentum.

Now this is where I ask the difficult question, when do we give up on Jack? Our future?

Now his obvious love for our club buys him a lot more patience from fans than others can lay claim to. He is Arsenal through and through, And when fans start losing patience, we win the FA Cup, and he sings his way back into our hearts.

Thanks to his tender ankles though, he has missed the most important development years of his career, 19 – 22. These are the years where potential has to evolve into consistent ability. Where the best players learn to control games, make the most of their opportunities, and to become indispensable to club and country. Now for England, I believe Jack walks into this team when fit, he is comfortably England’s best player nearly every time they play. Nobody else seems to be able to pull off that deep lying playmaker role quite like he can.

But for Arsenal? Well Coquelin is in before anybody in that holding role, Ramsey and Cazorla are both ahead of Jack next to him. which leaves the No.10 role, which is undisputably Mesut Ozil’s, and then the wings, Sanchez has made the left his own, which leaves the Ox on the right, Jacks only target, but not his natural position. Jack is best in our Cazorla role, next to the DM, controlling the game from deep. He has shown his ability here for England, usually earning the MOTM award, and outshining his teammates, But Santi is untouchable right now. Ramsey has proven himself more reliable in terms of fitness, although I see Jack more suited to this role than him due to Ramseys natural impulse to get forward whenever possible, Jack seems more disciplined.

He also has to look over his shoulder with Dan Crowley looking a hot prospect and Gedion Zelalem looking incredible and seemingly getting better and better each passing day. There is a young Jeff Reine Adelaide who looks like he can play that role too and we also signed another youngster Vlad Dragomir (What a Name!!) who is supposedly comparable to a young Toni Kroos.

So I ask you, how can Jack Wilshere fight and overtake Santi Cazorla in his preferred position and stop the likes of Zelalem from leapfrogging him in the pecking order when he cannot even stay fit?

Jack Wilshere has only two things going for him right now, First is that Zelalem is busy ripping apart Scottish defenses right now, which I believe will see him return there next year if they are promoted (Thanks in the main part to our good relationship with manager Mark Warburton). So this gives Jack this year and probably next to claim what both he and Zelalem feel should be theirs. The other is Santi’s age. Although he currently shows no sign of declining with age, AW is more than likely going to start phasing him out. With Wilshere now being ruled out for at least 3 months, we may not see him in action until around February, and even then, it will more likely be cameos from the bench which, realistically to me, only gives him next season to turn his troubles around, stay fit and prove to us and most importantly AW that he is the man to start next to Coquelin.

So, as Jacks sits himself on the all too familiar physio table for the next few months, he will have to do so knowing that with every passing week, Santi Cazorla is proving himself more and more irreplaceable, Gedion Zelalem is running Ranger games whilst also providing assist after assist, and Arsenal’s other youngsters are getting closer and closer to first team action.

For all Jack Wilshere once promised, he is 23 years of age and not even close to securing a first team spot that was already his at 18 Five injury stricken years have passed, Jack has gone backwards, if not in ability and potential then definitely in squad status. At 23 he can no longer claim to be the future with huge potential. And with him being 3rd choice CM he can’t even claim to being the present.

Which begs the question, What is Jack Wilshere? Once heralded as our future captain, does he still hold this potential? As of right now he can’t keep himself fit, never mind nail down a place in the first XI. But I suppose AW is the Master of patience, it took 8 years of persistent injuries for him to finally give up on Diaby, He stuck by RVP when he struggled with injury for his first five years at the club, even less important players such as Rosicky are constantly picking up injuries but Wenger will not let him go, despite the fact he only makes the bench, if that when fit.

Arsene Wenger sticks by his players more than anyone, but with Diaby he showed he does have his limit. How long does Jack Wilshere get to prove his worth? to prove his fitness? would we risk selling him to a rival? City were interested, could we turn down £30 million for a guy who misses so many games? He buys himself more time with the fans due to his Arsenal blood, but is that enough?

What do you think? Is Jack running out of time? Can he ever realise his potential and become a starting captain in our midfield?

By JonnHirons

Tags Barcelona Wilshere


  1. Another player going under the knife!……. This curious case has always been a seasonal case for Arsenal!

    1. We seem to attract sick notes. Where are the hero’s who claimed this was Jacks year once again and scoffed at the idea of 40mil from City in the summer? Jack with yet another Jack-like season ahead.

      A team interested in being the most successful it could be would’ve got rid of Jack and Theo this past summer and brought in some top talent that could do the business on the pitch. Jack and Welbz out until after Xmas, good thing we bought nobody.

      1. I dare you to call one person here saying this is Jack’s year. Secondly, is only the press paying 40 mils for Jack Wilshere. Surprised you still fall for that.

      2. Still here!! City’s 40mil can suck it!!
        Charlie. A friendly wager. Pick any premier league player that isn’t Aguero who you think will score more goals than Theo in all competitions?

  2. When Fit: For Wilshere to be able to take Santi’s place, he needs to spend a lot of time learning for Santi how to avoid tackles…Santi also has alot of the ball but is quite good at avoiding tackles..

    1. @Gunner
      In order for him to do that, he would have needed to learn how to use his low center of gravity early on in his development and get comfortable doing so.
      I’m not saying it’s too late for him to learn how to now. But the pin in his ankle will constantly put a damper on his game.

      1. Here you go again with this fib. ever asked yourself what it really means; like a practical outline of how to apply a “low center of gravity”. You may be guilty of parroting pundits who want to sound smart. sometimes you just need to give a guy a break and say tough luck. He’s not the first footballer to have his career blighted by incessant injuries

  3. Don’t write Jack off just yet. There is serious potential there. These injuries can happen to any player. Look what happened to Shaw last night, reminded me of Ramsey when he was at his best, that injury came and somehow he has never been the same. Let us remember it is tough out there. You wouldn’t want your boss to just give up on you because you are constantly sick. These guys are taking knocks for the team and for you and me. So let’s not be too quick to write them off.

    Ps. …They have changed the anthem from Glory Glory Man United to Sorry Sorry Man United ??

  4. It is unfortunate what has happened to Jack, but I don’t think we should write him off. He is still young and has his whole future still ahead of him. Quite honestly he is better than most midfielders out there and still has loads of potential. He is worth the gamble.

  5. Jack is not Santi, not Coquelin, not Ramsey and not Ozil. He is a different breed and not all games would fit his style of playing. He is not CDM no matter how much Hotdog Son tries, Jack will always come forward. I am not giving up on him just as I didn’t with Diaby.

    1. Jack is a no10, he plays best when he has a creative partner laying deep along with a defensive player i.e : Fabregas and Song. Now that we have Coq and Cazorla he can play his natural game, but the problem is that he has Ozil to compete with.

      1. By no10 I mean playmaker that dictates play from the centre like Pirlo or Scholes, NOT a goalscorer like Messi or Rooney

  6. One thing I want to add, really gutted last night seeing Shaw having his leg broken during the game. I was shocked when Eduardo, Ramsey and Wilshere were challenged the same. We should know better. Wilshere needs support from all Arsenal fans now. The road to recovery from such horrific injuries is long and the psychological toll is immense.
    United fans jokes aside about “Wheelchair” Jack. Table turn fast in today’s football. Get well soon Jack and Luke ! Football is missing players like you.

    1. Good input Budd. Some of our fans call for Wilshere to have been sold. There are no guarantees that any player we have or purchase to replace him won’t suffer the same fate. Injuries are a risk
      for every single player in football, and not reserved for Arsenal players only as some fans make it sound. Instead of hoping for a recovery, they quickly point out he should have been sold.

  7. It is curious indeed. The team has evolved so much without him that he should be worried. His injuries have turned him from one of the best midfielders we’ve had to a squad player. Now no one seems to know where he fits in the team. Theo had the same problem. but the injury to welbeck was a blessing in disguise for him.

  8. It’s a shame we had the same problem with rosicky.

    With wilshire he has allot of muscle in his leg so we can’t putt it down to weak muscles. He is just unlucky.

    Of topic we are looking at 18 year old yuri teilemens who is an Immense talent already if was to join in January then wilshire would be pushed further up field.

  9. Kondabagia and Martial

    both score goals for Monaco against Arsenal last season….

    we should have signed them…..

    DURATION: 48 Hrs
    SECTION A. 1. Discuss the fall of Chelsea
    and d rise of Leicester in relation to
    season 2015/16 (20marks). 2. Using Tottenham
    as an example describe the force of
    (15marks). 3. Manchester United sold
    Dimaria to PSG for £44m where they had
    signed him for £59.6m. Prepare a profit and
    loss account (12mks). 4. Write an essay on
    the proverb ”old is gold” in relation to Old
    SECTION B. 5. Calculate the probability of
    Arsenal winning their next game in relation to previous performances
    (20mks). 6. Estimate the velocity at which
    Liverpool is depreciating considering
    the absence of Coutinho (15mks). 7. With
    the aid of a diagram prove that Cheseal
    will go trophyless this season (15mks). 8. Without using tables
    list out the clubs that will qualify for
    league next season (10mks). 9. Explain
    the sudden quietness of all Man Utd fans
    yesterday on all social networks (20mks). 10. Complete this. *In
    Wenger we trust.
    *In Dargrish we’re happy.
    *In Mourinoh we…….? 11. Explain why the
    fourth position on the league table stands
    as trophy to Arsenal (10mks). 12. Who should take
    the blame for Chelsea bad form? Explain

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