Could the coming season be make or break for one member of our first team squad?
Jack Wilshere is regularly talked about as “The next big thing”, he’s expected to be the “Heart of Arsenal” and England. Football pundits and past England managers rave about his skill, his vision, his commitment and his growing strength.
Should we and others rein in our enthusiasm just a bit? Early promise led to comparisons with such luminaries as Liam Brady and Dennis Bergkhamp.
A regular on the Arsenal bench after an impressive pre-season in 2009, he was nonetheless loaned out to Bolton Wanderers in January and made 13 starts for Owen Coyle’s side and scored his first Premiership goal.
Back at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger gave him his chance and he became a regular in the Gunners midfield as well as becoming one of the first names in the national squad after his senior call-up to the England side in August 2010.
Sadly a foot injury sustained in the summer of 2011 eventually required surgery and an ankle problem further delayed his rehabilitation and ruled him out for the whole of that season.
Last season Jack had a frustratingly in/out campaign, and in the opinion of some observers, did not regain full fitness or get within reach of his potential. His last appearance came in the 0 – 1 away win, against Newcastle United in the season finale, as an 89th minute replacement for Santi Cazorla.
If the now 21 year old is to live up to his early promise it is vital that he quickly achieves, and maintains, his optimum fitness level. Little can be done about injuries and both his style of play and on-field position make it even harder to avoid them.
There is no doubt that a fully fit and functioning Jack Wilshere brings a new dimension to the Arsenal and England midfield, we must all hope and pray that he is able to fulfil his potential and help both our club and the National side achieve success in the upcoming season.
Written by Norfolk Gooner