Jack Wilshere on his last chance?

Once again, Jack Wilshere has been pictured, cigarette in hand, surrounded by girls, partying with friends in a far off destination. Pouring drinks down friends throats. Once again, it has led to criticism in many parts that he is wasting his talent. I have discussed Wilshere’s future numerous times here. That previously, he needed to focus. That he could learn from Aaron Ramsey. unfortunately, I am now wondering whether he is right for Arsenal. Whether he is now on his last chance.Wilshere

Arsenal as a club is changing. Cash rich, we are now able to attract some of the best in the world. Mesut Ozil & Alexis Sanchez have signed. Sami Khedira could be on his way. We have so much strength in the middle of the park that we were able to turn down Cesc Fabregas. It also means that we are now in a situation where Jack Wilshere is currently not good enough for our first 11, and questions marks are starting to be raised if we even need him in the squad. “If someone wants him for £20m, they can have him” a friend of mine recently said. And I reluctantly agreed.

unfortunately, Jack Wilshere seems to be going down the same route as many other talented Englishmen before him. A brilliant teenage talent, he has struggled to go from being the teenager to a man. He has slipped.

Germany won the World Cup. There has been plenty of chatter since that whilst their players concentrated on football, the English failures were too occupied with tattoos, hair cuts and what birds they were banging. In 2009, England played Germany in the final of the European Under-21 Championship final in Malmo. Germany ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.

Since that game, 6 of the victorious German’s went on to start in the World Cup Final. That day, England lined up: Loach, Cranie, Richards, Onuoha, Gibbs, Cattermole, Muamba, Noble, Milner, Walcott, Johnson. Gardener, Mancienne & Rodwell were the used substitutes. Only Theo Walcott (and to a lesser extent James Milner) has gone on to become a consistent performer and regular starter for a top Premier League side. There is a clear problem in English football in turning talented teenagers into World Class performers.

Explanations for this are numerous. Are youngsters paid too much too young? Are they thrust into celebrity lifestyle rather than concentrating on football? Do they become too concerned with tattoos, hairstyles, booze, birds and partying? I believe a mixture of all of these go into a mixing pot and create a footballer who is often content with becoming a millionaire, whilst not having to try too hard. English footballers are more interested in earning as much as possible, with as little work as possible and getting the girl. Meanwhile their foreign counterparts are driven by success. They want the Champions League, the World Cups, knowing that along the way, they will pick up the millions and the girl.

It is not a new thing. You read the books of Paul Merson, and many others. They trained, and went straight to the pub out partying, they were content. Meanwhile, the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry came across from the continent. They were first into training, and whilst the English lads left quickly to hit the pub or golf course, they would stay behind. It is often said that Lionel Messi trains more, and harder, than anyone else at Barcelona. To become the best, you have to train the best. Natural talent only takes you so far.

This is an epidemic in English football. David Bentley never fulfilled his talent, he is not yet 30 and retired. Even Wayne Rooney, the bright hope of English football, has never really fulfilled his talent. Jack Wilshere, whilst not being as bad as David Bentley, is close to becoming the next Joe Cole, the next Wayne Rooney. Incredibly talented, but never really fulfilled it.

Yes, he has had injuries which have hampered his performance’s since his break through season in 2010, but that was 4 years ago. His best performance in an Arsenal shirt was against Barcelona when he was 19. That was in 2011.

This season could be a defining one for Wilshere. He will be 23 on January 1st. We should no loner be talking about his potential, but about his actual talent. The older he becomes,the more younger players will be breaking through who are performing at a higher level. At an international level, Ross Barkley is 2 years younger. At arsenal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is 18 months younger. Both of these are on the verge of overtaking Wilshere for club and country.

With our new found wealth, we can buy ready made stars. We no longer have to look at a players potential and hope that they fulfil it. If they fail to do so, we can ship them out, buy in better. We no longer have to ‘make do’.

Yes, every player deserves a chance, and Aaron Ramsey showed the benefits of giving a player that chance. For me, Jack Wilshere is on his last chance. He needs to step up, otherwise he could find his Arsenal career being finished.


22 thoughts on “Jack Wilshere on his last chance?

  1. Gunnerwintheleague

    Great article, couldn’t agree more. In my opinion Chamberlain has already surpassed Wilshere as a player. Wilshere has been pictured way too many times partying/drinking and smoking after being spoken to by AW. Surely enough is enough.

  2. Manuel Addy

    100% CORRECT! I agree with everything you’re written in this post.
    I respect Aaron Ramsey even more so now, mainly bcos he’s not English! and he was getting boo’s, whilst Wilshere (England’s Glory Child) who I once thought was gonna be the Leader of Men for this AFC team has fallen short to all of our expectations. Sad really… So sad, talent being used up on whores and booze.

    1. gee

      i agree, compared to aaron ramsey , wilshere is having a free ride (i dont advocate booing your own players) compared to the crap ramsey had to take for poor performances.
      Last season when ramsey got injured i expected jack to carry on the good work of ramsey and contribute to keep our title challenge alive. Sadly he was not up to it. i hope he has a rasey style turnaround but it looks slim as i think ramsey is slightly more humble and professional than jack.

  3. reallycrossross

    Consider your arse smacked, Jack! I completely agree and shared similar thoughts during England’s brief time at this World Cup. Players like Wilshere will stir the pride of any English team but when they start to continually embarrass themselves and in turn our club, then it is time to reconsider their value. We don’t need an English core we just need a homegrown one. Jack needs to understand this and quickly. This must be his make or break season if he is to remain at Arsenal otherwise cash in on the over inflated English player market and buy a raft of under 17 talent that Jonker can turn their full potential into 1st team players, not just “players”!

  4. Ed Avern

    Reluctantly I agree. Although the occasional cigarette is really not going to do Jack too much damage (and he is on holiday, remember), the wider issue that he really needs to step up this year is in no doubt.

    Through no fault of Jack’s own, he wasn’t there when we needed him. Now we don’t need him…if he wants to play he’ll have to earn that.

    1. Kevin


      Do you really believe that it is the occasional cigarette? I agree that he has to step up, but is he really showing hat he is prepared to pay the “price” necessary?

    1. Kevin

      And want to take a bet that Barkley will end up going down the same path as Wilshere? Will England fans be talking about Barkley wasting his talent in 5 years time?

  5. Kevin

    I have to completely agree. If Wilshere’s attitude and playing level does not improve by Christmas, I say sell him in January. For the last 2 seasons, he has been coasting on his “reputation” of being the future Arsenal and England captain.

    As I said, sell him and buy Drexler.

  6. afc4life

    Totaly agree ,dosent jack see what is happening at arsenal?!Wonga has built that team around him but he dosent want it or respect that privledge he behave like he wants to be a good player and not the best ,now if we sell him theyll say were hurting english talent .were moving forward jack dont get left behind

  7. Jatin

    I don’t agree with you.Jack is a player who plays with his heart on his sleeves.He is our’s and we made him.These pictures look bad but he’s on a vacation.I respect Ramsey, the way he manages himself but he didn’t play the world cup!Jack did so what he does on his vacation should not concern people.That’s his personal life.But if he doesn’t perform well next season and is not serious then a stick or a ultimatum would be justified.As of now making a fuss out of such things puts extra pressure on the player.Also saying thst now that we have money so we should throw players out for their shortcoming sounds bit shallow.That’s not Arsenal

    1. Joseph Bloggs

      The only reason Ramsey didn’t play at the World Cup is that he plays for a footballing nation who only has a few decent players…so your comparison is largely meaningless. What is more, Wilshere wasn’t even first choice for a poor England team.

      It is our business, as it’s another example of his childish and irresponsible behaviour… his success as a player is dependent on his body and fine margins. He can do all he likes when he retires, but until then, as the fans who ultimately pay his wages, we have a right to get upset. Your comment about it being shallow to expect professional standards from a professional athlete is naive… Arsenal isn’t a creche, it’s a business. I’ve no problem with supporting players who are out of form or injured, but only if they are doing everything in their power to improve. It’s time we stopped making excuses for players simply because they are homegrown.

  8. David Hopkin

    Gibbs must be classed as a regular starter? He is first choice and is a far better defender than Leighton (got a good left foot, but cant defend) Baines.

  9. jumpedupchimpanzeeon

    It’s hard to tell the truth of someone’s true nature and commitment from 1 or 2 photos, but there is no doubt that Wilshere seriously needs to step up this season. The competition for places in Arsenal’s midfield is going to be huge. I still believe Wilshere has the natural talent to be first on the teamsheet, but he needs to be 100% focused. At that level, small improvements or failures make a big difference, and the older you get and the more injuries you suffer, the harder it is to maintain the required level. Even at 22-23, you can’t breeze through games with natural fitness and agility that you have at 18-19.

  10. Joseph Bloggs

    It really annoys me that people are still throwing out the ‘It’s only one cigarette’ line. The odd cigarette is ok for someone working in IT or a bus driver, but not for someone whose ability to do their job rests on getting the most out of their body. For a player who has achieved nothing so far in his career, his mindset is completely wrong. The hours of training and natural talent count for nothing when you give another player an advantage by handicapping yourself. I know I sound awfully pious, I’ll never be a world class sporting hero, but I guess that’s why seeing someone who could be that, seemingly caring so little, is so frustrating. If we get Khedira…or any decent holding midfielder, when everyone is fit, the 3-4 midfield places on our bench will be a fight between Cazorla, Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, The Ox, and Wilshere…so unless Wilshere improves, he might not even be guaranteed a place in the squad, let alone the team.

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