Morning, gentleman and gentlewomen.
Today finds me in a ponderous kinda mood. Last night I re-watched the highlights of our fixture against BATE Borisov because I wanted to have another look at Jack Wilshere’s performance. Granted, the display wasn’t put in against the finest opponents or in a heightened pressure situation, but it was damn good. Most notably of all, there were plenty of glimpses at the player Wilshere is capable of being at his best and when he’s in full flight it’s a sight to behold.
His talent has never been in doubt. Ever since he burst into our first team as a teenager, Wilshere has been touted as a future captain/talisman of both club and country. His stock peeked during that memorable display again Barcelona back in 2011 in which he gave Xavi and Iniesta the runaround in midfield. But somehow it all seemed to go downhill gradually from that point on. Injuries and moments of petulance have plagued his Arsenal career and I didn’t believe we’d see him in the famous red and white after his loan move to Bournemouth.
Yet here he is. And it appears at something of a crossroads – in fact, I’d say this season will probably be defining for both parties and their future together. If he continues to perform, can he break into the first team and cement a regular starting position? I think he can. If he doesn’t, I’d suggest he’ll look for pastures new in the summer. Can he repair a damaged relationship (I assume) between him and Arsene Wenger? I say “damaged” because players over a certain age Wenger has loaned out don’t have a great history of returning and playing regularly – look at Szczesny, Campbell, Chambers and Jenkinson. Those loan spells all indicate to me, from a position of wild assumption, that there is a degree of trust that has gone.
He certainly seems eager to stay when you read his recent comments in the press:
“Do I see myself staying? Of course I do. I have always been at Arsenal, I love this club. They have been good to me over the years, I have a great relationship with the boss.
I felt good coming back to Arsenal and into training and the boss has been good. He has been speaking to me, been patient and I feel good and enjoy working with these top players again”
All of that certainly sounds positive and I hope it is a sign of Wilshere’s intent to fight for a place at Arsenal. When he’s firing on all cylinders, he can be a formidable midfielder. Technically, he is outstanding with an absolute wand of a left-foot and an eye for a pass. Fitness and temperament are Jack’s two greatest enemies. If he can extinguish the fires of stupidity within and stay match fit for a decent period of time, I believe he’ll have a significant impact on our season. If not, he’ll be gone in the summer.
The question is whether it’s a risk worth taking when we all clamoured for a shiny new midfielder in the summer. Many believe it’s not, but I am not one of those. I have faith he’s going to come good this year/next year and prove a lot of people wrong.
There’s a handy comments section below in which you can share your thoughts on this with everyone, so don’t be shy, just remember to play nice.
That’s all for today, folks. They’ll be a preview of the Brighton game headed your way tomorrow.
As always: thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
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