This is Jack Wilshere’s big chance to rescue his Arsenal career

While most Arsenal fans choose to try to ignore that our European football will now be played on Thursday nights the significance of our match against Cologne will not be lost on Jack Wilshere. It’s been six years since that famous night when we beat Barcelona. Such was Wilshere’s performances over two legs against the Catalan giants that legends such as Iniesta and Xavi singled the then teenager out for praise. If anyone had told him then that years later a game in the Europa League would be viewed as crucial to his career he wouldn’t have believed you.

Despite numerous injuries Arsene Wenger has always remained positive, dismissing each respective spell on the sidelines as coincidental. It’s another example of perhaps our manager’s greatest weakness, protecting his players too much. While the Frenchmen has always kept an arm round the Englishmen’s shoulder, the fact remains as things stand no new contract has been offered to a man once viewed as our future captain. As the saying goes, actions speak louder then words and as things stand the club seem happy for him to leave for nothing in less then 12 months.

It’s ironic, at a time where Sanchez and Ozil are criticised for not showing their loyalty long term, an individual who can claim loving the Gunners since a child won’t be offered a deal he would sign in a heartbeat. Of course it’s the amount of time spent on the sidelines which make it hard for our board to put a price on what wage they should be coughing up. It’s worth remembering the only reason he will be in the squad this week is his refusal to seek a loan before the transfer deadline.

Plenty of sides will take a gamble on him next summer. Considering they don’t have to pay a fee for someone who’s ability is proven it’s worth the gamble even if he can’t guarantee how many minutes in a campaign he can offer. Perhaps a move abroad would be a solution, it could be as simple as the Premiership is too demanding physically on him and he be better suited in a league less demanding.

His stats at Bournemouth were so underwhelming that he may have realised the moment he is allowed to leave the Emirates he is kissing goodbye to playing at a level where he can realistically compete for silverware. So it’s safe to say he will fight against the odds to keep alive his boyhood dream. Every supporter (as well as marketing) love when a local lad breaks through the youth team so, given the choice, most gooners would rather he stay, no matter how long he needs to rediscover his old form.

But it’s not just us Gooners. Our national team’s midfield has never looked as weak on paper as now. By now it was expected that Wilshere would be one of our leading lights going into the World Cup, such has been his decline he is no longer in anyone’s thoughts to be on the plane to Russia. To even suggest he has a chance would be cruel to a man who already has had to deal with so much mentally. Yet he and Ross Barkley are the only two midfielders who offer us anything different. Technically they play the game differently to our other CM. It means if either were, to say, from January to May hit their stride there would be a campaign to bring them back into the fold. Of course that’s easy for me to write.

Time is against Jack Wilshere to rescue his career. That’s why Thursday is massive for him. An impressive display for an hour or cameo off the bench would then see a repeat in the league cup a week later. Pass those two auditions he will find himself back in the squad at the weekends. None of that is unrealistic. But one more injury, one misdemeanour (he hasn’t always helped himself) and his agent might not be able to even get him an invite at the negotiation table.

If the Europa League can rebuild Jack Wilshere then it might be a worthwhile competition after all.

Dan Smith


  1. gotanidea says:

    Yes, this is his chance to save his career in the club and national football level. But I highly doubt he would be able to improve his skills beyond what he had when he was younger.

    Arsenal and England need more skillful midfielders than him to dominate the midfield area. Wilshere still has to learn a lot from technically gifted midfielders like Cazorla, Iniesta and Verratti.

  2. TongaBull says:


  3. GB says:

    He doesn’t need to improve his skills, just his fitness.

  4. Invincibles49 says:

    Arsenal, England and football fans around the world need to move on from Jack Wilshere. He COULD have been a great midfielder, but he never would be. Not anymore. He is the mascot of Wenger’s English Core experiment: Lots of promise, going down the drain of bad luck, inflated expectations and bad planning.

  5. John0711 says:

    Finally a decent article, not about sanchez of a AKB saying how @£*@ the fans are.
    Wilshire can be great again and hes better than XHAKA

    1. kev says:

      Finally someone who sees my point.Wilshere is better than Xhaka.The fact that he’s sold won’t make me deceive myself that he’s not better than any CM’s we have. For his own good if he’s out with a long tem injury he should be allowed to leave and not be offered a new contract.

  6. Arsenal_Girl says:

    We are good at being loyal to our players and giving them opportunities to succeed. RVP was injured for a while and he repaid us by going to United. Diaby was injured for a long time and now Wilshere.

    Staying fit will be Jack’s biggest challenge. I wish him luck because our CM is very average. Maybe he could improve us.

  7. arsenal4life says:

    Wilshere is at 25 a multi millionaire
    even though he has never done
    a decent days work in his entire life.
    He already has one son but has
    moved on to a new, sexier wife.
    Jack is set for life having done little to deserve it.
    In English premier league football 99.9999%
    of the opportunity, fame and money goes to
    the team’s 25 players, the manager and the owner.
    Less than 0.00000001% goes to the fans.
    Millions of poor people paying to keep
    over paid prats in a luxurious lifestyle.
    Poor Jack. Life is so unkind. What a load of bull.
    Can’t be that bad of a life seeings how Jack is not too proud
    to keep accepting his 90k p/w week hand out.

  8. Grandad says:

    Injuries have blighted Wiltshire,s career and as a consequence we are never likely to see him fulfil the talent he displayed as a youngster. That said he has been a fortunate young man in that many Managers would have unloaded him given his failure to string matches together and the fact that his reckless style of tackling has laid him open to accusations of self inflicted injuries.Sadly his displays for Bournemouth did little to suggest he has a future at Arsenal and I suspect he will be yet another young player who has failed to blossom fully under the stewardship of Mr Wenger.

  9. Adam Criniti says:

    Watching Spurs take Dortmund behind the Wembley woodshed on Matchday 1 while Arsenal prepare for Europa league action against Podolski’s
    childhood squad.

    And most of the AKB brigade honestly believe AFC isn’t dead.

  10. Yossarian says:

    It would be great if Jack could rescue his Arsenal career this season. We could definitely use his skills and passion on the pitch…

    But I would bet on him picking-up another injury after a few games, and then being out for the rest of the season. I’d love to be wrong, but would anyone bet against that?

    1. Jaydawg says:

      Not at all you’re spot on. I think deep down Wenger knows this hence no contract extension on the table.

  11. sol says:

    The year was 2011 Jack was sensational against Barcelona……get back young boy!!!!!!!!!!

  12. sol says:

    what i am fearful about Jack is the way he lets the ball in between his legs which makes him injury prone

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